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Help me stop Overthinking my Lathe Decision

by Dustin
posted 10-24-2018 03:21 PM


35 replies so far

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BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2467 days


#1 posted 10-24-2018 04:03 PM

Solved: https://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

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Dustin

698 posts in 1249 days


#2 posted 10-24-2018 04:15 PM



Solved: https://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw

- BroncoBrian

Love me some Bob Newhart! Really great advice, but I wish I had written it down :p

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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mathguy1981

94 posts in 413 days


#3 posted 10-24-2018 04:19 PM

Personally I think the Laguna has more of a tried and true design. The fancier features of the Nova are nice, but if you’re not going to use them, why pay for them? Plus you can repair the Laguna, where as the Nova looks like a full replacement situation.

-- Two thumbs and counting

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Dustin

698 posts in 1249 days


#4 posted 10-24-2018 04:27 PM



Personally I think the Laguna has more of a tried and true design. The fancier features of the Nova are nice, but if you re not going to use them, why pay for them? Plus you can repair the Laguna, where as the Nova looks like a full replacement situation.

- mathguy1981

The “tried and true” design element is a good point. In regards to the fancier features (and who knows? I might find something I really like about them), I don’t really see it as paying extra for them, as most times during the year these two lathes are pretty comparable in price.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2740 posts in 2643 days


#5 posted 10-24-2018 07:56 PM

While Nova doesn’t have swing of Laguna 18 inches it is has a longer bed. Shipping weight only a pound difference, both come in either 110 or 220 Volt models but Nova has 1 3/4 HP versus 1 1/2 HP for laguna 110 Volt version both have 220V models too.

Right now Laguna 110V & 220V models less expensive than Nova Galaxi at WoodCraft didn’t look anywhere else.

Would look at your access to wood & size will you be buying or harvesting your own? Is swing or distance between centers more important for projects you plan?

Bottom line either lathe will serve you well, regardless of projects you plan on just buy what you afford!

-- Bill

View Richard's profile

Richard

11307 posts in 3541 days


#6 posted 10-24-2018 08:01 PM


While Nova doesn t have swing of Laguna 18 inches it is has a longer bed. Shipping weight only a pound difference, both come in either 110 or 220 Volt models but Nova has 1 3/4 HP versus 1 1/2 HP for laguna 110 Volt version both have 220V models too.

Right now Laguna 110V & 220V models less expensive than Nova Galaxi at WoodCraft didn t look anywhere else.

Would look at your access to wood & size will you be buying or harvesting your own? Is swing or distance between centers more important for projects you plan?

Bottom line either lathe will serve you well, regardless of projects you plan on just buy what you afford!

- Wildwood

Agree +1

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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mrg

860 posts in 3508 days


#7 posted 10-24-2018 08:16 PM

I have a Nova DVR and its a great lathe. When wired it supposedly puts out 2 HP.

Either lathe would be a good buy. I went with the Nova because I liked the idea of not having to change belts.

-- mrg

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

172 posts in 921 days


#8 posted 10-24-2018 09:59 PM

I was in your boat not too long ago, Dustin. I was in the same price range, and although I considered the Nova, I was more interested in the Laguna and the Jet 1640. I don’t know which is the best lathe of these three lathes in this price range (they may all be excellent); but, I ended up with the Jet, and I think it is an excellent lathe. I am impressed with the fit and finish, smoothness, and pretty much everything about it. I actually cannot think of any negatives.

I also have a Jet 1221vs that I kept and I occasionally use it for smaller work. However, I just can’t stop wanting to use the 1640, and I have used it almost everyday for the last 4 months or so that I have owned it.

