DVSL Lathe by Poolewood





Ike (Isaac Curran) is now displaying work in The Coastal Design Gallery in Campbeltown Jane & Grant Logan have a well appointed gallery, Grant designs and makes stunning jewellery . www.coastal-deesign.co.uk I have now created a photo page on "photobucket" its a lot easier for me to upload pictures directly to the albums and that way folk can see what we are making.  You can visit my page click here: IKE CURRAN PICTURES


Craft Fair News


I am very sorry to announce that due to ongoing ill health Isaac cannot organise and run the botanic Gardens Craft fair, all dates are cancelled.  Isaac had a procedure on his spine early in February and has just been discharged from hospital with ongoing heart decease problems (29 February 2016).  Isaac and myself are truly sad that this has had to be cancelled.
















Poolewood Polaris DVSL Lathe


Previous Lathes I have owned:  Record Lathes Various, Faithful, Union Jubilee and Axminster Superlathe, currently Silverdrive and VB36.  I purchased the Lathe based on a requirement to have a versatile variable speed lathe for use by disabled woodturners, myself included. 

I did have some doubts before purchase but I have to say that I have no doubt now.  Price was a very large contributing factor and this lathe seemed good value for money. 


I have been using the lathe for 6 weeks and have tried various bits of wood at differing speed, I am normally a critical kind of person but the faults that I have managed to find with this lathe are minor, in my opinion my money has been very well spent. 


I now own a Silverdrive Statesman 280 (see report)  but the Polaris is still my mainstay.  The base at the moment is home made from plywood and the bottom boxes are filled with sand and bolted to the concrete floor, eventually the base will be of steels construction, but still filled with sand and bolted down.


 Overall Look and Feel    

I am very pleased with the overall feel of this lathe, I did not purchase a stand with the lathe as I needed the lathe to be raised and lowered depending on whether it was being used from a wheelchair or from a stool.  The quality of the finish is good and the bed is smooth.  I was impressed with the robust construction.  There is some minor vibration but not as much as I encounter with the Axminster.  I have not put some of my larger pieces on the lathe yet but I am working up to them.

Control Unit


The control unit seems to be robust and the magnet on the back means that positioning is good as well.  I do believe that the stop start buttons could be larger but it hasn’t bothered me that much.  The speed control is very good and the fact that it takes about 10 complete rotations to get it up to top speed means that it’s harder to make mistakes.  While on top speed I am one rev short of the promised 2800 and a little miffed that I can only get it up to 2799 but Ill live.  The 4 little buttons in middle don’t seem to have a function (although I’m sure they do) and the instructions advise you not to touch them at all but offer no explanation.  The reverse button is a useful addition as I use the beall polishing system (see my review) and the mops are easy to undo with the reverse.





Construction of Bed    The Bed is solid and smooth, I went for the standard length and its fine for the work I do.  The height over the bed is just great at 9” giving 18” as the max for turning.

Tool Rest and Banjo

I find the banjo slides fairly well on the bed and the lockdown is positive with a good solid feel.  The tool rests are ok but I do feel they could be a little more robust so I will be investing in others.











Emergency Stop


I was a little concerned at first about the main emergency off button, when the motor is at rest its kind of hard to switch the machine off, however when the motor is running the stop button works instantly.  Must have something to do with electromagnets but hey I’m a woodentop not a sparky!







Outboard Turning Attachment

 I have to be honest and say I have not used this yet but will add a comment when I have.  I was asked if I wanted and extra banjo for the attachment and declined to pay the extra, however I can now see why I might need one.  The banjo is bolted through and not just slid on, so I get the feeling it’s going to be a little bit of a pain.  On the bright side with the distance over the bed being so large I’m not going to be using it as often as I did on the Axminster.


Tail Stock




I don’t do a lot of spindle turning so not used this that much so far, the couple of times I have used it I had to push the lockdown pretty hard to stop it rocking.  "Its now 3 years on and the lockdown is just fine"







Stability comes more from how a lathe is mounted, as I have built my own base and in fact intend to get a steel one built in the fullness of time, I can only say that so far no problems.



Motor and Drive spindle

 I opted for the 11/2 by 6 tpi as this suits my chucks and plates.  The 1 ½ hp motor is pretty silent until the 1200 rev mark when it begins to whine a bit but not so much I can’t hear my music so no prob.  I am a little concerned about the fact of one bearing at the front and how that will affect the longevity of the whole thing.  The torque at slow speed is WAY WAY better than the Axminster Superlathe and very smooth.  I do have a small problem with the thread Guard which also doubles up for pushing out anything in the morse taper, it’s just not long enough and I have had to employ a large wooden washer whenever I use anything in the morse taper.


To put it in a nutshell, I am very pleased, pound for pound with this lathe it is great value for money, the people at Poolewood are very helpful and Ray (the guy that builds them) was very considerate in mounting the lock handles at the front for me because he knew I was a wheelchair user.  I may be selling my Axminster very shortly as it is sitting forlorn and alone unused since I purchased the Polaris.

THIS LATHE IS SOLD BY POOLEWOOD AT       http://www.poolewood.co.uk