Frame Aspect Ratio & Accuracy

In anticipation of my Maslow 4, I am planning my frame and trying to determine what would be best for my space but also for cutting accuracy.

I only have 91" of ceiling height in my basement. The recommended wooden frame is 99" tall. I could increase the tilt to make it fit my space, but I am also considering adjusting the frame by reducing the height by a few inches. It seems like this would not be a problem.

When thinking about this, it made me wonder if it would be advantageous to increase the width. A roughly 8’x10’ frame leaves margins around a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood of just 6 inches on the ends and 24 inches on the top and bottom. Based on experience with Maslow like machines, would increasing the width of my frame help maintain accuracy near the ends of the sheet?

Actually, having just noticed this gif of the showing the accuracy heatmap from the kickstarter, it sounds like I am better off keeping the frame taller to ensure the top remains accurate.

that heatmap is from the old maslow, not accurate for the maslow 4

losing a few inches on the top probably won’t be a big deal, you can mount the
4x8 workpiece a little below center (since gravity will help move the sled down,
you don’t need quite as good angles there)

8x10 frame with 4x8 workpiece is 12" on each side, not 6"

remember, there isn’t a lot of testing of the maslow 4 yet, but in general, the
more extra you have, the better.

tilting back gives you go taller to get better angles, but it hurts by adding
more friction between the sled and the workpiece, it’s not clear it would be a

David Lang

Great question. I wish that I had a definitive answer. I think that you are generally correct in your assessment of the situation.

The tricky thing is that you are playing with two competing priorities and what works better for one might be worse for the other.

The closer you get to one of the anchor points, the worse the performance is, so making the frame wider gives you better performance near the left and right sides. But…as the belts between the upper two anchor points approach a straight line, the force approaches infinity which obviously isn’t going to work so as the frame gets wider the performance in the top center gets worse. It’s a tricky tradeoff to balance.

I haven’t had a chance to try that many different configurations in detail to figure out what’s best, but my hunch is that you will be better off like you said.

One other factor to consider is that your spoil board doesn’t need to be in the center. Putting it a little lower than center might be a good thing to consider if you are worried about the top center of the sheet.

Thank you both for your feedback and thinking through this with me. That all makes perfect sense. I hadn’t really considered that it was far more important to have the room above the workpiece than it was to have room below since the weight of the Maslow itself already helps to pull it down. I think I will both go a little wider and shift the spoil board down a bit.

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It seems to me that if you need to reduce the height, you’re better off skimping a little on the bottom margin. After all, you still have gravity helping you down there. Having done no calculations on this, I’m just another opinion, though.

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An 8x10 frame is 4 feet extra vertically, 24" each, and 2 feet extra horizontally, 12" each, when cutting 4x8 material.

6x10 gives 12" all around.

I’ve got 10’5" ceilings in my shop. I’ve been thinking of going with a vertical orientation and a 10’6" height. That saves useful lower wall space and minimizes top cord length. And gives me 18" of free space at the top while keeping 12" at the bottom.

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As I realize and has been pointed out, it is 12" on either side, not 6" :man_facepalming: