|Forum topic by JeffDM||posted 59 days ago||658 views||0 times favorited||18 replies|
59 days ago
I need some help deciding between the Nova 16244-44 (on sale for $900 at Woodcraft) or the Jet 1221VS w/ extension ($910 total at Woodcraft). I’m new to turning, except for some very simple things I’ve turned at Woodcraft. I’ve been interested in turning for awhile but the fellow woodworkers I know in person don’t turn so I’ve never really had a chance to give it a go. I’ve got some projects coming up that will require some turned components so I figured rather than farm it out, it’s time to jump in.
My immediate needs for the upcoming project is spindle turning some legs about 22” long. With a budget of < $1000 for the lathe itself that seems to point to the Nova or Jet with extension. After this project I would like to get into turning some of the standards like pens and bowls. The Nova has more bowl turning capacity and the head can be turned for outboard turning which is a plus for the Nova. If I were to turn longer spindles, I would need to buy an extension for the Nova but would already have it for the Jet, so small plus for the Jet. I think wanting to turn larger bowls is more likely than longer spindles.
The Nova comes with a stand (though it sounds like adding some weight it a good idea) the Jet does not. I would either need to buy a stand, build a stand, or use my workbench which I suspect will put the lathe too high to comfortably use. So small plus for Nova.
Variable speed is a big plus for the Jet, and it has slower speeds. It’s hard to get a read on just how difficult the belt changes on the Nova are. Some reviews say it takes forever and others say it’s a snap. I’m never going to be a production turner so I’m not sure how much time I really need to save in changing speeds or how much of an annoyance this truly is.
I’ve looked at the Grizzly G0462 and, while cheaper and has the same or more capacity than the Nova, it doesn’t seem to get glowing reviews. With the 2HP motor I would probably need to upgrade the electrical in my shop which negates the savings and then some.
I’ve been watching Craiglist for a few months and it seems like the only thing anyone has are massive machines outside my budget for Harbor Freight lathes they are trying to unload for $50 off the brand new price.
I’ve given thought to building a spring-pole lathe because I can make it to pretty much whatever capacity I need and it fits my general woodworking philosophy. I’m afraid that trying to learn to turn on a spring-pole lathe would make things significantly more difficult and from what I understand bowl turning requires a completely different technique from a powered lathe. I think I’m going to hold off on this idea.
After thinking this over a lot (like I do everything) I’m leaning towards the Nova. Any reason to reconsider? Is there a completely different lathe that meets my requirements I’ve missed?