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NOVA Voyager Drill Press #1: First impression of my new Nova Voyager drill press.

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Blog entry by LittleBlackDuck posted 03-03-2017 02:02 PM 1289 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of NOVA Voyager Drill Press series Part 2: Voyager Drill press, 3 months later. »

I have just upgraded my old variable speed drill press to a Nova Voyager. I shall try to give an unabashed summary of the machine; however, at $2,400 (Aus.) I may be a tad biased with a tendency to justify my extravagance.

The drill press installed,



There is one prerequisite to owning a Nova Voyager drill press. You need a wife with expensive taste in shoes, dresses and handbags (most of us have one of those)… and a good supply of vino. Then all you need to do is prime yourself with plenty of vino and summon up enough guts to be able to say to the missus, “you cannot make furniture using shoes, dresses and handbags” and then you duck… Fortunately that comes naturally to a Ducky.

Now if you manage to survive the ensuing melee, let the dust settle, clean up the blood and you finds a few thousand dollars not earmarked for shoes, etc…, you can then partake in the purchase a Nova Voyager drill press for your selfish egotistic self (in the words of the missus).

Now speaking from experience, I don’t think it is worth 2 ½ thousand Aus. dollars (or thereabouts), however, I do not regret purchasing it and I am quite complacent with my extravagance… the kids weren’t too happy either (more on this later). The Nova may not be twice as good as my previous drill press, however, it certainly leaves it for dead (and the previous one was no slouch).

For a full list of its features you can read the brochures on the Internet, however, I will try and paraphrase its pros (that most other drill presses lack) and submit my cons.

Pros:
• Electronic variable speed at an instant.
• Electronically set material height (zero mark).
• Electronically set depth (1mm increments).
• Automatically stop at set depth… allow for the point angle.
• When depth reached and stopped, reverse rotation for ease of withdrawal.
• Auto start when lowering quill.
• Reverse feature.
• Full 150mm quill travel… actually its 152mm, but who’s bragging.

Cons:
• Display screen up too high for short arses like me.
• If you forget auto-start, involuntary start of the drill when setting zero height scares the bjesus out of you.
• Stationary motor provides little resistance which makes one-handed keyless chuck operation difficult. The motor/spindle rotates when you try and tighten the keyless truck with one hand. Consequently you may need to use two hands, bummer.
• No built-in light. No big deal as most don’t have one and a separate movable bright light is often better.
• Table handle arm is an awkward shape and may conflict with existing custom-built tabletops. Tabletop may require modification to accommodate arm.
• Supplied with a bloody imperial ruler which had to be replaced with a much saner metric one.

Problem with the supplied table crank. Immediately had an argument with my favourite drill press tabletop,

Solved the argument by putting it in the naughty corner and replacing it with a Jet arm I bought for my old drill press (for the same reason),

Even then I had to give the table top a complimentary corner trim. The Nova arm would have required radical surgery.


Set the depth for 19mm timber.. the +2mm was to compensate for the point angle of a 10mm twist bit,

The ridiculous imperial measure was replaced by a mighty metric one,
Note: The Nova came with an easy to adjust button nut for any manual depth stop operations.

Repository for that stupid imperial measure,

I shall spare you the trauma of a picture of the suppository for the same.


I have not fully put the drill through its paces, however, on first impressions it certainly meet expectations, bearing in mind the listed first impression cons above. Having said that, most cons can be addressed by familiarisation with extra food and beer to make me grow taller.

As with all drill presses, no matter how expensive (or cheap) it is, an important factor in its performance is the quality of your drill bit. Before you sacrifice your valuable shekels on the Nova, if you haven’t already, waste some shekels on quality drill bits.

I certainly can recommend this drill to any serious woodworker, however, I do not suggest you swap it for your kids (or grandkids) education… bugger their inheritance.

While this press will not be every bodys cup of tea… I sleep in comfort knowing I’m a coffee drinker

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD



25 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7698 posts in 1758 days


#1 posted 03-03-2017 02:30 PM

”Now if you manage to survive the ensuing melee, let the dust settle, clean up the blood and you finds a few thousand dollars not earmarked for shoes, etc…,”

Yes, I’ve had several of those type discussions with my wife, however I pretty much always lose out because we have what I refer to as “Champagne tastes on a Dr Pepper budget” ... So finding that ”few thousand dollars not earmarked” is a problem, because we generally spend all our money on things like FOOD, INSURANCE, MEDICATIONS, and general living expenses. LOL

So I applaud your new toy and I shall live vicariously thru you as you use it !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27731 posts in 2618 days


#2 posted 03-03-2017 03:23 PM

This does look like a very nice drill press and is a great addition to any shop. It seems to be a good heavy duty machine. For woodworking and metal drilling it’s very nice and you should be very proud of it.

However, here is another type of mill, drill that might be attractive to some people in this price range. It has the ability to do light milling and has a three axis table.

I use to have a Bridgeport mill which is heavier and is a professional machine tool. However, the Grizzly Mill is lighter duty but the same general layout for the table and mill head. Of course not all people need to do milling and boring.

