Mobile Maslow: Utility trailer

This is a continuation of my first post “The Mobile Maslow” which I placed in the No Judgement section as my first post. I’ve moved to this section because this whole project will be about the a non-standard frame design. My Maslow will hopefully be here sometime in February.

The trailer: 10ft interstate load runner. If I had to do it over again I’d get a V-nose trailer to gain interior space and have less wind resistance when towing.

Internal wall space on the left wall: 9ft 10 inches long by 5ft 6 inches tall. The height is 71 inches if I come out 5 inches from the wall. The floor is 67.5 inches wide.

My “before” pictures are hopefully uploaded above. FYI, “before” pictures are always supposed to look like a mess.

I’ll include pictures, materials and costs as I go along. All feedback is appreciated.



Thank you for the pictures this really helps visualize. I use my Maslow outdoors and found it can be challenging.

Thank you

I just returned from Home Depot to get my hands on some of the materials. Their brand of the strut product is called Superstrut. I didn’t measure, but the approximately 1 inch deep channel is $19.94 for 10 feet and the approximately 1/2 inch deep channel is $17.34 for 10 ft. They are made of 12 GA and 14 GA galvanized steel respectively. That stuff is heavy. I’m sure it is superb for a frame that you’re not planning on moving. I plan to research the forum and look into extruded aluminum next if the cost isn’t too prohibitive. Anyone with any favorite aluminum supports?

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Research on unistrut/superstrut:
I can buy the product from All Metals Supply in Oroville CA, where they have both the steel and the aluminum version though I’m not sure of the name brand. The steel version is listed in their catalog at 1.82 lbs per foot, and the aluminum version at 0.66 lbs per foot. The aluminum version looks like it is an inch deep. I should be driving through Oroville within a week or so and will stop by and check it out. I plan to mount it open side facing downward, going lenghtwise down the trailer. I’m not certain of the correct terms to describe the parts of the roof support but would likely mount it between the edge of the wood on the ceiling and the supports between the ceiling beams. Hopefully the picture above helps out.

I’ve read @dlang 's posts about the importance of the strength and stability of the top support with the motors, and believe this would provide what I need in that regard but would be interested if you have the same opinion as well.

@MeticulousMaynard : did you give any consideration to a build using unistruts and your roof supports? I’d be interested in learning from your insights on the situation.

To anyone: has anyone tried mounting the motors to unistruts with the opening facing downward (maybe 20-30 degrees from facing directly down in this case)? Even if you haven’t tried this, do you think there is a reasonable chance of success with this type of mount? I’d like to buy the aluminum unistrut type product when I’m there if the group agrees that it is reasonable.

My machine is free-standing, so the top beam is not attached to the frame of the trailer. As awesome as it is to have my Maslow in the trailer, there really isn’t enough room for it in there with the rest of my shop so I built it in a manner that I could move the machine to a garage when my wife and I ultimately buy a house.

However, I’m working on revisions to my Maslow frame to use Unistrut in several places to give me more adjust ability where I need it. Good examples are the top beam, where I want the ability to work with as long a beam as possible, that way I can test a couple of different motor positions to see what gives me the best performance. I also want to make a depth adjustment for the top beam so I can easily adjust the “depth” for thicker materials. The last place I’m considering right now is in the A-frames that hold the bed at an angle. I would like to try a couple of different angles to see how it will affect the accuracy.

As a sidenote, welding galvanized steel unistrut (which is what I will have to do in a few places) is extremely dangerous. Burning the galvanized coating, which WILL happen while you’re welding, creates a lot of zinc fumes. Zinc is a very toxic heavy metal, and good ventilation/PPE is necessary to not poison yourself. I will be taking the necessary precautions to protect myself but I figure I should warn people who may not be aware of the danger.

That is the orientation of the top beam in @MrFugu’s Unistrut frame thread. I think that is ideal because then the motor brackets can bolt up easily to the holes in the top of the strut.

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On my build though the top of the strut will be attached to the ceiling beams of the trailer so I’ll need to modify things a bit. His pictures are excellent though in terms of helping me get an idea of the size of the motors relative to the unistrut etc. I’ll take a closeup picture in a day or so and add some annotation including measurements of clearance etc.

Thanks for posting the info regarding welding galvanized metal. That’s always good for everyone to think about. I picked up that tidbit while doing non skilled labor in a machine shop just after high school but I can’t count past 9.9 though as a result of other lessons learned there.


That is a very good point. It may help to mount the motors to the underside of the beam if you need ceiling clearance. Alternatively, you could block out the top beam to a comfortable distance to mount the motors to the top, but that may add complexity.

Ouch! I’m sorry to hear that. Safety is #1 for me. I was working with a member of the Timber Framer’s Guild a few years back hewing beams the old fashioned way with an axe and he taught me something I’ll never forget. “Treat every day as if it’s the day you’re going to loose your right hand.” It’s pretty morbid, but I remember it every time I set foot in the shop and it forces me to think safe.

I learned about the dangers of welding galvanized steel while I was an apprentice welder. This was the first welding job I every had, so I little practical experience before that. My boss told me to weld a couple of hex nuts to the inside of the column but neglected to mention anything about the zinc. Eager to please, I just got right in there with no respirator. After a minute or so I felt real dizzy and was finding it hard to breathe. I scrambled back out of there and boy did I feel sick for the rest of the day. I usually like to wear a respirator while I’m welding but I make no exceptions when I’m welding galvanized steel. Zinc is nasty stuff.

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or have longer hinges above the beam

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You did a good job! :wink:

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I’m finally putting my kit together. Just a quick question–what is the minimum clearance from the bottom of the work piece to the floor?

I’ll post more pictures and a description of how this version is put together once I’ve finished it.


you need enough to clear the sled, your bricks, and your dust collector hose

on the stock machine it’s 14"

I was hoping maybe someone got away with 10. It is good to know that is the best with the starting configuration. I’ve got 72 inches from floor to ceiling to work with so will keep working with mods to go lower in the future.

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I origionally designed the new frame ith 10.5" total, but Bar felt it was too
low, so he raised it.