one of my first major tool buys was a miller/lathe combo !
i feel like to introduce yourself into machineing one should get a small miller lathe combo, they usually come with a 1/2 in chuck miller/drill head and a small vise that doubles as a tool post for the lathe head, all you need to do is swing the miller head out of the way and thread on the 3 jaw chuck and put the tool post on the vise and your in lathe mod then unscrew the chuck and tool post and swing the miller head baxck and instant mller ..
mine is a no name brand generic machine with a 3 speed miller head and a 3 speed lathe head .....
i retro fitted it with a digital read out and a coolant systam with a large fishtank pump and iy all has been working flawlessly for what it is...
its acurate to withing the half thou wich is good enough for most work and hobby stuff and will turn steel stock up to 6 in in diamiter on the chuck and the miller head will mill with a half inch fluted cutter about .1250 deep through mild steel all day at 600 -800 rpm with the coolant on
i highly recomend a dual purpase miller lathe combo for all starter machininsts and hobbiests !
link to what i am talking about ... this one is a bit larger than mine but you dont need anything that fancy i bought mine used from a guy on e bay !