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Member postings for bill ellis

Here is a list of all the postings bill ellis has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: How to price up and sell a super 7 lathe
12/06/2019 08:17:12

I moved almost exactly the same kit with just an ordinary hatchback and roof bars. The cabinet went on the roof bars (not that heavy once separated from the lathe. ). I borrowed a small engine crane (500kg) to lift the lathe into the car, this then folded up and slid in alongside so I could unload once home. I recon 2 strong people could lift the lathe if you take off the tailstock & motor, I'd leave the saddle on but removal is an option to lighten further. Personally I'd let the buyer have the hassle and sell as pick up only.

Thread: Bridgeport
09/06/2019 13:54:35

Hi all, Many thanks for the nice comments.

The way cover is made from a sheet of rubber tread material (off cut from the well deck on my boat) and is fixed at the top by a T shaped bracket made from 3mm alloy plate. This plate is fixed using the existing bolt which acts as a stop for the Z axis upward travel. The bottom end is fixed using the existing rear saddle wiper cover. So no new drillings required to fit and it allows the Y axis to travel back as far as the vice allows. I'm happy with the amount of travel as I'm just in the process of fitting a 3 axis DRO and would have needed to limit rearward travel to stop the scale on the back of the table getting squashed.

I will use a wider piece of material to shield the Z axis scale allowing the reader head to mount on the knee and thus leaving clearance for the oil port. Most people seem to turn the scale with the head to the rear and use convoluted bracketry to move the head, or mount the scale on the knee, all to ensure that swarf does not enter the scale (i.e. have the gap facing to the rear). I think preventing swarf getting anywhere near the scale is a better option. I've experimented with fly cutters, face mills, drills and mills on steel, alloy, brass and cast and I'm certain I can stop unwanted bits getting where they are not wanted.

Clive, If you meant the table cover (which I'm sure you did cheeky) I too have found that limitation. My plan is to build two piece covers which slide into each other a bit like the original covers between the saddle and the knee.Then I can shift the vice around a bit and keep the table T slots free from too much gunk. Probably over engineered but I'm still like a kid with a new toy at the moment.

Thread: Ever have one of those days..?
15/05/2019 16:20:02

Working on the boat last week (woodwork) I could not find my pencil which I had just used. So I dug another out and continued. Driving home looked in the rear view mirror and noticed a pencil behind each ear. Not the first time I've done it either. Gets embarrassing when you walk into a restaurant for a meal sporting dual pencils.

Thread: Parkson M1250 Beast
14/05/2019 19:41:43

Must be an optical illusion but the base looks like a banana.

Thread: Bridgeport
02/05/2019 16:00:46

dsc_0018.jpgThe Bridgeport is now ready for work. Over the last month it has been stripped, painted and rebuilt. Just trammed the head and made table covers as most of my workholding is done in the vice. Must get hold of the missing label that goes on the front of the belt housing.dsc_0017.jpg

Thread: Sump Plug
01/05/2019 20:01:30

I managed to get a very stuck square sump plug out with a large Stillson pipe wrench (about 30" long). On the big ones they have quite deep teeth to grip a pipe, set it across the diagonal (not on the flats) so that the corners of the plug fall between the teeth of the jaws. As you apply pressure they grip even tighter and the length gives loads of leverage. As others have said, apply some heat first to help break the accumulated crud.

Thread: Removing a grub screw
15/04/2019 18:57:55

I've had luck in the past using a sliver of very thin feeler gauge down the side of the allen key. Put the sliver in first against one of the flats (or nearly flat if it is really rounded out) then tap the key in along side. It takes up enough room to allow the key some purchase. Good luck.

Thread: Bridgeport vibes
15/04/2019 12:36:56

Many thanks both,


Just tried it with power downfeed and it is exactly the same so I don't think it is anything much worth worrying about, not making any noises just a very small vibration through the handle. I think the dog clutch may be a little worn as that is the only other part in the chain which could possibly contribute. Not a biggie but I may change them out at a later date. Looking at the prices I may give making them a go, I may put a bit of grease rather than oil on them and see if that changes anything.


It still uses the same drive belt when in back gear (when it is smooth) so I have ruled out belt issues. I will replace the belts as a precaution once I've used it a bit as I don't know the history of the ones on there.



14/04/2019 19:52:08

Getting near completion on the step head Bridgeport but I have an interesting symptom and I wondered if anyone has any ideas.

Everything on the head works as it should, except when I use the quill feed lever to manually lower the quill. If the head is set in low range (back gear) and I manually move the quill down everything is silky smooth. If however I'm in high (straight drive via dog clutch) I get a slight vibration through the quill lever, is that normal? No obvious wear in the teeth on the bottom of the splined pulley hub or the bit it engages with. Obviously only when the motor is running, If I stop the motor it is smooth in Low & High.

