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Lathe upgrade.

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Rusty Nesmith, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I am using a Rikon 70-220 VSR now. It has a 12.5” swing and 21” length. It has been a great lathe but now I am turning as large a bowl as possible and it is a little under powered. The lathe I am looking at is a Grizzly G0838. It has a sliding head stock. It has a 16” swing over the bed and a 24” spindle. If you slide the headstock to the end it will turn 29” outboard. It has a 2 HP three phase motor and 220 v single phase power supply. I can get it for $1,800 delivered. Would appreciate some feedback on what you all think.
     
  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Rusty,

    I picked up a second hand Grizzly 22" lathe several years ago and it works fine, no problems with it so far. If you have the room I would go with a longer bed lathe, sooner or later you will want to turn some longer pieces and the 24" will need an extension to provide for the longer turnings. I have six various sized lathes in my shop and home several of them are metal turning lathes, I have refurbished and sold a few lathes over the years and added to my tool collection when buying machines at estate sales and auctions. There are a growing number of used machines hitting the market each year with the older boomers downsizing and moving into retirement homes. I missed an opportunity on a big Oneway lathe in my area several years ago and wish I had jumped on it when it came up on an estate sale. Sooner or later everyone like to have a Cadillac, if you spend a lot of time turning, precision engineered and built equipment is a joy to use and always hold their resale value. I usually check Craiglist on a regular basis for deals on woodworking and metalworking equipment.
     
  3. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks Mike. I have been checking Craigslist for a while and nothing. My shop is small and the Grizzly is actually a little longer than I wanted but I can make room. I was also looking at the Nova Saturn but the push button speed control looks like a deal breaker.
     
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    During the last 12 months, there have been fewer ads for many types of items compared with normal times. Over the next 6 months, all those folks who didn't want strangers coming into their space will get back to selling their stuff. Patience is on your side.

    One route that can be very productive is to contact turning clubs in your area. Many of them have some sort of classified ad feature, but even if they don't people know people who have been thinking about selling their lathe but haven't quite gotten around to listing them. If you let them know you're looking, you might get a ton of responses.
     
  5. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks Dean. I love living in a small area until it comes to things like this. If I do find something on Craigslist I will be driving at least 3 hours each way. I have looked into clubs in my area and the closest one is two hours away.
     
  6. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Rusty,

    Many of the clubs are doing remote club meetings over the internet along with remote training sessions by a number of professionals during the Covid-19.0. This is usually a 1 or 2 hour meeting each month with question and answer time for all of the members. Many of the clubs across the nation have extensive websites with plenty of resources to use for club members.
    You can join just about about any club across the nation and attend virtual meetings from your home, no need to drive 3-hours in each direction.
     
  7. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    If the other features of the Saturn are desirable to you, then don't be too quick to strike it off the list over the buttons and speed control.

    A lot has been said about the nasty blister buttons that Nova uses, and a lot of that has been said by me. I'm not a fan. I have the 1624 model with the DVR upgrade, and I find the blister buttons (aka membrane buttons) a very poor type of actuator. But with the simple application of an adhesive bump dot to the blister button (those things you stick on the inside edge of a cabinet door) the problem has been solved for me. I don't prefer a blister button, but I can live with it by adding the bump dot. I have to also add that the blister buttons on the Saturn and Galaxy were better executed than those for the 1624 upgrade.

    As to "push button speed control", speed on the Saturn is controlled by turning a knob, much like other lathes. Turn the knob and change speed by 5 rpm, or push and turn to increment 50 rpm at a time. However, like a car radio, there are also several presets available. I believe the Saturn has 8 settings allowing you to jump directly to common speeds. I have mine set for 100, 300, 600, 900, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2100. I can jump to speed, then dial up or down.

    Not trying to sell you on a Saturn, here. Just trying to clarify if the issue was how the speed was controlled, or the nature of the button actuators.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  8. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks for the info Mark. That is a lot more info than I could find anywhere online and helps a lot. Knowing what you know about the Saturn would you buy it again? Also does it have plenty of power and torque?
     
  9. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks again for the info Mark. I am leaning more toward the Nova Saturn now after watching some more videos on YouTube.
     
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    We're all different, so take my advice (and everyone's) with a grain of salt. I don't actually have a Saturn, I have a 1624 with a DVR motor, so most of the features of the Saturn. If I were buying a lathe again the Saturn and it's big brother the Galaxy would both be on my short list of contenders. They have a lot of features that I like and want with a few faults. They are a good compromise for me and what I want to make. You asked about power and torque and all I can say is I'm happy with it. It's a 1.75 HP motor on a 20 amp circuit, so that is not too shy of the 2 HP Grizzly you are considering. But I should note that I've never done something like coring, nor do I ever foresee a day when I would. The beauty of a 120V machine is that you probably already have a handy outlet. If you have to add a 240V circuit to your shop that can add some significant cost to the tool acquisition. If you want some more first hand feedback on the drive train @Doug Freeman has a Galaxy (they all share the same motor and similar electronics).
     
