Chasing out ghosts

So I finally got time to build my Maslow. I work for a fabrication shop and I convened my boss to let me add this machine to our arsenal, so I’m working on company time and trying to impress. I’m using Fusion 360 to convert the DXF files from our draftsman to G-code. So far things have been sort of rocky, I’m using the 60/80 frame and it’s a bit wibbly, but after spending a few hours reading through this forum I think I have a good idea of improvements to make.

Right now my issues are:

Left gear jumping teeth on chain. I’m pretty sure this is because it’s a bit loose on the 2x4 and is being skewed. My plan is to build a unistrut frame, or at least use unistrut for the top support.

Gears are not parallel with roller ring. This seems to be an issue with the frame design I’m using, but I’ve minimized it by flipping the ring so that the bolt heads on the rollers almost touch the sled. I might try adding a spacer behind the 2x4 that the motors rest on to bring them out a bit, or flip the mounts around and mount the motors to the back.

I’m having slack chain binding sometimes, from what I’ve read this is an ongoing issue but I’ve seen some great solutions that I’ll try out soon.

I’m mostly starting this thread as a way to document my troubleshooting and get some feedback.


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This is a good candidate for the cause of the chain skipping.
The unistrut frame greatly helps getting everything straight and true. In the mean time you might be able to tweak the frame you’ve got to make do. Make sure that the top beam is straight and not bowed or twisted, and that the work surface is flat and not bowed.
Then I would suggest starting with the sled with the weights and router in stalled and lift it by the chains to verify that the sled hangs with its surface about parallel to the frame work surface. If not, adjust the ring until it does. That sets the height above the work surface for the chains. Now look at the arms holding the motor mounts the motor mounts and adjust/alter those to bring the chains parallel to the work surface. Then make sure the motor brackets are very firmly attached so the sprockets are parallel to the work surface.
Those same steps will align the unistrut frame when you build it. Start from balancing the sled and work back to the motors to set the chain height and get the motors aligned. Take a look at the brackets @dlang suggests here as a way to make the unistrut motor mount arms adjustable. Keep us posted on how it’s going!

you need tochange your order of mounting.

first mount the ring on the sled so that it’s roughly blanced, then make sure
the motors and top beam are far enough out for the chains to be parallel to the

If the motor mounts shift, you need to add more screws, and put the screws in so
that they do not allow the mount to shift.

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My first top beam was wet lumber and twisted. I then went back and got dried lumber and used two pieces with 3 blocks about 6 inches from each end and one in the center, just a square of 2x4 ~4x4 blocks. This composite beam allows the two pieces to work against each other to resist warping. It has been sitting outside for about 3 months now not one problem. I cover it at night, some times it blows off. I run with the bottom stretchy cord and no Idlers at the motors and the Dlang Pantograph. I’ve had almost no skips and none where you would normally operate the Maslow. I only had skipping when I ran straight up off the top of the work piece by ~ 2inches.

This is just my experience

Thank you

Using the supplied wood screws, my motors seemed pretty solidly mounted to the frame, but after a week or so, one of them loosened. For me 1/4” x 20 bolts 4 1/4” long, 2 per side, really locked those motors down. Be sure the bolt heads you get will clear the space between the brackets and the motor, and get washers and lock washers for the nuts.

Best of luck!