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Magna-Matic Lawn Mower Blade Balancers, Sharpeners, and more

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2010, 01:12 PM
CQ_DX CQ_DX is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: MA
Posts: 51
MAG-8000, MAG-1000, MAG-10300 ("Lot 4") Review

SHIPPING:
UPS delivered the boxes in two days from WI to MA, however a weekend prevented delivery until the following Monday. Everything survived the often poor handling characteristics of UPS as experienced through numerous decades of shabby box handing by UPS. Given the very heavy package weights, I feared UPS would again deliver crushed boxes filled with damaged goods. Thankfully Magna-Matic knows how to pack and ship with the result of everything arriving as desired.

UNBOXING:
All parts were unboxed and sorted. All except for a few pieces of hardware was accounted for. I presume the missing hardware is due to a floor model being quickly disassembled such that my expedited order would arrive ASAP (which as mentioned above, it sure did!). I suspect in the flurry to get the order out the door the missing pieces simply never got repackaged and into the box. After a few tag-type phone calls (my fault having left the BlackBerry when away from the shop) I was informed a box of hardware was express mailed USPS. Like the original order, in just a couple of days the missing hardware arrived and I was able to complete the assembly in a far more secure (as intended!) manner.

ASSEMBLY:
Very easy. Very straightforward. The documentation is impressive and it is so refreshing to find well written, grammatically correct documentation in real English rather than written in English is a second language as often seen from China. The photos, diagrams, etc. are very clear and therefore easy to follow. All in all, the assembly was a breeze.

FIRST OPERATION:
I decided to sharpen an ExMark high lift blade (no "Gator" teeth) as it is reasonably flat. Given there was a slight curve towards the back lift edge, I began with the as-shipped configuration and used the half inch wide Norton grinding wheel in conjunction with the standard sized table. The object here was to not introduce a lot of variables just yet - simply try the machine as configured when it left the factory.

I concentrated with consistent down pressure to hold the blade in firm contact with the table and, to start, pulled the blade towards me (as if processing a mulching blade), while ensuring the pressure against the wheel provided a steady and consistent spark stream.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
Wow! Fast - VERY fast! Very clean, sharp, and well defined consistent edge. ExMark recommends a 28 degree angle and as Magna-Matic states the finished angle will be close to 30 degrees with the product setup as instructed, I had to know just what the angle was. Another WOW ... twenty-eight degrees. Needless to say, I was thrilled!!

CONTINUED IMPRESSION and RESULTS:
Consistent, fast, and a big time saver. Given I'm still becoming at ease with the machine and therefore constantly stopping to critique (admire?) my work, I'm averaging three minutes per blade which includes "Gator" style, high lift, flat, etc. And a fair amount of this time is because I'm a stickler for a good finish and an extremely well balanced blade so I'm being fussy. After all, I paid good money for this equipment so I have to know that it can perform - perform well, perform consistently, and do so in a short amount of time. I have not been disappointed. My sharpening time has already been cut more than in half, and will continue to improve. The results are consistently superior to previous methods.

BALANCER:
Sure beats everything else I have tried: nail, cone, and a knock-off of the MAG-1000. I compared the knock-off and the cone to the MAG-1000 and find the 1000 to be more accurate. I'd check a "balanced" blade then put it on the MAG-1000 - oops, not as balanced as I had thought. I attribute this to the increased sensitivity and components used to make the 1000 - - plus it just feels smoother as I slowly rotated it while checking to ensure the 1000 is itself balanced. It is.

STAND:
Heavy duty and compact. With the complete "Lot 4" package assembled, it feels very secure while in operation.

COMMENTS:
I have a shop vac attached. AC power automatically powers-on the vac when I throw the MAG-8000 power switch as I am using a Craftsman power center that provides this power-up automation. I added a pair of clamp-on, 100 watt task lights. One illuminates the sharpening part of the workstation and the second lights the blade cleaner work station I've used which is now attached to the stand using a pair of 2 inch angle iron arms that support the blade cleaning work top. The lights are also automatically turned on and off using the aforementioned Sears device.

