Need some advice, here...
I occasionally wish I had a small mill, but can't really afford to go out and buy one. I was going to modify my 7x14 mini-lathe to accept a small vertically mounted vise where the tool holder normally goes, in order to use it for the odd milling operation.
Then, a local company started selling these:That is, the one on the left, the WDM ZX7016. A better picture: Click the magnifying glass in that picture for a large version.
It costs about a third of what importers charge for a typical mini-mill over here. Now, I know it's just a sturdy vertical drill with an X/Y table, but it does feel really solid and stable (it weighs 165 lbs without the stand shown in the picture), and even if I don't lock the Z axis, I can't detect any slop whatsoever in the quill, even when cranked all the way down.
I'm sorely tempted. However, I notice a couple of details that I'm unsure of. The spindle taper is MT2, whereas it seems most tooling offered out there is R8. The importer does supply a nice looking collet chuck in MT2, though. Possibly worse: I'm wondering if I'm going to be cursing that table every time I use it, because it lacks a central T slot...? It seems to me every picture I see of anything at all mounted on a coordinate table uses the center slot, which someone must have plain forgotten to draw when the plans for this mill were made. :)