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View Poll Results: rate machine eldorado/bridgemill 1-10

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  • value

    21 87.50%
  • accuracy

    2 8.33%
  • ease of learning

    1 4.17%
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
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    Jan 2005
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    2

    Question shoptask bridgemill

    help does anyone know much about these good and bad also any info on their cnc package they offer thanks

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    143
    there a good investment. i have the package they offer for cnc. everything is direct bolt in and includes everything you need. i'm using the windows setup. and working with master 5 cnc program you. the system will run off a few difrent cnc programs.
    i have no complants about my setup. except for that the mill head could be alittle faster.
    http://www.rainman229.com

  3. #3
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    Jan 2005
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    thanks for the reply sorry took so long for return message thanks again when time allows I have a couple of more questions

  4. #4
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    Nov 2004
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    Cool

    I bought the el dorado about a year ago.
    plus
    + size
    + pretty accurate
    minus
    - The contacts within the motors weld shut req. the motor to be removed and dismantled. I've had it happen to the mill motor twice and the lathe motor once
    - The key within the mill head is too tall. You have to file it off to make the collets fit.
    - the adjustable vise has only a thumb-screw to hold the angle. useless
    - The tool post they sell is inadequate. Buy the Enco model
    - the chain drive (trust me, this is a legitimate component) is noisy. try motorcycle chain lube.
    - they adv. reverse lathe work but putting it in reverse causes the belt to fly off. No way to fix it.
    - the idler and other components are really noisy. Sounds like hell. Fixable but shouldn't have to.
    - the one -year guarantee requires you to ship the defective part back at your cost. For a motor, that's too expensive. (Anyone out there know of an alternative? I tried Grainger but it would require a new base plate, etc.)

    Would I buy it again? Yes, but only because I don't have room for a good used floor model of a mill and a lathe.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    29
    If you can get a used mill and lathe go for it. Purchase price for used equipment is not bad.. shipping it is. You should easily get a good used mill and lathe for the new purchase price of a Shoptask. Will have same/better tolerance. Hauling those new toys home will be $$$.

    The DRO option is good. Upgrades warranty and 3 axis DRO for $800. Most Add on DROs are $2k for 2 axis.

    I've made 3 rifles and several small parts for my 42 GPW. Once I start casting then I expenct much more utility out of the Shoptask.

    Would buy another one unless I had a lock on used gear locally.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    111
    nothing about that machine is delivered as advertised. once john taylor has
    your money, you have to straighten the problems out yourself,he really doesnt
    care. the back lash on my ball screws is .008-.011. hardly a qualitly set up. if
    you must a tri-power i have a brand new one that has not been used. i have all
    the problems straighten out except one,i am working on reducing the backlash now. 601-584-8450 8am-4pm. after dealing with shoptask i now know why hsm isnt running there ads anymore.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    What did you expect with rolled ball screws? Ground ballscrews would get you to the magical zero backlash, but rolled? Come on, its common knowledge (ok, shoptask may not fess up to it) that one is OK, the other is GREAT.

    If you have something that says your machine will be ZERO BACKLASH from the factory then make them fix it (thats what small claims court is for).

    Otherwise cavaet emptor.

    Hope I'm not bursting your bubble, but if you want a zero backlash unit you will pay in ballscrews what you paid for the entire shoptask. On the AVERAGE is a good setup. Great? Heck no. But of the 3-n-1's out there its pretty good.

    I have mixed feelings on my shoptask, but all in all I've had more good experiences than bad. I am not a machinst by trade, so I have nothing to compare it to other than the parts I have made.. and all have been OK.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2006
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    Thumbs up

    pfarber. i was promised .003max on backlash, got .008. i now have backlash
    down to .0015,by replacing the balls, should not have to overhaul new machine.
    john just throws them togather,gets them out the door and lets you fighure out how to fix. as for me my dealings with shoptask are over. john taylors word means nothing and his tri-power is worth ever less.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    I've been relatively happy with my ST, though I've had to put tons of work into it. After about a year I'm almost back to the point where I can use it again. Much of the work was self inflicted (VFD upgrade) and I still have more work to do. The fact is the machine is "pretty good" but not all that. It's for the hobby machinist, though I have seen some people get pretty professional work out of it. They must have been better at tuning that me. Regardless of all the time and money spent I have learned a great deal, which is perhaps the best value. Unfortunately I moved all the way across the country and moving the machine cost almost as much as it did to buy it.

