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View Full Version : Vicmarc VL175 vs. NOVA DVR 3000XP



Evan Pavlidis
8th Jul 2008, 09:52 PM
G'day woodies,

I am currently looking at my options into purchasing a lathe in the future and have been looking at various models.
I like the vicmarc vl175 and had a look at the dvr3000xp. They are almost similar in features with the exception that the dvr has a reversing switch and the bed length is shorter. The motor is a direct drive as opposed to vicmarcs belt drive. The price difference is ~$300 (the vicmarc bench mount model is more expensive than the dvr).

I had a look at the stubbies but they are out of my budget limits at the moment.

Which of the 2 lathes are a better build and the better as far as features and usability is concerned? If I decide to buy the DVR do they keep their resale value as well as the vicmarc should I decide to upgrade one day to a stubby for example if and when budget permits?

Is the DVR as sevicable as the Vicmarc given the DVR is full on electronic and computerised? I would imagine the DVR is more expensive to service should the motor go belly up due to its build configuration.

I know some of you have mentioned you have owned/used both models and would like your opinions as a suitable buy for medium scale work predominantly face turning in burl and conventional blanks eg. (bowls, platters, dishes the occasional lidded box).


Thanks guys, your opinions/recommendations appreciated.

Evan

Stu in Tokyo
8th Jul 2008, 11:10 PM
HI Evan

I have a Nova DVR 3000, this is the model before the DVR-XP.

If you buy a bed extension for the DVR, you will no longer have the short-bed difference between the two, and the bed extension is a great thing to have, I wish I'd gotten mine sooner.

I have very rarely used the "Swivel Head" in my turning.

I like the power and the smooth delivery of the DVR, I've not turned on a VL175, but I have turned on a VL300, it was surely nice, but the smooth, constant power of the direct drive is nice too.

Touch wood, but my DVR has not had to have a lick of "Servicing" done to it, and it is over 5 years old :2tsup: I just remove one rear cover, on occasion, and use compressed air to blow out the dust.

I am assuming that the VL175 is also variable speed?

One thing I know about the DVR that some guys do not like, is the sound it makes, as it is running, it does not bother me at all, but I know a couple of guys that, for what ever reason, it just drove them nuts :?

I honestly think that both are very good lathes, and if you get either one, you will be very pleased.

Cheers!

Edit:

I forgot to add one thing about the DVR that is really nice, if you have a catch at all, it instantaneously cuts the power to the lathe, which usually saves you from a HUGE catch, busted tool rest etc, this feature really saved my bacon a LOT more than I'd care to admit, when I was first learning the bowl gouge........

Cheers!

Big Shed
8th Jul 2008, 11:19 PM
The other option you could consider is to buy the bare bones VL175, ie no motor, and buy a 1 or 1.5hp 3phase motor and a 240V VSD. This should cost you less than $300 for the 2 and give you a electronic variablee speed lathe and if the motor and or the electronics pack up they are fairly easy to replace. Certainly easier and cheaper than the motor/EVS on the
DVR.

Harry72
9th Jul 2008, 01:57 AM
I can vouch for the DVRXP(no such thing as a 3000XP), mines nearly 12mths old been good so far, Stu is right the DVR does make a funny noise its like rhythmic whirring at slow speeds... cant see(or rather hear it ) it being a problem really, the beeping the computer can be annoying tho but not a enough of a excuse too not buy one!

Sawdust Maker
9th Jul 2008, 09:12 PM
I like my XP heaps :2tsup:
but then again I don't get enough time on it to my liking :no:
I agree with Stu re the catch feature, I also like the (almost) infinitely variable speed, can be vary handy
can't comment on the vicmarc, except to my mind they seem to be very well constructed and very solid.

get one of each and let us know what you think :o

Harry72
10th Jul 2008, 12:09 AM
I see Jim Carrol has the DVRXP on special can be had under $3k

hughie
10th Jul 2008, 03:13 PM
I forgot to add one thing about the DVR that is really nice, if you have a catch at all, it instantaneously cuts the power to the lathe, which usually saves you from a HUGE catch, busted tool rest etc, this feature really saved my bacon a LOT more than I'd care to admit, when I was first learning the bowl gouge........



Now that is some thing every lathe should have. Catches, it is not a matter if you have one, but rather when. For me such additions could easily tip the decision the DVR way.