Bottom line is that whatever choice you make, I hope you will be as pleased as I am. What works for me may not be what works for you. For example, I have no intention or desire to turn anything bigger than the stated swing capacity of the Jet; but, if you desire larger swing capacity, then the Laguna may be the better choice for you. Good luck in your decision making process.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

678 posts in 1810 days


#9 posted 10-24-2018 10:55 PM

I think either would work well for you.
I have the Nova 1624 and though you listed the swivel head as a con I would hate to be without it.
I use it at least 90% of the time when starting the inside with bowls, platters,...
Turned out to a about 22.5° it makes the swing (tool handle) much more comfortable than potentially bending over the ways.
No problem with alignment or locking down well.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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Dustin

698 posts in 1249 days


#10 posted 10-24-2018 11:10 PM

Well, folks, I appreciate all the feedback. I was pretty strongly leaning toward the Nova, and barring anything huge coming out about it between now and first few months of next year, I think that’s the direction I’ll be going!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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DDJ

34 posts in 649 days


#11 posted 10-25-2018 03:52 PM

I just bought a Nova Saturn a couple of months ago and love the lathe. Pretty much the same motor and controls of the Galaxy. I too liked the idea of no belts. I also looked at the Laguna and Grizzley lathes. I was waffling back and forth for quite a while and it almost came down to a coin flip. I think the idea of no belts swung the deal for me but I think I would have been happy with one of the other lathes too.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

681 posts in 1971 days


#12 posted 10-25-2018 04:17 PM

I went through the same process a few years ago, and picked the Jet 16X42evs. I have been very happy with it.
I do have around 20 plus hours on a Laguna 24/36 that I have used while taking classes with Jimmy Clewes.
It to is a very nice lathe. And the size larger than what you are in the market for.
When I bought my Jet lathe I don’t think the Laguna was an option. Or at least I did not know of it.
Within a year of buying my Jet. A couple friends had purchased the Grizzly G0-766 lathe.
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-22-x-42-Variable-Speed-Wood-Lathe/G0766
Give it a look. More swing for less money. And it’s been a couple years now, and they are very happy with it.
I saw the grizzly lathe when I was shopping for mine. But I did not know anyone that had Grizzly tools. So I played it safe and went with the Jet name.
Could have got more bang for the buck if I had gone Grizzly.
Since then I have purchased a Grizzly G0513X2 band saw. Great tool.
Good luck

-- John

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socrbent

883 posts in 2778 days


#13 posted 10-25-2018 06:58 PM

I have never regretted purchasing my Nova DVR XP (1624) with bed extension in 2013.

Is the Laguna reverse-able? Beside the easy speed change being reverse-able is great when sanding. That would be an factor if I were choosing.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Norton46's profile

Norton46

6 posts in 269 days


#14 posted 01-23-2019 03:16 PM

Last post on this was in October, so I thought I’d try to stir up the ant hill again. I am in an upgrade cycle and seem to have zeroed in on the Nova Saturn. Any other new owners out there who care to comment? I am especially interested in the durability of the blister switches.

Also, I called Nova to get the exact footprint dimensions since I am space limited laterally, and along the way the Customer Service rep said that the “Saturn is exclusive to Woodcraft and that they (Woodcraft) get them direct from the manufacturer and don’t come through us”. In spite of that, she was able to answer my question. I can’t seem to find the Saturn through any other outlet. Anybody know anything on this score?

Finally, does anybody know when/if Woodcraft puts Nova lathes, and specifically this lathe on sale?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed…...

-- If only I'd known that...........

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2404 posts in 2498 days


#15 posted 01-23-2019 04:34 PM

I went through the new lathe deliberation over the past 2 years, resulting in purchasing the Nova Galaxi a couple of months ago. I looked into the Saturn but hadn’t noticed it being a Woodcraft only model until you mentioned it – appears that in the US they are the only source. Can’t speak personally to the durability of the blister switches, I haven’t had the lathe long enough. I can say I read through a lot of reviews on Nova lathes with the blister switches and don’t remember any mention of reliability issues. Can’t comment on Woodcraft Nova sales, I don’t pay close enough attention to Woodcraft.

As for the Galaxi, I’m satisfied I made the right choice for me. The concerns I’ve read here and elsewhere about pivoting head designs being inherently weak and unstable are unfounded. My previous HF large lathe #34706 was stable with it, turning up to 15” unbalanced bowl blanks, and the Galaxi most certainly is.

Maintainability – most other lathes have user serviceable parts like pulleys and belts, the DVR design doesn’t have the parts so there’s no service. Motor replacement – other lathes are most likely cheaper and easier. Spindle bearings – toss up, replaceable with both designs. Electronic controls – not much serviceability either way, though the more typical VFD’s on other lathes can probably be sourced from other than the lathe mfr, though I don’t really know. Many of these do have some proprietary features that may require sourcing from the lathe mfr.

