I think when it comes to machine tools the vertical milling machine has to be voted as the most versatile all around tool that there is. These machines feature a vertically mounted rotating spindle for the cutting tool. This is the Z axis. The work piece sits on the table below which can be moved along the X and Y axis. These machines when joined up with an automatic tool changer and a computer to facilitate full CNC control morph into what are called Machining Centers. These machines can take a piece of metal cut it to any shape that can be defined in 3D Cartesian co-ordinates and then on the same work piece mill, drill, ream, face, tap, and bore holes into any of the surfaces. All one has to do is stand back and watch. The computer system does the rest. After I finished the big Vulcan boring mill project, I was given the Hillyer machine. On this project I had to rebuild an old NC type milling machine into a full CNC Vertical Machining Center. Click on the link on the left side of this page to view the slide show of what I did on this project.