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on July 24, 2013
I have been turning for about five years, after woodworking for decades. I started out with a delta 12" lathe that I found on Craig's List. It was old, but good. More out of curiosity than anything else, I wanted to upgrade. I found another good deal on CL for a JET mini. I ended up buying a bed extension and some legs. I have not regretted that purchase. It was quiet. I could turn late at night, as I like to do sometimes. It was smooth. Then I picked up a Delta mini. It is great for small bowls and pen turning. Only the JET has variable speed without moving the belts, except to move to another speed range. OK, enough history. I picked up the NOVA 1624-44 on sale at Woodcraft.

The first thing that I noticed was the incredible power from a 110V outlet. I bought the outrigger style tool rest for turning big bowls, since I tend to push the limit. Putting a 50 lb chunk of walnut on the lathe was no problem. The machine is smooth. I haven't had any problems like one other reviewer, although I have turned some very heavy and hard wood. Hickory with knots the size of a cantaloupe has been no problem. I just ordered the bed extension, although I have had no problem turning spindles on my JET mini. I will be mounting a Laguna Tools copy attachment to make drumsticks, spindles, etc.

The only shortcoming has nothing to do with the advertised capabilities of the lathe. I have no complaints about that. I just want to have electronic speed control. Don't get me wrong. Moving the belts on this lathe is easy. It has enough power so that you don't have to move them often on a project. It is a sweet machine. Their DVR lathes are significantly more expensive; so, they were out of my acceptable price range. They are nice too.

Next month, I will be getting my Laguna Tools 18/47. It has the features that I want. I will dedicate the NOVA to mostly copying. The two Deltas will go to a relative who is learning turning. I will keep the JET mini for a while. I will probably give it to him if the aging Delta fails.

So buy the best up front; or work your way up as I am doing. You can't go wrong as long as you make some shavings, as Eddie Castelin says. Sell your lathes as you move up; donate them to good causes; or give them to relatives or friends who show interest and talent, or even just interest.

For those just starting out:

Before you can be a really good woodturner, you must learn to sharpen your tools. This skill is at least as important as turning skill. It is also satisfying. You have to buy some sharpening equipment. Buy the best. You can also get some great deals at garage sales. I found a set of stones three years ago at a yard sale for five bucks that are currently sold on Amazon for about three hundred bucks. The setup was like new after a bit of cleanup and restoration. When you sell or donate your starting lathes, you keep the tools, accessories, and sharpening equipment. Good stuff lasts.

You will spend as much on chucks and accessories as you spend on your lathe. Buy the best and keep them as you move from lathe to lathe. This will save you $$$ in the long run.

Look up turning on YouTube. There is a wealth of advice and experience there. Look up Eddie Castelin, Bob Hamilton, Carl Jacobson, Mike Waldt, Cindy Drozda, and Lyle Jamieson, for example.

Finally, this is a great lathe, no matter what anybody says. If it is in your price range, you will not be disappointed. If you want some pricier features, like digital speed control; and you can't really afford them, remember that you can always get them later. After all, you won't be making a mistake by learning on a more basic machine that can pretty much do it all.
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on May 21, 2013
I love almost everything about this lathe after learning on a HF lathe for 3 years. This machine is solid, quiet, and powerful. No vibration. Hard to believe all the quality for the price; I'm saving almost a grand by changing the speed manually. It was a snap after the first week. I especially like the rotating head, the spindle index, and the ability to turn in reverse. The MT2 taper and through hole in the tailstock are going to let me do a ton of things that have always been a pain. This one is worth building a vacuum chuck, stand alone tool rest, and even eventually a steady rest for. It could end up being my last larger lathe, I recommend it.
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on November 14, 2013
Fantastic! I just purchased this lathe to replace a 10 yr old Delta 46-715 that was no longer supportable due to obsolete parts. The construction of the Nova is solid. The motor is extremely quiet, has twice the horsepower of my old Delta, and has a switch to reverse the turning direction. The fit and finish are superb. All of the parts adjust smoothly and hold their settings under normal use. It is great for pen turning, spindle turning and bowl turning up to a foot in diameter. I plan to keep this one for a very long time. I would recommend this lathe without hesitation.
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on January 30, 2011
Being a fairly new woodturner, this was the first lathe that I bought. I am extremely satisfied and very glad with the choice that I made. Assembly is not the easiest project, mostly because of the weight of the lathe, however, once set up, that weight is very useful in keeping the structure steady when turning unbalanced blanks. Changing speeds is very easy, and the low speed capabilities come in handy with large projects. The 16" swing is extremely nice, along with the reverse switch and the swivel headstock. Overall, this is an excellent lathe, and a great addition to any woodshop.
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on October 7, 2012
I have had the 1624 for about three years with no problems at all and turn a wide variety of items. So far I have had no problem with the headstock. The one reviewer is correct in not using a lot of pressure on the belt, mostly the weight of the motor plus a tad and Nova states this. This is the same with almost any tool (such as table saws).
I do use the swivel headstock out to the 22.5* on 95% of platters and bowls and the tool rest reaches fine. I seldom use the reverse but some really like it for sanding.
When I have contacted the service center (additional chucks, questions) I have had a quick response.
I am posting this mainly because there are so few reviews here. I would suggest for more reviews search for... Nova 1624 woodturning forum .... You should come up with hundreds of reviews/remarks on the many woodturning forums.
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on February 16, 2013
This is my second lathe (the first one I bought second hand Central Machinery) and it is everything that Nova advertises. Well designed, well built and very affordable.
it arrived in one box which was split open and some of the contents hanging out. It's weight is about 280 lbs. and in my opinion it should be crated and on a pallet. It took me about 4 hours to assemble. It is joy to use. I recommend this over all other lathes in its class.
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on November 12, 2015
AT $999.00 THIS IS A GREAT DEAL. I started out with the Nove mini comet II. returned 2 of them to the store. First was a sound in the head stock that was grinding. Second was simply poor performance and VERY, VERY under powered. Got this unit yesterday. Took me 2 hours to assemble by my self. Not all that hard if you take your time and think ea step out.. I am 60 and did it by my self so it can be done with the aid of a few saw horses.. Work smarter, not harder........ The only trick I would add for those assembling is put a little grease on the T swing flange when moving the handle up and down when changing belt speeds.

