AHA!!! I think I've figured it out!
I was reading on another site about a fellow with similar problems with his Magister MS-40. His service guy suggested an interesting test... bang on the power relay with your knuckle! If it is a mechanical relay that has begun to fail, this may shake it into it's circuit closed state, even if for a couple of seconds before 're-failing'. Well, I thought, this is an easy test so I tried it. VOILA! With a voltmeter handy I turned on the machine and just to be thorough, I retested heating element to ground. 0 volts, as expected. Then I gave the power relay a jiggle and *CLICK* I heard the mechanism inside cycle (first time since the machine went cold, now that I think of it). Retested voltage at the heating element. 115 volts, woo hoo! Then I heard a very quiet click inside the relay, retested voltage at the element - back to 0 volts. Repeated this test three or four times - same result: loud click, 115v power for a couple of seconds, quiet click, power failure.
Does this sound to you guys like I've isolated the problem?
If so, can I replace this unit with a SSR relay? I hear they are far more reliable.
If a SSR is OK, can you recommend a good/appropriate one for this machine?
I've included a couple more pics of the relay in my Alex. It is a Finder 126.96.36.199.0307. I looked for this on the Finder manufacturer's page but although this model showed up, it said "no specs found" so I'm not sure what is required. Again as always, I respect you guys' experience and knowledge and value your input. Two days ago I didn't know what a power relay was... the internet's a cool tool, huh?
Here's a couple pics
(the bottom pic was taken after removing all the connectors and flipping the relay over):