Possibly my only “complaint” at this point does have to do with the blister switches – it appears Nova chose to implement a bit of a time delay or minimum “make” time with these switches, except for the OFF switch, it works immediately. However, the other switches require just a bit of dwell time when pushed, maybe 1/2 second or so. I find if I quickly push the other buttons, nothing happens. If I dwell for just a bit, all works ok. Over time I will become accustomed to it. So far everything else has been good. I will be doing a full review but it will be another 2-3 months, I want more time to use it more.

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mramseyISU

578 posts in 2054 days


#16 posted 01-23-2019 04:46 PM

For what it’s worth I just bought a Laguna with the 10% deal they’ve got going on in January. I’m only a week into it but I really like it. That being said I don’t think you can go wrong with the Laguna or a Nova lathe.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Norton46's profile

Norton46

6 posts in 269 days


#17 posted 01-23-2019 05:34 PM

OSUSS, thanks for the reply. On the switch delay, I agree that it is something in the software/firmware. My Kia van does the same thing….have to hold the switch for a second or two to get the liftgate or doors to open or unlock. I guess I might get used to that. Maybe if Teknatool gets enough comments they will offer a firmware upgrade but I’m not holding my breath.

mramseyISU, Laguna is in 2nd place with me right now. However, if you wouldn’t mind providing the leg width side to side and the motor overhang when mounted at the far left of the bed, I’d appreciate it. As I said, I am space limited in width and never had the need to turn anything longer than my midi’s 17 1/2” capacity. Also, the midi has the swiveling headstock that I would sorely miss….really saves the back! Thanks.

One other question: Has anyone rigged a portable safety cut off switch that can be placed outside the plane of rotation? I know Nova has a wireless remote, but I can’t find all the remotes I own now plus a box, some wire and a switch has got to be cheaper anyway. If you have rigged one, I’d love to see your design.

-- If only I'd known that...........

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mramseyISU

578 posts in 2054 days


#18 posted 01-23-2019 07:28 PM

The Laguna base is 26” x 59”, the motor hangs off about 11” from the LH side. I have a small basement shop so I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but I spent probably 2 days messing around with the shop floor config tool on Grizzly’s website.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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Norton46

6 posts in 269 days


#19 posted 01-23-2019 08:13 PM

mramseyISU, thanks for the info. That’s about what I expected. I wish these manufacturers would offer their lathe components ala cart, i.e. order the head and tale stocks you want, the legs or no legs you want and the beds in 1, 2 and 3 foot sections. That way you could build yourself your “perfect” lathe. As it is, the Nova is 43.5” wide with no overhang on the motor because it is integral to the head stock. It will fit perfectly where my midi sits now. I would have to do major dust collection relocation and move other tools around to accommodate anything larger. even if I slide the Laguna towards the middle to eliminate the overhang, I still lack about 8”. Had the same problem with the Jet 1640 and the Grizzly. I even thought about taking the bed to a machine shop and cutting off the bed but then there’s no way to reattach the legs. Again, thanks for the information.

-- If only I'd known that...........

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mramseyISU

578 posts in 2054 days


#20 posted 01-23-2019 08:49 PM



mramseyISU, thanks for the info. That s about what I expected. I wish these manufacturers would offer their lathe components ala cart, i.e. order the head and tale stocks you want, the legs or no legs you want and the beds in 1, 2 and 3 foot sections. That way you could build yourself your “perfect” lathe. As it is, the Nova is 43.5” wide with no overhang on the motor because it is integral to the head stock. It will fit perfectly where my midi sits now. I would have to do major dust collection relocation and move other tools around to accommodate anything larger. even if I slide the Laguna towards the middle to eliminate the overhang, I still lack about 8”. Had the same problem with the Jet 1640 and the Grizzly. I even thought about taking the bed to a machine shop and cutting off the bed but then there s no way to reattach the legs. Again, thanks for the information.

