Henry Ginsner, an engineer and inventor, was born in 1870 in New York City. He received his degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign and his first patent for a machine tool was issued to him in 1880. It was a screw lubricator that allowed the fastening of screws onto sheets of metal that previously had not been fastened with screws. This machinery was one of the first scroll saw machines to be used commercially.
Over the years the company produced numerous machines, most notably the Ginsner scroll saw. All machines were designed by Ginsner himself and each model included an innovative, wood-on-metal cutting capability. These saws were often used to manufacture baseball bats, table legs, cabinet frames, gunstocks, and a wide variety of other woodworking projects. They also made very accurate woodturning tools as well as many different types of machines for auto work.
Today, these original machines, along with many other models and variations, are still produced. One machine, the GEO mark, is a digital design machine that incorporates a multitude of functions into one machine. This digital machine is capable of cutting a wide variety of materials and detailed grain patterns. Other models include the GHD, GHDM, and GHDL designs, all based on traditional scroll saw patterns.
A fully functioning wood turning machine, the GHD is actually the latest technology in woodturning. This is because this machine incorporates cutting edges that are not circular in nature. Instead of using a saw blade that comes in contact with the wood as it is being turned, the GHD uses a tongue depressor, which allows the wood to be pulled through the teeth and be ground to a particular depth. Once this is done, a cutting depth of up to 2.5 inches can be made, which is far deeper than a standard scroll saw. The GHD is also capable of making detailed cuts on light materials and of using two different saw blade lengths.
Another machine tool that is included in the Hegner collection is the GHDL or “Giclee” flat top lathe. It features a top plate that lock into place, and a counterweight that are attached to the front of the machine. The machine features a unique rolling platform that makes it easier to control and has a depth stop that can be set at various depths. This depth stop is a feature found in only one machine designed by Hegner and is one of the most important differences in the machine.
The scroll saw is the most important feature in the GHDL, as it is a true value addition to the machine. Other machine tools incorporated into the GHDL include a diamond plate and a diamond blade. Although these two machine tools are not as important to the operation of the machine as the scroll saw is, they are still very useful and necessary to the scroll saw’s ability to perform accurately and quickly. A final addition to the GHDL is the adjustable blade. Although there is no blade height adjustment when using the GHDL, it is still an important feature because it allows the machine to be customized for the greatest possible cutting performance.
The final machine found in the assortment of Hagner machines is the machine gun. Unlike many scroll saws, the GHDL features a fully automatic machine gun. Although some scroll saws have manual guns, they are rarely used because they are impractical for most applications. Most machine gun models have a magazine that stores several cans of compressed air, which is used to power the machine gun.
The scroll saw is a highly specialized machine that offers great functionality to woodturners of all experience levels. Most professional woodturners prefer to have the scroll saw as their first machine, and the more expensive machines often provide features that justify the higher price. However, even the more simple machines are capable of providing great turnips, jigs, and other similar woodworking pieces. When considering a new machine, take the time to research the models available from Hagner, and you will find something that will serve your needs for many years to come.