What Milling Machine is the best to start with?

We recommend the Acer 3vkH Vertical Knee Mill. It has more horsepower and is heavier than a Bridegport. Show off your milling machines!

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I was fortunate to acquire a 1952 Bridgeport Ram from a welding engineer with a degree in metallurgy. He had purchased the milling machine from a small toolmaker’s shop and hadn’t seen but a few inches of travel in any direction when he got it. It’s been in my shop for over 2 decades now. We’re both in the nuclear world and live to those standards. Yes, very lucky!

I recently got a Wells Index 823. I picked it up for a song at an auction, but I haven’t used it yet. It was retrofitted with centroid cnc, but it’s all very outdated.

I have a wells index I restored
The parts for that are very expensive
I spent $700 on the tee nut
I have to cast my own table feed gear out of bronze and machine the threads on