Upgradeable technology- the DVR advantage

Normally when you buy a lathe (or drill press), you look at the features, make your choice and that is it- they are the features your tool will have for the remainder of its life.

You normally would expect those features to be static, ‘locked in’ as it were. Fundamental things like torque, but also the operator interface as well, preset speeds, how you can change speeds, safety features (such as chisel dig-in detection) etc.

Not so with a DVR lathe from Teknatool. I was not aware of it, but there was an older version of the DVR lathe that didn’t have some features of the current machines, and an owner of an older one could be left wishing their machine had more of the features of the current machine. Instead of replacing the lathe with a newer model, a DVR owner can simply upgrade the control board to get the higher torque, the safety features and the variable speed selection by replacing the “plug’n’play” computer control board.

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Not that I need to at the moment, as my DVR lathe has all the current features, but it is great to know that if (or rather when), Teknatool come up with smarter ways to implement the onboard DVR technology, and add software improvements (as well), that existing owners are not left behind. They can choose to purchase the upgraded control board.

That is a pretty cool concept!
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Day of the Machine

After taking much of the day to do some family things (beach before, and BBQ after) for Australia Day, I also moved a number of machines into the shed, now that the electrical was completed and therefore the machines wouldn’t get in the way.

Heavy buggers, especially over soft, churned up dirt the backyard has become.  The pallet jack is such an asset – able to lift the heaviest machine easily, and with reasonably wide wheels, can even manage the ground to a certain extent.

Even so, it was too much to move the thicknesser on my own (230 or so kg), so with a brief assistance of a couple of neighbours, it flew across the back yard.

Paying the price for it all now though!

Never-the-less, a good number of moves was achieved – slowly emptying the garage, and the shed starting to take on real character.

Placement/layout is by no means locked in (never is in my shed!), but am roughly placing them still in accordance with the original plan.

What was moved in this time was the Jet lathe (still uncertain about its long term plan), Jet 14″ bandsaw, Torque Workcentre, the workbench, thicknesser.

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

Dust Circles

It is a little known fact that although crop circles have all but been proven as hoaxes by the scientific community, dust circles also exist. Unlike the crop circles in wheat and other agricultural produce, dust circles are created, not in the dust as the name implies, but in solid wood, which in turn creates a lot of dust. (Perhaps better called dust-creation circles).

Some still suspect the hand of man is involved in these creations, but overwhelmingly, the dust circles have been subsequently used in furniture making and period details, disguising their true origins.  They then go by another name, one you may be more familiar with: rosettes, as they also are representative of flowers and this second term is the French diminutive of rose.

In modern times, companies have provided woodworkers with the tools to make their own rosettes that they can use to add period details to their creations, and it is one of these tools that we are looking at today.

Today being the operative word, as this rosette cutter comes from Toolstoday.com

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Unlike many other rosette cutters I have seen in the past, the one from Toolstoday.com has some unique features that are particularly interesting.

For one, the cutter has replaceable/exchangeable carbide edged knives.  Rather than spending money on the shaft and body of the cutter each time, you can buy the much more affordable cutters of different profiles and insert the style you want for a particular job.

Being carbide edged, these are sharp with an enduring edge. There are 15 different rosette profiles to choose from, as well as blank knives that you can have made to a specific custom design.

The cutter may look like a router bit, but it is far from it (and would be incredibly dangerous if mounted in a high speed router).  The shaft has flats on it, which is an excellent feature as these allow the teeth of a drill chuck to grip it firmly and prevent slippage.

They are designed to be used in a drill press, lathe, mill or similar, running around 800 RPM or so.  However, as I found as well, the drill press has to be heavy duty.  My floor pedestal drill may be ok for basic drilling operations, but it was not up to the task of a rosette cutting operation.  Too much runout in the shaft, too much slack in the components, and the rosette cutter had a tendency to whirl offcentre, and the subsequent vibration was not able to be resisted by clamps, table or drill head, and the chuck kept falling out.

However, I may not have the best drill press (yet – as in that one will get sold once I have a replacement lined up at some stage (hopefully the Teknatool DVR drill press won’t take forever to come to market)), but my lathe is well up for the challenge.

With the chuck (and MT2) secured in the tailstock (with the rosette cutter), and the workpiece held in the lathe chuck, the workpiece was spun up to 1000 RPM, and the non-rotating tailstock wound in.  The net result is the same effect, and the whole system a lot more stable than my drill press.

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In this case I was looking more for a test, so grabbed a scrap of timber that the jaws could grip easily.  It was prone to tearout, so the rosette wasn’t as pristine as is possible, but still it confirmed the proof-of-concept.

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(For those playing at home, that happens to be the Titan chuck with Powerjaws – that puppy wasn’t going ANYWHERE!)

Back to the rosette cutter, and just to reiterate those points – tungsten carbide blade edges, interchangeable knives, and solid body – it is a serious rosette cutter.  I was thinking that it would make for an interesting wheel cutter if the particular knives were made, and being interchangeable, you could have a much wide range of sizes, and wheel types without the cost of a full wheel cutter each time.

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You can get this particular rosette cutter here, knives here, and start making your own dust circles!

