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Automatic tool height


Interesting, I wasn’t aware that it was conductive enough from the stock base to the collet. I would have guessed that, since it’s a double insulated tool, that you won’t be able to do that. Does it make contact from the bearings maybe? I’m just looking at the parts break-out to try to deduce the path that the electricity makes.

Either way, I’m making a new Z-Axis assembly just in time to not be able to implement this. :frowning: Oh well, at least new Maslownians will be able to do that!

I don’t know about you, but I really like my rubber bits. :stuck_out_tongue: Pity those won’t work with this! /s


I was surprised that there was a path too. But glad to find it since clipping to a bit would be a pain each time. This way I can leave the contact attached at all times, and I don’t have to fiddle with trying to get a clip on the bit whenever I want to zero. If I can figure out how to get bit collars on all my bits to set a uniform bit length, then I could even use the collet to do an initial zero without a bit present (say when updating firmware or something)


I, too, like the idea of leaving the contact attached. If does have continuity between the base and the router, than, in theory, I could attach my contact to the aluminum body of the router and use that as my permanent attachment point. I wonder if I could drill and tap a hole into the side of the body to use that as my attachment, or if I should just wrap a piece of tin around the body of the router and connect to that. I might have to take it mostly apart to drill and tap that hole and not damage any windings or the armature.

My to-do list of changes to make to my machine continues to grow. Thanks for the info, Keith!


That was my first thought as well, then I realized that there are several tapped holes already available on the base :slight_smile: The set screw holes for accessory rails being the easiest. My plan is to run an additional cable through the z-axis bundle and connect it to the housing of the z-axis motor.


run two conductors and have the second connected to an aluminum plate that you
can lift out of a bracket on the sled and slip behind the sled for the
measurement. much faster than running the maslow to a known location to measure
after every bit change.


I agree with the plate idea, but I think I am going to have the plate conductor separate so that I can put the plate where ever I want and not have to keep it close to the router/sled. Alternately, a banana clip for the plate might be a decent compromise to keep the wiring contained. Simple enough to plug in a banana clip when zeroing


a banana clip is a good attachment anyway.

But remember, you are always going to be using it close to the sled, and we aren’t trying to remove weight from the sled (we are adding bricks after all :slight_smile: ) so if it can be stored on the sled in a way that doesn’t rattle, that seems like a good place to put it. The linkage/ring is well above the sled, so there should be room to store the plate between the linkage/ring and the sled


That may be the issue for me. Hanging the plate off to the side I won’t have to worry if it is secured, or that it might fall off mid-cut. But I do see the advantage to having it right there on the sled too. Just for me, solving that attachment is more than I feel like dealing with since a hole in the plate and a screw to hang it from is so easy.


My thought is to add a slider on the sled, that is a piece that would slide over the sled opening like a small swinging door on a single pivot.

Thank you


That is a good idea. I considered something similar, but the added complexity made me decide otherwise. If you do go that route, make sure that you account for the offset of the sliding piece since it would likely not be located under the bottom of the sled.


It may end up being another 3D printed dodad. Inset with a guide thin metal can be flexible.

Thank you


remember you ideally want the plate to be at the same z-height as the workpiece, which means that it needs to be below the sled when used. you could have it at a different location, but that would then have a few negative effects

  1. it would restrict the bit size you can put in the router (as the bit now needs to clear the sensor, not just the workpiece

  2. you need to change the code so that when it contacts the sensor, that isn’t considered 0, it’s some other amount

  3. if the sensor is not mounted extremely rigidly, it can move so that the sensing height isn’t exactly what the distance you set in #2 is, so your depth is off.

KISS, stick something flat under the sled so that it’s at exactly the same z-height as the workpiece would be


Hi All,

So just curious, I’d be interested to see what Maslowian’s are doing, “pictures”, with connecting the plate and alligator clip to the PCB. I’m thinking of installing a quick disconnect for both the plate and clip to ease in handling. Similar to Dag83’s post from a while back. I’m curious to see a video of the actual setup and operation.

Here’s Dag83’s post




Here’s my lash up:

Using parts from the parts bin, though I think the original source was Fry’s:


Pretty sheet metal bends. Do you have a brake?


No, just scrap wood, a vice, and a hammer. Oh, and time :grin:


That is even more impressive!


Is the g code for this working?


To my knowledge, yes.



Thank you for the pictures. Would you be kind enough to show a video of zeroing a tool? I was able to obtain a 6 pin phone jack and omitted the 3 unnessary pins. I was have identified which two wires I need to produce ground (Black) and signal (Blue). When I go into Ground Control I noticed that the auto zero Z function is grayed out. Is this the function I should be using/should be looking at to zero the tool? Any further help for this process is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,