8020 Maslow with counterweights cuts within 1/16in

My work asked me to make another Maslow with some of our leftover 8020 aluminum. The frame itself was 2.5 meters from motor to motor and is 8ft tall (didn’t cut down the 8020 extrusions). We laser cut counterweights instead of using bungees for the chain’s slack, I knew this wouldn’t be possible without being able to feed the chain into the gear at an appropriate angle, more about this in the picture.

green circle: aluminum ski that feeds the chain in at the necessary angle
red circle: counterweight (only feasible because of the aluminum feeding piece)

Any questions or higher quality photo requests please let me know!
Thanks to my work for supplying the materials for this build TechGarage


how much weight did you put on? The diagonal of a 4x8 piece of plywood is about 9 feet. wont’ that counterweight eventually hit the ground? seems like you need to invest in a couple more pullies and make the drop length longer

with the chains doubled, the total movement of the sprocket where the
weights/bungee cord connect only move 4-5 ft, so you don’t have problems with
the weight hitting the ground (the top beam is just over 6’ from the ground)

If you didn’t double the chain, you would have a problem.

David Lang


good eyes. that picture is hard to make out.

I’m not sure the exact amount of weight I used but I can measure that when I get into work today. The counterweight hitting the ground isn’t the potential hazard. As dlang said they’re pretty high off the ground, the aluminum extrusions I used are 8ft in length to put the size in perspective. What is an issue is the counterweight being pulled too close to the top. For this, I intend on just using a chain breaker and adding some links onto the end of the existing chain.

update: the counterweights are about 6lbs