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Frame design modified to allow pivot up to ceiling when not in use

My Maslow is up and running. To deal with space limitations in my garage workshop, I built it with the following modifications in relation to the new default frame design:

  • a 4 by 4 foot cutting area - the beam is shortened only by 2 feet compared to the default (8 ft vs 10 ft)
  • the frame leans at approx 15 degrees against pivot points mounted high on the wall and can be raised out of the way when not in use - when raising it, the wasteboard is removed so the ceiling mounted light still shines through the frame
  • because the garage floor is sloped for drainage, I put adjustable feet in the bottom of the uprights so I could level the frame
  • to allow the beam to easily be adjusted for stock of different thickness, it is not permanently secured to the frame, instead it can be slid in and out and is secured using trigger clamps

Because of the shortened beam, the recommended chain management approach didn’t work very well, so I have the chains going over the top of the sprockets and rigged up chain management down the sides using bungees.

The pivot up works well, but when I do, I have to secure the chain to the sprockets using a clamp. Bottom picture shows what happens when I didn’t do this. After lowering the frame, cutting a sign for my wife’s business into a 4 inch board, the whole cut sloped down to the right. Evidently one of the chains slipped a link or two in the raising/lowering process. With no way to be certain what slipped and by how much, I had to recalibrate. The bottom board show the cut after recalibration.

Very satisfied with how it works so far!

IMG_20180903_175905

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Looks great. I do have some questions/suggestions.

  1. Are you sure 1 clamp on each end of the top beam keeps it secure enough? Maybe a second clamp to secure it to the upright would tighten it up more. You would only need 2 more 6 inch clamps to do this. Also index marks on the wood should make it easier to set to different materiel thickness.
  2. Velcro cable straps might be simpler to secure the chain around the sprockets with less chance of a clamp slipping off or possibly damaging chain or sprocket. I might try marking the chain link and sprocket with some white paint if you park the router at the same location when you finish cutting before removing the sled. (this was brought up in a different post earlier and seems like a great idea) This would give you an easy reference to make sure nothing has moved when you set up the next time.
  3. Is there anything securing the frame to the pivot point pipes on the wall. Possibly putting a strap of wood or metal across the pipe will prevent the frame from getting accidentally knocked off and damaging someone or something.

This looks like a great space saving idea. Good work.

Thanks, great suggestions!

  1. One clamp seems solid, but if I notice any flexing, you’re right, adding a clamp would be a pretty easy fix.
  2. Velcro strap - brilliant! That’s what I’ll do.
  3. Not secure yet, but I will definitely be adding a safety - probably using 3 or 4 inch mending plates.

You might want to consider running the router power and Z axis cables under the frame. This way, gravity keeps them away from the router bit when you’re cutting. People have managed to accidentally cut their Z axis cables and router cable by running them over the top of the frame like you are doing.

No offence. Just personal experience. I changed from under the frame to the top because I nearly cut z-axis cable, router power and toes in flip-flops by dropping a 18mm cplex sheet in the attempt to load it to the frame. As long as support arm is far enough out you will have to try hard to get a cable under the sled plus not attending a power-tool on chains.
Cheap and easy is a plastic pipe on a chain. It’s adjustable in height and the cables follow nice.


I will not change back to under the sheet but I still wear flip-flops in the workshop.
Old people can stupidly stubborn with their footwear.

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and @Jatt
Thanks. My support arm as it is now keeps the cables (which are zip-tied together) a good 12 inches out from the work surface, so there doesn’t seem to be a risk of trapping the cables under the sled - but I’ll keep a close eye on that. I’m intrigued by your plastic pipe though, Gero, I might try something similar. Careful for your toes!

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What’s your source for the winch to haul it to the ceiling? When I get my garage cleared out from moving and set up my workshop, I plan to do something very similar.
–Jim

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harbor freight sells cheap winches, but even cheaper than that is a 75 lbs of coutner weight (or whatever your frame weights) and a pulley system.

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I had been thinking of a pulley system to a hand crank on the wall. But a properly sized counterweight would work well too. Capped PVC pipe with sand comes to mind.

You’re right, this one looks very similar to the one in his picture. Only a hundred bux. No way an entire Maslow would weigh more than the 440 lb capacity.

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Sorry for slow response everyone. The winch is identical to the HF one shown. Came from Princess Auto in Canada, a store much like HF - I picked up two of them one day when they were on sale for about half price, even though I didn’t have an immediate use for them. The weight of the frame as I’ve built it is probably no more than a 100 lbs or so, so even a manual pulley system or manual boat trailer type winch would work fine as well. I just happened to have the electric winch already.

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