So ... I've been concentrating on building a custom case for the computer that will be controlling the milling machine.
I decided that I'd use an old tower computer case that was slated for the dump and I'd embed the LCD monitor in the side of the case.
I have a Samsung 15" LCD monitor and bought a touch-screen conversion kit off ebay. The touch-screen kit consists of a thin glass overlay with touch-sensitive material and a USB interface, allowing me to convert this standard LCD monitor. The Mach3 software that controls the milling machine was designed to work as a touch-screen application, so the end results should be quite professional.
On another note, I got my hands on a plasma cutter. Wow! While they're spendy, they sure are nice to have!
This is a straight test cut in some 22 gage sheet metal I had lying around.
I've removed the guts of the Samsung monitor and over-layed the touch-screen kit and am testing it with my laptop.
This is the side cover of the computer case that I'll be using to embed the monitor in.
A few minutes later with the plasma cutter ...
I've constructed a metal frame out of 1" x 1/8" flat steel that the monitor will mount to. This will also serve to minimize flex in the side of the computer case; I'll be spot-welding the computer case to the metal frame.