Maslow 4 with Kobalt router

I have received my Maslow 4 in good order here in Toronto, Canada. I think I was order 200. No burst bags or PCB problems, just a little chip on the sled on the side where the dust collector plate will be installed.

Assembly went fine, until I reached the part where you attach the electronics board support to the top of the router. This piece was specifically made for the Dewalt router so it does not fit the Kobalt. I am still debating what should I do with it. One option is to cut off the clamp legs and drill holes and attach it to the router with wood screws. Another option is to make some other piece that attaches to the router head and bolt the original piece to it.

Second issue is to find a good size sleeve. I tried cutting a piece from a windshield washer jug, then double it, but it is still a bit large. Need to find something that will clamp the router solidly.

Third issue is the bottom of the router where the button is located to lock the axle to change the bit. This is lower than on the Dewalt and potentially can break the dust cover, since it does not fit in it’s hole. I can do a cutout for it in the dust cover, but probably it is best to make some spacers on the step motors shafts and the rail rods to prevent the router to go all the way down. I may need the spacers if the collet touches the plywood with the router all the way down.

I think I will try to power it up to retract the belts and see that all is working then continue with the assembly.

I will appreciate your thoughts on this. I am in no rush to finish it up because I still need to get anchors, work table, dust port, etc. Thank you!

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Instead of all the messing around I think I’d be off to the shop to buy a DeWalt router. Seems like almost all your issues would be solved by just buying that router.

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@RoBotX thanks for posting! I received my Maslow 4 (#234) and I’m planning (at least initially) to try it with the Kobalt router as well. I’m still waiting to receive it, should have it in the next few days, and I’ll start assembling and testing as well.

I don’t have a plan yet for for mounting the PCB, so I’m curious what you come up with.

Do you have a measurement of the OD on the Kobalt router? My plan was to 3D print an adapter collar once I had an exact measurement.

As for the dust collector plate, I was initially going to run without it, then either modify or make a new one that fits.

I’m curious if there is a way in the software to limit the z-axis travel to avoid this interference?

Please keep us updated on your progress!

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You’re 100% correct it would be easier just to buy the DeWalt router. However, I see 3 reasons to go with the Kobalt (or other alternatives):

  1. It’s cheaper. I got mine for ~$40 USD. That’s at least $100 less than the DeWalt.
  2. I believe it has a slower lower speed. This might help with achieving better feeds and speeds and producing better chips and cleaner cuts. It also could reduce the risk of burning the work piece and starting a fire.
  3. Doing the work to figure out how to use the Kobalt router now and make it compatible increases the accessibility of the Maslow 4 for more people, whether it’s because of the reduced cost, or increased availability (think outside the US or North America) of an alternative router.
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The Dewalt router (611) costs $220 plus 13% sales tax (CAD). The Kobalt cost me $100 CAD. So I am considering keeping everything intact in case I want to go buy the Dewalt later on.

Until then, let’s see what I can do with what I have.

I will need to dig out my caliper to measure the OD of the Kobalt, but I think someone else already measured and posted in the other thread.

Definitely the biggest issue is the button and collet being lower than the Dewalt.

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for mounting the PCB, after I finished assmebling it, it seems that the wires
hold the board in place pretty well, I am considering chopping the fins off of
the dewalt router so that the rest just keeps the bottom of the board from
rubbing on the top of the kobalt.

David Lang

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The Kobalt is 65.75mm in OD.

The Kobalt also is ER11-a Compatible, so getting that Nut and the variety of collets would allow for more variations in bits used. Just some extra info about it! It also comes standard with a 1/4 and 1/8 in collet.

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Cheers for this topic, am hoping to use my $40 (USD) Kobalt router too.

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I’m ordering this tape from Amazon, should arrive tomorrow. 5-6 layers over the
center body where the arms ride should be about the right thickness (don’t know
how well it will stick to itself, so it may not last)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0C7VFP3VQ

otherwise I’ll look at buying some 1mm thick PTFE or UHMW sheet and forming it
around the router

for the ends where the clamps hit, it’s much easier to find something to hold

David Lang

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Maybe a sleeve made from 2 liter soda bottle, plastic should be thinner than windshield washer jug

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you want something about 1mm thick, and ideally something slippery

David Lang

PVC Downpipe works …. But you need a wrap of electrical tape top and bottom to make the clamps grip.

