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Bolt Together Maslow Frame


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://maslowcommunitygarden.org/Bolt-Together-Maslow-Frame.html

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Thank you for the frame design. Easy to follow instructions and went together as advertised. However, the chain connection setup does not work well. The chains derailed once and suffered binding several times. Recommend updating the instructions to use a bunge between the chains as a tensioner. This was an idea from the hardware forum on github which I utilized on my frame (33"bunge) and seems to work very well

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Excellent! We’ve switched to a much stronger bungee in which has a pull similar to the bungee cord you are using now, however I really like that the bungee cord like that eliminates a bunch of parts from the BOM so maybe we should switch entirely

@bar is there a reason the top bolt is a hex bolt and not a carriage bolt? I’m trying to see what I can source from Home Depot since I don’t have a Lowes very nearby.

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I just put in my order for a kit on Monday. I’m so excited to build my Maslow!

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24 inch threaded stock cut in half could also be an option, just remember to get extra nuts and washers

Has anyone come up with a solid way of switching the top bar to unistrut on this yet? I’m working on it right now and I"m having deflection issues with the 10’ bar.

If you are having deflection with a 10’ bar, try bolting a length of material to
the bar in the center area (say a 2x4 or 2x6, or even a hunk of plywood, just
have the long dimension of the wood be in the direction of the deflection). It
doesn’t need to go the whole length, I’ll bet even a few feet will do wonders to
reduce the deflection.

Which type of unistrut did you go with? we haven’t had people reporting
problems, but that could just be they didn’t notice it, but there are a couple
different thicknesses of metal available, you could have ended up with the thin
one.

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My hardware store in town didn’t have the hex bolts. I used carriage bolts. Also, I put the carriage bolts in opposite of the instructions because the bolts stuck out far enough to be in the way of the chains and bungies. Maybe it was just an oversight on my part, but the assembly guide showed the bolts sticking out on the cutting side of the frame, and I’m the kind who follows instructions to a T (until I recognize a problem).

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It appears I got the smaller stuff. I can repurpose it for other uses though.

Due to time constraints, i haven’t gotten mine finished yet, but i just drilled a bolt hole through the unistrut with the open part facing down, like it was a 2x4. I have a drill press, it might be harder with a hand drill.

I used a 1/2" hex bolt from Home Depot. I went ahead and used a hex so I could tighten it to my liking. They do stick out, I will recess them when I have a chance.

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Update on bolt frame with top bar using unistrut:

For best results, go to the normal frame instructions and before mounting your top beam to your maslow frame, predrill any and all holes that you need. otherwise you will be unmounting and remounting your top beam all the time, it’s nearly impossible to drill a good hole in the unistrut with it mounted.

For my chain holder, I drilled a hole and then bent a nail and soldered it in the hole. Here’s hoping it stays in, I had to use a propane torch and flux to get it the solder to properly flow.
To mount my motor brackets, I drilled and tapped holes in the top of the unistrut to take some 10-32 bolts that I had lying around.
For the cable rollers in the middle, I drilled a 5/32 inch hole and used some smaller bolts with a washer between the roller bearing and the unistrut, and a lock washer on the inside of the unistrut, followed with a nut. It was a bit hard to get properly tightened, but once I got it snugged down, it still rotates freely and has no play.
For the static end of the stretchy cord, I used a carriage bolt through the unistrut, with the head seated in a block of wood to prevent it from turning, and a large fender washer on the bottom to keep the nut from going into the unistrut. then i simply hooked the end of the stretchy cord over the part of the bolt that sticks out. I’m considering getting another nut/washer to keep it from popping off as easily, I’ve heard horror stories about the sprockets getting flung off into the distance if they unhook themselves.

If you’re having trouble getting holes started in the unistrut, or if your drill bits are dulling too quickly, it might be worth it to get some 1/8 inch single flute spiral solid carbide bits. I had gotten some from amazon to use in my maslow, and they are definitely better at drilling through the steel unistrut than standard ti-nitride coated drill bits. I’m using them at the slowest speed my drill press can run at (600 rpm) and they cut through it like butter. After you have a hole, it’s easy to enlarge it with a standard drill bit.

Here’s a link to those, Haven’t had the chance to use them in my router yet, but at least they work well in my drill press. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077BQW5TR/

How about some pictures?

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I built this frame and it works great but the X axis is inverted, anyone else have this issue or know how to resolve it? I suspect it’s because the chain drops off the outer side of the gear and not the inside like the original design.

you need to set the ground control settings to bottom feed if you have the
chains going down the outside to the sled.

David Lang

Thanks, that was the issue!