My Flashy First Cut!

So I finally got around to making my first cut last night, if you look at the right side you can see where my maslow had some issues during the cut. These were 100% down the to Z-Axis, even with suggested upgrades the base Z is still problematic.

I’m hoping to find someone with an extra metal meticulous Z, as it seems they are no longer being sold (is makermade dropping sales for the maslow?), or failing that someone who is willing to cut and ship me the non printed parts of a meticulous Z at a decent cost. Sadly I fear making one with my existing Z will just result in other issues down the road.

That being said onto what everyone is here to see. :wink:


Looks really nice. What was your depth per pass?

For the metal meticulous z, are you talking about the cbeam setup that @Metalmaslow used to sell?

If it is you can buy the parts off Amazon etc.

I don’t know of anyone cutting the meticulous z out of metal. My wooden z is really solid, it not a meticulous and came with my used system.

Is your z the Ridgid router w/base setup?

No I don’t believe so, he was shut down before I ever discovered the maslow. I am talking about the one makermade used to sell: MakerMade Maslow CNC Z-axis Upgrade

Edit: after researching the cbeam setup they appear to be basically the same thing

It is the Rigid router, not sure what you mean by base setup and the only wooden Z i know of is the meticulous, so to be specific, mine is the motor attached via L bracket and adapted to turn the routers original depth adjusting leadscrew.

Yeah I was planning to do that but with the issues I am having with the Z axis I do not want to try cutting it myself. It’s either going to take me multiple sheets of wood to finally get a decently cut set of parts ($$$$) , or im going to have a new Z axis that isn’t square and results in a different set of issues. (with my luck lately both will happen! :joy: )

That’s why I am hoping someone has an extra metal one to sell as I’d prefer the rigidity and strength of metal, but failing that hoping I can find someone with a tightly tuned machine willing to cut (from wood) the non 3d printed parts of a meticulous for me.

It’s also possible the Z motor that came with my kit is just towards the end of its life and that’s why I just can’t seem to get it to behave.

4mm on the pocket cut for the leds, 6mm for the rest. 800mm/min 31/64 straight 2 flute bit, 13k rpm.

I’m sure Makermade will have the z axis back in stock. If you want to pay their price. Don’t know if they have a router bracket that will fit the Ridgid.

What exactly is it doing?

The almost 50% price markdown, being sold out, and not replying to my inquiry from 7 days ago is why I think they may not be restocking it. is gone entirely.

With decent 3/4 anything starting @ $60 a sheet here, and it likely taking 2-3 sheets with my current issues, $159 for a new prebuilt metal one that would attach to my current sled and never need replacing sounded like a pretty good idea.

This is going to be long.

That’s the real problem stopping me from being able to resolve it well enough to make the upgrade myself, It does several different things, and the fixes usually cause other issues.

Sometimes the motor simply wont turn, you hear it activate but don’t hear the motor engage to actually move. I have eliminated the cause being the routers power cable interfering with the signal, and the cable itself, as the behavior is present regardless of if the router is running or even plugged in and regardless of motor cable used. It seems to be most likely to happen when moves in opposite direction follow each other in a short time frame, but still after the first move has completed.

Both upward and downward moves do not always travel as far as they are supposed to, this is basically down to how the tab used to move the router sits in it’s slot, with wiggle room before it engages in a travel in either direction. This is present in all moves less than 3-4mm.

Using bungee cords to eliminate this wiggle room as suggested here introduces new problems.

When the bungee cords have enough tension for the travel to be accurate, and the router clamp is properly tightened to prevent any play in the bits centering while still allowing smooth vertical movement, one of two things happens.

An upward move of more than 3mm at a time can cause the tab to pop out of the router, sending the router crashing into the work piece.

The motor will randomly not be able to turn the leadscrew during an upwards travel, but the maslow is unaware of this so the next down command is now too far by however much the last up command was.

This is not the same as the previously mentioned issue as it does not require moves to be close to each other, only happens on the up travel, and you can hear the motor engaging. This comes from the tension between the cords and clamp being enough to stop the motor shaft from turning.

When the bungee cords have enough tension for travel to be accurate, and the clamp is loose enough for the bit not to slip on the larger travel moves, the router has enough play that the bit can be slightly off center/angled.

If this happens during a deeper pass the bit may end up trying to cut through more material than it can handle snagging up and resulting in damage, (to the bit, collet, or router) or the sled being bounced around the workpiece, possibly coming off the sprockets and frame entirely.

I went through a sheet of OSB diagnosing and troubleshooting these issues, and it was only through sheer stubbornness and a disregard for safety that I was able to get my cuts done.

I basically unclamped the router for every up travel move clamping it before the down, until I reached the contour tab cutting layer, at which point I took off the bungee cords and stood there with my hand resting on the back of the router lightly pushing or pulling during every z move to make sure it was at the proper height.

I have also cleaned the router, its house, the leadscrew and tab height set screw , and then applied a coating of teflon dry lube to all of them to ensure as smooth of movement as possible.

Any thoughts you have on improving my current Z situation please let me know and I’ll be happy to give it a try. I know this style of axis has been rock solid for many others, with the main reason to recommend the meticulous Z being the speed improvement, and would love for mine to perform as accurately as the rest of the system :slight_smile:

is it a metalmaslow high speed z motor with the larger plug similar to the left and right motor? If so, buy a makermade z axis motor.

The only other suggestions I have are about how to build your own. Having now built 2 of my own z mechanisms and planning a third, if you can get one for 1/2 off, then do it. If you can’t get that one, then you can build one with 3 pieces of 3/4 ply along with the 300 mm amazon lead screw set like this one and then use a table saw or chop saw and a kreg jig to get it assembled well enough to use. I used the one in the photo below for over a year and I thought a metal sled was the answer. It wasn’t. It works, but the difference is negligible. Don’t forget the 5 mm timing belt and the 20 tooth x 8 mm shaft mount and 60 tooth x 5 mm shaft mount gears for the motor to get a z pitch of -24.

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It appears to be the same type of motor Makermade sells and uses the same plug as the x and y. It was bought used here on the forums, and I do not believe it came from makermade.

I want to upgrade to a meticulous Z, I honestly do not care if it is metal or not, but the metal is the only purchasable option I have seen available anywhere.

Unfortunately I cannot. I am basically worthless when it comes to carpentry and would be shocked if i could cut or route a straight line to save my life. Otherwise I would have already built one as I have pretty much everything else on hand in the form of spare parts from my 3d printers.

As previously mentioned the local cost of 3/4, and the fact it will likely take me 2 sheets of it to hack my way through cutting the parts via the maslow or manually, means it will cost me more to make my own than buy the metal one at $159 assuming they get them back in stock.

Sadly I am not exaggerating the costs at all, this is literally the extent and cost of my choice in 3/4 locally. now 7/16 osb I can get for 11 a sheet, and i can get 11/32 plywood for about 25 a sheet, but based on my reading it is not advisable to go thin on these parts. Am I overthinking how much the thickness matters to the integrity of the axis?

Do you really think this would make any difference? The issues don’t appear to stem from the motor but from how the router is secured and moved.

Thank you for all your input!

I think the motor issues are binding/tab worn-out and sticking rather than a bad motor (haven’t ran that set-up but have read A LOT of forums).

I think you mentioned that you bought it used? Did the router come with it?

It looks like the Eastbay Source machine? with the black ring. I think Eastbay and Makermade source the same motors.

Makermade’s metal z axis is fairly new. I doubt that anyone has a spare. You can wait until they get back in stock, source parts from Amazon based on the picture of Makermades z axis all the parts will be found on Amazon. Or make your own, it won’t be too difficult.

What I would do is buy the kit that Orob mentioned above, and hack together a z axis set up like his using hand/power tools. You won’t waste any ply. Then use the maslow to cut the meticulous z, (unless you are happy with your first attempt). Even a slightly off temp sled will give you a good meticulous z.

  1. Buy the z axis like orobs it’s the same for the meticulous z (ck out the BOM in the community garden).

  2. Using circular saw and a straight edge (yard stick, 2x4, etc) clamped to the ply. Cut out the shapes from orobs pic.

  3. Get a router mount that will fit your router 3d printed. You can use this for your permanent setup. (Many libraries can do this and many online services do it). Thingiverse has the files.

  4. Assemble, remember to predrill and use woodglue (temp assemble before you glue to ensure everything is good). Ensure the router bit is centered.

I attached my z axis setup which is just a hack job but has worked great. Which is another option. The sliding rail and bearing blocks for mine are quite expensive, If you chose to copy mine, go with the z kit part from orobs. Yes those are shelving brackets.

If you don’t suspect the motor, you are probably right. I got a bad metal motor, so it isn’t an impossibility. The motor would work and then it wouldn’t and then it would and then it wouldn’t. Typically during calibration, it would cut one hole and none of the rest. super frustrating. new motor, no more issues.

Can you 3d print a router clamp? I’ve been looking into a 3d printed z axis, but the plywood one I built worked fine, so I’ll probably just do that. If I cut the plywood and built the gantry to hold the router mount, could you bolt it on? I have to make one anyway for my new sled. I’ll just make 2 if you would you be interested. Private message me if you want to explore that.

Yeah Im fairly sure the motor is fine since without bungees or the clamp engaged it is able to move up and down every time, just not accurately.

That would be amazing and I could easily handle the rest. I have several 3d printers, and am very comfortable working with the lead screw and rail setups. I actually looked at the fully 3d printed option and with the forces the Z is exposed to on a regular basis I don’t like the potential for stress failures over time. I would likely print the z clamp, and then use it to mill one from wood for long term use.

I’ll Pm you shortly!

The last wood mount I made with a jigsaw may have been better if it were 3d printed. If you use the Maslow as recommended with a cut depth of half the bit diameter, you will never break a reasonably stout 3d printed mount. I don’t cut like that with the maslow.

I also have an mpcnc and it cuts faster than the Maslow with the same router and the 3d printed core holds up just fine. I was thinking a 3d printed router mount on 3/4 emt guide tube with 604 bearings could work for a z axis, but I don’t have time to design it and I know the lead screw kit will work.