Making the sled into a router table

I was thinking about building a router table the other day, and while drawing it out, it came to mind that it looked an awfull lot like the sled i’m designing.
So i was thinking i could put an arduino, some shield, a small lcd screen and a small keypad in a table with a maslow sled sized hole so that when i’m not using the maslow i can just pop the sled into the table and have an electronically controlled router table.
Now the question is, how is the z-axis controlled? What would i need to control the z-axis on it’s own without the rest of the maslow connected?
I have some experience in arduino programming and have been looking for a reason to pick it up again, and this looks like a nice project for cold winter nights.


Interesting idea. I assume you are thinking of disconnecting the zaxis motor from the cable and plugging it in to this “router table arduino?” If you already have some arduino experience, I would say it is totally doable. Just copy the necessary aspects from the Firmware. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Be aware you would lose your zaxis position and would need to re-zero after doing this.


you need to re-zero frequently anyway

I had the same thoughts, horizontal and vertical table option.
And why not make it as alternative to a tablesaw / mitersaw? :smiley:

The ultimate flexible workhorse…

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You could set up the Table Arduino to record it’s starting point, zero - work - return to original position after use.

Thank you

I think they call it ShopSmith. If only we could make the Maslow an attachment to it. . .

Thank you


This actually would make sense…
What about using a dedicated arduino nano on the z-axis and let Maslow firmware send z depth values to it and make it possible to run stand alone as router table depth control with a simple display that shows the depth in mm and rotary encoder to manually set the value.

In a way this seems a bit double, but you gain an entire routertable with it.

An Arduino Nano should be more then enough for this right?

I am planning to build a ron paulk worbench that combines everything, but a circular saw and a router are two very different tools, a router can do almost any job in a woodshop, but for ripping panels it is not the most efficient.

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paulk workbench also crossed my mind, though i would need something smaller and more flexible

Though the way it is build can be scaled down…

A router is indeed slower then a table saw but if you can saw panels at the store then you only need a tool to cut smaller peices , so in that case the router could be an option. Not everyone has the space for an entire machine park. I for instance want to build the maslow as big as possible, and then use the rest of the space as efficient as possible.

Eventually get an extra router later on. If i can do all with one machine that’s more important then having 10 machines that i hardly ever use. The speed does not really matter that much to me.
The money i save by not having to buy and maintain all those machines makes up for the time i loose.

On top of that 20 routerbits take up the same amount of space as one sawblade.

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we need to re-zero the Z axis after every bit change anyway, so re-zeroing it
after using the sled as a router table should be no problem.

The only issue with my thinking on this is I’m making products for what I consider a base Maslow - You might not use the stock Z axis and that could get complicated.

Thank you

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He also has a smaller one on his site, 90x180cm i think. At first i was gonna make a torsion box for the back, but i also have a small workshop, so the plan now is that the back is a paulk-ish, and the bottom piece pivots up so that i have a workbench when the maskow is not in use.

A circular handsaw isn’t that expensive and doesn’t take up a lot of space, a good one (makita rt1800) can be expensive but it’s still small. And after a drill, it’s the second tool you should get for a woodshop, or at least a jigsaw.

Back on topic, what shield would i need to get the arduino to talk to the motor without burning it up?

Not sure if a nano can run the power of the motor, i dunno how much current it pulls, are the spec sheets of the motor around here?

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Arduino Nano + H-bridge + geared motor with encoder + encoder + little LED display.

First we could think up some stand alone version and then look if we can somehow make it work together.

I do not see I would why I would need any new hard or software to run a router table. The Z +/- can be on the macro buttons or you make a .nc file entirely with Z. I would prefer a command line window to type in G-Code directly, like LinuxCnc has, but the buttons would work. If you are tipsy enough to send X/Y moves, your chains might fall off the sprockets :slight_smile: , but that’s the worst that could happen.

Why not just add switches to let you manually move the z-axis up or down by sending ±12 volts to the motor. No Arduino or programing required?

For a router table all you need to do is jog it up and down, you really don’t need a positional readout, right?


Having a depth readout would be a very nice feature to have.

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HEHE, love it when someone manages to see the most simple and effective solution!

Thanks @bar !

And the good part is that everyone on the waiting list can already get started by building a sled/routertable :slight_smile:

And still the encoder can be used to calculate the depth.
Then the arduino comes in again… But that could be reasonably simple with the rotary encoder.
And with a very high resolution

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But i like microcontrollers, buttons, and blinking lights.
Also i want to type in 15,4 mm and the bit raises 15,4 mm above the table.


I have a Shopsmith MkV in my shed I need to bring inside and set up. It was my dad’s.

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