My Last Major Equipment Upgrade - New Drill Press


Belle City WW
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4 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

OK i am now green with envy!  I have been thinking very hard about buying one.  How about a review?  Good and bad sort of thing.

First I have to figure out exactly how to use it :)  I will get acquainted with it, use it on a few projects, and then submit a review.

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Do they do the speed control with a 3 phase motor, with built in VFD?   I haven't looked into it, but that would definately be a smooth running setup.  I would also expect that's how they build their lathes, but don't know about that either.

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1 minute ago, Tom King said:

Do they do the speed control with a 3 phase motor, with built in VFD?   I haven't looked into it, but that would definately be a smooth running setup.  I would also expect that's how they build their lathes, but don't know about that either.

I am not quite sure.  The specs should be online somewhere.

Sorry I don't know

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I can give some feedback on those "blister buttons" for the on off switches.  I have them on my Nova lathe and I don't like them.  Very difficult to actuate.  But you do get a big red stop botton.  The rest of this drill press looks great.  

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Some folks out there have posted who were part of the early release group.  Mostly very positive reviews.  Folks who came along after also post mostly positive reviews.  The only thing I can recall anyone being at all negative on was that there is so many features.  Fortunately the basics seem to be up front and easy to use.  Nova has been making DVR machines (lathes) since 2001 and seem to have the technology down cold.

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On 6/30/2018 at 8:52 PM, Tom King said:

Do they do the speed control with a 3 phase motor, with built in VFD?   I haven't looked into it, but that would definately be a smooth running setup.  I would also expect that's how they build their lathes, but don't know about that either.

No, is it a digitally controlled variable reluctance motor.   Switched reluctance motors are old tech but digitally controlling them is fairly new (in the big picture)  but Nova/Teknatool has used them for years in their DVR lathes.  

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  • 2 months later...

I have been thinking about buying a drill press and would like to run a couple of things past you folks.  

I have had my eye on the Nova Voyager.  I am not in any hurry, but Nova is offering a $200 rebate through the end of this month (a few days away).  So I finally got around to doing some research.  Based on what I find annoying with my present drill press I have decided that the must haves are variable speed and 6 inch quill travel. The Nova Voyager and Powermatic PM2800B meet my "requirements".

Powermatic and Nova are very close on list price and while there is a rebate on the Nova the Powermatic will certainly be on sale between now and Christmas.  In general I like the Nova better (despite the awful blister buttons).  But there are two differences that give me pause.  Both have 5/8th inch chucks, but the Nova's will not hold a bit smaller than 1/8th inch.  I believe the Powermatic will go down to 1/32.  

Second the table on the Powermatic tilts to 90 degrees while the Nova tilts to 45 degrees.  

How much would you care about these differences?

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First, I have no experience with either other than seeing and giving them a fairly thorough go over on the showroom floor. I came away thinking I'd go with the PM in a heartbeat. I liked the features of the Nova, but I agree on the differences. You will rarely need the 90 degree tilt or 1/32 capacity, but when you do....

Both are strong brands. What are the warranties, service accessibility, etc for both?

I'm planning on replacing my Delta 17-900 with the PM at some point. 

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2 hours ago, K Cooper said:

have you ever needed the table to go past 45* and needed to drill on a dp, a hole smaller than 1/8”?

I guess that's the question.  Are these features that people use?

I drill 1/8" holes pretty frequently, but smaller would be rare.  On the other hand why would you make a chuck that doesn't go smaller--is there some advantage?

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A different MT2 taper chuck is readily available.  I'm a keyless chuck guy myself.  I would ask an owner about the 3-16mm spec.  I do not recall anyone mentioning this and there are a few owners here.  If you don't want to change the chuck, there are chucks that go in chucks.  I use bits smaller than 1/8" frequently and so got a chuck that better suits my needs.  I have never needed to open to 5/8".  I only mention this as you may find a chuck that goes to 3/32" but not larger than 1/2" and I wanted to weigh in on that limitation.

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Thanks folks, good points.  As it happens I have a second 1/2" chuck for the lathe that will chuck a 1/16" bit.  And true to Coop's point it's a pretty tiny bit sticking out of that chuck.

I took a ride today to look at the PM2800b in the flesh.  It is a very fine machine and the pictures don't do it justice.  You put a hand on it and it just says solid design, solid build.

I don't see that I would go wrong either way, so I guess I have a day to decide whether to go for that Nova rebate now or wait for a Powermatic sale.

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