SUGGESTIONS:
I'd suggest the following optional end-user items:
Shelving to attach to the stand (I plan to add my own) to hold tools, spare stones, etc.
Longer legs to increase stability to support the user add-ons (shelving, blade cleaner table top).
Better means to add lighting to the work station - my clamp on lights are secure, but different welded-on tabs attached to the balancer arm would have facilitated their attachment.


Bottom Line - As long as the equipment provides reliability and a long service life, then years from know I think we will all know the answer will be "Yes!!"


Hope this may help others reach their own personal purchase decision.

Regards, Bill
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:13 PM
mtchockey30 mtchockey30 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
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Which one did you get? The Mag-8000 or 9000 you mention both. I just got the Mag-9000 and the whole rig. I also was short some hardware (the arbor nut!). Kind of a very important part.

"I have a shop vac attached. AC power automatically powers-on the vac when I throw the MAG-8000 power switch as I am using a Craftsman power center that provides this power-up automation. I added a pair of clamp-on, 100 watt task lights. One illuminates the sharpening part of the workstation and the second lights the blade cleaner work station I've used which is now attached to the stand using a pair of 2 inch angle iron arms that support the blade cleaning work top. The lights are also automatically turned on and off using the aforementioned Sears device.

SUGGESTIONS:
I'd suggest the following optional end-user items:
Shelving to attach to the stand (I plan to add my own) to hold tools, spare stones, etc.
Longer legs to increase stability to support the user add-ons (shelving, blade cleaner table top).
Better means to add lighting to the work station - my clamp on lights are secure, but different welded-on tabs attached to the balancer arm would have facilitated their attachment.


Bottom Line - As long as the equipment provides reliability and a long service life, then years from know I think we will all know the answer will be "Yes!!"


Hope this may help others reach their own personal purchase decision.

Regards, Bill[/QUOTE]"
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:28 PM
CQ_DX CQ_DX is offline
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Location: MA
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MAG-8000, MAG-8000, MAG-8000 !!

MAG-8000, MAG-1000, MAG-10300 ("Lot 4") Review OOPS !

Title should read MAG-8000 ... jeez. I can't believe THAT error!! Too bad I can't edit the title - BUMMER!!!!!!!!
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:38 PM
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Magna-Matic Magna-Matic is offline
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Location: Waldo, Wisconsin
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Hello All,

Thank you for the review!

Just to let you know, many of the items made as suggestions are on the way.

Lighting is one we've been asked for very often, however we are very picky regards to quality, we have finally found a proper enclosed halogen machine light at a resonable price that is also made in the USA. In fact some of our shipment of these lights arrived today. So info will be hitting the website in the next day or two.

Shelving designs are part of the new MAG-10400 stand, and those optional shelves will be available for the MAG-10300 and earlier stands tool.

Thank you,
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Gerd Ferdinand Bauer II

Magna-Matic Corporation
Waldo WI USA
800-328-1110 (toll free USA & Canda)
920-564-2366 (PHONE)
gbauer2@magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic-direct.com
www.youtube.com/magnamaticcorp
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:46 PM
CQ_DX CQ_DX is offline
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Gerd - any way you can either change this thread's title to read MAG-8000 etc?

If so, please do. If not, can you delete this thread as I reposted a correcting duplicate thread which has a correct title that mentions MAG-8000.

Thanks, and regards, Bill
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:53 PM
CQ_DX CQ_DX is offline
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Location: MA
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I dislike Halogen lighting, commonly known as "fire starters". Their safety glass has been know to break due to heat and improper designed-in ventillation for cooling the glass. Dust and fabric in contact without glass has ignited and also when in contact with imprperly cooled safety glass. This type lighting has to be secure enough there is no chance for it to become dislodged and unnoticed by an operator taking a bio-break, etc. If it were my choice, I'd use High Intensity LED lighting. In fact, I'm playing with modification of a $10 LED flashlight that will use an AC transformer ("wall wart"). The AC 100 watt light fixtures I clamped on are just too big. Plus, I don't want the hot surfaces from the 100w bulbs.

