An 8×10' corner of my shop is dedicated to metalworking. Three manual benchtop machines sit along two walls, with small tool storage along the opposite long side and a work table in the middle.
More pictures here.
My small Chinese screw cutting lathe is at the far end of this space. I've stripped its trimmings and changed many of the original parts to improve its capabilities, including a less clumsy front operated tumble reverse for the leadscrew, separate metric and inch leadscrews for more convenient and accurate thread cutting, and a slotted cross slide for setups using front and rear tools to reduce the number of tool changes.
I've supplemented it with a number of accessories for using it more effectively. Some contrast with available units—my steady rests handle larger work than the stock items, and my t-slotted faceplate handles smaller ones. Other additions are unavailable: my 3C lever collet closer works in combination with a lever cross and top slide, as well as a 6-position bed turret to permit much greater efficiency making large numbers of identical parts such as tuning pins and special action screws.
My 12” Delta can be used for turning larger items, thanks to the neat original compound slide, and my 3” D-bed watchmakers lathe or Unimat SL for smaller items. I have a couple extra headstocks for each of them, and can swap a couple drives and indexers between the headstocks or quills to preserve setups.
My 1940s Atlas MF horizontal milling machine is in the far right corner. I use it for most non-round medium precision metal work, including jigs, fixtures and dies. It's heavy for its compact size and has a nice range of speeds and a 4½×18” table but a working envelope of only about 3½×11×6” and only a single t-slot. I've arranged it left-handed, and refitted it with a DC motor and timing belt drive, and have added guards, as well as a number of specially made attachments to suit its limited size.
For a lot of work I use a 2 inch vise with it that opens to the same width as the optional original Atlas vise but is half the height, and works on the same lock-down principle as more modern ones. It can mount directly to the bed or on a short swivel base for simple angular work. Slightly larger or irregular work can be held in a 3” shaper vise with a swiveling and reversible jaw that accommodates tapered and round parts. More precise angles, and rotary work can be accomplished with my 5 inch 90:1 geared rotary table. It's the same diameter as the table sold by Marvin for these mills but half an inch shorter. Its t-slotted steel table rotates on an MT2 spindle in a screw adjustable split tapered bronze bushing.
The size and bench mounting of the Atlas prevent good views of many setups, and though a rehoused webcam helps a lot to improve visibility I also can use a pair of overarm mounted vertical heads when larger cutters aren't needed.
The smaller of the two is an extra Unimat headstock mounted to a bracket on the overarm. It runs up to 6000 rpm with a 180w DC motor or about double that with a replacement universal motor on the original two stage belt drive. The second vertical head is also an independently driven unit and can rotate and nod. Its maximum quill travel is 45mm by quick action lever or fine geared handwheel.
The larger vertical head uses ER-16 collets, and the Unimat can use them with an adapter. I also have a couple of boring heads that mount using the same thread as the collet nuts, one with only ⅛” travel suitable for small holes and high speeds and a heavier more conventional one with 2½” travel.
I can index work such as gears or polygons either with an old 24:1 geared Brown & Sharpe unit or a 50:1 one made from Unimat parts.
My little shaper is designed to be used either manually or motorized and with automatic feeds for the carriage or vertical slide but only the manual parts are complete. The carriage can move up to 8” laterally; the pivoting vertical slide can travel 1 ½” and has a swivelling clapper box with an American-style lantern toolpost.
The main part is 13” wide, 7 ½” high and 13 ½” deep and weighs 30 lbs set up for hand feed, so it is very lightweight compared to its work envelope. The compact cross slide is the main reason but since it also allows the shaper to be independent of any base and table it makes a small advantage out of this serious shortcoming by allowing it to bolt directly to much larger work pieces. Mounted to the base with the work table, however, it weighs a more substantial 110 lbs.
The universal table adds another 25 lbs and allows compound angled setups necessary for making special cutters. The 10×4” t-slotted swivelling table can be replaced with my small rotary table.