Lathe upgrade

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Review by Jarrhead posted 02-16-2010 05:43 PM 9512 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Average rating: 4.5
2 reviews total
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Lathe upgrade No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently decided to upgrade my lathe from the Delta midi-lathe I began turning on. I spent a lot of time researching which lathes were available on the market. Some of the most helpful information was found right here on Thank you to all who took the time to share your viewpoints and experiences. It made my decision easier. I settled on the Nova DVR XP, but I must say that it was not my first choice. My first choice was the Powermatic 3520B. I had to make some compromises. First consideration was cost. The DVR XP retails for approximately $1200 less than the Powermatic. On top of that I got mine on sale for $500 off. So the price ended up being almost exactly half of what the PM would have been. The capabilities of the DVR XP are slightly less, (16” swing over the bed versus 20” for the PM) but not so much that I was concerned it wouldn’t meet my needs. I don’t expect to do long turnings between centers, but the ability to expand that reach is alway there with the purchase of bed extensions. My favorite feature about the PM that I like is the optional bed extension that can be mounted low on the far end of the leg set. This increases the swing over the bed to some ridiculous capacity that really opens up some options for larger bowls and such. The DVR XP has the ability to swivel the headstock, and you can get a similar effect. However, I suspect the capacity would be severely limited because of the weight of the piece spinning off axis from the bed ways. You also need to purchase an expensive “outboard turning tool rest” to use that option on the DVR XP. I really like the electronic speed control of both the DVR XP and the PM, although it looks like the control on the PM is a little more user friendly. Second consideration was weight. I have at least one more move in my future, and I am already going to be well over my weight allowance for that move. So, I didn’t want to add any more weight than I had to for this upgrade. The PM comes with big heavy cast iron legs. The DVR XP does not come with any stand, however cast iron legs are available at a retail price of approx $400.00. That cost really eats into the price advantage of the DVR XP. I already had a table for my previous lathe, so I opted out of buying a lathe with the cast iron stand, for now. Perhaps after the move, I’ll consider adding the leg set. The DVR is very smooth running, and extremely quiet. The extra power is nice. I also like the spindle indexing and locking feature, which my Delta did not have. The PM has this feature too, so that point is a wash on that comparison. Both lathes come with excellent tool rests that lock down tightly and stay in place. Overall I am very pleased with my purchase decision. I think you can’t go wrong with either machine. You can see in the picture the pair of lamps I am working on, which was a big reason for this upgrade. The Delta would not have been able to handle this project. I will post pics of the finished lamps on the “projects” page when completed.

-- trn2wud

View Jarrhead's profile


91 posts in 4128 days

7 comments so far

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4250 days

#1 posted 02-16-2010 05:58 PM

I’m with you. I want a Powermatic as well, but for what I plan on turning mostly, I would love to have the DVR XP. A buddy of mine has one and just loves it.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 5023 days

#2 posted 02-16-2010 06:29 PM

I faced the same issue a year ago – and had the same two contenders. I opted for the Nova – I love it. I even went for the cast iron legs. What can I say? I’m a sucker for really heavy machinery.

A year+ later, and I don’t regret my decision at all. It’s done everything I’ve asked of it. I’m still thinking about the bowl outrigger, but so far, I haven’t needed it.

Congrats on your purchase, and thanks for the review.

-- To do is to be

View Wade Putnam's profile

Wade Putnam

161 posts in 4499 days

#3 posted 02-16-2010 08:25 PM

I have had my DVR for several years and have been very pleased with it.

-- Wade, Nashville,

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4760 days

#4 posted 02-16-2010 09:28 PM

My choice was really down to the DVR and the 3520b; I however opted for the 3520b… I like both lathes and have not looked back either. Great choice!!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View lovestoys's profile


28 posts in 3810 days

#5 posted 02-17-2010 03:06 AM

I too opted for the Nova – and picked up the steel stand (heavy enough!) extension bed and the outrigger. So far I’ve not been able to play with it more than a couple candlesticks and a bunch of pens. I have a set of 15 or so hunks of ambrosia maple that are stacked for roughing out – and will be used to put the lathe—or me—through our paces. Still getting used to the speed control, it’s got great range, it’s just a different control feel than the Jet mini lathe I had.

Have fun – ride the bevel!

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3532 days

#6 posted 11-12-2011 11:09 PM

I also went for the DVR. Looked a looooong time for something to replace my Rikon midi. Liked the 320B and
the Jet 1620VS, but chose the DVR. Yeah, the price had a lot to do with it, even tho the Jet was cheaper, I do
not have the room for a large lathe in my itty-bitty 1/3 garage, what with all the rest of the “stuff” that’s there.
The only think is – mine is not a quiet as other DVR owners claim. It “GROWLS” at me. I believe it’s a bearing
in the head. In the off position, I can hear a clicking sound when i revolve the the shaft at low speed, by hand.
I’ve emailed the dudes at Novaand, not sure if I got a “song and dance” or not. Anybody else out there in LJ
land have any ideas?

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View Jarrhead's profile


91 posts in 4128 days

#7 posted 11-13-2011 12:11 AM

Update to the original post.

So, I finally got moved and settled in my new house. There are pictures of the new shop posted on “My Woodshop”. Since I had a recent post to this review, I thought I would point out that I finally addressed the lathe stand issue. You can see how I did that at:

For those of you that were concerned about the weight, I did decide to bolt it to the floor, but I’m still not sure it was necessary.

-- trn2wud

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