The NOVA Comet II 46301 midi lathe is the newest lathe from Teknatool, the lathe manufacturer organization with almost 60 years of experience in the advancement of the woodturning technology. Not simply lathes, this company is additionally popular for their range of high-end scroll chucks.
Teknatool’s new Nova Comet II 46301 wood lathe is highlight pressed at a price that is hard to beat. It has not only variable speed, reversible motor – not often found on lathes of this size – that is tucked out of the way under the tail end of the lathe.
That may not sound like a major advancement, but many mini lathes have the controls mounted on an arm off the back; that setup saves space and, because you don’t need stretch over the spinning work to achieve the controls, it’s secure.
I like the reversing switch as I think you can make a better job of sanding with the work turning in the opposite direction.
A three-step pulley that’s easy to adjust works in combination with the controller to change speeds from 250 to 4000 RPM.
The Nova Comet II has a 3⁄4 HP, direct-current motor, which provides you a lot of power, yet you can connect it into a standard wall outlet.
I tested the lathe by spindle turning because as a furniture producer, that is the operation I require regularly. The lathe handles a reported 161⁄2 inch between centers (however I could fit 181⁄2 inch), but an accessory bed extension takes that up to 42 inch.
With its 12 inch swing (the largest diameter that machine can turn inboard), you can also turn bowls and platters on this lathe (for outboard turning, however, you’ll need a bigger lathe).
For furniture creators, the 12-point index on the head is a plus; it is easy to adjust, precise and locks the head firmly into position.
The Nova is powerful enough for my requirements, quiet and vibration-free; the 77-pound weight helps.
Right out of the box, the Nova Comet II lathe is almost fully assembled. You just need to attach the hand wheel, the rubber feet (unless you are mounting it on a stand), the tailstock adjustment handle and the tool rest. That is it. You’ll be handing over a matter of minutes.
However, the tool rest could be longer but I have yet to meet a lathe on which this is not a typical problem.
My main complaint about this lathe is that a portion of the edges on the castings are quite sharp. Inside the headstock housing, between and under the ways, could all use a little softening.
If you need accessories, this machine has everything from a grinding wheel attachment, disk sander, belt sander and wire wheel, all of which mount outboard, to the previously mentioned bed extension. With the accessories included, you can get your tools sharp, turn a bowl and clean it, all without stepping away from the machine lathe.
The Nova Comet II 46301 – the best wood lathe, with a full-featured turning package suitable for most woodworkers – it’s a compact and powerful midi lathe that won’t break the budget.