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JOEL Joel's Blog

Photo Blog: Machines Tools


Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine
Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine

Download a hi-res version of the above image here
I love having a machine shop. Since we manufacture tools we need to have one. Unlike modern machine tools - like our boxy, fully enclosed yet mindbogglingly efficient CNC mill - these machines have wonderfully stylish and elegant cast-iron housings and brass and knurled fittings with lots of knobs. What more could a boy want? Both of these machines are from the late 1940's and were used aboard a ship for engine room maintenance. In general, they have very little wear, and we are pleased to be their current caretakers. We use them for one-off parts and certain drilling operations.

The pictures in this blog are in medium resolution. If you like the pictures, feel free to click on the links to download pretty high res versions (for up to about a 14" printed picture) for your own personal use. The pictures also might make a nice screen saver or the like.

Response to these images has been great! If you have the urge for a larger print of any of the pictures in the photo blog series, the source material I have can be used to print even larger images - up to 36" - than the free download file size. Click here for available prints. Large prints of tools might go really well in an office or business settings. I certainly would find tools are more interesting to look at than yet another picture of a the New York skyline (not that it isn't lovely).
LeBlond Regal Lathe
LeBlond Regal Lathe

Download a hi-res version of the above image here

Join the conversation
10/09/2022 David
I was a machinist apprentice 1955-1958, and was friends with Bridgeports and LeBlonds. The photos bring back memories. Doing the arithmetic, ancient memories!
10/10/2022 Glenn Kotnik
I must admit that these old machines have a lot of appeal with all of the shiny knobs and wheels. A few years ago I gave in to the attraction and bought a 1940’s vintage LeBlond Regal. I didn’t actually rebuild it but I spruced it up a bit. When I stand at the controls I feel like I’m the engineer of an old steam locomotive. I had sold my little Chinese lathe and then discovered I could no longer cut metric threads. And fitting a modern chuck to it is quite a challenge.
10/10/2022 Charlie Goedeke
I also love this stuff!! The old casting, especially pre-WWI had style and elegance and a decorative quality that unfortunately we have lost along the way.

Keep up the good work!
10/11/2022 Chuck
As a long-time tool maker (40+ yrs.), I appreciate these machines more than most of the "utes." These are the machines I used in my apprenticeship. In fact, I still use a Bridgeport to do certain operations that are quicker than on a CNC. The young guys laugh - until they see what these "old" machines can do. I remind them that these machines pretty much built the world as they know it. They may not be as accurate or efficient, but they still get the job done!
Thank you, Joel, for posting the pictures. Great memories!
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.