Initial Startup - Chain length

I think I have my maslow almost ready for the first cut. I’ve been doing a little each evening after work. for the last week. I had to have the z axis connector milled to a slot on the 3/8 side because my ryobi router z axis attachment point is different. (I’d really like to get my hitachi M12VC plunge adapter fitted out for this because it has speed control, but that is an upgrade option and will be a challenge for the vacuum). I was going to make the system narrower so my cars still fit in the garage, but it turns out I have barely enough room to make the full size frame and I just got the motors and chains on in the standard configuration with the chain-bungee’d sprocket arrangement.

My Questions:

Where should the chains be to start? They seem awfully long. The bungee is also super long, so it is sagging all over the place. Is there a location the chain should reach to when the system is first set up and how long should the bungee be to start with so it is tight enough, but not too tight or tool loose?


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I’ve been following the online build instructions, not the maker made pdf instructions, which are more complete and they answer the chain question a bit better, though don’t really specify the length of the bungee either.

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The bungee should be the shortest it can be and still allow the chain to fully extend. Basically if you put the chain on the sprocket so that it is almost all the way extended you should be able to measure what seems like a reasonable length of bungee for that configuration.

I am still somewhat new to Maslow. My wife has been flying through a TON of plywood already!

I went with the 2l bottle setup for my slack management so cant help you much with the bungee system. I would steer you away from wasting too much time with the OEM router adjusters. I would HIGHLY recommend upgrading yourself to the Meticulous Z (or similar)as soon as you can. Meticulous Z-Axis link

The router brackets are easy to draw for different size routers if you have something else you want to run on it. The plans also include provisions for a really well contained dust collection system. The majority of it is set up to be cut out on your router and the rest is on Amazon. I think my total cost was well under $100 for everything including the plastic sheets. I have a large 3d printer and printed the dust collection duct. Plans for a plywood version are included as well.

I knotted the bungees shorter and it seems to be working… I’m not a fan of any of the tensioning schemes I have seen, but I really want to get my other router set up with a z axis first, so I’ll come back to this.

shortening the bungees helps, but any spring based system has the problem that
they produce the most force when the most chain is fed out (and there is the
least amount of slack to manage), and the least force
when the chain is the shortest. Unfortunantly this is exactly the opposite of
what we need, and if the max force is too high (when they chain is fed out to
the opposite corner), you can end up with more tension on the slack side of the
chain than on the sled side. If this happens, the backlash of the gears comes
into play and the motor moves trying to feed out chain without the chain
actually moving.

David Lang