Chain Binding issue

Hey all,

Maslow newbie here. I just received my Maslow in this latest round and made it through most of the calibration. I built the newest ‘default frame’ so my chain feed is a bottom chain feed style.

I am running into a problem when the motor is pulling the sled closer to it. The ‘loose’ chain feeding off the top is sagging too much and catching the ‘taut’ chain below. What happens next is that the chain doubles up on itself on the motor sprocket and starts to get tangled which I imagine is putting major stress on the motor, chain and frame.

So the simple answer is to just make the stretchy cord a shorter so that the loose feed doesn’t sag as much. However I am wondering if there is a better solution? I have gone through this a couple times and don’t want to keep binding the chain up. I’m also nervous that if I make the stretchy cord too tight, it may snap. Am I wrong?

Any information would help. Thanks!


Seems to be a common issue. I mentioned it in a previous post with the solution I used. There is another solution with a workout band connecting the chains that looks like it works pretty well.

Iowa Cutout Test

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the stretchy cord is supposed to be doubled up to give you enough tension. If
you need more, add another strand rather than shortening it.

you may also want to look at the work that people are doing to use weights
instead of the stretchy cord.

Thanks guys, I will look at those options!

What about just sinking a nail or something near the slack side of the gear to prevent the chain from sagging too low and catching?


I actually tried that… has to be very close to the feed of the motor, any small distance from the sprocket can be enough for the chain to sag and once it begins to sag, the motor will push the sag lower instead of popping it up over the nail. (maybe my try just wasn’t close enough but I was only a few inches away)

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Find a standard Bungee Cord about 30" long and make sure it stretches to about 84". Connect it to to the 2 “S” hooks that hold the chain sprockets in the existing set up.


This will reduce the problem about 95%. Some attention will still need to be focused on the area near the motors for the times when the sled is in the extreme upper corners of the workpiece…


In my kit there were a couple of nylon sleeves that were not used, and I placed them on screws to guide the slack chain away from the nailed chain end. I was also concerned about stress on that finish nail, so I clamped it. But I think there is a chance that the drive chain will hit that sleeve and affect the cut. When I get back to my machine next week I plan to raise that nailed chin end by attaching 2x4 scraps about 6" long to the top bar and securing the chain end there. Then I don’t thing the sleeve will be needed. I think that will solve the problem 100%. @jakeZ , if you want to give this a try, let us know how it works.



You are not alone here at all, I should have shipped stronger bungee cord. I’ve been playing around with the counter weight system someone posted and that seems to work really well. I’ve also ordered some thicker cord which I will report back on.

This is totally an issue on my end, sorry!


I don’t think you should be so quick to take this one. The original bungee setup still works quite well. The choice to go with the chain slack in a horizontal orientation should come with caveats, but it doesn’t seem to me to be an issue that you need to solve for everyone since we all have different set ups. Since there are solutions out there for this orientation (such as the counterweights), and the kit ships with everything necessary to set up the Maslow with the original slack orientation, it seems like it is a personal choice to utilize a horizontal orientation.

That said, if you want to make the horizontal the standard for the machine then perhaps a sanctioned counterweight solution that works with the default frame would be a good way to go.


I got a stronger cord today at hobby lobby after snapping one, trying to keep it from sagging too much.


We’ve had the chain bind up as well and were thinking of a different setup. I’ve got a 3D printer and am playing around with a design that would act as a “chain guide/guard.” We’re also looking at a modified version of the original frame’s chain system.

Don’t recommend printing a chain guide or using any rollers - always good in theory but always creates new problems or limits full use of 4x8. Focus on increasing tension on chain slack, and keeping the chains co-planar.

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