    As for customer service, JT was always very helpful in answering my questions and replacing parts that were out of spec or missing. On the other hand, I wanted to order some new bearings, sent the specs to JT to make sure they were correct, and I haven't heard back for at least a week. Yes I emailed, I could probably call and get an answer right away, but come on.

    I doubt I'll ever get the mill trammed properly, simply because there is no provision to properly tram it. Something is wrong between the lathe spindle gear (inside the gearbox) and it's mate that drives the threading gears. An area is rough or high and it causes the gears to bind every two turns of the spindle...makes for a really nice finish. Also, I can rock the quill side to side about .010 but front to back it's rock solid. Tightening the quill lock doesnt seem to help. Finally I just don't think the Table has enough purchase on the ways to keep the whole thing from rocking.

  10. #10

    VFD for Shoptask

    Hi Again:

    Could you post the specs and equipment, maybe photos of your VFD upgrade?

    Thanks

    Jonathan

  11. #11
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    Dec 2005
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    I have that info in on my site:

    www.the-alchemist.com

    Here is the motor I'm using:

    Baldor CM3554-5
    1.5HP / 3 Phase / 1725 RPM

    And the VFD:
    Allen Bradley 22A-A8P0N104

    cheers

  12. #12

    ShopTask Poll

    Hello: I am not a machinist. I am a ceramic designer and saw the need for the abiliity to machine parts not only for myself but for others also. I liked the idea of a compact machine that fits just right in a small space. Of course I also was concerned with value. I don't have the time orthe inclination to keep poking around Ebay for machinery.
    I bought a fully equipped Eldorado Bridge Mill with DRO, Ball Screws, and the CNC package. Over the 3 years I have had the machine, it lived in its crate before I had the time or the space to install it. After moving into Denver, I got the machine up and running. I followed th ecleaning instructions, how to make sure all the parts line up, etc etc. I received an excellend machine. Everything was tight and to spec.
    I have always received promt and courteous advice, service, and replies from JT both email and phone. I have subsequently purchased tooling from both him and other vendors...McMaster Carr, MSC etc.
    I like the ease of operating this machine, It works for me. But again I am not a machinst.
    What I find anoying is the noise and craziness of the lathe drive system. I don't need the auto feede system so I'll disable that. I will eventually install a VFD drive system and enjoy its quiet and clean workings. Perhaps JT should look at that arrangement as future upgrade.
    All in all, with enough coffee, I enjoy working with this machine and it suits my puposes very well. Again I am not a machinist.

    Best

    Jonathan in Denver

  13. #13
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    May 2006
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    41
    I had an ElDorado for a couple of years.

    I was using it as a "home" machine in a secondary shop so I didn't have to lug work around just to put a couple of holes in projects.

    Like most combination machines, it was adequate for doing reasonably accurate one-off work on small-to-medium parts, but I certainly wouldn't call it a stellar performer.

    The fact that the mill table is basically a lathe cross-slide doesn't make for much rigidity when milling, but helpfully, does give you an awkwardly large cross-slide when turning, and the build quality has some serious rough spots. For instance, when I first got the mill, I couldn't put an R8 collet in the spindle. The internal key was too high.

    I have no idea how you can make a machine tool that doesn't take an R8 collet - possibly the most standardized piece of metal in the entire shop.

    Additionally, the motors never did run quite right.

