Bridgeport Disassembly

March, 2006.

As part my scraping of a worn Bridgeport milling machine back to original precision, I had to disassemble the machine components. Disassembling a Bridgeport mill is also sometimes necessary to move it into a small shop space or through a low doorway, or when using small vehicles.

Until I can get my photos and detailed descriptions posted here, let me just leave you with a list of the disassembly steps I used:

If you have no hoist, you can improvise lifting heavy pieces by clamping on lumber or SuperStrut with C-clamps, like a medic's stretcher, and having sturdy human helpers lifting on each stretcher corner. Like a king in a sedan chair.

Don't mar any precision surfaces. On most components, almost all surfaces are precision!

The gibs and ways will be quite a mess with oil or grease. The knee will likely be filled with old chips. Kerosene, nitrile gloves, and a carton of paper towels are good for cleaning the components. The big polyethylene mortar mixing tubs sold at the building supply store are a good "wash basin".

Be prepared for surprises. I discovered the overworn saddle gib on the old machine I bought had been shimmed ... with a rough piece of metal pallet strapping.

If you want to refinish or paint an old machine, it is best done while disassembled.

Have a comment or question about my Bridgeport disassembly?
Email me at:
Richard J. Kinch
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