My Maslow Adventures

Hi all,

This is my introductory post. Just want to say hi and add to the community.

I got my MakerMade M2 in April, and I have been very busy with it since then. It has been a TON of learning, and even though I expected that, it has surpassed my expectations in both difficulty AND the machine’s capability.

I chose the MakerMade M2 for likely the two biggest reasons that everyone else chooses one. The price, and the ability to go vertical which makes it possible to have a large capability machine in a tiny space. My woodshop is a tiny room that measures just over nine feet across, and although it is twenty-five feet long, there is a staircase in the middle that seriously impedes my working space, giving me effectively 9x13 and the rest is strategic (haha - messy) storage of wood.

I have a frame built on casters that is great, but it just doesn’t fit in my space as nicely as I would like, so I wound up building a wall frame, and it sits behind my rolling workbench. I can move my workbench out of the way to load up the cnc, and then roll my workbench to within a few inches and do other work while the machine cuts. I’m pretty pleased with the setup, and it fits just nice.

Pardon the mess, but that is what tiny shops are like in real life. :wink:

The learning curve has been pretty hard, and I have certainly made a lot of mistakes, broken some bits, burned through a couple of wasteboards, and even had a wee fire! But I am learning and getting better every day, and am enjoying the process and progress.

I have had to edit this post because I am a new member and cannot post more than one picture, so I guess this is all for now. I hope to share more of my adventures soon.


Welcome to the community! I’m excited to see what you have made!

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Alright, I am finally getting around to adding some photos here. Here is my wall frame coming together. I used some dirty old MDF shelving to make my wasteboard. Two 24x96 inch pieces are easier to carry and install by myself in this tiny space, and it makes replacement easier as well.

Here the second half of the wasteboard is installed, and I am working on making it level. The frame itself is square and level, but my concrete floor is sloped. You can see the winbag in the first picture to help bring it up.

I used a Winbag inflatable device to pick up the left leg in order to make level before screwing the frame to the wall, and then I had to shim under the leg to make up the difference.

With the header leveled to the frame, I could finally hang and calibrate the sled. Ready to start cutting! Don’t ask me why I made my first cuts on the wasteboard. I thought it would look cool.

Here is one of my first projects. I decided to make a stool to sit on at my workbench in front of the laptop, since I am going to be spending a lot of time with this machine.

Speed and depth were two big factors that I had a lot of struggles with in the beginning, along with dust control. Here is a picture of how those things can cause issues.

My cut was successful in terms of the shapes and dimensions, but between calibrations and thickness of material, I did not achieve a through cut, so I threw it on the workbench with the middle tabletop removed, and had to trim the pieces out by hand. I designed this bench a couple of years ago, with the top being convertible on purpose. It does come in handy when cutting through large materials.

This way I can lay the material on the worktable and cut through with the jigsaw and not worry about what is underneath.

I cut the pieces through with the jigsaw, and then with a whole lot of sanding and a bit of boring the mortises with the jigsaw and a dremel, I was able to assemble the stool.

I also made a quick mount high on the wall above the Maslow’s header board so that I can store the stool out of the way when I need the space to use my workbench for other things.

Pardon the mess, but this is what tiny shops are like in real life. My workbench (on locking casters) sits in the middle of the room and can be moved wherever I want it. My wall bench and extra bench at the end are all the same height so that I can span sheets of materials across however I may need. the MakerMade 2 sits on the west wall behind the workbench.

Here the workbench is in place to work on other things while the CNC works away with just a few inches of clearance. It’s tight, but it works!


Alright, so before I get into some of the cooler stuff I have been working on, I’d like to show some of my hardships.

I struggled a lot with calibrations. Thickness of materials, locked files, and just pure ignorance impeded my best intentions for a while. Then I noticed that my gantry was loose, and it would literally move with (or against) the bit.

This is what my wasteboard looked like after multiple attempts at trying to figure things out. That is 3/4" mdf, and it is cut right through.

I disassembled everything, tightened it all, reassembled and recalibrated. I did a couple of test cuts, and things were much better.

The next project that I wanted to try was a mortise and tenon shelf that I found on the internet. The file was locked, and intended for half inch plywood, and all I had was 5/8 so I went ahead and cut it anyway.

So of course I had to finish the cuts off with the jigsaw again (including every single tenon), and this time there were 48 mortises to enlarge. This was turning out to be a lot of work.

I used a 1/8 solid carbide bit on my dremel to cut the pieces out and bore the holes. A lot of extra effort, but I was determined to make it work.

Finally I wisened up and used a 1/8 bit in my hand held router, which took care of things much quicker.

Finally managed to make everything fit and got it assembled.

I do really like this mortise and tenon design. I’m just going to need to reproduce it so that I can make them in different sizes.


