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It's Drill Press Time in So Cal, Nova?

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Forum topic by Axis39 posted 05-19-2022 01:04 PM 459 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Axis39

629 posts in 1086 days


05-19-2022 01:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press nova

I have owned a Craftsman Drill Press for about 30 years. It’s a floor model. But, as is typical, nothing special. It has performed well for me all these years. But, it’s time to upgrade… It still works, it’s rattled, and the run out has never been all that great. It’s worked, and done just about everything I’ve ever asked of it.

We are just a small shop, two of us. We build cabinets, built-ins and furniture. I would say 40% of our drilling is cabinet hinges. The other is all over the place. But, 98% wood working. It’s also a small shop… crowded and kinda tight.

I like a lot of the features of the Novas, and see me using a good number of them… Thread tapping, the auto-run bit… Etc. The electronic depth stops and stuff all just seems way too appealing!

I am thinking the Viking is the one for us. We don’t do a lot of long drilling, not sure we need (but, would certainly like) the 6” travel of the Voyager. We are also thinking of putting it on a rolling cart. We have a rolling cart, that used to house my lathe and thickness planer…

But, my real question… is Nova still the thing? Have they held up over the years? I have just begun a real search and haven’t found much negative press. Any opinions?

Is there something else I could be looking at?

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood


4 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5619 posts in 3478 days


#1 posted 05-19-2022 01:19 PM

I have had my Nova Voyager for several years with no problems. It is a tool that I really like. Before it, I rarely changed speeds but now I change it with every bit change. The run out is almost zero and long stroke very useful.

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EarlS

5601 posts in 3837 days


#2 posted 05-19-2022 07:30 PM

I have the Nova Viking which I got earlier this spring. There are plenty of bells and whistles that are nice to have. Mine is the bench top version. I would suggest getting a floor standing version since there isn’t a lot of room if you need to work on something tall.

Writing a review is on my to-do list.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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Axis39

629 posts in 1086 days


#3 posted 05-20-2022 12:17 AM

Thanks guys, I went ahead and ordered the Viking, bench top version, from Grizzly. I’ll make sure I post a review when she gets here… Suggested delivery date is late June. I am not sure I buy that. But, we’ll see.

The cut-run feature, the laser…. All of it points towards fitting into our semi-production shop like a French fries and ketchup!

I went bench top for a few reasons. The first, and biggest driver is that I have had a floor model drill press for so many years, and can only remember two or three times when I needed anything beyond about five or six inches thick, at the most. I literally do most of my drilling into 3/4 material (well, 18 and 20 mm). I would say that I do literally 97% of my drilling and machining needs is below 4/4 material. 2.8% is on 8/4 and under. But, mainly because we can keep it mobile…. Just gonna add casters to the bottom. The kind that flip down and lift the cabinet up.

I went Viking partly due to the bench top option. But, I thought, for about two minutes, about going Voyager to get the extra 2” Quill throw, but, then, I referred myself to my earlier percentage statements.

Seemed like an easy choice. Kinda like never even considering the big Domino machine. Never need it.

But, if anyone has anything, good or bad, to say about the Novas, I’m more than willing to listen! I have at least a month or so before I can’t cancel my order.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View mbg's profile

mbg

33 posts in 4867 days


#4 posted 06-16-2022 03:35 PM


Thanks guys, I went ahead and ordered the Viking, bench top version, from Grizzly. I ll make sure I post a review when she gets here… Suggested delivery date is late June. I am not sure I buy that. But, we ll see.

The cut-run feature, the laser…. All of it points towards fitting into our semi-production shop like a French fries and ketchup!

I went bench top for a few reasons. The first, and biggest driver is that I have had a floor model drill press for so many years, and can only remember two or three times when I needed anything beyond about five or six inches thick, at the most. I literally do most of my drilling into 3/4 material (well, 18 and 20 mm). I would say that I do literally 97% of my drilling and machining needs is below 4/4 material. 2.8% is on 8/4 and under. But, mainly because we can keep it mobile…. Just gonna add casters to the bottom. The kind that flip down and lift the cabinet up.

I went Viking partly due to the bench top option. But, I thought, for about two minutes, about going Voyager to get the extra 2” Quill throw, but, then, I referred myself to my earlier percentage statements.

Seemed like an easy choice. Kinda like never even considering the big Domino machine. Never need it.

But, if anyone has anything, good or bad, to say about the Novas, I m more than willing to listen! I have at least a month or so before I can t cancel my order.

- Axis39

How do you like the Viking so far?

You know they offer the Viking in a floor standing model too? I was waiting soooo long for the Voyager (I still have it on order) that I thought “wonder if I could purchase just the Viking drill head and put it on my 20+ year old Ridgid floor stand?” so I could have an improvement right now. Well I couldn’t believe it when I contacted Nova and they had refurbished Viking drill heads. Then I found a tube and only needed to have the OD machined to use as a sleeve over my current DP post. This worked out great.

I still have the Voyager on order because I still have a want for it. Don’t know if I really have a need for it. Just wondering if the added features of the Voyager are worth the $ difference. I know I can easily recover the cost I have in my hybrid DP. I don’t use a DP everyday and have seen a few comments that as far as a turn on and just start drill that the Viking is superior.

I have played around with it a little and the dial-in speed with speed control is excellent. Next comes the electronic depth stop and self-start.

I have found the built in laser is nice but not perfect. It doesn’t have a “Z-axis” adjustment and the beams are a little wide. I added a Wixey laser to it because it was for a Voyager if I ever received it and it works much better than the built-in one but unfortunately blocks the nice built in LED light somewhat.

I added the Albrecht keyless chuck (again bought for the Voyager that I have yet to receive) and it only shows less than 1/2 a thousand runout. The chuck had absolutely no readable runout on my wood lathe.

Very smooth running until you hit 4000rpm+ then there is some noticeable vibration although it still passes the nickel test but who runs a DP that fast?

Mike

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