In the market for a new lathe.

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Scott Austin, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Scott Austin

    Scott Austin

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    Hello out there fellow wood turners.

    I have been turning for a little while pinching and saving my pennys. It is time to upgrade from my antique, vibrating lathe that is older than I am to something new and shiny. I mostly turn bowls, and some spindle turning, so I am wanting a 20" swing and definetly electronic variable speed on whatever I buy. I think I have narrowed it down to the Nova Dvr 2024. But I am also considering if it would be better to save up another 1000$ and go for the Powermatic 3520B? I have never used either one of these lathes. The local Woodcraft store has one of the Novas in the store, but of course they don't have a power source close enough that I can even turn it on. I don't personally know any turners locally that have either one of these lathes, so I can't go over to anyone's shop and check one out. And my local AAW chapter is 50 miles away from the house, and I can't even get anyone there to e mail me back about joining up. So, that is why I am here begging the advice of you fine people. I know there has to be several people on these forums that have these lathes. I know the Powermatic is a popular choice and no doubt would be a good lathe. But cash don't come too easy, so I'm wondering if it is worth the extra money. I have used a Nova 1624-44 in class and Nova seems to make a quality product from what I could see. My biggest concern about the DVR 2024 is that is only weighs 320 lbs. where the Powermatic weighs 682 lbs. that is double the weight. I'm sure it has to make a difference in stability. Woodcraft also has a Rikon 20X36 model 70-500. But, I never see anything about Rikon lathes anywhere. Anyway, any advice or input at all would be appreciated. I am just trying to make a good educated decision to get a machine that will last a good long while.

    Thanks
     
  2. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    Scott
    First let me not that I own the little brother to the Nova, the Nova DVR-XP. If I was in the same situation I would buy the same lathe today. The small foot print of the Nova was my driver. I would have liked the Vicmarc 300 short-bed or Stubby, but those are both more expensive.

    If foot print was not the driver, I would go larger and heavier
     
  3. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The new 20 inch Nova looks like the 16 DVR but with the same frame. I do prefer the sliding headstock to the pivoting one. Also, minimum speed on the Nova is 100 rpm, and the minimum on the PM is 50. I like the slow rpm for sanding. I do not like the speed change on the Nova. Very slow. You can use a couple preset speeds, but other than that, very slow ramp up, and ramp down.

    The times you will actually need the 20 inch diameter are very few. Most utility bowls I sell are 14 inch and under, with very few in the 16 inch range selling. Any bigger than that is a specialty market. You can turn that big off the end of the lathe, with an outboard tool rest (one that stands on the floor). If you want to do bowls, having 2 hp, and 220 volt is a big plus, especially if you are selling them, and time is important.

    robo hippy
     
  4. Ian Thorn

    Ian Thorn

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    Hi Scott from New Zealand im interested to know how much is the Nova 2024 in the states its $6000 here i was told
     
  5. Scott Austin

    Scott Austin

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    Everywhere I have looked it is $2999.00 USD
     
  6. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Scott,
    I have the 16" DVR and the Powermatic. I use both and the ramping speed of the DVR bothers me not and I bounce between these two lathes a lot. The Powermatic head slides and the DVR head turns. I have never taken advantage of either. The DVR run on 220 has 2.3 HP the Powermatic has 2.0 HP, I have never found either to be lacking. They both for me are fine for sanding as I sand at high speed. Both lathes are weighted and both will jump around if the piece is way out of balance but that is the beauty of variable speed. The Powermatic comes in around $4000 and the 20 DVR last I heard was around $3000, a fair amount if $ is a factor. If I had to do it all over again I would have these two lathes as I am a cast iron fan. If I liked a steel lathe it without a doubt would be the American Beauty. If I add to my stable of lathes I would add a Vicmark or the bigger Powermatic both with 3 HP. As stated bigger bowls than about 15" just do not sell where the 13" to 15" sell very well. If I had to choose between the Powermatic and the DVR, well I couldn't and am glad I don't have to.:D
    Bill
     
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Consider buying a Jet 1642 and spending what you save on a week long class at Campbell, Arrowmont, Anderson, or 3 days with Ellsworth or Bosch.
    Most likely you will happier with increased skill and a smaller machine with a big heart.

    In a few year you can sell the jet for about what you paid for it and get ONEWAY or American beauty.
    You might even sell enough bowls to pay for it.

    I've turned on the DVR 16 a few times an Powermatics a lot. I really dislike the controls on the DVR. The touchpad speed control is slow and unresponsive.
    But worse is the off switch is a little red bump. I dreaded having to find than bump that in an emergency.
    I want a big red button like the powermatic, jet, Robust, ONEWAY that I can hit in an emergency.

    I was approached by a Nova rep a few weeks ago and gave him the same feed back about the controls.
    He said they heard that a lot and were working on it.

    Have fun,
    Al
     
  8. Scott Austin

    Scott Austin

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    thanks for the input everybody. I think I will go for the Nova. Maybe add a powermatic to my turning empire in a couple of years. I have considered the JET, but I do want the capacity of 20". Even though I might not really need a 20" capacity very often, I would like to have it. And yes Al, I would love to take a trip to PA, and spend a weekend with Ellsworth. I actually already have a small collection started for that too. It is just a matter of being able to get away for 3 days to do it.
     
