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Thread: ?'s for Nova lathe owners

  1. #1
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    ?'s for Nova lathe owners

    or wannabe Nova lathe owners!

    I had promised myself a graduation present - that being a new lathe. I have the Jet mini - older, not VS. I thought I wanted a Robust but the price has gone past my budget.

    Then I saw the Nova DVR XR. It seems to meet all my requirements - VS, reversible, adaptable with longer beds, plus swing away tail stock. It also allows the head to swivel for outboard turning or just easier on the back angles. It is quite a bit less than the Robust, which allows for extra goodies.

    My question of you experienced owners - what disappointed you (nothing's perfect!) What is useless but there anyway? What would you change if you were redesigning it? What do you absolutely love about it? What could you no longer live without?

    What ought I know before I pull the trigger?
    Last edited by Carol Reed; 12-03-2009 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    ?'s for Nova lathe owners

    I don't have the DVR ,but have the 1624 and it does all I could ask.It doesn't have VS,but has just about everything else the DVR has.I have turned 18" bowls with it,with no problem.I just couldn't justify the differance in price.

  3. #3
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    I have the Nova DVR, the older version, NOT the DVR-XP the one you would be buying.

    The biggest problem with the DVR is that while it is variable speed, you have to change it by pushing and holding a button, this sucks, If I'm at say 2500 RPM and I want to slow it down for sanding or drilling, I stop the lathe and then stand there with my finger on the button for 30 seconds to slow it down, I know, it does not sound like much, but on some items, when you are going from turning, to sanding and finishing, then back to turning again, it adds up. This very issue was addressed in the last version of the my lathe, with a software upgrade, (mine is too old for the upgrage ), so you can preset certain speeds you use a lot, I know the DVR-XP has this function as well.

    The lathe is rock solid and well built, and I understand that the guy in the USA, Tim Geist (304) 295 8166 or e-mail: Tvgeistmfg@aol.com has a very good reputation for service, and that means a lot, IMHO.

    I used to turn the head stock a lot, but each time you return it to zero, you have to line things up, that became a pain, so I don't do it much, but, I will admit, when I do need it, the function is very good.

    I would recommend right out of the box getting the extension bed, this allows you to move the tail stock right to the end of the extension, where it is not in your way, lifting it on and off as it can be in the way when turnings, gets old fast. For you, unless you know a good friend that can fabricate a good stand, I recommend the cast iron legs, they are rock solid, or so I hear (Drew Watson, pick up the white courtesy phone please.....).

    All in all, I think it is a very good piece of kit.

    That being said, if I were to buy one again, I would seriously look at the >> Vicmarc VL300 Short Bed <<

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    yes it is a lot more money about $4500, but it would really be the last lathe you would buy.

    Got to run more later
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    The DVR is an excellent lathe. I don't think I know of any unhappy owners, although some have moved up to bigger machines. One of the things it does not have that my Powermatic does have is the remote switch. I use my remote switch about 90% of the time for my typical on/off cycles. I don't recall if the DVR can be bootleg wired for a remote, but if it can, I'd highly recommend finding a way to add one.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...That being said, if I were to buy one again, I would seriously look at the >> Vicmarc VL300 Short Bed <<

    Click image for larger version. 

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    yes it is a lot more money about $4500, but it would really be the last lathe you would buy...
    Can that bed be extended? If not, Carol would probably want to be looking at the longbed version for about $5K. But by then, she'd almost be in Robust territory.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    The DVR is an excellent lathe. I don't think I know of any unhappy owners, although some have moved up to bigger machines. One of the things it does not have that my Powermatic does have is the remote switch. I use my remote switch about 90% of the time for my typical on/off cycles. I don't recall if the DVR can be bootleg wired for a remote, but if it can, I'd highly recommend finding a way to add one.
    A very good point

    I've seen it done, and there was talk about Teknatools offering it as an option, but it has not happened, IIRC.

    I've not done it yet, as you can wreck some expensive parts if you make a mistake, and with shipping etc, it was not high enough on my list of things to bother with it......... yet.....

    One feature that gets little mention on the DVR is the anti-catch feature............

