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Older Hegner Multimax - upgrade?

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Forum topic by MrUnix posted 01-10-2020 08:16 AM 253 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrUnix

7595 posts in 2805 days


01-10-2020 08:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hegner multimax scroll

I’m curious to hear from anyone who does fretwork on an older Hegner that doesn’t have the quick tension release or quick-clamp. I recently picked up a 1991 Multimax 18 thinking it would be an upgrade to my Delta (40-601), but now I question that logic. Do you get used to the longish blade installation sequence and fiddly clamp arrangement? Is it almost required to get at least the quick-clamp they have if you want to do lots of fretwork? What you Hegner owners/users think.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable


8 replies so far

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PaulDoug

2300 posts in 2310 days


#1 posted 01-10-2020 03:48 PM

I have a Hegner but it has the both the upper arm quick tension release and I have a quick clamp installed on it. But my answer would be no I would not get use to not having these. You might check with Advanced Machinery (https://www.advmachinery.com/), they have an updated upper arm for some of the older models of Hegners that has the quick tension release on it. I think it is around a $200 upgrade, so depending on what you paid for your saw, and what condition it is in, would have a bearing on whether it would be worth getting the upgrade.

It would be worth calling and asking, they are great people to deal with.

The “Quick Clamp” is definitely worth having.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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Kelly

2630 posts in 3551 days


#2 posted 01-11-2020 04:18 AM

I had an older Hegner (single speed) and swapped the blade locking bolt for a knurled knob, akin to what the later Hegners run. It worked great for speeding up upper blade mounts and dismounts.

As long as the hex screw on the opposite side is set right, the knob, coming in from the other side, locks the blades at center.

I sold the older Hegner and ended up with a newer, variable speed unit with the front tension release. In the course of looking up info on the newer one, I learned about the flip system for the back tensioner PaulDoug mentions. It beats having to adjust the knob every time you want to release tension.

I believe you can swap the arm too, so you’d get the front release.

Remember, you’re playing with a saw which, new, is over a grand, vs the Delta. As such, a quick release on top and a better tensioner may be well worth the money. In the end, put it up on the market for five hundred and see how quickly people jump to get it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnHbNhOj4qY

In between the older and new Hegner, I picked up an RBI for a couple hundred. Sold it to my friend and used the money toward the other Hegner, when it became available. Add to this fray, I had a Delta I gave away. When it’s all said and done, the Hegner is, by far, my favorite. It runs smoother, and getting to the lower blade lock was much easier.

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MrUnix

7595 posts in 2805 days


#3 posted 01-11-2020 07:18 PM

Thanks for the input! I did send AMI an email, but have not yet received a reply from them. Based on everything I’ve read and heard, it looks like the rear tension rod upgrade, along with a quick clamp is what is needed to make doing fretwork easier.

Remember, you’re playing with a saw which, new, is over a grand, vs the Delta.

Yeah, that is what kind of surprised me. I’ve read hundreds of reviews and ‘which saw’ threads over the years, and it’s almost universally accepted that the Hegner, Hawk and Excalibur are the top tier machines – with the Hegner being the most expensive by far. That is why I jumped on this one when it made itself available, and why I was quite taken back when features that I have been used to having on my lowly Delta were non-existent on the Hegner.

But my Delta isn’t one of those cheap Asian built things either… it was the last model Delta made in the US and has features that even the present day Hegners don’t – such as a tilting and rotating table and a PMDC motor that has a 40 to 2000 SPM range along with a LED digital speed readout. It’s also all cast iron and weighs at least twice what the Hegner does, even though both have the same 18” capacity. It is a C-arm machine though, which has a very different cutting action than the parallel arm arrangement of the Hegner.

... depending on what you paid for your saw, and what condition it is in, would have a bearing on whether it would be worth getting the upgrade.

Well, I didn’t pay much for the Delta when I first got it ($35 used), and I paid even less for the Hegner, so I suppose throwing ~$100 at it for the upgrades is a worthy action. The Hegner is in like new condition and came with all the original stuff it shipped with, as well as a few books, a bunch of extra blades (in addition to the ones shipped with the saw) and the optional star handle for the upper blade clamp. It also had the welded stand, foot pedal and magnifying light. I am pretty confident that if I don’t like the machine I can re-sell it for way more than I have into it, but I am really hoping that it can become my go-to saw in the future.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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ibewjon

1174 posts in 3400 days


#4 posted 01-11-2020 11:00 PM

What a great find. I got two 14” Hefner saws for $90 each. I didn’t need two, but figured it was cheaper than any major replacement parts I may need. Still looking for a steal, I mean deal like you got on a larger model. Enjoy.

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MrUnix

7595 posts in 2805 days


#5 posted 01-15-2020 01:26 PM

Still looking for a steal, I mean deal like you got on a larger model.

Don’t get the wrong idea, it wasn’t exactly a steal – I got it as an even trade for another machine (lunchbox planer) I had… and had to drive 2 hours one way to make the swap. I admit that I probably got the better end of the deal, but both of us were more than happy with the arrangement after all was said and done.

Getting back to the ‘upgrade’ queston… I did hear back from AMI. Actually, I believe it was the President of the company who wrote me back. He said that back in the day, before they had the tension release or quick clamp, he used to demonstrate the Hegner saws at trade shows a lot. Claims he could do the blade swaps for internal cuts in about 10 seconds! He basically implied that once you develop that rhythm for the blade change, it becomes second nature. I guess I can see how that may be possible after lots and lots of practice. I also realize that they came up with the tension release and quick clamp for a reason! Regardless, they are going to get back to me on the availability of an upgrade to the tension system (new upper arm or rear ‘cam’ tension rod) and quick clamp. I really love how smooth and quiet it is, so I’m determined to make this my primary machine.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Kelly

2630 posts in 3551 days


#6 posted 01-15-2020 06:01 PM

My buddy loves the RBI I traded my old, single speed Hegner for, but remarks on how smooth the Hegner is in comparison.

While I loved the variable speed of the RBI, I hated that the angle set for the table was in front of the blade holder.

I like the simplicity of the Hegner holders, compared to the RBI, even though the Hegner version is overpriced, again, compared to the RBI. After the Hegner without one, I did love the tension release on the RBI.

In the end, I’m glad I made the jump, and so is my buddy. From it all, I’d say the tension release is a bigger improvement than the quick clamp, which is attached to the side of my saw via a neodymium magnet, so takes less than a second to grab.

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Jim Finn

2780 posts in 3528 days


#7 posted 01-15-2020 08:15 PM

I have two single speed Hegners that I like, but I do not do any fretwork. I have the quick clamp on them and it works well. Without that, I would not recommend a Hegner for fretwork.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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MrUnix

7595 posts in 2805 days


#8 posted 01-17-2020 06:12 PM

Just heard back from customer support and thought I’d pass their message on to anyone else considering an upgrade to an older machine. There were two front table supports used over the years. Apparently, the early models had a support that protruded out at a 45 degree angle, and later ones were straight up. If the machine has an angled support, then the arm replacement is NOT recommended. They say it was not designed to handle the extra weight and “the front tension lever causes an imbalance and would create an excessive vibration and rattling resulting in undo wear in the machine.”

Mine does indeed have the angled bracket (see picture below), so they recommend using the upgraded rear tension rod with the cam lever on top instead.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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