Ask a welding question in the wrong forum and got chewed out, so I hope I'm asking this in the right place.
I want to buy a mill and lathe to do my own machining; too many custom projects through the years and it's getting expensive. Buying my own should cut down on cost and ugly expressions from machinist when I ask them to do a custom projects.
Any recommendations on specific brands of machines and sizes?
I've owned a couple of different mills and lathes in my home shop. My best advice would be to look around, be patient, and be ready to jump on used machines (ie: have cash immediately available).
$3k per machine sounds about right, then you could almost double that for tooling.
For mills, there are a ton of options - Bridgeports are great, if you can find a good one, but they are heavy, difficult to move and will require 220V with a phase converter. They will be more accurate and will cut smoother than lesser mills. There are a ton of great accessories for them.
At the other end of the scale is a mill/drill, which I wouldn't recommend, unless you will always be working on small parts. Their Y-axis, in particular, is limited. And their Z-axis will be a PITA because of the round column.
In between, there are American-made Millrites, Clausing and Rockwell smaller knee mills. They can be tough to find. Grizzly also made a little knee mill at one time, I think.
There are some dovetail column mill/drills that could be interesting.
In any case, make sure that you get an R8 spindle - that's the most common and desirable.