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Forum topic by Dustin posted 10-24-2018 03:21 PM 2813 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dustin

689 posts in 1159 days


10-24-2018 03:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

So, with the advent of an employee incentive program where I work, I’m looking at being able to afford a nice upgrade to my shop early next year. That said, I decided to go with a tool that currently brings me the greatest satisfaction while working on projects: my lathe.

Currently, I’m using a Delta 46-460, which was a huge step up from the smallest HF lathe I started turning pens on (the one no longer offered). As I’ve worked on it, I got a feel for the features I like, and some of the things I wish I had. Rather than extend the bed on this machine, I had always planned on purchasing a larger lathe sometime down the line, and using this one for small, dedicated purposes, and hopefully as a learning tool for my older kids in the not too distant future.

As for lathe choices, I’m looking in the mid $2k range, which left me with 2 serious contenders: The Nova Galaxi 1644 or the Laguna Revo 1836. I could really use some help deciding, so here’s what I like/my concerns between the two.

The Nova Pros:
-No belts!
-Great satisfaction with other Nova products I own.
-Excellent customer service reputation.
-Out of the box spindle and swing capacity (I don’t really account for the fact that it’s 16” vs the Laguna’s 18”, as swinging the headstock to 45 degrees immediately gets me more capacity for bowls).
-Terrific packaging from the unboxing videos I’ve seen.
-Can run on 110 until I get a 220 receptacle installed.
-Outboard turning doesn’t require a bed extension like the Laguna, and space is an issue in my shop.

The Nova Cons:
-Maintenance and fixes are likely extremely difficult too near impossible, in necessary, due to the headstock/DVR design.
-Headstock swivels (I’ve heard this can lead to less solid headstocks in general, but have yet to find a user who complains of it)
-Not really a con, but I could care less about some of the higher tech features on board.
-Less quill travel than the Laguna.
-”Soft” On/Off buttons
-Fewer user reviews available at the time of this writing.

The Laguna Pros:
-Excellent, numerous user reviews.
-Headstock allows for some operator maintenance, if necessary.
-More preferable On/Off switches
-Greater quill travel than the Nova (useful when drilling on the lathe).
-Up to 18” bowls, stock.
-Non-swiveling headstock.

The Laguna Cons:
-Flimsier packaging (possible headaches with delivery)
-Belt changes
-Less spindle capacity
-Poor customer service reputation (this is a pretty big one for me)
-Must order either the 110 or 220 model, so either saddle myself with a 1.5HP motor, or install 220 immediately (more problematic should I choose to move the lathe later, too).
-Reported issues with banjo and tool rest lockdown/design should dust interfere.

These are all of the big items I could find/come up with. I’m looking to get into bowls (only done a few practice ones) and possibly segmented turnings, spindle turning for pedestal tables. This is one of those things that I know I’m likely overthinking, and it will be a situation where I’d probably be thrilled with either, but would value any input. As I don’t ever see myself shelling out the cash for something like a PM, Robust or OneWay, this is likely my be-all 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."


35 replies so far

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2377 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

689 posts in 1159 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."

View mathguy1981's profile

mathguy1981

94 posts in 323 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

689 posts in 1159 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

2672 posts in 2553 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

11274 posts in 3451 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)

View mrg's profile

mrg

860 posts in 3418 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

170 posts in 831 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

670 posts in 1720 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

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

689 posts in 1159 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."

View DDJ's profile

DDJ

34 posts in 559 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

632 posts in 1881 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

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

867 posts in 2688 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 179 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

2357 posts in 2408 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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