Any last minute suggestions?

Tomorrow I build my Maslow and take the plunge. I was wondering if there is any advice you would like to share.



Seriously look at the threads around alternate frame designs and reinforcements.
The default one bows quite a bit and needs additional reinforcements to be stable.

Have you gone shopping yet? If not…

  • Get an extra 10’ 2x4 for reinforcing the top of the plywood/arms
  • Get a sheet of 1/2" particle board for deeper cuts to save your frame.
  • Get an extra sheet of 3/4" plywood. You want something to cut right?
  • Pick up a few metal plates 4"x12"(?) for reinforcing the final lower lip.
  • You will want an assortment of additional screws, the ones given are a bit mis-sized. A handful of 3/4" (bracing), A box of 1-1/4", and a few 2-1/2". I had them already, and glad I did.
  • I picked up an attachment that has a phillips and quick change pilot+countersink. This was a huge time saver.

I would also suggest cutting the circular sled ASAP and getting it calibrated (while reinforced). This will make cutting the rest of the braces much easier. If I was to do it again, I would just pick up some bracing straps and tees from the hardware store, but it does give you a chance to dig in and start cutting.

The instructions aren’t clear on where to put your temporary frame to cut the first pieces. I leaned mine against my workbench at about 10-15 degrees.

Also have another person on hand when completing the final frame. Picking up and moving these large panels to mount to the frame legs by yourself is nearly impossible.

Have Fun!


If you have the tools (saber/jig saw/bandsaw or similar) you can print a paper template and make the sled without the maslow fairly easily. @blurfl uploaded one here


Seriously look at the threads around alternate frame designs and reinforcements.

This is a big thing, which frame design are you planning to build?

Also have another person on hand when completing the final frame. Picking up and moving these large panels to mount to the frame legs by yourself is nearly impossible.

If you are doing this over the weekend, I may be able to help (it turns out that
Brandon and I are pretty close to each other, in the San Fernando Valley area)

David Lang


mount the router to a thin piece of wood (strong cardboard would almost be
enough) and you can cut the sled out quite nicely.


Thank you all for your input. It is greatly appreciated. I’m going through a stock build first. I think it’s important I do this to see what others have/will experience. My situation may be a little unique or maybe not. I don’t have room to operate my Maslow in my garage at this time so I will build the temporary on my driveway. I will set it up and try to get some parts cut today. I then will need to take it appart and put it way. I will have to follow this process until I can make the space to operate in my garage.


The offer is much appreciated. I may cut more than one “Final Sled” @pillageTHENburn suggested I make the Sled for the Hang Linkage / pantograph kit a little differently. I intend to try to cut the final pieces separately and time how long it takes. Because I’m working with the temporary set up I do have extra lumber I can use to make it more rigid.

After Breakfast I’m in the garage - wish me luck.

Thank you


i have a question on your comment of the 1/2 particle board for deeper cuts

  • are you suggesting having the frame, then a piece of particle board in front then the plywood being cut? my major concern would be does this affect the calibration/ cutting?

Yes, you want a buffer between your frame and the piece being cut so that
you can go all the way through without damaging your frame plywood.

This is typically refered to as a waste board. I’m considering 1/4 MDF as a waste board. It is considdered a consumable on other CNC routers.

So is it correct that adding a 1/2" piece on top of your frame won’t affect calibration and cutting? Or should the machine be calibrated with this board in place?

Adding the waste board won’t affect the calibration. put it in later if you don’t have anything on hand now. The calibration process does make some cuts, though, and you might want those cut into the waste board instead of the frame itself.


Please make a few snapshots our eyes would like to consume those educational pixels


I leave a piece of 1/2 inch insulation foam back there, I used to use 1/4 inch MDF, but I had the foam left over from our “testing different materials” newsletter and I wasn’t going to use it for anything else


This is typically refered to as a waist board.

waste board :slight_smile:

I’m considering 1/4 MDF as a waist board. It is considdered a consumable on other CNC routers.

the larger the CNC, and the larger the bits, the thicker you want the waste
board. it’s not unreasonable to use 3/4 material on a large machine.

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it doesn’t affect the calibration at all, but you may need to shift the motors
out to keep the chains closer to parallel (if you have problems with the chains
slipping or riding up on the sprocket)

So I thought I’d get farther. I am however documenting every step. I used almost every peice of wood to make a more ridgid design. I used a Sawhorse and a Concreat Block to hold the temporay setup. I was able to pick it up and move it, however it just fit in my garage. I made it to mounting the motor mounts. Life happend and I ended up working on the bathroom plumbing. Here are a few Pics of where I stopped.



I have a Maslow on the way and I already have a 28x49 inch traditional CNC table would it make more sense to bootstrap the parts there rather than the premade Maslow. Also with that in mind, are there any other parts I should premake on my flat top CNC table that would make things easier?

I have a Shapeoko 3 but I’m electing to do this all Mazlow. I see it as an experience. That said it depends on your goals. For me building the temporary setup is teaching me about what I want in a permanent setup. Now that I’ve gotten to this point I may fork the standard build later to my design. I basically employed the principles of how house framing works and how drywall works with the studs. For anyone that has framed a room or house and put it all up alone you will get it. For anyone not familiar with the principles and lacking the experience how and why it works could be voodoo. I was putting it together as described and as had been pointed out by others it was floppy. I used a cross brace and then a counter cross brace to form a Y shape brace system I then put a piece of 2x4 across it at the top and it is pretty solid. I feel like I want to put a 2x4 block under the motor mounts, they feel like they will flap under tension. I still have a 10 ft 2 x4 I could put across the top but the advantage to what I’ve done would be minimal. This could take another 3 - 4 days. I have a thing tomorrow afternoon & I still have plumbing to fix. I learned a ton today, I will have a long write up after I complete the temp build and cut my 1st Final Sled. I say that because I have a linkage kit coming and I’m going to make a second sled for it.

I see this as stepping stones in a path. You can take any path you want. If you like the final design and have the skills or tools to make some of the parts outside the Maslow and you feel you’re in a hurry, go for it.

I applaud anyone who can. I have personally never used a router manually before. I have in my build used several hand tools. In my past where most would use a router, I used a small plane or file.

In another build I recently went to a trashcan in my local hackerspace, pulled out some lasercut scrap. Used a drill and file to turn it into a vending machine front plate. Once painted you can’t tell it’s scrap. Upcycling !

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cut yourself a linkage kit. That makes more of a difference than anything else.
You could probably do aluminum on your existing machine.

Other than that, cutting a sled with the linkage mounting holes precisely
positioned helps

the next thing is mounting the motors in a way that keeps them very stiff when
pulling against each other is critical. The rectangular plywood braces do a good
job if they are anchored solidly and pulling straight against each other. If
pulling at an angle to each other, they can flex. It’s nice to make them ahead
of time, but they are simple enough to make with normal power tools.

the triangular braces for the stock A-frame could be made.

You could skip the temp frame step entirely and cut all the parts you need on
your existing machine.

David Lang

@dlang Are there some designs out for the linkage kit? Cutting that out of aluminum sounds like a good idea. I’ll also likely cut all the bootstrap parts, seems like that will save me a few steps.

@Bee pictures are a thousand words, I’ve framed walls, but i’d love to see pictures of any bracing ideas you have. I picked up a Maslow to work on some large-scale art projects that my mid-size GR3 can’t easily handle. Ironically I used to have a 4x8 table, but I had to downsize to a smaller work area when I moved to Oregon, the Maslow is the max size for my now limited space. Anything I can do to optimize is on the table. After my big table was at least 10 times the price! Save money max effort = win win!