|Review by Jarrhead||posted 02-16-2010 05:43 PM||8255 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
I recently decided to upgrade my lathe from the Delta midi-lathe I began turning on. I spent a lot of time researching which lathes were available on the market. Some of the most helpful information was found right here on Lumberjocks.com. Thank you to all who took the time to share your viewpoints and experiences. It made my decision easier. I settled on the Nova DVR XP, but I must say that it was not my first choice. My first choice was the Powermatic 3520B. I had to make some compromises. First consideration was cost. The DVR XP retails for approximately $1200 less than the Powermatic. On top of that I got mine on sale for $500 off. So the price ended up being almost exactly half of what the PM would have been. The capabilities of the DVR XP are slightly less, (16” swing over the bed versus 20” for the PM) but not so much that I was concerned it wouldn’t meet my needs. I don’t expect to do long turnings between centers, but the ability to expand that reach is alway there with the purchase of bed extensions. My favorite feature about the PM that I like is the optional bed extension that can be mounted low on the far end of the leg set. This increases the swing over the bed to some ridiculous capacity that really opens up some options for larger bowls and such. The DVR XP has the ability to swivel the headstock, and you can get a similar effect. However, I suspect the capacity would be severely limited because of the weight of the piece spinning off axis from the bed ways. You also need to purchase an expensive “outboard turning tool rest” to use that option on the DVR XP. I really like the electronic speed control of both the DVR XP and the PM, although it looks like the control on the PM is a little more user friendly. Second consideration was weight. I have at least one more move in my future, and I am already going to be well over my weight allowance for that move. So, I didn’t want to add any more weight than I had to for this upgrade. The PM comes with big heavy cast iron legs. The DVR XP does not come with any stand, however cast iron legs are available at a retail price of approx $400.00. That cost really eats into the price advantage of the DVR XP. I already had a table for my previous lathe, so I opted out of buying a lathe with the cast iron stand, for now. Perhaps after the move, I’ll consider adding the leg set. The DVR is very smooth running, and extremely quiet. The extra power is nice. I also like the spindle indexing and locking feature, which my Delta did not have. The PM has this feature too, so that point is a wash on that comparison. Both lathes come with excellent tool rests that lock down tightly and stay in place. Overall I am very pleased with my purchase decision. I think you can’t go wrong with either machine. You can see in the picture the pair of lamps I am working on, which was a big reason for this upgrade. The Delta would not have been able to handle this project. I will post pics of the finished lamps on the “projects” page when completed.