50 for 50 - turning 50 as I turn 50 #3: Project 1 - new lathe, old design

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Blog entry by mnguy posted 01-07-2019 07:16 PM 533 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Project 2 - A lesson on drying of turning blanks Part 3 of 50 for 50 - turning 50 as I turn 50 series Part 4: Project 4 - baby rattle »

I began turning almost 4 years ago, and like many people, I find it a bit addicting. I am not at the lathe every day by any means, and I have gone weeks without turning it on. But, I am often thinking about turning, sketching forms to turn, planning segmented projects, looking at lathes and tools. For 2019, I want to get deeper into turning, and to help, I have set the goal of turning 50 project this year. They won’t all be big or elaborate, some might even be failures, but I intend to get 50 pieces of round wood off a lathe this year.

I am fortunate that my wife also like to turn. It is pretty awesome to take classes together, shop for tools and wood together, and consult on projects together. The only downside is that we occasionally were competing to use our Rikon 70-220 VSR. I also am focused on segmented turning and wanted to work on pieces bigger than the 12” diameter limit of the Rikon. When we stumbled onto a deal on a Nova Saturn DVR last year, we pulled the trigger. I then had a couple months of shop remodeling and reorganization, including central dust collection, making a spot for the Nova. We now have a corner of the shop devoted to turning. Definitely still a work-in-progress, but tools are halfway close at hand and we can both be turning without bumping each other too much.

For my first project on the way to 50, I wanted to do something familiar – segmented turning – while going a bit bigger than I could on the Rikon. I chose a 14” diameter cherry bowl, 12 segment rings. I have focused on form vs. pattern in segmented turning, so far, and I tend to use 12 segment rings as they cut and go together fairly quickly. I usually sketch a full size profile of the form to help me plan segment widths and ring diameters.

Turning was straightforward and went quickly – turning, sanding and finishing took a little over an hour. While I have always liked our Rikon, the Nova is a dream; instant power, zero vibration, and just rock solid. Without any work chucked up, I could stand a nickle on edge on the headstock at 3000 rpm and the nickle didn’t move at all.

I look forward to your questions and comments.

2 comments so far

View socrbent's profile


877 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 01-08-2019 02:30 AM

Great looking bowl. I too enjoy my Nova DVR

-- socrbent Ohio

View mnguy's profile


283 posts in 3876 days

#2 posted 01-08-2019 07:39 PM

socrbent – the Nova is truly an impressive machine. With our basement shop, I wanted big capabilities in a small footprint. I had pretty much decided on the Grizzly G0838, but it has been backordered forever. I walked into Rockler and found a good deal on the Nova, and I have been very happy with it through a very limited amount of turning. I was able to get the outboard turning attachment thrown in for $50, so I’m looking forward to doing some really big stuff.

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