Nova DVR XP lathe

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Review by Darell posted 07-18-2012 07:49 PM 22473 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Average rating: 4.5
2 reviews total
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Nova DVR XP lathe Nova DVR XP lathe Nova DVR XP lathe Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve had my Nova DVR XP about 16 months and I guess it’s about time to post my review and let other LJ’s know how I like it. Well, I just Love it. For my crowded shop it’s the perfect heavy duty lathe. The DVR has a 16” swing and 24” between centers. It features a 1.75 hp at 115 v or 2.3 hp at 230 v. The DVR is a direct drive variable speed lathe with a speed range from 100 to 3500 rpm. #2 Morse Taper, 1.25×8 headstock threads. It features a 360 degree swivel headstock with stops at 0, 22.5, 45 & 90 degrees. Spindle index at 15 degrees giving 24 stops. There is just so much information on this lathe that I could add here but that would take a lot of time and bore most of you so I’ll get on with it.

I particularly like the swivel headstock because it makes turning the inside of bowls much easier. I normally use the 22.5 degree stop but depending on the depth of the bowl I can use the 45 degree stop too. Anything more than that and you’d need the outrigger tool rest.

Swiveling the headstock is easy, just use the lockout bar to loosen the headstock and swing it around, then tighten.

When returning the headstock it’s easy to realign the headstock and tailstock. However, I do use a #2 Morse Taper Alignment Tool from Packard just to make things easier and take the guesswwork out of it.

As i said, I love this lathe. It has all the power I need for larger bowls. The DVR motor only inputs enough power to maintain the set speed thus saving a bit on electricity. It also senses abnormal turning conditions and will automatcaly shut down the spindle if it detects a hard catch or the spindle lock is engaged. I’ve turned everything from pens to bottle stoppers to bowls to pepper mills with no trouble. The DVR is especially nice when it comes to boring the holes for pepper mills. It just rocks along. The spindle runs true and is very smooth.

The electronic power control has 5 presets for turning speeds. The default startup speed is 500 rpm and is the #2 speed setting. All of the preset speeds can be set to whatever speed you want except for the default setting. It can be set lower but not higher than the 500 rpm’s. I have set my presets at 250, 500, 1200, 1800 & 2300 rpm’s to suit my needs. I can go up or down from those to suit conditions.

I mounted the Nova DVR on the stand I made a few years ago for my smaller Rikon lathe. My stand is plenty big enough and heavy enough to support the 183 lbs Nova. For turning larger, heavier blanks that are out of round and unbalanced I found that I needed to take the adjustable feet off the cabinet and remove the two larger bottom drawers. I then drove heavy wedges under the corners to take the weight off the wheels and added 4 60# bagts of tube sand where the drawers were. It no longer moves when turning heavier pieces. I guess with a heavy duty lathe you need a heavy duty, stable bench to work off of.

This lathe is an absolute joy to turn on. It heavy enough for large bowls and small enough for the space challenged shop. Optional accessories that I may have need for in the future include the outrigger tool rest and 20” bed extention. Other accessories are available. If you have a small shop with limited space and want a heavy duty lathe, check this one out.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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436 posts in 4362 days

18 comments so far

View Derek's profile


4 posts in 2907 days

#1 posted 07-18-2012 09:31 PM

Hi i have the same lathe and i think its great

-- Derek England

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3531 days

#2 posted 07-18-2012 09:34 PM

Darrell – Happy to hear! I have one exactly like yours, mounted on a work station like yours also. Everything you said about the lathe is 100% true. I love it! What’s really wierd is, I also had a Rikon prior to the DVR.

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

View Sanity's profile


176 posts in 3458 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 12:51 AM

A well written review Darrell. I notice that you have your lathe mounted on casters, and I was curious if this causes any issues with vibration? Like you I have a small shop (my garage) and everything has to be mobile. I have a Delta midi lathe on casters, but my turnings are typically fairly small.

