Can Maslow be used as a planer?

Is there a way to use Maslow as a large planer? Here is my project. Last winter a 250 year old Oak tree fell down. I was able salvage a round “cookie” from the trunk. The cookie is appx 6" thick and 5 ft in diameter. I have been drying out the cookie since. My ultimate goal is to turn this into a coffee table.

However, since the cookie was cut the a chainsaw it it not flat. The diameter is too big for any planer I have access too. I am wondering if I can use the Maslow to plane the cookie down to a reasonably flat surface.

Since the Maslow needs a flat surface, I know I would need to modify it. My initial thought would be to add “poles” (most likely angle-iron) to the sled, so that the sled stays on the same plane even if the material to be cut is un-even. I would have to add rails on the top and bottom of the Malsow frame to keep the poles/sled on the same plane. Does that make sense? Would that work? Adding poles would increase the weight and friction of the sled, so do the motors have the power to handle it?

Thanks in advance!

I would say no, the sled needs a flat surface to slide on. But making a jig like this would bring you to your goal:

Edit: Unless you make a pipe rail system like


I bet a Maslow could be modified to work, but I don’t know if it would be worth the effort for only one wood round. About 4 years ago I planed down about 20 tree rounds (cookies) like this (not quite as big though) and I used a power hand planer. It worked great! Planer until it is acceptably flat then a random orbital sander in decreasing grits until you’re happy. (here’s a little bumper video I made that basically shows the process:

That tree cookie sounds really cool!! Did it crack as it dried?


We have a couple cookies (my daughter calls them pepperonis) that need surfacing too, plus a couple horizontal sections (“hot dogs”), that I’m still looking for a way to move to the sawmill to cut into slabs. Hadn’t thought about a power planer but that sounds perfect. Plan to use an epoxy/something (sawdust, powdered stone, something else. The art school grad needs to decide) as crack filler.

Once they’re surfaced it could be interesting to Maslow a design into the top, after using the discussed sander sled to smooth them first. Needs expert Lizzie consultation first, which often comes with eyerolling and “Dad!” exclamations


I think it’d be hard to achieve on the Maslow unless you started with something that had one flat side. The Samurai Carpenter demonstrates how to flatten a live edge slab using a router and a straight forward jig. He shows how to prepare for flattening which is useful too.

1 Like

Ooh! Yeah, epoxy crack filler! My brother made a 15 foot long table out of some beautiful old planks (from scaffolding or a barn or something, I don’t recall off hand) Anyway, he filled all the cracks with powdered aluminum in epoxy resin then sanded/buffed everything down. It turned out pretty cool! Not quite as shiny as hoped but it still looks great! That thing takes a minimum of 6 guys to move though…and we’ve moved it twice (like to a new house, not just a few inches)!

Could try a lightweight system like this on the Maslow

mount the guides as close to the cookie as possible


Edit: Unless you make a pipe rail system like

Has this idea been on the forum allready? I love it, you would be able to work up to the edge of the board without problems. You might get into accuracy problems if the rollers aren’t smooth enough. i would skip one of the axisses though, otherwise it might get too hard to load a new board.

But back on the main topic, i’m thinking like a woodworker, not a maker. The maslow is just a complex, very versatile jig for your router, the router is the tool. The maslow is not a good jig for planing though, but there are allready several plans on this page allready that solve your problem.

There has been ideas adding a blade saw, to have a panel saw together with the Maslow. The picture is an early idea that I planed and skipped. With pipes that are supported over the length from down and roller like this, should be not to difficult, but big and heavy. The sled would never tilt or turn and 2 1/2 D possible.

I have recurrent daydreams of CNC panel saw designs (yeah, that’s pretty weird). A maslow drive system would work great, one motor and chain to move the tool, one to never the sheet, and maybe the Z to rotate one way cutters like a circular saw. It could even do diagonally cuts with the proper firmware by coordinating panel and saw movements.

For the original topic, fasten a couple horizontal angle iron pieces top and bottom of the pepperoni or hotdog for references, cut a couple to length verticals, get the largest diameter bit your router can use. Clamp sled diameter apart, take a vertical pass, move, repeat. Tedious but the maslow can do the boring parts.

I was planning to add a mounting rail for my makita plunge saw rail, so i could use it as a standing saw table. But i don’t see the need to cnc it. imo a cnc saw is only really worth the effort in big production environments, making straight cuts just isn’t that hard :slight_smile: