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Axy AWFS 18

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Chippygeoff

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Hi everyone.

It's me again. Once again I would like to thank everyone who took the time to reply to my post "Blades" it was all good stuff and I took everything on board. As we all know it is false economy to buy cheap, especially on tools and we are always told to go for the best we can afford. I have been re-thinking about my choice of scroll saw. I was going to buy the SIP one but like most saws in this price range they are flawed with problems. I looked at the Hegner site and nearly fell through the floor when I saw the prices. I have looked at the reviews for the Axy FWFS 18 which we all know is a Hegner clone and they are all good so I have decided to go for one.

I understand other members have bought this machine and it would be nice to hear of any problems i should be aware of. I also understand that Hegner parts will fit the Axy machine and I am interested in the quick release blade device that can be bought from Hegner. On the Hegner web site there are five or six scroll saws so is there a particular model I should quote when ordering this.

I'm also thinking of buying the scroll saw stand from Axy, would it be beneficial to make a sub-table from say 3/4 MDF or something els. Thanks again everyone for your help and advice.

Geoff
 

TRUSTINGGIBBSIE

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I have a Hegner look-alike (as they call them here) but I'm in Australia, so they are probably under a different name to there. Mine is called a Trupro and there are other names as well. Problems? Well, to be honest I haven't had any at all and I have had it now for about 4 years! I have had several saws over the years and I have to say that I have never used a smoother saw. I would class myself as a heavy user and in the 4 years I have only had to replace the bearings on the connector arm, which I bought from the local hardware/auto shop. If it as good as the one I have you will be extremely happy with it. I have cut some jobs that, to be frank, I don't think I could have done on a cheaper saw. I use the Hegner manual (the one that came with the saw was useless) and if you like I can email a copy to you. To be truthful I think the saw has to be made by Hegner, or at least they have an interest in it, because it is too similar to the Hegner for them to get away with, surely.

The quick release system from Hegner is basically a must, as are the clamps. The QR system is terrific - it takes me longer to thread the blade through the new hole than it does to re-fasten and tension the blade. I have my saw sitting on the bench, so I can't comment on the stand.

Another good thing about the saw is that it has 2 stroke lengths. The short stroke is great for fine work and the longer stroke is good for the thicker timber. On the short stroke it is VERY smooth, hardly any vibration at all. (Not that the long stroke is rough).

I personally know 4 scrollers that have the Trupro and none of them would trade it for any other saw (barring perhaps the real Hegner! lol.)

Hope this is of some help.

Noel
 

Chippygeoff

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Hi Noel.

Many thanks for coming back to me. Yes, it is one and the same saw, the only difference with the one here is that it is white but otherwise identical. There is only one supplier of this saw here in the UK and that is Axminster power tools and they have made the manual for this available online and I feel it is very good. It is nice to know it has two stroke lengths and that will come in very useful. Since I posted the question I had gone back over previous comments on the site and found that Mike in America who supplies Flying Dutchmen blades does a quick release clamp for Hegners so I will send him an e-mail to see if it will fit this Hegner clone. Like you I don't know how this machine can be produced as it is identical to a Hegner although I have heard in the grapevine that some parts are not as good a quality as the original Hegner but for the price I am well happy as the original Hegner is twice the price. Thanks again Noel.
 

Chippygeoff

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Thanks Blister. I just had a look and will be keeping my eye on that one. Most things I see on E-bay are hundreds of miles away but this one is in Somerset, about a 2 hour drive and well worth driving down for.
 

DaveyP

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Second hand Hegner or AWFS 18

The AWFS-18 was on my 'one to buy' list, but to my mind the AWFS has an issue, and that is that the table has no blade slot.

Axminster seemed to have continued to use the exact same poor blade clamping system as the original and then making it even more faff by forcing the user to have to remove / replace the blade with bottom clamp along with the table insert.

