Distance between motors

What is a good or typical distance between the two chain motors? I getting ready to build my frame and I have 15ft of chain for each side. I am going to build a wall mounted frame and was thinking that 10 feet between motors would be good. Is there any standard required distance or is just based on how much of a 4x8 sheet do you want to be able to access when routing?


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For rule of thumb, th chain needs to allow you to reach 1’ past the edge of the part, and motors should be 1’ higher than the top border, and should reach to the bottom of the opposite corner. Add another foot or so for good measure. But that is my non-emperical fuzzy-crystal-ball-seat-of-the-pants guestimate. --grin–

For a 4x4’ area, you should reach at least an entire 5’x5’ area for each chain. So 5’*1.414 gives about 7’ minimum. For a 4x8 cutting area, it should reach across 5x9, requires at least 10.29’ ( =sqrt((5 * 5)+(9 * 9)) ), plus the slop required for hanging, and the tensioning lengths ( basically an additional 6’ for a 4x4, or additional 10’ for a 4x8 cutting area).

Again, my guess of an analysis, not based on any reality other than mine.

According to dlang (below), it should be 2’ extra around the cutting area, not just a 1’ buffer. The rough math remains similar.

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The key is the angles (and the resulting forces)

take a look at

it seems right now that the sweet spot is a top beam that’s about 4’ wider than
the workspace (assuming a 4’ tall workspace), so about a 12’ top beam

David Lang

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For the 10’ top beam with the “default” glue-and-screw or bolt-together frames, the stock chain supplied in the kits was 11’, pretty much “just right”. The height of the top beam above the work piece, work piece size, and how you handle the slack ends of the chain (pullies & weights, bungee cord tensioning the free ends, or ?) all will determine your best chain length. With my 12’ beam situated about 25” above the top of the 8’x4’ work piece, and using the bungee cord slack chain management approach, the chains on each side are about 160”. If the chains are too long, you might have trouble managing the slack.

Keep us posted on your progress!

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Thank you all this helps I will keep you posted I am working on building a wall hanging system that will be placed on the outside wall of my shop. Thus i will have to remove and reset ( recalibrate) each time I put the system to use but that shouldnt take to long based on what i see in youtube. The goal as many folks appear to be trying is to build a panel saw using the same stand.

So for my final question from the floor to the top what is the primary angle or better yet what is the base width? this will help me determine the leg length to cut for the pieces that will stand the system off of my shop wall while pivoting at the top.


Most folks have settled on a 15 degree angle.

we don’t know what the best angle is.

default is 15 degrees

we know that 20 degrees results in an unusable machine.

we know that 5 degrees results in an ususable machine.

most people are doing 15 degrees, but make it adjustable, we may find that
something else is better.

David Lang

How did you get your maslow calibrated I am having difficulty due to my frame being larger than the stock size from what I am understanding in the forum.


Well, if you feel like reading a fairly long topic that goes in a lot of directions, check out the following…

Towards the end there is a pretty detailed description of how my present calibration with the 12’ beam was obtained. The entire thread details multiple mods that led to a better understanding of how Maslow works.

Keep us posted on your progress.