  11. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I have been very pleased with my Galaxi. I use it on 120v, which puts it somewhere between 1-1/2 & 1.75 hp. I think 220v (simple plug change, that’s it) gets to 2 hp. I have the Woodcut Bowlsaver 2 blade coring tool, goes up to ~11”. No problem at all to core oak or other domestic hardwoods. Wishing I had sprung for the 3 blade max version, which I think the motor would do just fine with. I can stall it out with a 5/8” Ellsworth grind gouge buried deep, but it takes about all the wing buried in a cut to do it. Below ~300 rpm with interrupted cuts (roughing a 15” dia blank) you can feel/see/hear some pulsing. I havent turned on an ac-inverter lathe, but I suspect its similar. Above ~300 rpm things smooth out. I typically balance blanks out enough to get above that speed.

    As Mark mentioned the blister buttons are bit of a pita but adding some cabinet door bumpers removes 98% of that issue. Having the 8 speed presets (owner settable) is great - I use 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500, 2000, 2500.

    The primary reason I picked the Galaxi is the pivoting HS and bolt on outrigger. I do not want to lean over the lathe bed or extend my arms out when coring a bowl. No removing/lifting the TS for every bowl like a sliding headstock.Can also stick the project off to the side or end to sand or apply finish. The bolt on outrigger/tool rest moves with the lathe, so any cuts on out of balance pieces (I do a lot of NE bowls that can be out when hollowing) are much cleaner vs a floor mount. The Grizzly lathes do not have a good outrigger solution IMO. I investigated them during my search (whse is 50 mi from my house).

    I like the higher weight of the Galaxy vs the Saturn, but any short “bowl lathe” around this price will be a bit light. There are several methods to address that issue.
     
  12. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks guys. The Saturn fits my space perfect. With the Grizzly I would have to redesign the shop a little. With the Galaxy I would have to sell some other tools. Being as it does have a dial for speed also and not just the buttons I don’t think it will be a deal breaker for me.
     
  13. Larry Mitchell

    Larry Mitchell

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    Let me throw an iron into the fire...should be in dealers any day now. Record Power Coronet Envoy, 16x24, swivel and slide 1.75hp-110v, remote magnetic control box, 5 year warranty. If you want 220v the Regent has 18” swing. Both have outboard capacity of 39”. Just more choices....enjoy the adventure.
    A58049AA-4BAE-4607-8494-6362B87BCCC5.jpeg
     
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  14. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Larry I was looking at that also but couldn’t find anywhere in the US to buy one. I will look some more. It does look like a nice lathe.
     
  15. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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  16. Larry Mitchell

    Larry Mitchell

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    Turner’s Warehouse in Arizona is also a dealer.
     
  17. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Getting confusing now.
     
  18. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Isn’t it amazing (frustrating?) how you can think you’ve made a decision, and then are confronted with a new bit of information that sets you back?! Happens to me all the time: Large chuck...website developing...coring system..... the list goes on. I suppose in the scheme of things it’s a good challenge to have.
     
    Mark Jundanian likes this.
  19. Joe Kaufman

    Joe Kaufman

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  20. David Bolson

    David Bolson

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    I had a Nova 2024 and I got a lot of good use out of it. I had some nits, but no big complaints. Then a few months ago I fried the motor when I powered on with the index lock engaged (I had made this mistake before without any adverse consequences). I found out the hard way that the motor is not fixable and not replaceable on Nova lathes. They would have sold me a reconditioned headstock for about $1000, but they didn’t have any left. Under warranty wouldn’t be a problem, but this issue is something to consider.

    David
     
  21. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I am leaning toward the Record Power. The Nova and RP are the same price. The Nova has free shipping. The RP is $230 to ship. The accessories for the RP are quite a bit cheaper for example the outrigger for the Nova is $330 and the RP is only $179. I really like the magnetic control pendant the RP comes with so it can be controlled from anywhere.
     
  22. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Thats really odd. I have one too and frequently start it with the index lock engaged inadvertantly and all it does is make a funny noise and shut off. Never has any other effect on it. Maybe there was an overload parameter on yours not set right, I think this falls under the stalling shutdown actions.
     
  23. Larry Mitchell

    Larry Mitchell

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    Ain’t this fun?? It’s kinda like having your cross hairs all lined up, just about to move in and, her younger sister comes into the room...as the song says.
     
  24. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    The RP outrigger has 3 pieces, is long, and will flex and vibrate much more easily vs the Nova. If the middle piece could be removed it would help a lot, but that would require a bushing to maintain height. Dont think it would be difficult to make the bushing, and it may require a longer bolt in that pivot point.

    With the Galaxi, for smaller bowls I rotate the head off ~20 deg and use the banjo. For larger bowls I rotate the head ~ 135 deg and use the outrigger. This type of alignment would allow using the RP outrigger w/o the middle piece and a bushing in place.

    I also like the movable control pendant on the RP. I have the Nova remote, and it worked for a little while but no longer - I suspect they had a lot of issues with it since it has been discontinued. The pendant would be nice but not reason for me to change lathes.

