I am a pharmacist by trade and have never used a milling machine before. I decided to buy this mill mostly to help slot guards for my knife making hobby and for some other projects I have planned like crossbow parts and sterling engines. I know it's been done before, but I'd like show a bit of my decision making plus the delivery and setup process.
I decided I was going to buy a mill last fall and have been picking up some R8 tooling when I can. I bought an integrated HHIP R8 drill chuck, a set of end mill holders, end mills, spot drills, and a 2" indexable carbide face mill. Most of which was from Amazon.
For work holding, I bought some pivot clamps, extra T-slot nuts, and a 4" Shars 440v milling vise.
I may pick up a fly cutter for flexibility and potentially better finish than the Accusize face mill. Eventually I would like a rotary table and some machine screw length drill bits as well.
I decided on a Precision Matthews mill mostly because I have read good things about their mills and have heard great things about their customer service. PM service has been spot on so far. My x-axis power feed had to be back ordered but they let me know right away and are supposed to ship it as soon as it comes in. I ordered the mill and payed via PayPal. I ordered it without a stand because 3dshooter80 said his came with the top out of level. Also most reviews have said the stand is a bit short for a good table height. I instead ordered a 30" welded machine table from Global Industries for about the same price. Its rated to 3000lbs and is a few inches taller than the standard PM base that comes with the mill. It can also be bolted to the floor if needed.
I chose the PM-727m because it appears to be more robust than the PM-25mv and has a longer quill down feed for drilling. I did consider the PM-932m but it is simply too big and heavy for the space I have available.
I ordered the PM-727m mill and payed via PayPal. It came in on Thursday 3/23/17 exactly 2 weeks from when I ordered it.
The mill came in good shape. There is a small amount of surface rust on the very top of the z-axis. I think it should cleanup with no problem and is not really in a critical place. I uncrated the mill and cleaned off the packing grease with WD-40.
I was just barely able to slide the mill and pallet across my garage. Probably not a good idea to do this yourself like I did. I also unbolted the column with a 10mm allen wrench and leaned the column and head back on a 4 wheel cart. The base was heavy but I managed to lift it onto the chip tray and machine stand. I spent some time trying to level base but got frustrated with having to pickup the base to place shims. I broke down and ordered a adjustable machine base which should be here in a couple days. I will keep you guys posted.