If using table overlays or a zero clearance insert then this already bad enough issue gets even worse

Why on earth some one would copy a design along with its blade clamping flaws and then add more problems than the original is beyond my little brain, but then maybe that's why its cheap.. they realised the issue and priced them low to get rid of them :D

A second hand Hegner (spares available in the uk) then upgrade the clamps would seem to be the better option.

But don't let me put you off.. lol
 

Gill

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Davey, Am I right to assume that the AWFS18 uses the same blade clamping system as Hegner and has a table which to all intents and purposes is identical? If so, I've used Hegners for many years and have never found the issues you mention to be problematic. Of course, the upper blade holder should be replaced with a Quick Release clamp, which I understand also works with the AWFS18. When you remove the blade, you simply release it from the top clamp and slide it out through the bottom. A quick twist of the clockwork key while the bottom clamp is held in place at the side of the table and the blade is completely removed. It takes hardly any time at all; I've seen much worse blade clamping systems.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying the table doesn't have a blade slot. If it didn't have a blade slot, it wouldn't work! The insert which the blade passes through is removable and it is very easy to duplicate, thus making the creation of small but secure zero clearance inserts which do not reduce the stroke depth a matter of simplicity. In fact, it is possible to buy such inserts from Hegner although any self-respecting woodworker should be able to make their own. Most people, however, would not need them, especially if they are using large blades to cut 3/4" stock which I seem to recall is what the OP wishes to do.

As a matter of interest, which scroll saw do you use?
 

DaveyP

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Hi Gill

At the moment I'm using a deco 405 that's being replaced in a couple of weeks:D

has a table which to all intents and purposes is identical?
No.. and thats the point.

If you download the manual and compare tables you will see how more fiddly it has become and added remove insert, replace insert into the procedure.

It should of been an improvement on an old idea not a step backwards.

I borrowed a Hegner for a couple of weeks and apart from the clamps which are easily upgraded it was a joy to use, even though I moved the bottom clamp out of the holder then towards me, rather than your suggestion of down... putting the blade back into the AWFS is going to be more fiddly.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying the table doesn't have a blade slot.
The long slot that goes from the front of the table to the blade.

http://www.axminster.co.uk/downloads/100104_manual.pdf
 

Gill

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Thank you for the link, Davey. To be honest, I can't see that much difference between the AWFS18's blade holding system and my Hegners'. The clamps themselves do look rather fiddly and I think that if I owned an AWFS18 I would replace the lower blade clamp with one from Hegner and buy a clockwork key instead of using an allen key; it would speed up blade changes quite dramatically, even if it isn't the ideal arrangement.

It's strange how we take some of our saw's features for granted. It was only when I physically inspected my Hegners that I realised you are right about the slot in the table and I agree with you, it can be helpful. Nevertheless, my Diamonds and DeWalt 788 don't have such a slot and they're still pretty good saws. That said, their blade holding systems are different from the Hegner/AWFS18 system. It would be nice if someone could make a cam lock clamp to hold blades - I might mention the idea over at t'other place and see if anyone with an engineering background can suggest how to go about this.

On balance, I wouldn't let the design issues you have identified inhibit me from buying an AWFS18. It's good value for money compared to other new saws, although the price has shot up over the last couple of years. However, there are bargains to be had at online auctions; a second-hand Hegner would be much cheaper and even if components needed replacing they are readily available from the manufacturer.

What saw will replace your Deco 405?
 

gofer

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Hi
I brought a awfs18 last week and it does havea slot in the insert, i found it easy to change blades but i will get a quick release blade holder when i find out where from
( any idea :D s?). So far i am very pleased with it.
 

Chippygeoff

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Thanks everyone for the help and advice. It is looking good. Gofer. I sent an e-mail to Mike, the guy in America who sells the flying Dutchmen blades and he does the quick release clamp. You will have to tell him what the sizes of the present clamp are. I have not got mine yet so i cant tell him. His e-mail is mike@mikesworkshop.com. hope this helps with your query.