  9. Lee Tourtelotte

    Lee Tourtelotte

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    Hi Scott --
    From what I have observed from several owner friends in our Minnesota club, both the Powermatic & Nova referenced lathes are very fine, high quality lathes and either would make a good, long lasting choice.
    But since you are probably only going to be doing this one time and might have more time for additional evaluation, why not also consider two other top bowl lathe choices for about the same money: the Vicmarc VL-300 short bed and the Robust Sweet Sixteen. I turn on a Vicmarc VL-300 that I bought used from Craigs list two years ago. (Richard Raffan had signed it when he used it for a demo in Ohio in 2005 -- and it somehow later made the trip to Minnesota.) I really love this lathe: -- it is compact, extremely well built,
    24" capacity, variable speed, powerful (3 HP), and yet very, very quiet!
    I have two club friends that each bought the Robust lathe last summer and they couldn't be happier with their choice. Quite a few, very top, professional turners have chosen either the Vicmarc or Robust lathes, including David Ellsworth, Mike Mahoney, Trent Bosch, Cindy Drozda, Richard Raffan, Stuart Batty, Steve Worcester, Bill Grumbine and several other very top turners.
    Some pretty good company here that have endorsed the Vicmarc or Robust.
    The Stubby is also an excellent & powerful bowl lathe, but somewhat more expensive when bought new. Alan Lacer recently had a Stubby 750 for sale in River Falls, WI at a very attractive price. It might still be available -- I posted his contact/information on it in a thread about a month ago that you can go back and read, should you want to check it out.

    The very best way I can think of for you to come to a final decision on this one time, major purchase of yours and to personally experience each of these fine machines first hand, is to somehow find a way to attend the AAW symposium in San Jose, CA. They will all be on full display there and available for you to see, check out and compare. Let us know which one you buy!

    Good Luck & Happy Trails,

    Lee Tourtelotte

    leetourtelotte@msn.com
     
  10. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    You do realize that the Powermatic is bolted to its base, right? Bolt what you like to the bottom of your lathe until you're happy. Up to the entire earth. Don't know how much my cabinet full of tools that serves as the base for my 3000 weighs, but before I filled it with tools the geometry of the stance kept things nice and steady. Weight shouldn't be a concern.

    I take regular potty breaks while turning, so there's really no sense of urgency involved to get the rpm changed right now. Truth to tell, even when I had the option, I kept the rpm at a setting that allowed a comfortable feed rate and didn't shake the lathe. Changed the depth or breadth of cut to remove waste faster. An analog changer with a digital readout just isn't a big deal. You can always take the opportunity to change gouges or run a quick new edge while you're waiting. Either will likely improve the cut more than an rpm change anyway.

    Footprint is a player. If you're going to turn at the end, you have to reserve space there no matter how compact your shop. If you swing the head, all you have to do is allow enough space for the motor to clear obstacles.
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The sliding headstock and the pivoting headstock have the same function. They allow you to stand straight up (no bending over or leaning) and hold the tools close to your body while turning bowls. With a long bed lathe, you have to hold your arms out farther from your body which is preferred to bending over and holding the tools close to your body. This is more true on deeper bowl forms, and less true on platter/shallow forms. Well, at least when turning the inside. Turning the outside, you tend to use more of a pull cut, or stand on the other side of the lathe, unless you turn to finish finish once the bowl has been reversed. Just different styles. There has been great improvement with the pivoting headstocks and the banjos that go with them. Early versions had alignment problems, and the banjos were way over extended and would vibrate. For turning any bowl over 12 inches, if you have the headstock pivoted, you will want a floor mount banjo/tool rest set up.

    One problem with the pivoting headstock is if you are coring. The only coring system that will fit on it is the McNaughton. Not a problem for me as that is the system I prefer. The Oneway fits on a plate that bolts to the ways of your lathe. The Woodcut needs to attach to the tailstock.

    robo hippy
     
  12. Bob Comerford

    Bob Comerford

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    Outboard turning attachment for Nova DVR 2024

    I've noticed that all the pictures I've seen of this unit from retailers of the 2024, show it mounted on a 3000. The listings of the outboard turning unit state that it only fits the 16-inch, the DVR (not 2024), and the 3000. On Technatools' catalog, they show a 2024 with outboard unit attached to it.

    Here's the question: what is the part number, correct name, unique identifier, or whatever, that distinguishes the outboard turning attachment for the Nova DVR 2024, and not the one for the other models?

    Bob
     
  13. Art pfenn

    Art pfenn

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    If it has a computer chip in it they it will eventually fail and you will pay a s..load of money to get it fixed, that is if the part can still be bought. I would go with the PM.
     
  14. Bob Comerford

    Bob Comerford

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    The PM must have a chip.
     
  15. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    It has and inverter and controller. I replaced the inverter controller on a mother lather for about $250 when Mine got fried by something.
    My normal practice is unplug lathes when i leave the shop overlooked this one and got to learn about controllers.

    Might have a computer chip in the controller box. You can set all sorts of parameters so something must interpret the codes.

    Al
     
  16. Jeff Gilfor

    Jeff Gilfor

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    Oh, I don't know. I love my 2024. Cost me the standard $2999. Has a five year full warranty. Alignment on the headstock is not an issue. I would venture to guess that the floor mounted toolsrest is a good idea for really large stuff, but I don't yet have the equipment, skills, or desire to turn anything large enough to require an outrigger assembly. Did just make a very large vase (15 inches around) from a whole log I got from a friend. No problems with vibration. I did however, have a difficult time keeping it mounted in the shuck without tail-end support while hollowing using my non-captured hollowers.
     

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