Interesting that this topic arises. I have been using the Max-Wax
for years now. I like the very fine tip and have learned to do the
dance with it of holding the button long enough to get the heat I
need, but not long enough to start smoking. I have talked to the
folks at Gesswein, Rio, Stuller, and Foredom quite recently about
redesigning it. The dream tool would have a recharging stand, be more
ergonomically formed, have a tunable and steady heat control, and a
better button switch. I was told that this indeed would be a
desirable tool, but that there was a rather limited base of wax
workers that would be interested in it, making the design and
production of it unprofitable. After all, the Max-wax goes for only
$16 or so. This tool would go for over $60 as a guess. Still, I would
just love to have one.
I think that someone mentioned that they had devised a setup that
was driven by a plugged in rheostat, but I like the portability and
the freedom of the battery driven pen.
Further, much wax model making is done on computer now (we might
quibble with the design quality, I know that what I do could not be
computer generated, at least so far), but the market trend is away
from hand carved and hand built up waxes. The dental market is also
going to computer and the price competition is send much of the
dental work to Asia for wax work, casting, and finishing. For my work
(see: www.sumnersilverman.com, go to Wax gallery), the alcohol system
is much too uncontrollable and does not allow anything like the fine
detail that I aim for. So, I start out with the Foredom electric pen
with tips that I modify. One tip is carved down to a much smaller
profile and another has a 28 gage silver wire loop soldered to the
tip. Then, in the latter stage of carving, I use the Max-wax.
However, the waxes that I do have been taking up to a month or more
recently and drive my caster (Racecar Design) somewhat loopy. So,
again, this technique has a very limited applicability.
One tip for the Max Wax, drill a small hole right in front of the
button, carefully so that you do not go through the metal
underneath. Then you can adjust the tension on the button switch.