First Run! Now I have Questions!

I ran my maslow for the first time this weekend and after some early calibration woes I got it running. As I have never ran a cnc before I have some basic questions about general practices and also some more specific to maslow.

I have the Ridgid router with z axis and although it has started running better, I had to assist it in movement for the first 20 minutes. I tried loosening the clamp, lubrication, everything. I can see why folks upgrade the z axis. It has been a problem. I am going to try to get some graphite dry lube and see if that works better. Would that have done any damage to the motor already? It kept hanging up and I would turn the shaft to help it along.

Next, when starting a project like the maslow sled, is the best practice to run the bit all the way down to the work piece, define that as home, and then run? I am just a little unsure how to make this work well as I haven’t had any experience and haven’t done cad/cam design work. My maslow drug the bit due to the z axis being too low quite a bit. Not sure if that was cause the z was sticking or if it was operator error in set up of the z axis home during this first run.


Hi Marc, Welcome to the wonderful world of CNCing!
Regarding Z movement, do you have a bungee going over the top of the router to supply slight pressure (about 2 -4 pounds of pressure). I used some of the excess bungee that cam with my kit for this, I just reattached the bolts out the handles and made the loops in the bungee with zip ties (tight enough to hold, but loose enough to remove for router body removal for tool changes). Some people have lightly sanded the base and the router with 1000 to 2000 grit sand paper to remove any small imperfections. Definitely get the dry lube and take out the router and clean the body and base on a regular basis and reapply the dry lube (every 10 to 20 hours of run time and before any use if after a week or 2 of not using it)

Now I zero the bit to the surface so it just barely catches a piece of common printer paper (20lb stock). Ground control should lift the bit to a safe travel distance when it is moving to start a cut. Mine is set to 5mm which is a little high, 2-3 mm should be sufficient. Did you set or change the setting in GC? This setting in GC (my version is 1.20, it works and I am too lazy too update it) is in the settings on the main GC screen 2nd from the bottom on my version.

Hope this info helps

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Thanks for the info! I will try all of those suggestions before resorting to a new z axis all together.

I actually didn’t change the setting in GC for lift of the z axis. I had assumed that was something that would be in the g code that I was running. I will look to see where mine is set. Now to learn CAD/CAM. I started in Fusion 360 a couple nights ago. I feel like the design portion will be much easier than the CAM portion. Thanks again!


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Cool, Fusion 360 huh? I am trying to learn it for my new 3d printer and am having a hard time with the learning curve (watching hours of youtube tutorials). For CNCing I started with Inkscape (2D, need to convert lettering to path, save finished project as a .dxf) and then took that to estlcam.

yeah, I tried to use Freecad a bit with little success. I opted to try it Fusion and feel it is a little more intuitive for me. I finished a small project last night so I’ll get to see what I screwed up! Especially on the Cam side of things.

I ended up sanding down all the edges on my Ridgid router. it was making cutting marks down the side. After lubricating it now runs much better.

I am going to work on that this weekend. I am worried that if I keep running it with the motor struggling to move the router I will destroy it. All these motors seem a little small for what they have to accomplish. yet they seem to do what they need to.