Iowa Cutout Test

First cut on the Maslow. This originally was not going to be my first cut but I was getting pretty frustrated and just wanted to see it cut something. Holes in the picture are from the failed sled cut.

1.) Could not get the router to center on the plywood. After spending a couple hours redoing everything and troubleshooting, I come to find out the I entered Inches instead of mm for the measurement from the center of the motor to the top of the plywood.

2.) I had a chain wrap when running the benchmark. The bungee string did not work that well. When the router was on one side of the board, one bungee was too loose and the other was so tight it was at the point of snapping. I ended up running counter weights off of the center pulleys and down behind the plywood(works great).

3.) When I was running the Sled cutout I got a usb connection lost error and had to re calibrate the chain links. Unfortunately I was unable to restart the cut after calibration because Ground Control closed out and lost the home position of the project.


The bungee issue seems to be very common. I had the same.

I live in Iowa. I am the Waterloo dot on the Maslow map. I like the Iowa cutout.


Eldridge here. Right outside of the Quad Cities.

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Looking good!!

It sounds like the bungee isn’t working for the top beam frame designs and we need to re-think it. I will put out a call for new designs in the newsletter on Wednesday and we can all pick the best new design.


Get a workout band or surgical tubing and hook the two tension gears together. It keeps the chains up on at the beam level and the chains stay out of the way.


Iowa looks great! I have driven across it dozens of times.

Regarding the “lost USB connection”, the same thing happened to me… I am pretty sure the cause was my laptop going into sleep mode 60% into cutting the sled. This apparently turns power off to the USB ports, which powers down the control board and causes it to lose the positioning on the sled. l Immediately killed all energy saving features on the “plugged in” settings of my Win 10 machine, and the error has not occurred since. Thought I had to recalibrate, but it might have been possible to use the “Automatic Chain Adjustment” to get going again.


Yes, that’s the purpose of that.

If you have a ‘paint pen’ or some other way to visibly mark a chain link, there’s an even quicker trick. This one time do the ‘Extend Left’ and ‘…Right’ but before clicking anything else, paint the link that is sitting at the 12 o’clock position on both sprockets. Then go on and finish. The next time you need to do a chain calibration, do the part about setting a tooth to 12 o’clock but don’t extend, just ‘Quit’ the chain calibration. Don’t worry about the warning that pops up, our next step addresses that. Look in the Actions/Advanced list for ‘Manual Chain…’ . Before you click it, set the painted links on the 12 o’clock teeth. When you click the ‘Manual Chain…’ button your chains will be in the same position that the ‘Automatic Chain Cal…’ puts them in before you click the ‘Finish’ in that calibration. As we’re doing this manually, we need to finish it ourselves, which we do by clicking the ‘Return to Center’ button on the Actions page. When that is clicked, the z-axis rises to +0.2" bad the sled moves to 0,0 on the workarea just like the automatic calibration finishes.

So Manual chain calibration is:

  • 12 o’clock teeth
  • painted links on top teeth
  • Actions/Advanced/ManualChainCal
  • Actions/ReturnToCenter
    All in all much quicker than the automatic calibration with a little preparation.

Sooo cool! Many many thanks!!!

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Can you put up a picture of the counterweight setup?

I don’t have a picture at the moment but it is very similar to this

However, I kept my rollers in the center of top 2x4. When you have the Sled in an extreme corner the chain will hit the roller if it is off center. On the back of the plywood I put 1 roller off center so the counter weights do not interfere with each other when going up and down.

Here is the link to another post that has some nice options to think about as well