I am hoping that in a few weeks I will be in a position to buy a milling machine. Naturally, I have been researching mills, and have asked this question around the interwebz to get a good spread of opinions.
If I can find a decent used bridgeport, I will go that route, but since good quality used machinery seems difficult to find at a low price, I am naturally looking at the imported machines.
I think a small mill will do the job fine, and I was considering the Grizzly range, particularly the G0619. In fact I had just about settled on that, but Grizzly just released this: http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2013/Main/598
I have to tell you, I am quite excited about this mill, as it seems to have taken all my favourite aspects from the mills I have been considering, and plonked them into one machine.
It has a nice 2HP 220V motor, and it looks like it does not use the converter electronics board - which I am happy about. I have a 220V circuit wired in for a mill already, so I really wanted to make use of that feature rather than have a control board handle it. Plus the extra "oomph" of the motor is a good thing. Possibly even a higher grunt motor than is really needed - and I am OK with that.
I am still waiting for fully detailed specs to be published, and also the manual (I like to have a good look through those documents before buying 0 you can raise / answer a lot of questions that way), but this is looking good. Nice size table, square column, beefy construction.
The downside - six speeds. Is this enough? The speed range is 90 through 1970 rpm. Does this seem adequate?
As always - very interested in any thoughts and opinions, but this tool looks like it may well be just the job.
I don't anticipate getting into full size engines - a scale steam tractor is my ultimate model engineering goal.