Regards, Bill
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2010, 03:07 PM
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Magna-Matic Magna-Matic is offline
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Hello CD,

I'll see if a lawnsite moderator can make the adjustment.

Note about the halogen lights we'll be offering, these are machine grade lights, made for being inside CNC machines and inspection stations for industrial application.

I agree that LED lights are fantastic, however they are expensive, we may offer an LED later in the summer, we are waiting on some details from the MFG of the lights.
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Gerd Ferdinand Bauer II

Magna-Matic Corporation
Waldo WI USA
800-328-1110 (toll free USA & Canda)
920-564-2366 (PHONE)
gbauer2@magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic-direct.com
www.youtube.com/magnamaticcorp
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2010, 03:14 PM
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Michael J. Donovan Michael J. Donovan is offline
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I've corrected the thread title for you
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2010, 04:04 PM
CQ_DX CQ_DX is offline
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Michael - thanks for correcting my error.

Gerd - Continuing the thought re. LED lighting .....

The "$10 Tactical" LED flashlight is very bright. It conveniently has a push button mounted in the threaded base cap. I have an old goose neck high intensity light (too bad the transformer in its base died). Plan is to remove the push button to reuse the base cap's hole, thread-on the goose neck, solder the two wires to the head of the light (former battery contacts) and then attach the gooseneck base to some kind of clamp (haven't figured that part out yet). Then the wires exiting the goose neck will be connected to a transformer of appropriate voltage. I may/may not retain the light's ability to brighten/dim ... don't think I care about dimming it.

Another thought - Lexan MAG-8000 attachment ...
Is there a really good reason why small knobs weren't used rather than socket cap screws requiring an Allen wrench? Vibration? Seems to me this might make wheel change-out faster and more convenient.

Optionally, how about quarter-turn push-and-twist hardware with a slot for a dime or screwdriver blade? I should think these to be reasonably vibration proof due to the need to push inwards prior to turning. Perhaps the lexan screws to a metal perimeter frame such that the frame can withstand the types hardware I mention.

I suspect I'll keep a DeWalt cordless screwdriver nearby setup with appropriate size allen wrench to make wheel change over faster.

Regards, Bill
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2010, 04:13 PM
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Magna-Matic Magna-Matic is offline
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Location: Waldo, Wisconsin
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Hello

A quick wheel change system is in development - it like all updates will too be retro-fittable.

We started with the same approach to the LED lights, since flashlights are made cheaply and quite bright, however the matching of a transformer, and one that cleans the voltage to ensure long LED life (mild changes in voltage greatly reduce the life of LED's - this is why LED's that have AC adapters are usually much more expensive than battery operated items. Since batteries prevent voltage increases that can occure in AC power. So we've looked at it in depth - not to mention all the problems of getting it UL tested and approved for electrical use by consumers etc.

There some very nice high-end machine ligthing solutions in LED however as i mentioned they are very expensive - $400 per light expensive, they are very heavy duty commercial enclosures with voltage regulators etc.

The halogen lights are much more resonable in cost, and we got our first shipement yesterday, and we've had the lights on for about 2 hrs straight and you can still touch them with your whole hand, its not really pleasent, but its quite warm. A little later we'll be doing some temp readings and hopefully by the end of the week we'll put all the info up on the site about them with pictures on the sharpeners and cleaner.

Thank you,
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Gerd Ferdinand Bauer II

Magna-Matic Corporation
Waldo WI USA
800-328-1110 (toll free USA & Canda)
920-564-2366 (PHONE)
gbauer2@magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic-direct.com
www.youtube.com/magnamaticcorp
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