- Norton46

If it makes a difference with you the Laguna headstock slides the whole length of the bed so you can slide it over to where the motor doesn’t overhang at all. While I haven’t done it yet I will need to do that when I run wide stock through my bandsaw.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

678 posts in 1810 days


#21 posted 01-23-2019 10:50 PM

Looked because I was not familiar with the Saturn.
At ToolsPlus the Galaxi is 2350 compared to the Saturn at 2300 at WC.
https://www.tools-plus.com/nova-lathes-55214.html
However, take a look a the legs and specs.
Here are some more on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/NOVA-Galaxi-DVR-1644-Lathe/dp/B01LWJCKA6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548282858&sr=8-1&keywords=Nova+Lathes+55214+Galaxi+DVR
Weight of the Saturn is 313, weight of the Galaxi is 526
I’m am pretty sure the different length is due to the fact the Galaxi has the 20” extension. If so this can be removed and used as an outrigger base with about $50 more compared to Novas outrigger about $300.
Of course you do have to see if taxes and shipping are included. When I have purchased from ToolsPlus it is but the sales tax may vary depending on what state you are located in.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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bigJohninvegas

681 posts in 1971 days


#22 posted 01-24-2019 04:27 AM

My Jet 16X42evs is 57” long. And Like the Laguna, and the Galaxy, the head slides the length of the bed. I always keep mine a little more centered on the bed. The 16X40 is a few inches shorter at 53”
I have never used the nova lathe, but I have heard criticism about the speed control taking a moment to speed up and slow down. All my lathe experience is with the the style the Jet and Laguna use. simple knob to turn it up or down. Quick and easy to turn the speed up or down. Often to turn it up and get past a wobble, or back down if a little to fast.
What do you Nova owners think of the speed control on your lathes?
I was just reading about nova lathes, and I see that the Galaxy has the speed control knob, and the drive unit not only slides but pivots as well. That looks like a cool option. My older Jet does not have the pivot option, where the newer 16X40 does.

-- John

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2404 posts in 2498 days


#23 posted 01-24-2019 01:49 PM

The Galaxi has a 1 piece bed, the Saturn is a different bed casting. FYI there is a 20” extension that will fit either lathe.

The new DVR control panel/speed control on the Galaxi/Saturn is a huge improvement over the old. The programmable speed presets are great and the dual function dial is great – slow or fast speed change by either rotating the dial or push it in and rotate. The dwell time of the panel buttons is a bit of a pain but something one gets used to with time.

The pivoting headstock was the primary reason I bought the lathe – it is so much more functional than removing the tailstock and sliding the headstock down everytime to hollow a bowl. The addition of the sliding headstock on the Galaxi/Saturn vs other Novas is big too – I have the outrigger, and with taller forms I can slide the headstock some to provide room, allowing more capability vs the fixed position design. The only other lathe with the pivot design that I considered was the Jet 1840-evs. At ~$1000 more I went with the Nova.

Also, Ive read here and other places concerns with the stability/strength of the pivoting head design (any not just Nova). These are unfounded – my previous HF lathe was fine (up to15” unbalanced blanks) and the Nova is much more substantial.

View Walrusbill's profile

Walrusbill

13 posts in 284 days


#24 posted 01-25-2019 04:16 PM

I recently went through the same dilemma, choose the 220 v 2 hp Laguna. Very satisfied, as per dust and banjos, I installed a y connection on my dust collection which allows me to have a 2” hose to vacuum my work and the lathe. Got into the habit of sucking the lathe and area clean after each use with no problems with banjos and chucks. I’m not supposed to bring “Man Glitter “ into the house .

-- Pounded Thumb Creations

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runswithscissors

3072 posts in 2534 days


#25 posted 01-26-2019 04:55 AM

Nobody seems to have addressed your request, so I will: Stop overthinking your lathe decision!!! Hope that helps.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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moke

1420 posts in 3285 days


#26 posted 01-26-2019 03:57 PM

Dustin, I don’t know if you have got a lathe yet, but I had a 46-460 to begin with and U couldn’t have had a better “starter”. I have about zero experience with Nova’s, but was the first kid on the block/city to have a 18/36. I have have it about three years now and couldn’t be happier. Now there was a lady turner that had a review that she hated it, but that is the only review I have ever seen that the owner did’t like it.

Something that before I bought it was not obvious was it’s size and weight. She just sits there as you turn off balance or heavy blanks. It is very solid!!! The weight and balance is one of the most important things of a big lathe that no one mentions. I don’t think the Nova is nearly as big. I am sure feature for feature they would be very similar.
Because of that, though, you will want help putting her together.
Just my .02…..