    But, in fairness, I got exactly what I paid for - which was an inexpensive Chinese combination machine with rough edges for doing work that was only moderately demanding. If that's what you really need (and it was for this application) then the machine is just fine.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2006
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    I hate mine. (2005 Eldorado) As I'm not a trained machinist I didn't know anything. I was looking for a home machine to learn and work on my home made mechanical projects. And "save" money on bringing stuff to machine shops.

    With options and delivery to my house about $4000.

    Sometime I want to make some large scale toys or models. So I'm learning now.

    Too many times I have spent tons of time to fix the machine...not make parts.

    Like today, I'm been doing a lot of milling. I use the drawbar a lot to remove various size r8 collets and centering devices. Today the drawbar nut stripped. The cheap metal they use is unbelievable. As the drawbar is one of the most used tools especially to use the mill/drill feature that needs be hardened steel.

    So now I'm down, and waiting. The time it would take to learn threading, buy stock, fabricate a new BEEFier drawbar, I'll have a replacement in a few days.

    Anyway I could go on and on about things, and don't even get me started on the motor issue! The mill motor has a mind of it's own whether it will run or pop the breaker.

    Little common sense things, like the clearance for tools, locking levers, the hundred different sized nuts, the location of the spindle DRAIN hole the fact of any torgue on the drill causes the belts to loosen...on and on.

    I'm surprised no one has organized a class action suit.

    Dave

  15. #15
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    Aug 2006
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    I'm surprised no one has organized a class action suit.

    i would like to organized a class action lynching?????

    i feel like i was lied to and ripped off to the tune of ten grand.

  16. #16
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    Dec 2005
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    Hi scbvideoboy,

    Yep the machine is very much a fixer upper. I had a couple of thoughts that might help.

    The motors: I don't remeber exactly, but if you are running on a 15 amp breaker that might be the problem. I think the OEM motor can draw up to 0 amps during startup.

    The drawbar: you can just get a piece of all-thread and cut it to length. No need to wait for a replacment. You'll have to turn a shim to center the drawbar inside the spindle though. My machine was shipped with a metric drawbar and my replacment was just a threaded rod with a nut welded on one end. You don't really need the nut on the end.

    I also replaced the stock motors with a couple of Baldor units and I'm using a VFD. A considerable expense, but it really makes a huge difference in the machines usability. The other huge improvement I've made is to install a KDK quick change tool post and mounted it to a Hardinge compound slide I got off ebay. I had to machine a mounting base to secure the compound to the table though; however,with this and the VFD my productivity and surface finish have increased greatly. I also pulled out the tripple gear in the gearbox that links the spindle to the X axis. The gears were binding and creating a bad vibraton you could see in the surface finish when turning.
    Good luck!

  17. #17
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    Jul 2006
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    fixer upper for sure, I've done the electrical mods ( New Power cord and rewired all the wiring to both motors and solder eyelets.) Lathe motor hasn't popped breakers since then and I use the spindle brake as much as possible.

    The drive belts are now US spec. I had to cut a circle out of the top belt guard to allow the rotation of the handle to raise the mill head. The idler pulley assy of the mill drive wont clear the supports unless you remove tension while your cranking. The crank handle threaded part is too short and always unthread while cranking ....

    Tons of little things that irriate especially in the middle of a job.

    I went to Ace and bought a 7/16 x 20 rod and hardened nuts and using that today. This machine has a little sleeve on top, pretty sloppy fit, I'll make a better one sometime.

    So a gear on the threading driveline is causing some vibration? I added (bolted) a steel channel on the back of the stand to help with wobblies.

    I've learned to adjust for backlash. I would love to totally strip it down and rebuild it like the guy here in this forum with the damaged tripower.

    Dave

  18. #18
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    Mar 2022
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    Re: shoptask bridgemill

    CNC machines can run 24 hours a day with no maintenance, but the future promises even more efficiency. CNC machines could contain sensors that track the amount of wear on parts in the future, thanks to Internet of Things technologies. Instead than waiting for the item to break down, these sensors can alert the operator when the machine need maintenance. The Internet of Things might also be used to connect CNC machines to other robots, automating the removal and packaging of finished products from the machinesduck life

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