    • Safety Sensing

    Computer control instantly cuts power to the spindle if it senses a chisel dig in, or if the spindle lock is on when wanting to turn the spindle.
    This is a VERY nice feature to have
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Hi Carol,

    As a new Nova DVRXP owner I can say they are a great lathe. I picked mine up in the October sale and it came with the cast stand and outrigger and a Nova 2 chuck. I did pick up the extension for it at that time as well. The machine is rock solid and is so quiet. Like Stu said the speed settings are a bit of a pain as they value 250, 500 ( default setting) 750, 1020 & 1250, but you can set your own speeds as it is programable. No belts to change and it also has 3 settings for the degree of sensitivity. Just in case you dig a tool into your work it will stop the lathe on a dime, protecting you and your work. The same goes if you leave the spindle lock on and engage the motor. I like that safety feature and have used it inadvetantly more than once. I was concerned with the lathe "walking" and with the weight of it at first. It is quite heavy but with the cast stand it doesn't move at all. Actually even when i wanted to move it it weighs lots. Two person job to set it up.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  8. #8
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    Dare I stir a pot? Dare I instigate a ruckus?

    Although I'm impressed with the DVR in general, although it's a very fine machine, I'm afraid I wouldn't own one.

    You see... I like to own machines that I can count on for decades. I'm still relatively young (only a little more than fifty) and have a lot of woodworking (including turning) years ahead of me. I don't want to own any machines that won't be usable for the rest of those years.

    As said, the DVR is a fine machine... but it's controlled by high-density solid-state electronics. The solid-state speed controller has a finite life, and that life is much shorter than my own. How many years does a computer last? What's the oldest reliably functioning computer in your environment?

    When it dies (and it will), how will it be repaired? The controller will be obsolete, having been replaced by the next generation (which won't be compatible with the lathe you own), and any replacement parts will have been manufactured at the same time as the original parts inside your lathe.

    Now... solid-state electronic devices' finite lives aren't (if they're designed reasonably well) finite only if they're powered up - they die even if they're resting on a shelf in a blisterpack. Therefore, any NOS replacement controllers for your lathe have already (when your controller dies) existed for most (if not all) of their relatively short lives and can be expected to die soon (f they don't arrive DOA).

    The upshot is that a DVR can't be expected to be operable for the rest of my life... and so I won't have it.

    In my mind... a production shop is a reasonable place for a DVR because it can be used for all it's worth, and at the end of that short life it can be replaced readily. Production shops, after all, retool fairly often. It makes less sense (in my mind) for an individual who isn't prepared to replace their lathe every ten - or five - or less - years.

    The same applies to VFDs attached to three-phase motors - I won't have them in my shop, for the very same reasons.

    For me... mechanical speed controls are acceptable and welcome in my shop. When I add electronically controlled variable speed to a machine, it's only with the acknowledgement & expectation that it'll have a short life compared to a comparable mechanical speed control, and it's done only with an eye for mortality and future replacment - it's never done irreversibly.

    Ok - I'm ready to duck stones if they come. I've said my piece, my conscience is clear.
    -- Tim --

  9. #9
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    Tim I heard the same thing years ago when computers first hit the market. "They will not be around for long, They are a passing phase". The Nova is using the state of the art technologies with energy saving that is the way of the future. The older mechanical machines use and waste so much power and electricity. As worded by Nova these are "smart energy efficent motors that are unlike the older " dumb electric" motors. These new electronic motors use only the power required to maintain the set speed. So what are you going to do Tim in this day of energy conservation and the advent of the electric cars and hybrids as the new norm of technologies. You can't stick your head in the sand ignoring and hoping that the old ways will make a come back ( something my kids keep telling me). Global warming is a result of thinking like that. We have to learn to adapt and change our thinking. The Nova is just the first step in this thinking process in the way of lathe development.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  10. #10
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    How many of those computers you saw hit the market are still functional? They WEREN'T around for long. Neither are any of the computers from the 1990's... and very few built since Y2K. As integrated-circuit density increases, the MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) decreases.

    Sure, these machines RUN beautifully, and PERFORM beautifully... but my mechanical drives will function long after every one of 'em is dead & gone.
    -- Tim --

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