Originally Posted by ICANHITHIMMAN
Just did some informal searching cant seam to find anything I will have room for yet.
a few years back I was tasked with buying six or eight Bridgeports (or clones), and a half dozen CNC lathes. Got a ticket to the Chicago Tool Show (this place is huge so take good walking shoes). Looked at a lot of machines while I was there, but kept going back to the Willis Machine booth. Bought ten of them for less money than I could buy eight Bridgeports (all are made in Asia these days). But what sold me was the way they did the saddle and basic frame construction. BVoss that I was nuts till the first two showed up on the dock.
I also bought six CNC Hardingh slant bed lathes (well actually there was seven on that buy, but one went to somebody else). They wanted me to buy Okumas, but these lathes made the Okumas look like toys. Came in about 20% cheaper and were U.S. made! The down side was the lead time. It was almost a year as I was right behind Pontiac and Ford in my buy (the two together almost bought a hundred of them!!) Bought one right off the floor with the bar feed unit and live tooling with the motorized tail stock for $226K delivered and setup. That was roughly $50K less than the Okuma without an X2 slide and live tooling. Plus it had a better build quality. Would have loved to seen the sales commision check they guy got for selling 100 lathes in that price range.
Now a machine you might want to consider (as your doing light milling and mostly drill and tap work) is a gently used is the one sold by Fanuc that has the large hex turrent on the front. These are often .0005" machines, and can be often picked up fairly cheap.