New nova 1624-44 lathe from woodcraft

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Review by Norm192 posted 12-29-2013 06:03 AM 13431 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New nova 1624-44 lathe from woodcraft No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Just bought a nova 1624-44 lathe from woodcraft.$899. My previous, and first and only lathe, was a rikon 70-100. I have enjoyed it for about 3 years now. I have turned several 11-1/2” x 4”+ deep bowls on it. That’s maxed out. Great lathe but time to upgrade.
The nova came well packaged. Assembly was simple and straight forward. Not impossible by yourself but an easy two man job.
Banjo and tail stock lock down rock solid. No graduations on tail stock but operation is smooth. Motor is quiet, belt change is easy. You need to walk behind the lathe to change belts but it’s a short learning curve. Headstock rotates up to 90 degrees. It’s quick, easy and locks in tight.
First project was a 9” diameter by 4” tall persimmon bowl. Cakewalk. No sweat. 1-1/2 hp didn’t know there was a bowl there.
Second project was a 12” diameter by 5” ish tall natural edge dry cherry. No problem here. Didn’t realize turning was so easy.
Current project is 15” diameter by 8” tall maple. This blank was out of balance so I had to drop down to the lowest rpm ( 215 I think ) till it trued up. Now I’m turning at around 600-800 rpm and taking good cuts smoothly.
Have not bogged this unit down yet.
IMHO fit and finish are great. So far power is great. I am going to buy the outrigger for big outboard turning and see what this baby can do!
I am going add a shelf with some weight to mine. The legs are solid and well built but the vibration dampening weight is not there for that initial out of balance turning.
Yes there are some Cadillac lathes out there I would like to own, but for $899 I think think the Nova 1624-44 is the best bang for the buck.

View Norm192's profile


77 posts in 2448 days

7 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13439 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 12-29-2013 07:48 AM

Thanks, don’t see many reviews of Nova lathes.

-- Rick M,

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3822 days

#2 posted 12-29-2013 09:41 AM

I’ve had a nova for 30 yrs..very nice, but lightweight..if you are planning large bowls on the outrigger, be not being inline with the rails, you have a huge balance issue. Go slowly and find it’s limits.

View los's profile


49 posts in 4356 days

#3 posted 12-29-2013 12:04 PM


I had my 16-24 for two years and loved it. Turned everything from spindles to a very heavy 24 inch magnolia bowl with the outrigger(can you say low speeds!).

I ended up adding 60-70 lbs of weight to each end with some old gym weights and rope. Made a huge difference.

For that price its a great deal.

(I recently took the jump and picked up the Nova 2024 and Im in heaven with the bigger capacity and variable speed.)


View Xyloid_Curt's profile


131 posts in 2893 days

#4 posted 12-30-2013 03:46 AM

I have had the Nova 1644 for more than a year and I agree it is a solid bargain. I don’t see a need to walk to the other side to change speeds, I never have and pulley changes are pretty easy to do. I added a shelf and bolted the legs to the floor to keep it from walking. I also use sand bags when necessary.

-- Xyloid Curt "Exposing the hidden beauty in wood"

View Sawdust2012's profile


230 posts in 2518 days

#5 posted 12-30-2014 12:29 PM

This is a great lathe. A buddy of mine has one he is considering selling to move up to the DVR. He has more money than sense. I am considering liberating the 1624. My concern is the lack of variable speed. My small Steel City has that feature, and it is convenient, but I have never lived without it. Any feedback on the need for variable speed?

View Woodknack's profile


13439 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 12-31-2014 03:57 AM

I only spent a short time changing pulleys but hated it and converted my lathe (not a Nova) to variable speed pretty quickly. I wouldn’t ever go back to fixed speeds unless I had no choice.

-- Rick M,

View BobLove's profile


4 posts in 865 days

#7 posted 03-29-2018 01:02 PM

I’ve had a 1624/44 for about a year now. I bought mine supposedly new sight unseen. I generally turn staved construction wooden mugs. Think Renaissance fair mugs. I really like the ability to index the head 22.5 degrees off axis from the rails. It make the hollowing so much more comfortable. One thing I’ve notice is that the head stock and tail (live center don’t align well). Let me explain, I can get it pretty close when I put it back inline with the rails. I do have to leave the index locking pin retracted and lock the head stock down first. I know theres the double ended #2MT alignment tool and I haven’t tried the procedure in the manual yet.

Does anyone else have this problem.

Beyond the head stock / tail stock centers not being very accurate / fussy to align, I really like the lathe. No power issues for me. Belt speed changes take less than 30 seconds.

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