Here’s the “link to the mill” http://www.grizzly.com/products/Heavy-Duty-Mill-Drill-with-Stand-and-Power-Feed/G0755

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#3 posted 03-03-2017 03:33 PM



”....money on things like FOOD, INSURANCE, MEDICATIONS, and general living expenses.

- JoeinGa


What are those things?

I used to live about 3K from the Melbourne (capital of the world) CBD. I now live in the backwaters of Churchill (3 kangaroos and 1 galah (me)). That is how I manage such luxuries (house trade in price).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

6481 posts in 1794 days


#4 posted 03-03-2017 03:34 PM

So you took the upgrade to the next level. Very impressive drill press. I really like the auto start when lowering quill. Wish they all had that. You get what you pay for and you got a lot. Enjoy the new toy while the rest of us only wish.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#5 posted 03-03-2017 03:39 PM



... another type of mill, drill that might be attractive to some people in this price range. It has the ability to do light milling and has a three axis table.

I use to have a Bridgeport mill…
- helluvawreck


Unfortunately, here in Australia, our choices of “serious hobbyist” machinery is very limited. Furthermore, serious machinery weighs enough to put a reasonable dent in even a wealthy mas wallet.

JoeinGA and heluvawreck, now you know why I couldn’t afford to buy you guys a Christmas present (let alone hand deliver it).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2434 posts in 1920 days


#6 posted 03-03-2017 03:43 PM

What a big machine. Didn’t read it all because that drill I can,t buy it here. Whis you a lot of pleasure with it. But 1 question: Why didn’t you bought a small CNC router.

View JayT's profile

JayT

5402 posts in 1962 days


#7 posted 03-03-2017 03:43 PM

Thanks for the impressions. I’ve been looking at upgrading my drill press and the Voyager is one of two or three that are under serious consideration.

However, here is another type of mill, drill that might be attractive to some people in this price range. It has the ability to do light milling and has a three axis table.

- helluvawreck

Not really the same price range in the US. The Nova sells for ~1500 here and is on sale sometimes at a couple hundred less. That does have me thinking about looking at a mill/drill instead of a drill press, though. Hmmmmm.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27731 posts in 2618 days


#8 posted 03-03-2017 04:32 PM

Little Black Duck, I have never been to Australia but I imagine how nice it would be to take a trip there. I bet that it is a beautiful place and with a lots of natural wonders, both animals and landscapes. I hadn’t taken the fact that it’s a very large island into consideration (although one of the continents) and might not have as big of selection of machinery than the rest of the world. Anyways, you have a wonderful drill press and it will be a great addition to your shop.

May you always be happy in your work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#9 posted 03-03-2017 05:08 PM

Why didn t you bought a small CNC router.

- Dutchy

Dutchy, The old drill moved out (I have a very happy friend who got if for “free”) and the new drill went in. No extra room needed in the workshop.
I already have a laser and a 3D printer in the house. The CNC has to be in the workshop and if I bought one I probably would not buy a small one, so there isn’t enough room.
For some reason I have never taken a liking to CNC machines. Like my attitude to Festool Domino and metal working… I just don’t like them.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#10 posted 03-03-2017 05:17 PM



... thinking about looking at a mill/drill instead of a drill press…

- JayT


I’m sure they are available here in Aus., however, cheap rubbish is a waste of money and any decent machinery is way too expensive.
For some reason I have a phobia about metal swarf amongst my timber and those curly little sucked cling to everything and migrate throughout the workshop and even invade the house. I even get paranoid when I have to cut aluminium for jig tracks. I spend the next couple of days vacuuming until I see nor more “glitter” on the floor.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#11 posted 03-03-2017 05:26 PM



... I have never been to Australia but I imagine how nice it would be to take a trip there…

... and might not have as big of selection of machinery than the rest of the world…

- helluvawreck


It is a great place and not only because I live here. If you ever visit Melbourne/Victoria, come out to Churchill and share some sawdust with me (I wont invite myself to your place as I don’t travel… that’s why I can afford machinery). Churchill’s about 160K east-south-east of Melbourne.

Unfortunately our selection of tools, machinery and hardware is sadly lacking and that’s why I spend quite a few shekels importing stuff from the States and Europe.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1765 posts in 1721 days


#12 posted 03-03-2017 05:38 PM

You need to do more reviews. That was insightful, well thought out, and most important, funny!

I was very entertained the whole time.

Thanks for the laugh.

Neat drill press

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2253 posts in 1596 days


#13 posted 03-03-2017 05:58 PM

I’ve been to Melbin a few times for work and it has the cleanest CBD I have seen. Outside of Canada that is.

Isn’t Nova from New Zealand?

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2619 posts in 464 days


#14 posted 03-03-2017 06:22 PM

GRATZ DUCKY :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 572 days


#15 posted 03-03-2017 08:20 PM



I ve been to Melbin a few times for work and it has the cleanest CBD I have seen. Outside of Canada that is.

Isn t Nova from New Zealand?

- RobS888

Melbin is clean now… now that I’ve moved to Churchill.

And yes, Nova is from New Zealand, but so are Split Enz and they do hell with my coiffure in the mornings.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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