Opinions on the Nova Saturn DVR Lathe with Stand?


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I am close to purchasing this lathe. I plan to get the bed extension as I do spindle turning for table and chair legs. I have done little bowl turning to date (moving up from a Jet mini plus bed extension!), but plan to in the future.

I'd like to hear any user reviews - likes/dislikes.

Note that in Oz we have 230v, which means the lathe has 2 hp. 

TK-SATURN.jpg

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

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OK, back in the real world, now.  So I have the 1624 with the DVR motor.  The major differences with the Saturn seem to be the heavier cast iron legs on the Saturn and the fact that the DVR is direct drive on the Saturn.  Otherwise very similar.  So let me start by saying that if I lost my workshop in some natural disaster (and the insurance company was handing me a big check) I would immediately replace my 1624 with another 1624 or possibly a Saturn.  I think these are great lathes, and for the money even better than great.  With the DVR upgrade I have most of the features of the Saturn but saved a few hundred dollars.  

So great, but not perfect.  My chief issue with the 1624 relevant to you is the dang buttons.  I have ranted about these somewhere else, but here's the summary.  They are next to impossible to feel.  The colored area on the control panel is twice the size of the actual blister button itself so it is difficult to see where to press.  When you do press the button there is next to no movement.  The net effect is they are difficult to operate.  Not infrequently it takes me 3 tries.  I did put a big paddle switch on the machine to cut power.  That said, I have learned to adjust and I manage it just fine.  As much as I wish Teknatools would reconsider this element of the design, it would not stop me from buying one again.  

Otherwise I am quite happy with the machine.  The DVR system is great, I can spin anywhere from 100 to 3000 rpm with push button presets.  It's reversible, there is an electronic brake and other features.  The lathe is solid, even on the smaller legs.  I love, love, love, the rotating headstock and use it all the time.  I have checked my head to tail stock alignment multiple times and it is always dead on.  The underside of the casting is a little rough, but the ways are flat.  Tail stock holds tight and mounts and dismounts easily enough.  Banjo and tool rest are good and there is good reach with the banjo when the headstock is rotated.  I did purchase the outrigger for the lathe, and am wishing I had bought the bed extension and swing away instead.  By the time I mount a 4 inch block on a chuck the outrigger doesn't have a lot of stand off.  Maybe one day when I get to doing a platter it will payoff.  

For the sake of completeness and for someone interested in the 1624 I'll mention that the legs are lightweight.  Not really been a problem, but on principle I would rather have the heavier legs of the Saturn.  I could actually buy these legs as an accessory, but I'm not that motivated.  If you are buying the 1624 without the DVR upgrade I had some issues with the belt tensioning mechanism--basically there's one setting, full tension.  It works, but honestly, you want DVR.  

@derekcohen if you have any specific questions I would be happy to try and answer.  

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I have the Nova DVR XP, I bought it used about 3yrs ago.  I really like it, the controls took a little getting used to (they are all touch pads) so changing speeds in the middle of a project and be a little distracting.  I don't turn long spindles, my rails are 24", but the lathe has handled everything I have wanted to do.  Since it is direct drive there are no belts to deal with, and it is extremely quiet. Like @Mark J I would buy it again.

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Very nice congrats!! How long is it with the extensions? How long of spindle can you turn between centers stock/with extension? I've been looking at new lathes I have a Delta and the belt pulley is a week link that is no longer produced every time I use it I wonder if its the day LOL

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The extension is 500mm, which increases the spindle turning capacity to 1100mm (43"). 

The lathe runs on 230v, which sets the power at 2.3 h.p. No belts with DVR - direct drive to the spindle means silent and powerful! mmmmm :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

 

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