Episode 97 Upgrading the SuperNova2 to Infinity

Episode 97 Upgrading the original SuperNova2 to be a SuperNova2 Infinity chuck, with quick-change jaws

Nova Infinity holding mechanism

A general comment I made in an earlier post about the Nova Infinity warrants further clarification about what I like about the Infinity, and what concerns me about another system (as highlighted by the “Easy Chuck”).  Please note, my original article did not make mention of any other specific brand, so this new article is a direct response to the question posed in the comments of the earlier post, which is why it includes reference to the Easy Chuck product.

Please also note, this is my own opinion, and I have not performed any tests or made any formal assessment of either chuck.

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The Easy Chuck uses a spring loaded key (blue arrow) that engages the underside of the jaw.  The forces experienced by the jaw during operation are exerted directly onto this key (in an outward direction – red arrow)

If that key becomes worn, if the spring becomes weak, what I see is a potential for the jaw to feel engaged to the user, but could be released from the key during operation.  While the chuck is new, not likely to be an issue.  But what happens in years to come as the chuck is heavily used?  Is there a mechanism that positively stops the jaw from being able to fly out if the key disengages?

The Nova Infinity takes a different approach:

MailScreenSnapz001The jaw slides in from the side, so the primary direction of force is resisted by a permanently fixed shoulder.  Furthermore, during normal turning operations, the v-shaped wedge is forced further into the slot, so even if the restraining mechanism fails, normal operation will still restrain the jaw in position. If turning in reverse, then yes, it is again reliant on the mechanism, but all 4 would need to fail, and you tend not to use a lot of force when the lathe is reversed in any case (and most lathes can’t do that).

So two very different approaches to a quick jaw changing chuck.  And the reasoning behind my comment.

BTW, what you can see here is the kit that allows owners of existing jaw sets to be able to upgrade them to make them useable on the Nova Infinity chuck.  Nice that it can also equally be undone as necessary, without any more difficulty than if the jaw you wanted to use was fixed to any other chuck.  Based on this, I’ll probably look at getting a few of the upgrade kits, so pretty much all my jaw sets can be used on the Infinity, and upgrade most of my chucks as well with the retro fit kit..

Apparently, the Infinity system will be available in January next year – might have to add it to a Christmas wish list.  Perhaps Nova should come out with a free wish list card so turners can tick what they would like (new chuck, # retro kits, # jaw upgrade kits), then they can have that given to them for Christmas, and trade it in for the real thing when the sets become available!

Wish

Mounting the Longworth

Despite knowing the Nova DVR XP is a pretty substantial lathe, I was still a bit iffy whether the Longworth chuck I had picked up at the wood show would actually fit.  It wasn’t whether it would fit and be able to be spun up – being able to turn the DVR head outboard means the lathe can mount a huge turning.  The question was whether the outboard tool rest would clear the chuck sufficiently so I didn’t have to find an alternate tool rest.

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I needed have worried.  A 24″ chuck fits just fine on the DVR.  It is too large for me to be able to use the tailstock, but that is just the price I have to pay for such capacity.

The Longworth chuck design was inspired by Mr. Longworth from the Hunter Valley Woodturning Club, NSW, Australia in 1989.  One of those simple yet cool concepts (or applications of a concept) that makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of it.

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Still, turning a bowl that then justifies having it reverse-mounted in this Longworth (at maximum capacity) would be quite an experience.  Or should I say will be!

disk-3On the back is a simple metal disk to be held in the jaws of a chuck.  In this case, nothing beats the power of the Titan II chuck, with the power jaws to boot.  Seems fitting to use the most powerful Nova chuck to hold such a large aftermarket chuck on the lathe.

Looking forward to giving it a workout!  Will need the room of the new shed however – the chuck may fit the lathe, but the combination is too tight for the current space.

 

Trembleur Turning

This could easily be regarded as the ultimate in spindle turning.  It may not be your cup of tea, but the skill involved is unmistakable.

 

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A Heart of Purple

Sure has been some time since I finished making something, anything, so with the lathe up and running at least, turning out a pen was the go.

With a blank of Purpleheart from Carrolls, I got into it. Pens don’t take a lot of time, so it is an easy project to smash out.

Basic slimline design, and the wood oxidised by heat (rather than by sunlight). Purpleheart is quite a different colour when freshly cut, and typically is allowed to gain its purple hue by leaving it outside to soak up the rays. I have noticed in the past that friction also works to a degree, and produces a more mottled effect, which I have used here.

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Small steps.

One turn deserves another

Teknatool have just released a beta jaw for testing by the great unwashed, which will particularly (and specifically) appeal to pen turners.

A beta, in the sense that it is a limited release, and subject to change I guess.

It is a 2 jaw, long nose set for holding square pen blanks for drilling on the lathe. I’d assume that once you finished that step, you can open the jaws wide enough to be able to slip your morse-taper pen mandrel in in through the chuck and complete the pen turning operation all without leaving he lathe.

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At some stage, when I can get a set of these jaws, I will mount them on my Nova Titan chuck! The ultimate pen turner’s setup!

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