Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden Newsletter

Metal Maslow Frame Setup

I am finally getting to put together my metal maslow. I am not seeing how the chains go together with the parts supplied. Any other metal maslow kits out there that can post some pics or a link to a resource?

Hi there, im just getting mine setup also and having the same issue. Did you manage to get yours setup? Can you please provide some photos or some instructions for the setup of the chain system?

I took some pictures of my Metalmaslow. I had to figure it out myself since the instructions are indeed very basic. I put a lot of attention in the chain tensioning system and aligned the chain as much as possible parallel with the sprocket. To feed the chain from the slack side to the sprocket I added an extra pulley. In the MetalMaslow kit there are some rollers provided but they only tension the chain close to the sprocket. The pulley keeps the chain parallel to the sprocket. Also the diameter is much bigger so the friction is much lower. So far I have had no issues with the chain and sprockets.

I positioned the counter weights in the middle of the frame behind the board. That saves me a lot of space at the outer ends of the frame. It also keeps the larger pulleys attached to the chains sliding on the top beam. This helps to keep the chains parallel to the sprockets in cooperation with the extra guiding pulleys.

In the picture with the sled you see how I attached the chains to the arms. I drilled a hole in the middle of the arm for the pin. I didn’t like the hole position not in line with the arm hinge points, why make an accurate laser cut sled and put the hole in the wrong position?
Although they claim it does not matter that much I calculated that it does give a 1.5mm extra spread in vertical position (from top to bottom of the board)
I still have some kalibrating to do because I am not satisfied with the accuracy.

I designed a channel to vacuum the dust. In the kit there is an aluminum channel which goes underneath the Z axis. I have seen pictures of that, it seems to work. I did not use it because I think the channel is too small and does not seal off the milling area. It also takes a lot of Z height away from my sled. (It actually does not fit, it rests on the plastic rim! But that can be fixed I guess)

I ordered the wrong clamp, the (golden) clamp in the picture is my own solution.

I hope this helps you both get started with your MetalMaslow, great kit but it’s a puzzle.

4 Likes

Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for.

that looks good, but I am curious why you did not use the clamp supplied with the kit. If you add extra plywood spacers than the router bit will no longer be in the middle, unless you moved the Cbeam back, but it looks like it is in the same place. ?

I did not use the clamp supplied because I ordered the wrong one. I bought a kit without a router and a 3.5inch clamp ( I need a 220V type router in the Netherlands).
Then I bought a Makita router with a base of 89mm, assuming that this was the dimension of the router. In fact 89mm was the dimension of the base where the router is clamped in. You can imagine my surprise when I received this tiny router with a diameter of 64mm.
I solved it by getting a clamp from Ali. To get the router centered in the hole I bolted a piece of plywood to the Cbeam sled, and with the use of some spacers and 4 carriage bolts I managed to get the router exactly in the center. I did not move the Cbeam. (see drawing)

The Z-axis was the main reason to buy your kit, and of course the laser cut sled with the linkage arms. And I am very happy with it, the Zaxis is working great.

1 Like

Really like your setup. If you have time, could you overlay some design measurements on your photo? (Just some of the basic parameters… I’m curious what your Y offset is from the work area to the X board. The overall length / motor mounting distance.

Of course I can. I added some measurements as you requested. I followed the recommendation from Metalmaslow to install a 12 feet topbeam. The height of the total frame was limited because I want to be able to roll it out of the garage. To get enough distance from the motors to the top of the board I lowered the board to 220 mm from the floor. This gave me a distance of 815mm from motors to top of the board. I think if you make a bigger distance it would enhance accuracy. But I am glad I didn’t because the cable from the arduino to the sled is just long enough to reach the bottom corners.

4 Likes

I’d give this reply 10 “hearts” if it would let me. That’s a fantastic picture. It really helps set the scale of what is going on here and I can plug those numbers into that spreadsheet calculator and see if there are any tweaks I feel like making to it. What is the overall vertical height from the floor to the top of the motor for clearance purposes?

I’m considering adding those lever style casters that raise and lower for the extra clearance.

Thanks!

The overall vertical height from the floor to the top of the motor is 2195mm.
I forgot to mention that I had to put an extra bracing beam to the top beam because the 12 feet topbeam was not stiff enough (see picture).

1 Like

I’d be really interested in your thoughts on this, Sintrogers (and anyone else that feels like checking out the variations I’m considering.) over on this thread:

Well that’s a plan! I see a lot of good advice in the forum.
I’m not familiar with the cement board but I can understand the fire hazard argument. However the wasteboard is really thick MDF, which will burn anyhow.
I use a 3mm MDF wasteboard. I cut about 1mm deep into it. So 3mm is more than enough and much cheaper.

I do have some experience with fire. I was cutting plywood when my dust collection channel got clogged up, the router bit turned red hot and sparks were flying all over. I could extinguish it quite quickly because I was working on my bench next to it. I will never ever leave my Maslow when it’s cutting.

In your case I would put out any fire from the MDF waste board before it reaches the cement board, you’re simply too late.

Another thing I would advise is getting the chains parallel and in line with the sprockets. To achieve that mount the topbar with motors as the last step. Have a straight edge on the face of the sprocket and check if it’s parallel to the board and at the correct distance. I took an extra 10mm distance as an average workpiece.

You can judge by sound if the alignment is correct, if the sound of the chains and sprockets is constant the alignment is OK. If you hear a snapping sound that means that the chains are lifted by the teeth of the sprockets, obviously not OK.