Techno Nerd learns that Rebuilding is NOT a Piece of Cake!
This machine is completely disassembled, and cleaned. I learned the hard way that just wiping the machine down is not satifactory. It must be free of all residue. Once it is completely cleaned, the process for me is to sand this machine so that it is completely smooth. No rough spots, paint chips, or any markings that would inhibit the new finish that comes when rebuilding. Mike Rossi states that the finish is as important as the mechanical, lubrication and the rebuilding. Challenged to do my best I begin the process of cleaning and organizing my parts. Since I don't know how to figure out the machine's geometry for rebuilding, I am indeed starting at the very beginning, something all Apprentices do. I take this challenge seriously because I too want to learn how those simple tools do such an amazing job taking a machine that makes terrible parts and return it to "New Machine Tolerances"
In future blogs I will share my experiences in learning to scrape and fit. After questioning Mike Rossi, I realize that rebuilding is not " a piece of cake" I am still engaged, energized and looking forward to learning more!
My first real venture into the world of #German-Style of #rebuilding #machines seemed like a "Piece of Cake". Really! I was sure that the tools, the bluing, the straight edges and hand scrapers looked too simple. "How hard can it be?" I thought confidently. The technicians worked tirelessly on this machine tool called a Bridgeport milling machine. They navigated the process with such ease that I stated that this "rebuilding looks like a piece of cake", I no sooner stated this thought when I began to understand that it is not as simple as it looks. That's why they call it "skilled trades" .
First, a little history: Bridgeport is a type of milling machine that originated in Bridgeport Connecticut and became the standard for quality milling machines. Hardinge bought Bridgeport in 2004 and makes new machines, but we still get a lot of people who know that the Bridgeports have lasting quality. That's why we rebuild! Pictured above left is a sample of the Bridgeport parts, machine bodies that we tap into when we need to find you a Bridgport machine. Most times we have full machines, but if the table is bad or too small. ( 9" x 42" ) and you want a larger one, we can do that! Why do we sell ACER E-mills™ if we rebuild Bridgeports I ask? Well here's why? The ACER E-mill™ that we sell performs the same tasks that the Bridgeport milling machine does and carries the quality of harden ways, is hand scraped and fit like a Bridgeport. One thing I have learned in my short time here as an apprentice, Mike Rossi only deals in quality. So the ACER makes a good choice if the customer wants a new "Bridgeport -type" machine with the quality of a Bridgeport but not the high price.
Now back to the issue of "simple" Starting with the disassembly I must mark, tag, and organize each component of this machine.
TESTIMONIAL: "It was a pleasure working with you as well, Mike is one of the finest people I have had a chance to work with. We have had so many problems finding a reliable source to work on our CNC machines so it’s a breath of fresh air to have found you!" Looking forward to working together in the future! The Conbelt Corporation . Lex Zeitler, Manf. Engineering Tech.