At The Maker Station in Marietta Georgia, we have 3 Maslows if you count the one John has in the box still. Our original Maslow with arms laying on metal frame, and sled with bricks worked pretty good, but we had some Z axis Rigid router slop and occasional mechanical fuse pop. Was built by Matthew, Mike & Tanju. Alex bought every official Maslow bit. Also wanted higher definition cuts from the linkage kit and ring kit. So we got them all.
Anthony offered to start building his Maslow at The Maker Station so we could learn together. John has been helping us on both as he designs his portable unitstrut version. We decided we are going to put some time and energy into ironing out some issues. The best way to do that is start from scratch. Here you see Bar’s bolt together frame.
We forced ourselves to follow original instructions and not deviate too much. We (John Anthony and I) wanted to make sure to have a standard base configuration. You can see here we cut the bottom legs down to be flat on the ground.
Because we went with the wood frame wasn’t long before we saw some twisting was likely caused by buying wood that was already twisted lol. We measure the angles and squared up one motor with a washer. With all four points having the same angle, this helped make the chains co-planar.
As we learned how to properly install and use a ring kit we slowly started upgrading our original machine. Slowly though because our old frame design seem to have small issues that were exasperated by the new sled new weights in new ring kit.
It wasn’t long until we ran into the same top header tensioning issues to many others did. We not only switched to bungees, but also in inverted in feed chain to go upwards and terminate onto a new block of wood. Cutting a BIC pen in half created to long nylon rollers to be used with very long screws. Adding few blocks of wood to the middle of top header, pushed chains out to help keep them co-planer and also push them downwards to help with teeth on gears.
EDIT: Middle block of wood sometimes cause hooks to grab. And on occasion, having sled in a certain corner caused the BIC roller to actually push chains against each other as seen in picture.
Cutting and engraving small items all different areas of the 4x8 allowed us see our small changes tested over and over again. This was much more helpful instead of cutting large items - which we kept doing on first build. We have a 3D printed pen holder, but test cuts on free scrap OSB is much more fun
As difficult and painful as it was, today we started tearing down our beloved Maslow 1 (M1) to rebuild it better with more metal, and lessons learned from M2.
Following the wisdom of Arnoldcp we took apart and added a washer to our rigid router. That alone made a tremendous improvement on the z axis backlash and slop! We previously only relied on the bungee cord and a custom 3D printed bracket made by Tanju.
EDIT: Following Geeklimit’s example, we glued his recommended bronze bushing to the top of the z axis clip to increase surface area. Instead of clamping, we used an extra bolt and nut that we preemptively oiled just in case any glue seeped through.
We found that removing the washer off gold hook allowed us to mount black file folder rubber bands closer to rigid housing, which may even be better than zip ties with screw mounts.
To reduce the size of the bricks we went to tractor supply and bought some steel. Taught a newbie how to use an angle grinder. Epoxied the pieces together, zip tied, using hammer and vice we made 90 degree straps and attached to sled.
For our other sled, Ethan brought in some small weights and we literally just used a couple fat washers and we were done in like five minutes… we are very proud of the steel bars lol… but you should just use small weights and save time and money.
Wow @ChuckC this is a great post; i like how you summarize several of the issues and the way to fix them with the solutions from all over the forum.
Thank you for your post.
Now that we are all caught up, we will update this thread as our story continues
Needing to confirm how far outwards and above the motors are mounted on wooden header - we laid a 2 ft level vertically on face of header, and measured distance from the frame’s backboard to the face of the header. We took 3 measurements for left, center and right. Surprisingly we got 91,101,and 100. The discrepancy may be why the chain is still riding up a little. So once again, a twisted wooden header should either be replaced with a non twisted 2x4, 4x4 or a metal unistrut. That’s for another day.
Trying to eliminate all issues with our (mostly) metal Maslow, we tore down most of frame to rebuild it. Our huge Metal Frame (previously used to transport glass or countertop) has a 5 degree angle. We cut back of blocks to 5 degrees to match angle of frame, and 15 on front. This will keep work surface rigid and 15 degrees throughout. Then motors will later be mounted 100mm above work surface with some metal shims so they are at 15 degrees, unless we can figure out a different way to change angle.
Using same USB cable (no ferrite) same Win7 computer set to High Performance, USB devices unchecked in Device Manager to not turn off to save power, but Ground Control lost connection - twice in an hour. Was able to recover one job. Routed all power cables away from USB cable, cut for 2 hours, issue has not returned
minor correction, the spacers are cut 5 degrees on the back to match the angle on the metal frame… this allows them to butt up against it and be level.
The fronts are cut to the desired 15 degrees
The ring kits have a bit too much paint on the part where roller touches. The tiny bumps cause the rollers to stick on occasion. Used fine grit sandpaper on M1, but steel wool worked also worked great to quickly fix our M2 ring kit.
Came into workshop too early - no one around to help mount 4x8 sheet. Hung sled on a very long secure screw, in a second block ontop of header. Clamped on two small pieces of wood and tested my foot and had to reclamp one. Made it very easy to mount a sheet by myself. Would be sweet to figure out a way to have a drawer like slide attached that I can pull out or turn up, when needing to hold up a sheet.
With the lessons learned from our new all wooden Maslow on the left, we started to rebuild our metal Maslow frame on the right. Today we cut short pieces of wood to 15 degrees, drilled holes in the metal frame, and attached everything with nuts and bolts. The spoilboard has never been so rigid! And we reclaimed so much wood from deconstructing our previous bottom structure.
For our wooden Maslow on the left: cut a folding chair the other day which went well besides the Z going a bit lower than normal. Today the glue dried on the bronze bushing we added to our z-axis. Re-assembled and performed another test cut which went great except for the bent c clip popping off, doh! I didn’t do pocket operations or add tabs to the letters. Bad font for this use case, but was a good mechanical test. More work to be done this week!
Man @ChuckC , I really enjoyed the read… Great work!!!
I have all components to make a 2nd Maslow minus the router, but I think my wife would kick me out