-- Mike

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AndyJ1s

62 posts in 264 days


#27 posted 01-27-2019 03:09 AM

According to their respective manuals online, the Nova Galazy DVR is 450 lbs, and the Laguna Revo 2HP 18/36 is 427 lbs. Shipping weights are 529 lbs (per Rockler) and 452 lbs (per manual) respectively.

I have the Galaxy, and can confirm, unless you have an engine lift, hydraulic lift table, etc. assembly is best with help.
BTW, 79 lbs seems a little heavy for the crating & packing, but it was securely packaged.

I am yet a novice turner, but I really enjoy the Galaxy, and have zero complaints.

Andy

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2404 posts in 2498 days


#28 posted 01-27-2019 02:15 PM

I agree assembly of the Galaxi is best done with help, but I did it solo. I’m capable of lifting one end of the bed, so I lfted each end up about a foot or more at a time, blocking it up as I went. Got it on top of a b&d workmate with a car screw jack under it, then placed the legs under each end. The headstock was much tougher. Not sure what it weights guessing close to 200#, but I was able to lift it. I used the workmate and blocks to align the height and slid it onto the ways.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

621 posts in 412 days


#29 posted 01-27-2019 06:44 PM

Sounds like your overthinking is about over.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

993 posts in 3302 days


#30 posted 01-27-2019 08:54 PM

For those with vfd lathes, a surge arrestor is a cheap add on to the panel to protect all your electronics. Square D makes one that ties to a two pole breaker and ground and fits inside your panel.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

698 posts in 1249 days


#31 posted 01-28-2019 12:46 PM

I appreciate all the feedback, folks!

Sorry for the absence, I’ve been contemplating my purchase timing and following along with everyone’s thoughts.

OSU, I look forward to your full review of the Galaxi once you’ve had some time to break it in.

As for upgrading, I’ve decided to postpone a year. I decided this year I’d be better off making my lathe space more functional, so I’ve been reorienting my shop to improve workflow, and purchasing some new gear (switched from my worksharp to a grinder with CBN wheels and a Wolverine jig, which I love, and ordered a Frugal Vacuum Chuck based on The Dane’s review of the system). And giving myself another year will expand my budget, and allow me to consider what I really want/need out of the upgrade. Who knows, by next year I may be considering a PM3520 as my end-all lathe.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

499 posts in 288 days


#32 posted 01-28-2019 01:53 PM

I can add one thing that may help. All my tools are 220, get in that habit and run 220 to each outlet. I am slowly pulling 3/12 w/ground to each outlet so I can have 220 and 110 anywhere I want. You don’t need a dedicated breaker for each tool. All my 220 tools are on the same “tool” breaker with the assumption that I run at most two at a time (20amps) but in reality I only run one at a time. It is a solo shop.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

698 posts in 1249 days


#33 posted 01-28-2019 03:40 PM



I can add one thing that may help. All my tools are 220, get in that habit and run 220 to each outlet. I am slowly pulling 3/12 w/ground to each outlet so I can have 220 and 110 anywhere I want. You don t need a dedicated breaker for each tool. All my 220 tools are on the same “tool” breaker with the assumption that I run at most two at a time (20amps) but in reality I only run one at a time. It is a solo shop.

- BlueRidgeDog

Planning on running 220 whenever I upgrade. The nice thing is, my panel is only about 24ft straight across from my lathe station, with an exposed ceiling. So running a new line to a surface mount box will be cake!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

993 posts in 3302 days


#34 posted 01-28-2019 05:35 PM

And it won’t cost much more to run 10 awg, to allow a 30 amp circuit, and a separate dedicated circut for the dust collector if you don’t have that already. I am happy with my 1973 powermatic 90, (to which I am adding a digital tachometer this week), but hopefully I can get a larger bowl lathe someday.

View mike02719's profile

mike02719

151 posts in 4295 days


#35 posted 01-31-2019 02:32 AM

Dustin, I went through the same thing. Using your pros/cons method, I chose the 18/36. I ruled out the features I did not need or want, but still had too pay for. You will make a good decision. Remember, there is no room for a lathe in the coffin. PICK ONE!!!

PS My lathe is back ordered

-- Mike, Massachusetts

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