But either way, I think they are both well made and designed. It will get down to what you prefer..........horses for courses so to speak.

I doubt that you can make a wrong decision by choosing one over the other.

Evan Pavlidis
10th Jul 2008, 04:11 PM
Thanks for your replies guys. Looks like both these models are on par. I like Big Sheds idea of buying a bare machine without a motor and fitting a new motor with EVS. I like the features of the Nova XP but very concerned at the cost of replacing the motor if and when it packs up as opposed to replacing a motor for a standard machine. Decisions decisions :?

Big Shed, where in Melbourne can I get hold of a 1.5hp motor with EVS for under $300. I'll jump at the opportunity right away and wait for a bare machine to turn up in the ads. Hare and Forbes sell 1 and 2 hp CMG motors with EVS for $600 and $699 and Jim Carroll has them for over $700. If I can get one for $300 I'll save a packet.

Yesterday I had a look at an old model woodfast with a short bed (400 mm between centres) and 400 mm swing but it was fitted with a 1 hp 3PH motor in very good condition; no rust or pitting with 8 step pulleys.
The sales person said it was from a school and was asking for $1200. Is this a good buy? Can the existing motor be modified to 1PH or would it be more economical to buy the unit as is and fit a new EVS motor. The only downside I noticed was that the headstock is fixed and you cannot turn on the outboard side because of the motor mount.

All comments welcome. Cheers Evan

artme
10th Jul 2008, 05:49 PM
Make sure you can get two for that price. One for me! :D:D

Really think you are extremely optimistic Evan.

Calm
10th Jul 2008, 06:15 PM
......................Yesterday I had a look at an old model woodfast with a short bed (400 mm between centres) and 400 mm swing but it was fitted with a 1 hp 3PH motor in very good condition; no rust or pitting with 8 step pulleys.
The sales person said it was from a school and was asking for $1200. Is this a good buy? Can the existing motor be modified to 1PH or would it be more economical to buy the unit as is and fit a new EVS motor. The only downside I noticed was that the headstock is fixed and you cannot turn on the outboard side because of the motor mount.

All comments welcome. Cheers Evan

Leave the 3 phase motor and pulleys as to make it EVS they actually use that motor and then fit computer bits to make it single phase with variable speed. That way you will have the 8 speed with evs giving you a great range that wpnt lose torque when you go slow.

cheers

Big Shed
10th Jul 2008, 06:34 PM
Big Shed, where in Melbourne can I get hold of a 1.5hp motor with EVS for under $300. I'll jump at the opportunity right away and wait for a bare machine to turn up in the ads. Hare and Forbes sell 1 and 2 hp CMG motors with EVS for $600 and $699 and Jim Carroll has them for over $700. If I can get one for $300 I'll save a packet.




This mob (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=280239045804&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=018) have VSDs on Ebay regularly for $225 Buy It Now, last one went for $150 +delivery.

Motors, 3 phase 1-1.5hp, appear regulalrly on Ebay, here is an example (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=270247221656&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=017), you just have to look. I bought a secondhand 1hp 3ph motor for $15!

I posted the same info recently here (http://woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?p=765605&highlight=3+phase#post765605)

Stu in Tokyo
10th Jul 2008, 08:04 PM
Evan, you have mentioned twice now the idea of the DVR's motor packing it in, I've not heard or this happening yet, I'm sure there have been busted lathes, don't get me wrong, but I've not heard of the actual motor going on the fritz and letting out the magic smoke:?

Just curious why you seem to think that the DVR's motor is going to break? They come stock with a 5 year warranty.

Cheers! :U

nalmo
10th Jul 2008, 08:55 PM
Just a word of caution regarding installing an electronic variable speed drive to a 3 phase motor. Some motors are specially made for VSD use as they ensure the motor will not overheat at low revs. Most normal 3 phase motors rely on the motor running at speed to ensure a steady circulation of air to stop the motor from overheating. Running a vsd on these motors at low revs for long time may cause problems.

jefferson
10th Jul 2008, 10:03 PM
Evan

I went up-market a couple of years ago and bought the VL 300 from Vicmarc. I've really just started to use it after sitting it against a wall for almost 2 years.

Since starting to learn how to use the lathe, I've asked many questions on this forum, got some great answers, looked at dozens of videos on the net etc.

