When the time comes to purchase that first lathe, or upgrade to a bigger than a mini-lathe, have a look at a lathe mill combo especially if you're tight in cash or space. There is the benefit of turning and milling without clogging up your workspace or draining your bank. Because after you get a lathe, there is always extra money to design all the tools and equipment that you'll require and the shop won't get larger right away. Plus you'll find that using a combination drill-lathe is a great accessory to a home-based shop for people who do small-scale work. Having a milling head on the lathe enables you to carry out lots of additional tasks that hobbyists or model makers will require in their shop. There is nothing more frustrating than having your options limited. You have a great idea or you want to build an interesting model, but you need to reduce your vision because a simple lathe isn't enough. With a milling head you will be able to cut keyways, flats, slots, drill holes and the list is endless. Stub axles fitted with keyways shafts that have spanner flats. With a Taiwan Machine Tools smaller lathe/mill combo cutting, smaller cuts can eliminate the majority of the issues that come with achieving an ideal finish. Remember, you cannot utilize a drill press as mill if you're looking for security and precision because the chuck of a drill press isn't designed to mill operations. Finding a dial indicator and mini-mag holder will also help you achieve perfect accuracy. The Shop Fox M1018 is a fine machine designed for the small shop. The machine comes with 4-way turret posts with a 4 inch 3-jaw chuck and a built in rotating vise. There are inches and metric threads, an 11 1/2 inch swing across the bed, 20 inches between the centers, and a 3/4 inch spindle bore. The motor has a horsepower of 3/4 110volt, which is sufficient for the kind of projects that come out of the hobby store. Lathe speeds can be changed between 160 300, 300, 375 700, 470, 870, 1360 RPM and there are 14 mill/drill speed options. With an approximate weight of 475lbs this machine is no light weight and you will need a means of lifting the machine unless, when it is delivered you are paying the carrier to arrange lifting gear. In general, free shipping is only that the seller will deliver it to a fully equipped loading dock that has forklift facilities. In the end the Shop Fox M1018 lathe is going to be an excellent asset to small businesses and allow you to go ahead and work on projects that would otherwise not be possible. Switching from the lathe to the mill might take a little time and you'll need to monitor adjustments and measures, but after some time, this will be less difficult and with the time, you'll start turning out your own masterpieces , and then moving into high-end intricate and complex projects.