It looks like you may of figured most everything out. If you ever need help, I am available for a phone call to talk you through. Nice work on the shelf.


Thanks Tim, I am learning and growing knowledge and experience. I like to show failures as well as successes, because we often don’t see the struggles that others have been through. I hope that it can help others in their adventures. It is great to have a forum like this, and people like yourself who are willing to dedicate time and effort to helping others. Cheers!

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Okay, let’s get into some fun stuff. I have made a bunch of little trinkets and things from junk wood, and I wanted to make something nice for my wife (it helps to justify the money and time that this machine has taken away from me doing other things for her), and my son wanted in on the fun.

I bought some 1/8th inch rolled walnut sheet that I thought looked nice, but it didn’t carve worth a damn. It tore out badly and left me with some custom firewood. So, I went back out and purchased a small sheet of baltic birch, and tried again.

This is a simple pie box with a sliding lid. My son chose the graphic for the top panel, and aside from watching the machine carve for a little while, he did nothing else to help, except to take credit for the build.

I didn’t need to glue it, but I did anyway. You can never have enough clamps, right?

Here is the finished box with a light coat of shellac. “Mom, look what WE made!”

I also wanted to make something special for my wife, and challenge the machine a bit more to see what it is capable of. I chose a red zebrawood to carve a Death Star Trivet.

Let me just say that choosing zebrawood as my first hardwood to try to carve was not the wisest choice. It is heavy, dense, and hard as a rock. Some five times harder than walnut, apparently. I was in over my head, and I learned some valuable lessons.

Setting up skirting around the 4/4 workpiece was a challenge in itself. The first stage (of 4) carve was done with a 60 degree v-bit, and I had to slow the machine down to about 300mm/m.

I had learned from experimenting with test pieces that I should attempt the sphere next. I first tried to use a small cove bit from my regular router bits, and very quickly learned that you should never use a non-CNC bit in a CNC router. The resulting violence ruined the piece (and my underpants), and I was almost hit by the bit three times as it ricocheted around my tiny shop.

I changed out to a 1/8th endmill, and broke that too. I then slowed the machine down to 100mm/m and cranked the router to 27k. I switched back to some junk wood to do the whole project and adjusted speeds a few times before settling down to try again on the zebrawood.

With more time and patience, I was able to complete the carve successfully. Here is my final piece with a bit of simple mineral oil applied.

I took the completed MDF test carve and applied a Beautitone dark bronze metallic enamel, and I hung it in my shop to remind me of the time, effort, struggles, and failures of this adventure.

Overall, I do have to say that I am impressed with this machine, and so far it has managed to do more than I expected of it. Stay tuned, my next projects are going to be more challenging.


The lead-up to the next project that I wanted to do was to learn how to make my own cut file from an image I found on the internet. This is harder than I thought. I was able to use the Image Trace tool in Easel to make a few things, but when I started to throw some detailed images at it, that program just couldn’t do what I want.

I found some converters online, and set out to create my own SVGs that I could import into Easel.

Here is a simple sugar skull that I found and edited, and converted to an SVG to import into Easel to create a cut file.

The test cut turned out pretty decent, so I gave it to my wife to apply her painting skills.

I have done several more projects to convert images into carves, but this one is my favorite in the lead-up to the next project I am going to show you. The next one is a significant jump in difficulty and detail, and it is going to blow everything I have done out of the water.

Are you excited? I am.


This project is very special to me for a few reasons. I think everyone who has a CNC machine at some point in time feels the need to push the machine to its limits by making something with crazy detail. A Mayan calendar, or something like that. Well, this project is my huge challenge.

I have a buddy that I have been friends with for just about 25 years. I met him when he came into my computer store to have a custom machine built, and I could see as soon as he walked in that he was severely physically challenged. He had difficulty with the door, and was unable to stand still because he can’t maintain balance. I invited him to sit in my office while we chatted, and the wheeled chair made him fall right away. I was horrified and afraid that he was going to sue my ass off. He told me to back off and leave him be, and I watched him struggle to get back to his feet, and finally settle into the chair. My admiration for this man was born on that day, and we have become steadfast friends.

Over the many years I have known him, I have seen him overcome so many challenges. Things that able-bodied people wouldn’t attempt to do. He has CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth) which is a degenerative muscular and nerve disease, somewhat like Muscular Dystrophy (which he was mistakenly diagnosed with for many years), and there is not any hope for things to get better for him. Back about ten years ago he fell out of his truck and broke his hip on the driveway. He has been in a wheelchair ever since.

I tell you that to tell you this: This man is an inspiration to me. For everything that I have been through in my life, this man has been through worse. When I feel like giving up and quitting, I think of him, and I find another way to solve the problem.

