My workshop is quite small and bench space is at a premium, the length of the milling machine table can have quite an impact. So, do you go for a long table or a shorter table?
My Sieg SX2.7 milling machine has a table that is 595 x 140 mm. This is the standard table.
The advantage of this table is that the milling machine fits on the bench. Also, I can push it into the corner and have space to work.
Even with the standard table I can more or less permanently mount a vice on one end. I put a long piece of steel in the vice, aligned it with a dial gauge and it has stayed there. I have removed it once, but that was briefly to fit the rotary base to the vice. The rotary base is not actually that great and so soon got removed.
Look at the length of free table that is left.
As you can see in the image below, there is enough space to fit an HV4 rotary table as well.
As well as being able to fit the rotary table onto the milling table I can move it far enough that I get a clear working area. I can easily see the dial gauge. Here I’m realigning a flywheel for some more machining.
Length of the milling machine table is really important. I would say to go as large as you can, thinking about the milling operations you are going to do and hence area required. The larger the better as that way you can fit a vice on one end and more or less leave it there. This will save you time and improve accuracy. However, go too long and it will impact other areas of your working area.
595mm long is enough to fit a good sturdy machine vice and a rotary table at the same time. This is perfect for the model engineer for most projects.