Nova DVR XP lathe

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Review by Darell posted 07-18-2012 07:49 PM 10717 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Average rating: 4.5
2 reviews total
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Nova DVR XP lathe Nova DVR XP lathe Nova DVR XP lathe Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve had my Nova DVR XP about 16 months and I guess it’s about time to post my review and let other LJ’s know how I like it. Well, I just Love it. For my crowded shop it’s the perfect heavy duty lathe. The DVR has a 16” swing and 24” between centers. It features a 1.75 hp at 115 v or 2.3 hp at 230 v. The DVR is a direct drive variable speed lathe with a speed range from 100 to 3500 rpm. #2 Morse Taper, 1.25×8 headstock threads. It features a 360 degree swivel headstock with stops at 0, 22.5, 45 & 90 degrees. Spindle index at 15 degrees giving 24 stops. There is just so much information on this lathe that I could add here but that would take a lot of time and bore most of you so I’ll get on with it.

I particularly like the swivel headstock because it makes turning the inside of bowls much easier. I normally use the 22.5 degree stop but depending on the depth of the bowl I can use the 45 degree stop too. Anything more than that and you’d need the outrigger tool rest.

Swiveling the headstock is easy, just use the lockout bar to loosen the headstock and swing it around, then tighten.

When returning the headstock it’s easy to realign the headstock and tailstock. However, I do use a #2 Morse Taper Alignment Tool from Packard just to make things easier and take the guesswwork out of it.

As i said, I love this lathe. It has all the power I need for larger bowls. The DVR motor only inputs enough power to maintain the set speed thus saving a bit on electricity. It also senses abnormal turning conditions and will automatcaly shut down the spindle if it detects a hard catch or the spindle lock is engaged. I’ve turned everything from pens to bottle stoppers to bowls to pepper mills with no trouble. The DVR is especially nice when it comes to boring the holes for pepper mills. It just rocks along. The spindle runs true and is very smooth.

The electronic power control has 5 presets for turning speeds. The default startup speed is 500 rpm and is the #2 speed setting. All of the preset speeds can be set to whatever speed you want except for the default setting. It can be set lower but not higher than the 500 rpm’s. I have set my presets at 250, 500, 1200, 1800 & 2300 rpm’s to suit my needs. I can go up or down from those to suit conditions.

I mounted the Nova DVR on the stand I made a few years ago for my smaller Rikon lathe. My stand is plenty big enough and heavy enough to support the 183 lbs Nova. For turning larger, heavier blanks that are out of round and unbalanced I found that I needed to take the adjustable feet off the cabinet and remove the two larger bottom drawers. I then drove heavy wedges under the corners to take the weight off the wheels and added 4 60# bagts of tube sand where the drawers were. It no longer moves when turning heavier pieces. I guess with a heavy duty lathe you need a heavy duty, stable bench to work off of.

This lathe is an absolute joy to turn on. It heavy enough for large bowls and small enough for the space challenged shop. Optional accessories that I may have need for in the future include the outrigger tool rest and 20” bed extention. Other accessories are available. If you have a small shop with limited space and want a heavy duty lathe, check this one out.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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423 posts in 2438 days

12 comments so far

View Derek's profile


4 posts in 983 days

#1 posted 07-18-2012 09:31 PM

Hi i have the same lathe and i think its great

-- Derek England

View Jimbo4's profile


1200 posts in 1607 days

#2 posted 07-18-2012 09:34 PM

Darrell – Happy to hear! I have one exactly like yours, mounted on a work station like yours also. Everything you said about the lathe is 100% true. I love it! What’s really wierd is, I also had a Rikon prior to the DVR.

-- *Arachnoleptic Fit*: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidently walked through a spider web.

View Sanity's profile


169 posts in 1534 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 12:51 AM

A well written review Darrell. I notice that you have your lathe mounted on casters, and I was curious if this causes any issues with vibration? Like you I have a small shop (my garage) and everything has to be mobile. I have a Delta midi lathe on casters, but my turnings are typically fairly small.

-- Stuart

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423 posts in 2438 days

#4 posted 07-19-2012 05:53 AM

Stuart—-I had some adjustable legs mounted on the cabinet to raise it off the floor and take the weight off the wheels. Vibrations wasn’t so much a problem as the thing got to rocking when I started out wiith an unbalanced blank on the lathe. That’s why I removed the adjustable legs and drove wednges under the cabinet to raise the wheels off the floor then added sand bags. All that stopped the rocking and made for a stable platform. Vibration and rocking weren’t a problem when I had the Rikon mounted on that stand.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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169 posts in 1534 days

#5 posted 07-19-2012 12:56 PM

Darrell, apologies – when I reread your review I realize that I skipped over the paragraph where you talk about this. I am planning to get a bigger lathe soon (Powermatic) as I would like to turn larger pieces. It would be good to make the lathe mobile but I am concerned about vibration. I have read where some people have mounted the lathe on casters without issues but of course the majority say that it should be in a fixed position. I may have to do some experimentation.

-- Stuart

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1200 posts in 1607 days

#6 posted 07-19-2012 04:12 PM

Sanity – I read in a wood type magazine, can’t remember the name, a couple months back and they attached some adjustable trailer jack tongue wheels to their 320b from Harbor Freight.

-- *Arachnoleptic Fit*: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidently walked through a spider web.

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2493 days

#7 posted 07-20-2012 02:16 AM

looks like a fantastic lathe, all the features are top notch, and the quality speaks for itself, but I just looked at the price – ouch! definitely up there for it’s size and class.

does have some fantastic features though.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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284 posts in 1535 days

#8 posted 07-20-2012 04:22 PM

That’s a great lathe; I want one!

I am so jealous; can’t help it.

-- Mike

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1 post in 1105 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 04:21 PM

This is my first posting. I’m currently considering the Nova XP, to replace my 15+ year old Bridgewood. I like the rotating head, because space limitations preclude turning off the left end of a lathe in my shop. Yesterday I discovered the General 25-650 ABC M1 and it looks great – rotating head, 2 HP, 110 volts, electronic speed control in three ranges with reverse, and 420 pounds. Yet is priced slightly less than the XP.

Does anyone have any experience with this model of General??


View IsaacH's profile


128 posts in 941 days

#10 posted 09-19-2012 11:26 PM

I have the origional DVR. Ive had it for 7 or 8 years. Still rocking with NO PROBLEMS. It has yet to come up short on power even with 18”+ red oak bowls!!!!! It just adjusts and keeps rotating!


-- Isaac- Decatur, GA - "Your woodworking....NOT machining parts for NASA!!!"

View PaulLL's profile


159 posts in 820 days

#11 posted 10-28-2013 01:42 AM

I’m looking at the Nova Comet IIMini, as my first lathe. Glad to hear that Nova is building quality product. thanks for the review

View Larry3887's profile


1 post in 287 days

#12 posted 06-14-2014 05:41 PM

Great job in telling us about your lathe. I too have one of the DVR XP lathe for about one month now. So far, I love the lathe and it is a great move up from the mini lathe that I had been using. Thanks for taking your time and sharing.

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