He recently celebrated his 46th birthday, and I wanted to do something special for him. Every birthday for years now is another one that he wasn’t supposed to have. He has been beating the odds for all of his life, and his favorite celebration is Jagermeister.

I spent a lot of time and effort to do this project. Finding Jager promotional materials is difficult - they have a unique product, and don’t really need to advertise. I found this artwork and set out to reproduce it in a special way.

I spent many hours editing and converting to create a cut file. Check out the toolpaths!

The window in the sled is three inches across, so this writing is small enough to completely cover with one finger.

Seven and a half hours in, with more than sixteen hours remaining (which is a complete lie, it took much longer), over 1.4 million packets!

About 11.5 hours in, some of the details are starting to come together and make more sense.

24 hours into the carve, the clock reset. The cut kept going, but I lost my preview and could not see anything on the Makerverse screen. It continued to cut, so I let it go.

At 42.5 hours, the carve was finally complete! I slept in short naps because I didn’t want to leave the machine alone for long. It was an exhausting process.

Here are a couple of closeups of the characters in the carve. This is the raw carve still on the machine, so I have not yet touched it to clean it up.

The cleanup process was pretty involved as well. I spent hours with different small sanding tools, a razor, and an air compressor to fix up all the little frizzy bits. I got it cleaned up and ready for the next phase, but had to make a whirlwind trip to Vancouver and back over the next three days (2,250km), and asked my wife if she could paint it while I was gone.

My wife knows how important this project was to me, and even though I only asked her to do a simple job with four or five different colors and just concentrate on making the words and the elk stand out, she went well above and beyond my (and even her own) expectations, and turned this into a masterpiece. This is about 13 hours worth of painting by hand with various tiny brushes, tubes, and blades.

Here it is a bit closer to show some better detail.

Here is the completed work mounted to the wall in my friend’s house above his favorite sitting chair.

I will build a frame to put it in at some point. I simply ran out of time on this project and had other things I just had to do. It was a crazy week, but we were able to present this to him for his birthday, enjoy a few drinks and laughs, eat some great food off the smoker, and celebrate.

I’m very pleased with this project. For anyone who says that a Maslow cannot do detailed work, have a good hard look at this. At some point I will redo this project and size it up a bit to pull out the greater details. For my first go at it though, this is amazing.


This is truly incredible. Well done!

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Great Job!!

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That is just WOW

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That is beautiful! And the story brought a tear to my eye. The world needs more of this. God bless you!


I haven’t posted in here for a while. I had a bit of a crash, and it has been a struggle to get it sorted, but I am back. lol.


Here is one of the larger projects that I have done on the M2. I was asked to build a privacy screen using a bunch of old fence boards that were given to me. Those old fence boards have been out in the elements for 25+ years and are warped, rotted, have several coats of old peeling paint, and it was so much work to clean them up that I just couldn’t deal with it. So I got an idea to create something with the cnc instead, and this is what I came up with.

I carved these trees out of 1/8" hardboard and painted them black, and used 5/8" plywood painted blue as a base to glue them to.

Here are the three panels coming together with hinges on my workbench.

Here is the finished product. I made several mistakes, but it turned out looking okay.

It’s double-sided, so the pattern is on both sides.


This is an absolutely gorgeous build!

How did you do the design? Did you start with a pattern for the tree and then fit it to the shade, or did you go the other way around?

I kinda did it a different way around. I have a bunch of pieces of plywood that I took from a warehouse teardown, and so I used old “shelves” that were 24" deep, which determined how wide I could go once I factored in a frame. I went with 60" in height (or length on the cnc) to keep it easily within the 8’ boundary, and then cropped and stretched the portion of the image to fit the panel in Photoshop using rulers, and then exported three different jpg files, which I imported into Easel to create my g-code. This also theoretically would allow me to make two trees per 4x8 sheet of hardiboard, and I could just do a cut and flip the board and do it again. Ultimately, I found that it was best to cut each sheet in half and use a 12" spacer on the bottom to bring the piece up to the middle, and it worked better.

I made several mistakes. I did not keep notes as I was cropping, thinking that I would remember and then didn’t (rookie mistake right?), so the branches don’t line up. I also didn’t take into account that my added borders to hold the 1/8 material together on the outsides would change where the next panel should actually be to make the branches line up. I put the panels up backwards on one side (right should be on the left), but if I didn’t tell you that, you probably wouldn’t have noticed. :wink:

Cutting it on the machine was great though. It did everything I asked it to and was awesome. Something in this size and only 1/8 material is really flimsy though, so I had several parts of the carve break off as I tried to separate it and had to play jigsaw puzzle with pictures and glue, but I got it! And in the end, I did get two trees out of each sheet and now have a couple of extra trees that I don’t know what to do with. lol.

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