Creating the Ron Paulk WorkBench on the Maslow

There was a post awhile back about making the Ron Paulk workbench using the Maslow…

For me, it screams “Maslow!”, and, in fact, he now sells pre-cut kits, and has all sorts of You-Tube videos of him working with the CNC resource to make them. Mr. Paulk is a clever guy, and his ideas are pretty cool.

So, when I ordered the Maslow Kit back in December, I decided to order the plans for the Workbench 2 and convert them to cut files. Of course, I was clueless as to how to to do this, but after watching the Video about Easel by @icedub , I fiddled around with Easel, and went that route to create the files. For anyone who knows nothing, I recommend playing with Easel… rebuilding the Paulk files manually was a great training course for the software, and the G-Code conversion has worked really well for me.

Once I got the Maslow kit, built the frame, cut the sled, and calibrated, the first thing I did was cut the sawhorse’s. I set up the file as one sawhorse at a time (2 parts), and moved the Plywood from side to side…


These are cut on 3/4" Birch plywood, and I believe will work on any Maslow, even ones with calibration issue (like mine) What must be adjusted to correct out of round circles

Although I was pretty frustrated with the problems, I got a reasonable Benchmark Test last week, so I stopped calibrating and cut the rest of the project…


In the above photos you see the dust collector attached… Despite having a pretty powerful system, the small hose really cuts the suction, and further, despite being very flexible, disturbs the sled motion at the outer reaches of its travel. So, for the rest of the cuts it was off with the dust collector and on with the dust filter face mask.

We see so many cool things that people are making, neat signs, artwork, stools, etc., but simple boxes are pretty challenging for a not-perfectly- calibrated Maslow, especially fairly large ones (36x72x10)…


The dry fit revealed that the large top and bottom parts were Horizontally pretty perfect, 72". But the vertical cuts were off about 3/8". I expected this, and planned on cutting the side parts by hand to fit. But a new problem arose… On both the top and bottom large sides the lower 72’ horizontal cut was straight, but the top was bowed in at the center. So I had to cut a bit more off that side to get “back to the simple box”. So now the workbench is 72" x 35 3/8".

The challenge of the several dozen 3/4" benchdog holes on the bench top was one I have been considering for some time. I set up test cuts using the 1/4" bit, but, depending on where the sled was, the shape was not right. I decided to try a .75" router bit, but, after several tests, decided this too would not work. This bit caused a lot of resistance during the plunge, raising the sled off the work surface at the start. The sled would eventually settle down, but the hole was not round. I need to learn more about types of bits, cutting speeds, and Z axis rates… Ended up having the Maslow mark the board with a 1/10" deep x 1/4" mark, and then going the manual drilling route, which was pretty miserable…


Tear-out on the plywood was pretty hard to completely eliminate, even with a Fostner bit.

But, believe it or not, the story has a happy ending…




The feature I like most about this design is that you can keep all your assembly tools off the work surface, instead placing them in the lower level. And the workbench can be taken down and moved/stored pretty easily, with the sawhorses folded and stowed inside. Now all I need to do is find some “dogs”, and install a router!


Leaving the rest of us in the dust as usual. Nice job @Dustcloud!


Nicely done! Wouldn’t mind something like that myself.

I had this same problem with a 1/2 straight bit. Would love to hear how others tackle larger bits.

*Edit: Awesome work by the way!

**Edit: I see what you did there @Borderline lol

@Dustcloud , beautiful build and writeup. I have been itching to tackle the workbench 2. My hesitation has been those dreadful holes!! I love the idea of marking the center points of the holes with a shallow drill operation with Maslow.
You did an amazing job and given me the confidence to get to it!!

1 Like

Such a great looking bench @Dustcloud. I would like to make one of these for myself and my father. Like you I have been very focused on the accuracy and haven’t had much fun yet.

Great work.

Note that those shallow bit marks took about 2 hours to do on the Maslow. Would have been real fun measuring them out.


Well Done. I always enjoy your write ups. Keep it up :slight_smile:

Thank you

reduce your feed rate during the plunge.


How accurate were they as a consistently spaced grid? I’d assume you’d have the similar 3/8ths spacing distortion you mentioned on your other pieces.

Nice! I built one of these the old fashioned way (table saw, jig saw, and router). I see yours is all 3/4" material. That was a good choice! Mine was made using 15/32" plywood and its top is a little flexible.


Very nice bench. I can imagine all those dog holes were a challange. I considered cutting them into a 3/4" sheet of mdf to use as a Maslow back board. The need for them to be perfect to hold dogs has me thinking about purchasing a 20mm bit and doing plunge drill cuts.

1 Like

Remember that this is plywood, it gives as it’s used, so the holes are only
perfect for a very short time. The first time you put pressure on them, they
cease to be perfect.

David, I tried reducing the feed rate on the Z axis from Easel, but it did not seem to change. Also, at the regulat plunge rate, it was difficult to slow the spindle speed down enough to to keep it from burning. The only 3/4” bit that I could both find and afford was a straight cut type. In my first tests, I made some kind of error in the set-up, and the 3/4” bit cut some really nice 1 1/2” to 3” holes, with the cut seemingly slowly getting wider as it cut. Using the 1/4” bit, it would make sudden moves each time around at each depth, causing a distortion. Cutting holes like this is something I need to learn how to do.

The plans I got from Paulk specified 3/4” top and bottom, and 1/2” sides. I am sure they will wear over time… I hope I use the table enough to witness this.

1 Like

some router bits do very poorly in plunging stright down as they have a spot in
the very center of the bit that won’t cut.

This is why ramping and helix cutting were invented (see the thread on the
problems with helix cutting on the maslow due to the overhead of processing the
g-code lines)

it may be that the Z axis feed rate you are specifying is still faster than the
maslow can actually move. what did you set it to?

This is one of the areas where the maslow is the weakest.

I have been using 20”/minute, and lowered it to 10… do you know the actual speed?

That is really nicely done and so cool.:sunglasses:

Certainly nothing against @Dustcloud or his amazing project and write-up, but I think this is an important point to bring up. Maslow is great for a whole bunch of things that are much more difficult if not impossible to do by hand, but cutting a bunch of rectangles out of plywood is much easier by hand. A decent straight edge or track saw and a few minutes later, you would have all your blanks for your workbench box top. I understand that there might have been some calibration issues, but he would’ve been hours ahead on the build if he had just cut everything out with a circular saw.

The same thing goes with the dog holes. A few minutes of layout, a hand drill and a forstner bit and he would’ve had a perfect top. I also understand the challenge/accomplishment angle to doing this on the Maslow, so no shade there either.

The interior cutouts and the sawhorses are much more up the Maslow alley. Anyway, not trying to be a downer here, but if you only have a hammer, every project looks like a nail. Just something to think about before you dive in head first. We hashed this out on the Inventables forum a couple of years ago.

Keep on inspiring us Bob!


I applaud @Dustcloud for his work, enthusiasm and diligence.

That said @MidnightMaker is right. When I recently spoke with Ron he explained his designs were laid out and his videos are intended to be done by hand. He says using a jig he can drill all the holes out of a top by hand in 30 minutes.

Thank you