@bar should there be a 3mm gap in the stack though as the reels can move up and down on the router body.

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Yup, that’s normal, those should be free to move.

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a bunch of layers of this tape seems to work well. I was unable to find round
downspout at a local store, and the thought of trying to flatten the riged,
rectangular downspout I could find for a smooth fit seemed like too much work
:slight_smile:

David Lang

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IT looks like I need to put a 16mm or 17mm spacer on the lead screws with the kobalt due to it’s spindle lock being lower (I could get some of that back if I carve out space for the spindle lock in the clear dust shield

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This seems totally worth it.

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Thank you for all your feedback guys. I did nothing yet to fix these issues because I was busy with other stuff and work. Usually I work on this in the weekends or a sudden day off.

As the weather gets warmer, I will empty the shed and start building the frame, then rearrange everything to have space for movement. Only at that time I will need to have the kit completed, so I am not in a hurry.

I can’t find round downspout here in Canada, so I think I will have to use something else. But thank you for all your suggestions!

As for the button to block the axle, I plan to use my Dremel to carve out a side opening in the plexy.

Question: I keep hearing about the ER11 collet. Does Kobalt already have it, or I should buy it because it is compatible? I don’t have any experience with this so please excuse me if this question seems stupid.

Thank you guys!

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I think of ER11 as one of several standard size systems that allows us to easily buy collets for different router/drill bit shank sizes from various manufacturers. Allowing us to avoid being locked into some arbitrary collet system (with non standard size/thread) chosen by the router manufacturer.

For example, I can buy a set of 15 different sized ER11 collets, for the same price as 1 collet specific to Makita’s router.

Each of those 15 different ER11 collets would be able to accommodate different router/drill bit shanks, e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Collet-Engraving-Machine-Milling-Workholding/dp/B07T3SDJ9R

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Maslow4 Kobalt and PCB 3D printed mounts


I have uploaded (I hope) the STL files for the parts to mount the Kobalt router.
Print one each of the Shim, PCB_MountTop, PCB_MountBase and 2 SupportBar(s)
I used ABS.
Slide the PCB_MountBase up the router with the Bar sockets facing up. The motor’s brushes will be between the Bar Sockets and the brush mounts will drop into the saddle made for them.

Mount the PCB_MountTop to the PCB and Fan/Cover with the square index hole towards the power connector.

Slide the support bars into the MountBase. Then slide the PCB onto the bars.

You can glue both ends of the bars, or better yet pin them so they are removable.
The bars are a snug fit but will never take the vibration that is coming.
I ended up drilling through the 4 bars and mounts with a .073 (1.85mm) bit. This is just tight enough that a M2x16 (1.91mm) bolt will keep everything in place. Be sure to mark the bars and sockets so that you can get them in the same orientation if you remove them. Otherwise those holes will never line up again!
You can also just cut up a paper clip and use that as a pin with the ends bent over to hold them in place.

Insert the Shim into the bottom of the arm stack. It will NOT reach all the way to the top clamp. Line up the slot in the shim with the slot in the clamp rings.

Slip the router down into the arm stack. The top of the shim has a chamfer to help with entry. The router will slide down until the MountBase sets on top of the first clamp. This clamp will clamp on the larger portion of the router not the part that is “machined”. The bottom clamp will close on the shim.

The holes for the nuts in the MountTop are not placed perfectly, but the standard bolts will fit.

I have added the source code to create the parts in OpenSCAD

Shim.stl (983.7 KB)
PCB_MountBase.stl (52.5 KB)
PCB_MountTop.stl (217.0 KB)
SupportBar.stl (1.6 KB)
Shim.scad (859 Bytes)
PCB_MountBase.scad (1.5 KB)
PCB_MountTop.scad (2.7 KB)
SupportBar.scad (318 Bytes)

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The kobalt has the ER11 collet on the end of the spindle, it comes with 1/4" and
1/8" inserts, but many other sizes are available

David Lang

1 Like