Any thoughts?

Thread: Using a propane cylinder for partable compressed air.
05/04/2019 20:53:07

If anyone is interested and is in the East Anglia region I have a BA (breathing app) cylinder which I used as an auxiliary storage device before I got a larger compressor, free to a good home. Good for 3000 psi but obviously out of certification. Fair bit heavier than an empty propane bottle.

Thread: Bridgeport part size.
05/04/2019 20:35:31

All sorted, found an old bicycle pedal in my box of bits, just happened to have 3/16 ball bearings in it. I now have a lifetime supply smiley

05/04/2019 18:51:23

Thanks David, I thought it would either be 3/16 or 5/32. Off to the bike shop I go.



05/04/2019 17:38:50

Hi all, a little help required, I'm in the process of rebuilding a Bridgeport and I need to find the size of a part.

In the handwheel clutch on the quill housing assembly is a screw with a spring under it which bears on a ball bearing which acts as a detent for the up/down quill feed direction. Someone had fitted a ball bearing which is too large to go fully in the recess and thus was not doing its detent job. The ball bearing is part no ST132 (1402) and I wondered if anyone knows off hand what is the correct size of ball so I may get one from a ball bearing supplier. I may resort to measuring the recess but if anyone knows I would be greatful for the info.

In case you wondered why I do not just order one from a bridgeport spares stockist this is the reason.

Part ST132 steel ball, cost 37p, delivery £7.95 (yes I could not believe it so I rang them up and queried it), VAT £1.67, grand total £9.99 for a single ball bearing, I don't think so.



Thread: Hello all from sunny Suffolk
01/04/2019 21:08:13

Hi Paul, thanks for the offer, would have to be a Thursday or a Sunday where the weather looks like it will be awful. Sunday I'm usually out on my bike or doing grandfather duties.



Thread: Bridgeport power feed
31/03/2019 20:42:47

Thanks all for your input, but I think I may have found a way to determine the correct rotation without knackering any internals (and I can't see any rotation markings on the box or motor anywhere). My idea is to put it all back together once its cleaned and oiled and set it back on the end of the table, but leave the motor off the gearbox. Then engage the traverse lever, I should be able to reach the pinion in the box with my finger and move it a little to see which way the table moves, if it moves in the correct direction I will know which way the worm on the end of the motor must turn. To be fair as I've got the box apart I can probably trace the gear motions to work it out that way but I fear that will make my head sting. Looking inside I'm not convinced that running the motor the wrong way would do anything other than make the table go in the wrong direction but I'd rather err on the side of caution as I doubt spares are obtainable if I did faff it up.


Thread: Hello all from sunny Suffolk
31/03/2019 08:57:34

What do I make or restore, well that is an interesting question. Over the years I have (in no particular order), Built a Spartan kit car, built a narrowboat (from a shell), built a cedar strip canoe, restored a Myford super 7, countless small jobs and repairs on small machinery items, same on small electrical things. My plans for the Brigeport once completed, still not fully formulated but I might build either a stationary steam engine or a 1/6 scale traction engine. Not sure if the Myford will be big enough for that so I might have to get a Harrison or Colchester lathe devil

Thread: Bridgeport power feed
30/03/2019 21:16:32

Here's hoping someone may be able to help. I have one of the very old gear driven X axis power feeds on my newly aquired Bridgeport mill. The big heavy one where you can select specific feed rates. The previous owner had thoughtfully disconnected the wiring and just left the tails coming out of the motor. Now the motor is a 1/6 hp 3 phase and I'm OK getting it to run but need advice as to which direction it should go. I understand that if the motor is wired to turn the wrong way it will trash the gearbox and cause me further issues. So which way should it be wired to turn? looking directly at the motor with the shaft (with worm on it) pointing towards me, should it turn clockwise or anticlockwise? Does anyone have a definitive answer or can point me to where I may be able to find out.

Heres hoping.



Thread: Hello all from sunny Suffolk
30/03/2019 21:02:16

Hi there, just a quick note to introduce myself. My name is Bill and as per the title I reside in Suffolk (near Bury St Edmunds). I started life as an apprentice in the 70's doing electro mechanical engineering. Moved on to computing/IT/management and am now happily retired. Been building up a workshop in the garage over the last 20 or so years and have just got a Bridgeport from 1965 to replace my old far eastern mill/drill thing. Current project is restoring the Bridgy to its former glory from its current rather tatty appearance. I look forward to some interesting challenges as some bits are worn/missing and I like to make things rather than just buy them (no fun in that). More than happy to get involved in conversations but I'm not really a photographer/vlogger whatever detailing my every move so I wont be doing any restoration sagas (might put up a piccy once its done).


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