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Bridgeport Model "M" capabilities vs. other small mills (Rockwell, Clausing, Etc.)


Sep 18, 2007
Hi... I presently have a Clausing 8520 and I am happy with it overall, but there are times when a larger table/throat would be helpful to say the least. With that said, I am looking at a model "M" Bridgeport (the "Baby Bridgeport" I am told) a few hours from me. I know nothing about these smaller machines EXCEPT it WILL fit in my cellar, and I can actually get it down there in just 3 pieces and NOT a nightmare of total disassembly, etc. The present owner seems very upfront and told me that he; disassembled it, cleaned and oiled it, stripped it and repainted, but did NOT "rebuild" it. He said the OEM scraping marks are mostly gone now and there is backlash in both axis. It is supposed to runs smoothly and quietly. What horsepower motor came OEM with these, and what speeds are available? He tells me it has MT2 for a spindle which surprised me as that it the same as my Clausing. I don't really NEED R8, but there are times when a little larger cutter, etc., would be nice, and collet sizes not limited to 1/2" as well. Are these well built and sturdy? Are they know for anything really negative I should be aware of and look out for? Are they "super rare" thus parts a nightmare to find if some are needed down the road? Overall, how would they compare with a Rockwell, or Clausing for performance? Thanks in advance, as always! BoB in Mass.
If it is an M-head, those are pretty old, and expect the
taper to be worn loose at the big end. I have an M-head
on my 8520, and if you use a solid shank, like a drill
chuck or a boring head, the big end of the taper is loose
by like .004". It needs a regrind. What I do when using
a boring head with a solid shank, is wrap a strip of a
Post-It note (with the stick-um) around the big end of
the taper. This makes it seat perfect. Otherwise it
will chatter, and make boring impossible.
So scrutinize the spindle taper or plan on re-grinding it.