Geoff.
 

gofer

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Geoff
Have sent Mike a photo of clamp and asked if can supply quick release replacment.I will let you no out come.
Compo
 

Gill

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gofer":26qkc4l4 said:
...i will get a quick release blade holder when i find out where from
( any idea :D s?)...
A variety of accessories are available from Hegner UK. I wish the website had a photograph of the Quick Clamp so that you could be sure what you are buying :) .
 

Chippygeoff

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Thanks Compo. I shall look forward to hearing how you get on. Thanks Gill, your help earlier was invaluable. Yes. I have looked at the Hegner site a couple of times and like you did not see a picture of the quick release clamp. At the end of the day it must save a lot of time on pierced work. This was all so new to me a week ago and now I have really got the bug and longing to get my hands on the scroll saw.

Out of interest. I shall be cutting some simple designs to begin with and I am ordering some 3mm thick hardwoods I have seen on the Hobbies site. I have noticed in a few post on here where members have shown the toils of their labours how smooth the edges are and they seem to have a uniform curve to the edge on a lot of pieces. I was wondering how this was achieved. I have a very long way to go before I submit any photos of work done but I feel I will be pestering the more experienced members as I go along. Thanks again everyone.
 

DaveyP

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Gill":1gnc36ti said:
It's good value for money
Yes I do agree its good value indeed... all I was moaning about was if its a clone then why miss the table slot out, its a good feature, sure its not essential but a good feature that got left out that makes a pre owned Hegner attractive

What saw will replace your Deco 405?
The top machines are very limited

So either it will be a pre owned later model Hegner or a new EX-16 (stocks are in transit to the UK)

Here is the picture of the quick clamp.

12666.jpg
 

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gofer

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Hi Barry,

Geoff
Below is a copy of email from mike, not sure what he means, but think i will have to look eleswhere for clamps.
Compo

I am sorry but do not sell Hegner clamps.

I sell only the quick clamp for the Hegner saw as seen on my web site.

Mike
 

gofer

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Geoff
Just seen the photo of the quick release clamp, should be quite easy to convert old clamps
 

Chippygeoff

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Hi Davey. Yes, I agree, there are probably a few things on the Hegner clone that could be improved upon but as Gofer said, the insert does come with a slot now. I have heard some reports say that the table is not completely flat so I will run a steel rule over mine when it comes.

Gill. I does appear that Axminster with their vast resources could make the various improvements to this Hegner clone, even if it meant putting the price up another £20. I am eagerly watching two saws on e-bay, one is a lovely Delta in excellent nick and the guy selling it is just 15 minutes down the road from me. There is also a Hegner that looks hardly used and that is in Somerset, about a two hour drive from my part of Wales. If I end up with the clone it will still do everything I want to do and probably do it well. At the end of the day Gill what else is available apart from Hegners and when I saw the prices they want on their web site I nearly fainted. The DeWalt is a lovely machine. I owned one some years ago and it was at the time when Black and Decker bought out DeWalt and a lot of DeWalt machines ended up with Black and Decker motors in them. The motor used in the machine was not configured properly to British power supply and my saw went back to DeWalt three times. The only way round this problem was to use a surge protector as used on computers and it was fine after that. There is a chance I can get this saw back from the guy I bought it from so I will contact him later to see if he still has it. I have entered a competition on an American site and the prize is a DeWalt scroll saw.

Gofer. Many thanks for trying with the clamp. I realise now what Mike was on about and I think it is the thread that holds the bolt on the clamp. As far as I can see the only way to try this is to buy one and hope for the best. I think a better solution is the buy the quick release clamp from Hegner as the picture shows it comes complete with a blade holder and it looks perfect and bound to fit but at the end of the day the outlay for this is very little. I have visions of ringing Hegner and ordering a clamp and then they ask me for what model and I will say it is the Hegner clone from Axy, not sure what response I would get.

Many thanks to everyone.

Geoff
 
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