The performance is great. Plenty of power, no drag of the 16in bowl I cut today. Changing speeds is a little slow but not having the speed control is not all that bad of a think. Just 1 less item to break down. From what I have read that is the number 1 item with unit that have speed control

The Banjo was nice and heavy, moves easy
Tail stock is excellent.
Head stock turns real easy and locks down easy.

This is a great unit for those weekend wood workers wanting a good unit that does a great job.
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on May 17, 2014
Every year woodcraft has these on sale. i bought mine for $899.00 through Amazon. Same price at Woodcraft but Amazon saved me about 10 bucks on the freight. The variable speed model is over priced and the factory is not answering me about a motor question. That if this motor can handle a high amperage voltage controller. I have one that works on fixed speed routers but i know that some motors are a bit sensitive about solid state voltage control. It probably will work as i cannot see Teknatool spending for an exotic motor on this base model. Their DVR version is a DC motor controlled with PWM or some other means whereas this model is just a plain non cap start AC motor. So i just may give it a shot as i do have a couple of 100 amp SCR's lying around and i am not worried about electrical noise supression. it would be nice to be able to just dial the speed up when i need it but not for another $1000.00 it is not.large SCR. free. small variable resistor with knob. free. Plastic box $3.00. Wire. free grommet free. AC receptable to mount in box. $3.00. velcroe to mount box. free. hell all i can do is blow up the speed controller or fry the motor. but who cares. it is under warranty and there are no mods to the unit itself.
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on June 8, 2016
this lathe did not come from amazon im about to tell you about,,it came from woodcraft,,,the lathe was on sale for 1099.99,,and I had a 70-100 rikon mini lathe with never a minutes problem out of it but my wife wanted bigger bowls and when I seen this lathe for that price I jumped on it lt like a bandit,,got it home,,,put it together and it ran fine as long as no wood was put on it but when you tried to turn something with a chuck (nova infinity chuck),,the wood bounced so bad,,,it bounced as bad as a rough cut piece of wood..but it had done been rounded,,i got teknatool and they said change adapters which I did,,and no luck,,i tried calling them back which was around 2 in the evening and all I got was some guy named chris who said leave a meassage ,,he was on another line..i did that 3 to 4 times in one day same recording,,so I called woodcraft and they said they would take it back,,i bought a jet which was more money,,but it seems nice so far,,i would not trade my rikon mini lathe for this nova,,,,please don't let the price fool you,,,,im as cheep as anyone,,but its truly like the adage goes (YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR)
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on August 22, 2014
I bought this from another retailer. I love this lathe. I've had it about a year now and I use it at least twice a week and it's not slowed down or had any issues that weren't really my fault. I know a lot of guys prefer variable speed control and this only has the few preset speeds but it honestly takes me about 15 seconds to change speeds any more. It's heavy enough that I've done several bowls from not perfectly round blanks and even if I'm using a 12 - 16 inch log, it doesn't wobble all that much. I highly recommend this lathe to any of the weekend warrior guys like me. With the additional extension and out board turning it's really hard to think of a project that this lathe can't do.
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