My question is, why are are most strength training programs limited to ohp, deadlifts, squat, benchpress? Why is there no use of machine?
Apart from time efficiency aspect - compound exercises train a lot of muscles at the same time - there are a few arguments for free weights and against machines (but note that machines can offer compound exercises, too!).
But first, let's be honest about the fact that there's a varying degree of chauvinism and prejudice against machines - "real men use free weights", y'know. Free weights are great, but machines do have advantages, too.
More importantly, though, there's the consistency argument. A barbell is a barbell, and a 100 kg barbell squat is pretty much the same regardless of what equipment you're using. Machines are much less consistent. Different models have different leverage, different pulleys, different angles etc. If you have two leg press machines loaded with the same weight, the actual resistance can be very different (and the relative difference may even change depending on where in the movement you are). It's not really a blocker if you're always using the same machine - you can still do progressive overloading - but if you have to go to a another gym or someone is hogging your favorite machine, knowing how to load another machine of a different make gets trickier.
A barbell is also very reusable. Along with some plates, a rack, and a bench, you can train your whole body, and this is equipment you'll find at pretty much every gym. If you write a machine-only whole-body program, regardless of which you machines you choose, a lot of gyms won't have all the machines.
A third argument for free weights is that they require a bit of balance, stability and coordination, so they don't only build strength. Machines are a lot more forgiving, so you do get stronger muscles (and more importantly, BIGGER muscles), but you do not necessarily get better at applying this strength in an everyday situation.
I do however think that if you are a very new to resistance training, machines are pretty good to get used to exerting yourself and building some basic strength/muscle. Once you've done that, you can move on to the somewhat more technically challenging free weight exercises. (Which isn't to say you should ditch machines altogether at this point - they can be great to add some extra volume when you're halfway spent!)
In other words, does it make sense to tricep extensions, or bicep curls, for low reps to build strength? If not, why not?
Yes, you can use isolation exercises to become stronger in that specific movement. How much this will transfer to other exercises will vary, so becoming stronger in, say, triceps extensions might not help you very much in other pushing exercises, such as bench press, or any triceps-using movements in your everyday life.
To sum this up:
- Compound exercises will make you stronger and build more muscle per time spent, so prioritize them
- Isolation exercises are best thrown in after the compounds to give prioritized muscles some additional training volume
- Machines are...
- ...bad, because they give you less balance, stability, and coordination training.
- ...good, because they require less balance, stability, and coordination, so you can focus on just working your muscles.
- ... hard to use in general strength-training programs, since machines which are ostensibly "the same", such as leg press, can be very different between different makes.