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How to move a Bridgeport, maybe...

Ed Poore

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Thought it might be of more interest because it's the first time something significant has been moved with the Sandringham 6.

Little over a year ago I bought a Bridgeport with the intention of moving it into the shed in Surrey. Funny story but collected it in Sunderland and was then on my way to view my new place for the first time and also pick up my two labs from my parents (in South-West Wales). Somewhere in North Wales it turns out I snapped the second crankshaft in 5 weeks in the Defender, but it made it all the way from North to South Wales towing the Bridgeport with a snapped crank :blink:.

Anyway rather than deal with everything the mill got chucked on a pallet in one of the barns at the farm, lubed up the ways and chucked it under a couple of tarps and got on with life. Quit job, moved house and then started planning workshops, decided it wasn't worth moving the mill over since the temporary workshop has a slight issue in the form of the door being 2ft off the ground. Had hoped to get the new workshop (which is at ground level) up and running fairly quickly but that's not happened.


It's going to be several months at the earliest before the new workshop is ready to take in the machine tools, probably longer. Some stuff came up at work and got me thinking that since the workshops are months off I shouldn't hang around and let work take a hit if I can get the mill up and running. The recent acquisition of a new toy, sorry tool, in the form of a JCB 2CX got me thinking that maybe it was possible to get the mill into the temporary workshop. So a plan started to form.

Then I realised that there probably wasn't the headroom in the doorway to fit the mill (minus the turret) and the JCB's dipper arm through the doorway. Buuut, the 6x6 looked a suspiciously good match-up height wise between the bed and the door. So the JCB may have been used to remove the steps (temporarily) and a quick test fit showed this was probably going to be a much more sensible idea. It was meant to be!


Prior to shifting the mill over from storage thought it was probably sensible to have some form of anchor point inside the workshop to winch it in off if need-be so a suitable piece of scrap was found, and some expanding bolts sunk into what was an open fireplace (this building used to be the kitchens back in Victorian times). One of the four bolts destroyed the concrete so was left with 3 holding it - so we'll see how that holds out :blink:


Before the mill could be loaded the rear portion of the bed was removed to remove the pick-up pipe from the tank for an inspection, it really struggled getting up the hills (and we have some good ones here) which felt suspiciously like a lack of fuel issue. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo because my hands were all covered in diesel but the filter on the pipe was completely coated up in something, not quite sure what. Anyway blasted off what I could from with the air compressor and then we shoved it in one of the ultrasonic baths in the dark room and then reinstalled and took it for a quick spin up the hill just outside the entrance to the farm - much much better!

So then taking of photos really took a dive here but with the help of a 3t excavator that's just had all the hydraulic cylinders refurbished the big bit of the mill was loaded onto the back. This shows how nice the setup is that without any tools you can remove the sides and the corner posts to turn it into a big tray back (that will just squeeze an 8x4ft sheet onto the back (extra foot and a half width ways but 1/2" to spare length-ways.


Then back home to the other place of work and a quick experiment (no photos sorry) showed that the mill even in a partially dismantled state was right on the limit for the 2CX. Some of the rams could provide some lift but found it easier to take as much as possible before then jacking the whole 2CX up on the stabilisers. Anyway doing this the mill could be spun around and repositioned closer to the back of the bed for easier alignment with the door.


Then chain attached to anchor point and tree strop around the mill base, some bits of 18mm ply to bridge the 6 inches or so between the door and the 6x6 and then with very little effort the mill was inside the workshop :i-m_so_happy:


All the other bits and bobs from the mill (I acquire a lot of tooling and fixtures with the mill) came in the back of a Shogun. The smaller bits like the vices, rotary positions etc., were carried in by hand but there was the turret and the bed of the mill which were easier with toys. So the 2CX was used so that we could slide the bits into the bucket and then place the bucket on the 6x6 to then slide them into the workshop.


Sorry - forgot photos until after the event


Then some brute force with a crowbar and sacrificing some concrete in the floor and a few M8 expanding tie bolts got it roughly into it's final position. Although I suspect I'll be moving the cupboard to the left of it and moving it further over that way. The rest of the workshop will get a tidy up in due coarse once things are in place.


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Great write up 👍🏻 Thanks for sharing. I love the 6x6 and each time it appears in your posts I seem to focus on a different detail - like the graphics on it this time.

It’s a cool thing. Perhaps you could find a front end in the same blue and patina to match the doors and cab 😊

What are the plans for the mill? General usefulness or do you have a specific project in mind? 

I love the 6x6

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On 5/17/2020 at 9:03 AM, Anderzander said:

Perhaps you could find a front end in the same blue and patina to match the doors and cab

Maybe... Although I do know some good painters who might be able to match the "patina". I've also got a dent free roof in the barn that came with it so once bodywork is on the cards that'll likely get swapped over.

On 5/17/2020 at 9:03 AM, Anderzander said:

What are the plans for the mill? General usefulness or do you have a specific project in mind?

Guess it falls under general usefulness but I'm having to make a lot of one-off prototypes and sensors for work at the moment so having the mill will be very handy. Although I've come to the conclusion it's probably going to be easier to get a diesel generator to run it (needs 3 phase for the turret). The phase converter that I've got doesn't supply a neutral and from a quick look at the wiring inside it's not going to be trivial.

Could go down the VFD route but then that's a complete re-wire of the electrical cabinet which I don't particularly want to do. I've got three 3-phase pillar drills in the workshop (you can see two on the bench) so just having a proper source of 3 phase would be nice (getting it installed is not an option cost-wise as the nearest line is miles and miles away across quite a lot of properties).

We do have a 45kVA PTO 3 phase generator at the farm / other offices which is currently unused but I've just sold the little tractor which had a PTO to upgrade to the JCB. Although just remembered that there's a little Suzuki Swift that we were going to take the engine out of before scrapping. With jump leads fired up first turn of the key today after standing for 9 months. Gearbox synchros were going / gone but maybe there's enough of it working to drop the engine output to 540rpm :ph34r:

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