Cheap fixes for z-axis slop on the Ridgid R22002

Do not attach the bushing to the lower (bit side) of the clip. If you do, it will hit the lower worm mount and not allow the router to extend its bit to the worm’s fullest extent. This will likely prevent the bit from reaching more than 1/2-inch into the material. Since most material used is 3/4-inches thick, this wouldn’t work.

I carefully glued the bushing to the top (z-axis motor side) of the clip with Gorilla Glue, ensured it was aligned properly, and that an excess amount of glue hadn’t seeped into the inside of the hole. Clamp the parts together and allow to dry overnight - Gorilla glue expands and there’s no room for the bushing to be even slightly off-axis with the clip.


Don’t leave the orange button and spring in like this - see below.

There’s nothing good that can happen to it while the assembly is being glued and finished, wait until it’s time to put the assembly back on the worm.


Gorilla glue will expand into the hole and harden. I waited for it to do so and drilled it out. I didn’t have a 1/2-inch drill bit, so my 3/8-inch bit did fine. Make sure not to twist the bit in the hole assembly or you’ll flange the hole out and make it looser on the worm shaft.

Grease the shaft before assembly. (I’m concerned about sawdust contamination in the grease, so perhaps a stronger spring is needed, but…) The clip has a small spring that presses its tab into the router’s tab cutout. The spring is not designed to be strong, it’s meant to be easily overwhelmed and allow the tab to pop out if the router is trying to jam into something too forcefully. (This is called a “mechanical fuse”) The added drag of the longer hole on the shaft is something the spring struggles to overcome, and the clip can stay stationary instead of rotating into the router body’s cutout.



Additional concerns

The router’s sleeve has a clamp that’s meant to hold the router body after it’s been adjusted. The z-axis motor isn’t strong enough to fight this, so I used a ratchet and manually tightened the nut on this clamp so the router sleeve is a closer fit to the router body. I leave it unlatched, and just tightened the nut on its bolt to my desired tightness.

(clamp is seen top-right below)

I’m waiting for some tough, slippery tape to put strips on both the sleeve and router body so it can slide better, but I suppose I could grease it as well.

The clip’s tab is slightly smaller than the cutout in the router body. This leaves a tiny amount of play (<1mm for me) That’s enough where I adjust the router for proper depth, and just set the traverse height to 5mm and let it be slightly off. Not sure how to remedy without compromising the function of the mechanical fuse.


Excellent and detailed write up with great pictures!

Also a much more scientific write up about what is really happening with the stack up of “lost motion”.

Great work.


you were supposed to loosen the nut so that when the clamp is closed it’s a snug

how does the rest of your work compare to just putting a bungee cord over the
router to take up the backlash?

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I found it easier to make minute adjustments to the clamp’s tension with it open, instead of snapping it shut, opening, adjusting, closing, checking, opening, etc.

It may have been my imagination, but I could have sworn it didn’t shut exactly the same way every time.

I just tightened to my preference and run it open.

My router didn’t work with the bungee method. Maybe a bad bungee, but I wanted to try and make the link stay perpendicular so the performance would be repeatable. I didn’t know if the degree the link was angled would consistently stay angled that way, etc.

Now I don’t have to mess with it, and it cost $6 to fix.


I have used the Bungee method, and, along with a lot of work on smoothing the sleeve, filing out the slot in the sleeve to eliminate a casting error, and trying various lubricants, have come up with pretty reliable Z axis operation. Nonetheless, what you have done seems to add some needed precision to the router’s movement, and I will consider this a needed upgrade when I get back to my machine in a few weeks.

Thanks for the effort!


I’m going to have to give this a try! I want to build the @meticulous z-axis” which is a great design. But for now Tim his could be a quick trip to Lowe’s to take care of some of the issue. Thanks so much for the awesome walkthrough.


You may be able to use a small c-clamp on the flange lip. Not as permanent as gorilla glue.

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Exactly the “fix” employed at The Maker Station in Marietta, GA. A simple, inexpensive, easy and effective solution.


… and don’t forget that when you use the bungee cord, if you don’t get the tension right it puts too much pressure on the router. I have had 2 things happen: When the worm gear turns to raise the router, the arm that locks to router in place pivots out just enough to disengage from the router and when the worm turns back the other way to feed the router into the work, the router does not move because it has disengaged itself. The second thing that has happened to me is that with the bungee cord, the pressure (and it does not take a lot) wears out that PLASTIC orange clip (you know, that little tongue on the inside of the clip that rides in the groove of the worm) and soon gives way which causes the router to ram into the work piece at full depth. If your not standing there, Maslow with still continue to mill burning up your bit and create another zombie apocalypse!

I’m converting to Maticulus Z. Eliminates all these issues! … hopefully!

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In addition to adding the washer to the bottom, we glued your recommended bronze bushing to the top of the z axis clip to increase surface area. Instead of clamping - we used a spare 1/2 bolt and nut that we preemptively oiled just in case any glue seeped through - and then tightened a bit to dry over night.


That’s a great idea @ChuckC!

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Just like to say thanks for this excellent write up and pictures. I think this should be included in the setup instructions for the Maslow Z-axis kit as the quality of cut from the kit is really not good enough. I’ve only just cut one project so far but there were so many z axis related errors that ruined many pieces. Things like:

  • Cutting bit not raising enough between drill ops resulting in lines cut between holes. Even though it was supposed to raise 1/4" above stock between drills.
  • Very uneven pocket cuts where start of cut is elevated and gradually gets pulled down to correct level by the bit. Sometimes 3/8" difference.
  • Tabs that are to thick or too thin and fail to hold the cut piece in place. Resulting in piece falling at end of cut and catching the bit.

Going to try adding a thin bungie cord to get positive down force too.

Thanks again for the effort is creating such a good write up.


The bungee will really improve your z axis performance. What you describe above are all the things the bungee fixes. Just be sure to polish and lubricate all the “metal on metal” surfaces, and carefully adjust the clamp lock to “just loose enough” for smooth operation.


Also consider low-friction tape between the router base and the spindle.

UHMW (polyethylene):

PTFE (Teflon):

(These are random examples. I have no connection to Amazon or these products)


I’m using a version of the upper one on the spindle body and housing. It works, and I’m happy to use it because oil + sawdust didn’t seem like a great combo. Your need to use a screw and nut to hold the housing slightly more open, it’s not made with enough tolerance for 2 layers of tape. Also make sure the ends of the tape extend out of the housing and to the outside, or eventually the spindle will start peeling up the edge and jam in the housing.

Even with the tape, the worm still has drag with the arm, and the spring isn’t strong enough to counteract it.

I’ve tried rubber bands and bungees to press the arm’s “tooth” into the router’s cutout, but they can’t seem to handle the vibration the router gives off them it’s cutting.

I recently tried forming a ‘C’ out of cardboard and fitting it inside the arm’s spring, between the arm and the route housing. It can move up and back on the router housing with the arm, but prevents the arm from rotating.

It’s not foolproof, though - I’d like to find a good way to “lock” the arm in place, engaged with the router spindle - physical fuse be damned. I’ve stopped short of gorilla glue, though :slight_smile:

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Thx Dustcloud (love the handle). Just added adjustable bungie for the z-axis. Already had the clamp lock adjusted but added a light coat of teflon lubricant to the metal parts. Hopefully will have all the bases covered now and not collect too much dust. On my previous cuts the z-axis did appear to move freely but the height adjustment mechanism had crazy slop when moving due to flex. The bushing fix has worked wonders for this and I can wait to try it out tomorrow.

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