Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden

Cheap fixes for z-axis slop on the Ridgid R22002


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:


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.


Thx sprdad, Will certainly try your tape suggestion if I notice binding in the z-axis movement.


Thx geeklimit, Yes on test runs I noticed that the adjustment arm occasionally popped out of the router core because the clamp lock was too tight. Spent a while adjusting that until it was just lose enough for free movement without the router core tilting when moving.

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.

So you still have the ‘arm’ pop out of the router core ‘cutout’? I will keep an eye out on it.
I suspect if I still have issues with z-axis after these fixes then I will try something more drastic like a variant of the Meticulous z-axis ( which bypasses the whole stock mechanism. The stock mechanism is just not (rightfully) designed for a CNC implementation.

BTW just noticed that this forum does not thread replies so sorry if all you helpfully folk get spammed by my responses.


Here is a thought, drill and tap holes 120 degrees apart in the base. Adjust so the base is very loose then use nylon screws to take up the play. The nylon screws take the place of the tape. It might take 6 or 9 screws with lock nuts.


Thx RustyGirl for the suggestion. Luckily I don’t think I will have exert this level of effort but will certainly use it if I continue to experience Z-axis errors.

Thx again to all for all the useful suggestions. What a great community! After applying bushing fix, washer fix, adjustable bungee on Z-axis, Teflon lubricant, and setting zero Z depth again: I am very happy to say that the z-axis is working within acceptable tolerances.

  • Cut depth was generally within 1/16" top to bottom. This was previously about 1/4".
  • 1/8" tabs worked!!! Were 3/32 to 1/16 thick. Which was enough to support the piece in place. This is huge as now I do not have to watch the Maslow during cuts, in case the pieces fall out, and cause serious problems.
  • The backing board had at max 1/16 cuts into it, and most of the time was perfect, with no recess being cut into the backing board and the piece cut through all the way.
  • No more error cuts between G0 move operations. Watched it closely as saw the correct 1/4 raise above zero depth between movement.

FYI, I used Tri-Flow Telfon lubricant which dried overnight and did not retain any sawdust when cutting the next day.

Unfortunately I am still getting depth cut errors in drill operations, where it does not drill though completely, but this is also within 1/16" which can be easily removed. I think this is because of the router bit I am using which appears to have a slight taper. It is burning the wood in the last 1/8" when the shaft enters the cutting depth. Will try adjusting the bungee to give a bit more down force but may need to get a bit that has 1" cutting depth.

Overall this is a huge win. Looking forward to re-cutting failed parts.


Not recommended, but if you’re going to do this, buy a smoke alarm and screw it onto the top of the maslow frame over the work plane. If the Maslow loses connectivity to the computer or the bit stops cutting for another reason, the bit will rub the wood at 10K+ RPM and set it on fire while you’re away.

It has happened.


Yep that’s a no no. This happened to me being away for a short time. The little screws holding z axis motor to gear box fell out causing a sled not keeping up error so it paused in one spot.


Very sobering! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I didn’t take pictures of my “situation” when it happened, yours are a good warning.
Maybe we should set up a forum section for “Don’t be on fire” for posts like this…


Glad to find this thread. I had a new variation of the problem appear today - because the clip alloy is much softer than the worm gear, with (apparently too much) bungee pressure and probably insufficient lubrication, the worm gear was gradually eating into the edge of the clip. I suspect that today it hit the point where the orange plastic clip let go and allowed too much plunge. I have ordered a new clip assembly from When it arrives I will implement all of the above suggestions from the get-go in the hope of reducing the risk of same problem happening again. FYI the parts:
|RG-640963002|Ridgid Housing Height Adjust #RG-640963002
|RG-671758001|Ridgid Spring - Compression #RG-671758001
|RG-513396001|Ridgid Slide - Height Adjust #RG-513396001
|RG-671759001|Ridgid Spring - Wirefoam #RG-671759001


these routers do have a lifetime warranty, as long as you register them. otherwise I think it is 1 or 3 years I forget.
I’ve never used it, but I bet home depot would swap it out for a new one or at least pay for those parts?


Home Depot does have some things under limited time warranty even if registered. Also intended use rules may be stretched when used as a Z-Axis rather than just regular adjustment and bit change. With all that said, it’s worth a shot to see what is covered!


I added the washer as shown, but I can’t seem to get the E-clip back on. Suggestions?


I had to sand my washer thinner, which was quite difficult to do, as metal gets rather hot when you try to sand it, but eventually I managed to get it thin enough to allow the E-clip back on.


I had considered that, but wasn’t even sure it was a thing. Ha! Thanks!


My safety tip:
Everyone should have one of these near their Maslow, $20 at the local hardware store:

My dumb mistakes:
One time, while trying to troubleshoot ongoing z-axis issues, I told GC to move the z-axis up 3 mm (or, so I thought). Sometimes I have the GC computer close by for convenience while homing or zeroing the machine, but this time it was about 4 ft away. I walked over to the router to watch what it was doing. Stupidly, I just kept staring, wondering what was wrong, as the router rose ever higher and the bearing on top of the clip hit the router housing. Then I became alarmed (about time, idiot), ran over to the computer, fumbled around on the trackpad, and finally clicked “stop”. The motor was so strong, it actually damaged the router housing so badly that I had to get a new one. Afterwards, I realized that I had actually input a 3 inch move, not a 3 mm one.

Another dumb mistake: The router kept slipping out of the clip. Then, one time it performed flawlessly. After the cut program was finished, I realized that the bearing on top of the clip had broken free. What I figured out was that the bearing I was using to keep the clip perpendicular to the router was not perfectly centered. The screw would sometimes hook the bearing and that would cause the router to pop out of the clip. When it finally broke free, it stopped causing the problem. I took the bearing off, and never did try to put it back on.

My $0.02 for new Maslow builds: Putting a bungie or a big rubber band over the top of the router should be a regular part of the build, not an optional step. If z-axis movement/accuracy is still an issue, then put a thin washer between the z-axis screw and the router housing. And, if that still doesn’t resolve your problems, put a bearing on the clip, BUT be absolutely sure it is accurately centered, and be extra careful when moving the z-axis with GC.


I agree that the bungee is very important for stock builds, however, I would make sure that it is not too strong. If it’s a very strong bungee then it will break the router free from the housing and plunge the router into your work piece until it hits the collet in which case you either destroy your bit and work surface or even scarier you start a fire. I have had some close calls.