I can say "with novice authority" a few things:

- once you start to go upmarket (ie the lathes you are looking at) you will not be disappointed.

- check out some of the stuff on this forum and the web. DJ hangs lumps of wood on his Vicmarc that would take some lifting - and Stu's videos are probably even more impressive. Both use the lathe brands that you are looking at. Enough said.

- I do like the variable speed which I don't think is standard on the VL175. Being able to turn the speed up at will makes a lot of difference - the experts here will no doubt provide better guidance than me. But the difference is a couple of hundred revs can make all the difference.

- Shop around on the Vicmarcs. I got a price on the VL200 from one state that was bettered by another supplier for the VL 300! Remember that these lathes are mostly sold "on order", so margins can be lower.

Good luck with your shopping!

Jeff

hughie
10th Jul 2008, 11:11 PM
]
Just a word of caution regarding installing an electronic variable speed drive to a 3 phase motor. Some motors are specially made for VSD use as they ensure the motor will not overheat at low revs. Most normal 3 phase motors rely on the motor running at speed to ensure a steady circulation of air to stop the motor from overheating. Running a vsd on these motors at low revs for long time may cause problems.[/quote

If the Woodfast has a pulley system as many variable older lathes do then you will find that at low speed you will on a pulley set up that allows the motor to spin faster. The also allows you to maintain your torque as well as keep the fan speed up.

But if not and its a problem. The answer is fairly easy to over come. Remove the existing fan and cowling off the back of the motor.The fit a 120-150mm 240volt fan to the motor, quite often you can get away with a simple mod to the cowling. Wire it run continuously when the motor is switched on. This will provide a constant stream of cool air over coming the slow fan speeds at low rpms.

If you do alot of low speed work and it seems to be very hot etc. Consider putting a timer on the motor so the fan will run on several minutes after you have turned the motor off.

Re Stu's comments: I agree, to date I have personally not heard of any burn outs on DVR's, nor seen any comments on this forum to that end.

Evan Pavlidis
11th Jul 2008, 03:17 AM
Evan, you have mentioned twice now the idea of the DVR's motor packing it in, I've not heard or this happening yet, I'm sure there have been busted lathes, don't get me wrong, but I've not heard of the actual motor going on the fritz and letting out the magic smoke:?

Just curious why you seem to think that the DVR's motor is going to break? They come stock with a 5 year warranty.

Cheers! :U


Thanks for your advice Stu.

I was considering about maintenance/repair costs if the DVR breaks down in comparison to standard lathes. Eventually all machines breakdown through wear and tear and repair costs vary between models. I wasn't doubting the build quality of the DVR. Generally when I buy a machine or power tool, I also take into consideration the running costs of maintenance and repairs for affordability purposes.

Cheers, Evan

westpest
12th Jul 2008, 04:51 AM
Evan

I don't know what has happened to all the VL175 owners that frequent this place so I'll put in my 2c worth.

I bought my VL175 about three years ago and have never regretted it.It does have variable speed and a reversing switch and does allow for extra torque with a simple and quick belt change. Oh, and it does have a big hole down the middle of the headstock for Vacuum chucks etc. The after sales service from Vicmarc is fantastic...just look at my past posts on my VL175. The head was out of alignment by just under 2mm and the complete lathe was replaced no questions asked and the faulty one was scrapped and not resold.And one other important point...Made in Australia...

Good luck with your choice

DanF

boysie39
14th Jul 2008, 09:23 AM
:DHello to all, I'ts been a few months since I last visited fool that I am. I should know that this is where you get the best advice and other on the Net. Anyway I'm in the same boat as Evan what choice to make "re the same two lathes".
I'm not worried about them breaking down it's me self thats more likely to do that. Nova are doing a great deal at the moment it's to re-launch the Nova DVR Gp? I think it is . Whatever I looked at the Vic200 and could see it in my Shed until my attention was drawn to the Nova . With everything + 5yrs guareentee its + Del. it's a saving of over 1,000.pounds So it's the Nova for me, and Stu gave me the shove I needed.
As I got to the bottom of the post it came to my attention that I was the only Fcuking eegit that was awake all You people are in their beds or someones elses for that matter and it's only 23:20 here in Ireland. And the next time we meet in Rugby we will kick the living sh#t out of you (please) regards Boysie39:D:D:D:roll::roll: