After three years of product development, Teknatool is shipping its 18” Nova Voyager drill press with a Digital Variable Reluctance (DVR) motor.
“Nova is mainly known for woodturning and we’ve used the DVR motor on our lathes for the past 10 years. It is a ‘smart’ motor,” product manager Craig Walls says. “All motors do on/off or fast/slow, but this allows us through programming to tailor a lot of the software into actual applications on the drill press like we do with our lathes.”
For example, the drill press can be set to start when the user pulls down on the lever, and automatically stops when the quill is retracted. Drill depth can be set at increments of 0.05”. The user can also select how deep to drill and what action the machine should take once reaching that depth, such as stop.
Another feature of the DVR motor is the pilot-hole function that governs the speed of the drill as it enters then ramps up to full speed.
“The problem with drill presses is they haven’t really changed in 50 or more years, and the amount of buzz this is getting is because of that,” Walls says. “Yes, features have been added, but there haven’t been any changes like this that takes woodworking into the next generation. Basically it gives woodworkers the flexibility and control to make working more enjoyable.
“For example, an external depth stop is available on some drill presses, but it’s not very accurate. On ours, it’s all done electronically and accuracy is within 1/100 of an inch.”
The Nova drill press is also direct-drive, meaning there are no belts or pulleys. Also, the motor doesn’t have any brushes, permanent magnets or electrical connections to moving parts; and no current flow in the rotor, meaning less wear and longer life than an AC or DC motor, according to Walls.
The 1-3/4-hp motor has a variable speed range of 50 to 5,500 rpm. The optimal speed for bit type (Fostner, twist, etc.) and material (softwood/hardwood) is preprogrammed and automatically set after user input through the picture menu control.
Finally, there are a number of safety features to stop the drill press, plus password protection to prevent unauthorized use.
The Nova Voyager 18” DVR drill press sells for $1,499.
For more, visit www.novatoolsusa.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue.