ohzee wrote:yea makes me jealous wish I even know how to work such tools.
it is neat to see what people have though. When my kids are grown and gone I may invest in some.
I took Machine tool clases that taught mill and lathe (and many other courses) at my local community college, as well as stack and gig welding classes. The were really cheap ($80 for a 16 week course and open access anytime a class is running) and fun, if I had an iota of free time I would be taking more now.
I would avoid combo mills, they typically are just OK at both tasks. A round column mill (pictured above) will require you to re-zero your workpiece every time you move the head up and down the column, but a square column mill should stay aligned with the workpiece, so I would stick to square column.
If you want to get started on an affordable home mill that runs on 110v but can has the oomph to mill still, has a decent sized table, and is smaller than a Volkswagen, try one of the rong fu-45 clones like this grizzly for $1300:http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mill-Drill/G0463
Iwas Surprised when I saw the grizzly website, they used to have 3-4 square column products in the 1000-1500 range, now thatone I posted is it.