    Appears the RP Envoy has a 3 step pulley, but a min speed of 250 rpm. That is deal beaker for me. Too fast to start up for a large outboard blank. I also sand on the lathe and use the lathe for part of my finishing process, and 250 rpm is too fast for larger work. The Nova Galaxi/Saturn go down to 100 rpm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  25. Larry Mitchell

    Larry Mitchell

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    Thinking it might be worth a try to use the “dogleg” from the Herald at $65...depending on how big you want to turn.
     

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  26. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    That would probably be due to the RP being able to turn 39” outboard. Man this is hard. What to do what to do.
     
  27. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    I had a Nova 2024 ... had to fight with Nova for almost a year to get the remote that was promised when I bought the machine. Tore the lead screw in the tailstock up twice drilling with 2-inch Forstner bits. The coups de grace for that lathe was when a static spark (ESD ... electrostatic discharge) blew the control panel. Enough was enough. I sold it on CraigsList for a fraction of what I paid for it, and replaced it with a Powermatic 3520C. Purchased the PM 3 years ago ... one of the best tool decisions I have ever made.
     
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  28. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Well I like everything about the Record Power except the speed ranges. They are 250-750, 550-1650 and 1300-3800. I can see having to change the belt a lot.
     
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  29. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Kind of leaning toward the Nova Saturn now.
     
  30. Larry Mitchell

    Larry Mitchell

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    Nothing is gonna be perfect, just gotta pick the closest you can for what you do.
     
  31. Forrest Forschmiedt

    Forrest Forschmiedt

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    Speed range and control is the deal killer for me, too. For me the biggest part of that is the lack of a sub-100rpm speed for some on-lathe sanding and finishing operations. I'm leaning towards a Jet 1640 or 1840 myself.
     
  32. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    I was looking at the Jet too but it only has a sliding headstock. That won’t work very good with the room that I have.
     
  33. Forrest Forschmiedt

    Forrest Forschmiedt

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    You and I aren't the only ones trying to get more out of limited shop space, budget, etc.
    The Record Power units are very attractive and have just about every feature you could want in a home shop lathe.
    Do more features offer more potential points of failure? That's a rhetorical question at this time and can only be answered by months and years of the lathes being out on the market and getting used and abused.

    There are certainly pros and cons in the pivoting vs. sliding comparison.
    Older Jet 1640 and 1840 models apparently had sliding/pivoting heads. The claim I saw is that they went to sliding only to keep the cost/price down to the market niche. After reading some comments on alignment & vibration issues with pivoting heads, I wonder if those were also reasons Jet went to sliding only.
    One big reason to get a bigger lathe for me is to do more irregular and out-of-balance pieces. I'd hate to sacrifice the strength & rigidity of the head/bed connection if I don't have to.
    Fortunately, I do have room, or can rearrange to make room in my shop to work off the end.

    Without options in the market, what would we talk about here on the forums?
     
  34. Kirk Amidon

    Kirk Amidon

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    Question on the stated capability of the Record Power - 39" outboard. Yet, as I look at the headstock, the motor would be in the way of outboard turning. Does that 39" reflect the capacity if the headstock is rotated 90 degrees to the bed?
     
  35. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    The Record Power head will rotate and slide.
     
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  36. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    All I can say is I have not had any structural/rigidity/vibration or alignment issues with my Nova Galaxi. My opinion is Jet did it primarily to remain cost competitive. Their banjo extension was no where near as effective as the Nova bolt on outrigger.

    Here are some picks of some of the larger pieces, all green wood, that I have had on the lathe, including coring. This coring pic is of the 1st bowl. I cored a larger one next within an 1" or so of the OD. As you can see the NE bowl and the spindle piece are close to maxing out the swing of the lathe. The spindle piece became a 12" dia x 12" tall HF using a Jamieson captive rig, no steady rest. The NE bowl ended up 14" dia, hollowed out facing ~135° rotated to the left, using the outrigger, 1/4" wall thickness. I use the electric chainsaw and 4" grinder chainsaw wheel to semi-balance and create bed clearance, but they are still out of balance when I start turning. These pieces are bagged and drying, and I'm not going to dig them out to take pics. The 4th pic is a 8" dia x 15" tall maple vase, finished, done a year and a half ago. If turning, coring, hollowing, and turning large thin walled NE bowls without structural/vibration/alignment issues doesn't put all this BS about a problem with rotating headstocks to bed, then you have rocks in your head and nothing will change your opinion. Click on the pics to enlarge.


    IMG_2116.JPG IMG_2193.JPG IMG_2157.JPG IMG_1941.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  37. Rusty Nesmith

    Rusty Nesmith

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    Thanks Doug great info. Beautiful vase. I am thinking of doing some segmented pieces while waiting for rough turned bowls to dry.
     
  38. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Yes, the head gets rotated, probably 90*, maybe 180*.
     
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  39. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I did segmenting before getting into "wet wood", and did just that - kept making some segment work while wet stuff was drying.
     
  40. Forrest Forschmiedt

    Forrest Forschmiedt

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    Rocks in my head? Have you been talking to my wife??
     

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