-- Stuart

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436 posts in 4362 days

#4 posted 07-19-2012 05:53 AM

Stuart—-I had some adjustable legs mounted on the cabinet to raise it off the floor and take the weight off the wheels. Vibrations wasn’t so much a problem as the thing got to rocking when I started out wiith an unbalanced blank on the lathe. That’s why I removed the adjustable legs and drove wednges under the cabinet to raise the wheels off the floor then added sand bags. All that stopped the rocking and made for a stable platform. Vibration and rocking weren’t a problem when I had the Rikon mounted on that stand.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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176 posts in 3458 days

#5 posted 07-19-2012 12:56 PM

Darrell, apologies – when I reread your review I realize that I skipped over the paragraph where you talk about this. I am planning to get a bigger lathe soon (Powermatic) as I would like to turn larger pieces. It would be good to make the lathe mobile but I am concerned about vibration. I have read where some people have mounted the lathe on casters without issues but of course the majority say that it should be in a fixed position. I may have to do some experimentation.

-- Stuart

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3531 days

#6 posted 07-19-2012 04:12 PM

Sanity – I read in a wood type magazine, can’t remember the name, a couple months back and they attached some adjustable trailer jack tongue wheels to their 320b from Harbor Freight.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4417 days

#7 posted 07-20-2012 02:16 AM

looks like a fantastic lathe, all the features are top notch, and the quality speaks for itself, but I just looked at the price – ouch! definitely up there for it’s size and class.

does have some fantastic features though.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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321 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 07-20-2012 04:22 PM

That’s a great lathe; I want one!

I am so jealous; can’t help it.

-- Mike

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1 post in 3030 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 04:21 PM

This is my first posting. I’m currently considering the Nova XP, to replace my 15+ year old Bridgewood. I like the rotating head, because space limitations preclude turning off the left end of a lathe in my shop. Yesterday I discovered the General 25-650 ABC M1 and it looks great – rotating head, 2 HP, 110 volts, electronic speed control in three ranges with reverse, and 420 pounds. Yet is priced slightly less than the XP.

Does anyone have any experience with this model of General??


View IsaacH's profile


128 posts in 2865 days

#10 posted 09-19-2012 11:26 PM

I have the origional DVR. Ive had it for 7 or 8 years. Still rocking with NO PROBLEMS. It has yet to come up short on power even with 18”+ red oak bowls!!!!! It just adjusts and keeps rotating!


-- Isaac- Decatur, GA - "Your woodworking....NOT machining parts for NASA!!!"

View PaulLL's profile


163 posts in 2745 days

#11 posted 10-28-2013 01:42 AM

I’m looking at the Nova Comet IIMini, as my first lathe. Glad to hear that Nova is building quality product. thanks for the review

View Larry3887's profile


2 posts in 2211 days

#12 posted 06-14-2014 05:41 PM

Great job in telling us about your lathe. I too have one of the DVR XP lathe for about one month now. So far, I love the lathe and it is a great move up from the mini lathe that I had been using. Thanks for taking your time and sharing.

View nerdkraft's profile


57 posts in 3786 days

#13 posted 07-27-2015 08:36 PM

Hi, I’m thinking of getting the same lathe and am wondering whether to get the cast iron legs or a workbench to mount it on.

You said you had to remove the drawers, put in solid feet and add sandbags to keep it from rocking with off-balance pieces. Are you still able to use the top two row drawers for storage?
If you had to do it all over again, would you stick with a workbench or get the cast iron legs?
Ps- I’m considering buying this workbench instead of the stand. Same price and I figure I can get some storage out of it.

View Darell's profile


436 posts in 4362 days

#14 posted 07-28-2015 06:34 AM

Hi Nerdkraft,

I found that I didn’t need to take the drawers out and add the sandbags to stabilize my stand. I just drive the wedges under the corners to get the wheels off the ground. I’m planning to make some modifications on the cabinet this fall to eliminate the wedges. I would not buy the cast iron legs. IMO they are too expensive. You would need to add some shelves and/or a cabinet to stabilize the legs. But that’s me. The Grizzly workbench you are thinking of might work. You might have to shorten the legs to get the lathe at the correct height for you. Once you got the drawers full of stuff it might be heavy enough. Another alternative would be to build your own lathe stand. There are several listed in the projects on this website. Some are built for the Nova DVR. You just have to search for them. Check out doubleDD’s lathe stand. I’m using his bench for inspiration to modify mine. Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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57 posts in 3786 days

#15 posted 07-28-2015 11:47 PM

Ah awesome – thanks!
So the issue is just to keep wheels off the ground. I think I’ll do the grizzly bench. It’s actually only 1.5” taller than the cast iron legs. I’ll see if it makes sense to shorten the legs or to build up a platform around with a fatigue pad.

I really appreciate the reply!

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