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Problem Solving Products Issue 24 NOVA DVR XP Lathe

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From: Woodcraft Magazine Issue 24

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you can’t see–the DVR motor built directly into the heavy cast-iron headstock, resulting in virtually non-existent vibration.
But first, here are the basic specs: The DVR XP has a 16" swing and is 24" between centers. The

signed for jet aircraft, the motor has just three basic parts: a microcomputer, a rotor, and a stator. Say goodbye to out-of-balance pulleys or slipping drive belts.
Here’s how it works. The rotor is basically a spindle bearing steel laminations, much like a gear. The stator surrounds the rotor with a series of strong magnetic fields that flip on and off sequentially to spin the rotor at a very precise speed. The microcomputer controls this
headstock spindle is 11/4" in diameter with 8TPI (threads/inch) and having a #2 MT (Morse Taper). The head-stock swivels 360° and features a 24-division spindle index. The cast-iron tool rest measures 12" long with a 1" post. (A 3" face-plate comes with the lathe, but a stand will cost you another $150).
The Digital Variable Reluctance (DVR) motor, as shown on nest page is what makes this lathe really special. Originally de-
Manufactured by Teknatool in New Zealand, the Nova DVR XP falls into the heavy-duty class of woodworking lathes. Its massive cast iron components, expandable bed segments, extra-large ball bearings and extensive line of accessories appeal to all serious turners. Its best feature is one

overwhelming. However, after a few cuts, I quickly found speeds to match the feel of my cuts and turning stock. After roughing out a bowl, I tried to bog down the motor by leaning in for a really heavy cut–but the DVR motor never skipped a beat. The lack of vibration and smooth power feed seemed to improve my finish cuts, and the cone shaped headstock made it very easy to get behind my stock and right up to the edge of the faceplate.

BEST APPLICATIONS: Like most lathes in this range, the DVR is designed to handle bowls, spindles, and just about anything. And bed segments are easy to add to expand its capability

TESTER’S TAKE: I was a little disappointed that the basic package did not include a stand, and the 24" between centers seemed pretty short. That said, you can build or buy a good quality stand, and, for a reasonable price, purchase 20" bed segments that expand the length between centers. And with a few bags of sand as ballast, you can solve the weight issue just as well. The DVR motor puts this lathe in a class by itself. The programmable, speed-sensing and auto-adjusting features are unlike any other, and the advantages offered by the motor far outweigh any negatives.
Have you ever looked in a woodworking catalog or browsed in a woodworking store and encountered a product that baffled you? You eyeball the item, read the promotional information, but still don’t see the product’s value? With this column in Woodcraft Magazine, those days are over. We’ll select one or more “mystery products” for each issue and show how to use them beyond the manufacturer’s take. We’ll point out their pluses, problems, practical shop applications, and grade them. If you know of a few such products that need more explanation, email us at to let us know.
speed while also monitoring load and torque. By analyzing spindle speed hundreds of times a second, the computer senses when cutting pressure is being applied and adds power so that speed remains constant regardless of the cut.

THE SET-UP: This lathe comes assembled, but you’ll need help to lift its 190 lbs. out of the box and onto a stand. Wipe off the grease, attach the toolslide and tool rest, put in the centers, and you’re ready to turn.

TRIAL RUN: The microcomputer’s programmable speed function lets you preset five of your preferred turning speeds. After years of pulling belts on and off pulleys, I found DVR’s speed range–adjustable from 100 to 3500 rpm in 5 rpm increments–a little