New * Basic * frame design

Let’s condense the new frame design here.



at over 830 posts the “new stock frame design” topic is getting difficult to wade through.

The intent is to take the diagrams shown below (or something similar exported out of onshape) and color the different boards and have instructions in the image. @madgrizzle does a good job of taking my instructions and diagrams and cleaning them up, adding in info where I assume too much (steps like 'wipe away excess glue :slight_smile: ) and producing nice images like this one. They are a lot of work to create, so he is holding off until we settle the design.


there are still a bunch of ‘optional’ items here, but they are optional because there is disagreement as to how much frame is needed. Some people live in areas where their plywood warps, others want to easily work on smaller pieces, so they want more places to anchor it, some people are just paranoid and want more rigid frames :slight_smile:

This cuts off just before standing the machine up and attaching the top beam, there is a separate discussion to cover the top beam.

Assembly instructions for the Maslow frame. This process deliberately avoids specifying measurements. Instead everything is positions by using other boards that have been cut as spacers. This produces more consistent results

The only measurement that’s needed is when you are squaring the frame, and that can be done with a piece of string (just use something that doesn’t stretch)

To keep everything square, you want to have a factory end on the 72" front legs, one of the 60" back legs, the 10" top beam supports, and two of the 32" pieces for the rear kickers

When fastening with glue and screws, the main purpose of the screws is to hold everything together while the glue dries, but they also provide a backup if the glue fails. “real woodworkers” can flatten/sand the surfaces and glue and clamp instead of screwing and end up with a good, strong joint. Normal people should leave screws in place 

This is ordered to keep things as small as possible as long as possible so that most of the work can be done on a bench/table

Assembly Instructions

  1. attach kickers to front legs

    1. use spacer blocks under the combined legs to lift them 1.5" off the ground
    2. take a 60" rear leg and clamp it to the side of a front leg with factory ends together and flush.
    3. put a spacer block narrow side against the bottom of the 60" piece
    4. position the kicker against the ground and the spacer block (on what will be the outside of the front leg, so one on the left and the other on the right).
    5. Check that it is square
    6. Fasten to front leg (screw and glue)

    IMPORTANT: This is one of two places in the build where the angles and distancesare critical. Make sure that the kickers are as square to the front legs as you can make them. Use the same pieces of wood as spacers for attaching the kicker to each of the front legs.


  2. attach the leg spacer to the rear kickers

    1. place a block along the inside of the rear kickers (on the same side as the leg), flush with the back of the kicker
    2. glue and screw the block to the front leg.
  3. position the top cross-member block not used on minimal version

    1. take the two 16" diagonals and set them against the lower block
    2. position a block flat against the leg, with the grain forward
    3. glue and screw the block to the front leg.

    IMPORTANT: make sure the block does not slip and extend forward of the front leg, with the kicker sticking forward of the leg it will not sit flat on the ground

  4. attach the rear legs to the front legs

    1. lay the rear legs next to the front legs with the bottoms flush
    2. drill through the back leg and use a lag bolt to attach it to the front leg
  5. angle the rear legs

    1. pivot the rear legs so that the edge of the leg and the top corner of the rear kicker line up
    2. glue and screw in place)
  6. connect the front legs with cross-members

    1. attach one 82" cross-member across the top of the each of the set of blocks attached to the front legs, glue and glue and screw into the block
      The bottom of the cross-member will be even with the top of the kicker

    *IMPORTANT: make sure the cross-members doe not slip and extend forward of the front leg, with the kicker sticking forward of the leg the front leg is up off the ground

  7. Optional, not compatible with minimal frame connect the verticals to the cross-members

    1. use the 28" diagonal brace pieces as spacers to position the verticals in from the blocks (exact position is not critical)
    2. glue and screw
      NOTE: this is fastening into the end grain of the verticals, which is very weak, but these do not have much force against them (they just support the workpiece/waste-board) so we can get away with this.
      Optionally cut 4 more blocks and use them in the corners.


  8. square the frame
    OPTION cut the corners off of the crossmembers so that they do not stick out beyond the boards they attach to

    If you are using both crossmembers:

    1. use a string or tape measure (requires an assistant), check that the diagonal distances between the corners of the cross-members are the same. If they are not, rack the frame until they match (push on the corners with the longest distance to distort the shape)
    2. glue/screw the 16" diagonal braces across the back of the frame, attaching the legs to the lower crossmember
    3. glue/screw the 28" diagonal braces across the back of the frame, attaching the legs to the upper crossmember
      If you only have one crossmember
    4. use a square to align the legs square to the crossmember
    5. glue/screw the 16" diagonals across the back of the frame, attaching the legs to the crossmember
  9. Optional connect the rear leg crossmember

    1. connect the 88" rear crossmember to the rear legs so that the ends of the crossmember are flush to the outside of the legs and the crossmember is resting against the kickers

that’s best done when the glue has dried a little, but is still moldable, usually about 15-20 minutes after clamping in my experience, that way you don’t smear it out.

I haven’t read any of the text, but i think i could build it on just the pictures, providing they get color coded, and there is a cutlist coming too. I wasn’t planning to follow these instructions, and kinda lost fate in the topic 300 posts ago, (too many people wanting too many different things) but i like what has come out of it :+1:

I will be using bolts for everything though, we’re moving in 3 months and i don’t want to wait to start building, i have the next three mondays of, and i’m calling them to maslow-mondays :slight_smile:


@dlang I’ve been adding the pictures to the wiki page here:

and I see that the wiki page goes through step 12, while this thread just runs through 9. Do you by any chance have pictures for the extra steps?

@dlang I’ve been adding the pictures to the wiki page here:

Home · MaslowCNC/Mechanics Wiki · GitHub

and I see that the wiki page goes through step 12, while this thread just runs through 9. Do you by any chance have pictures for the extra steps?

the last complete posting with all diagrams was at

for this basic frame design thread I cut off the instructions when we got to the
top beam attachment as we were still arguing over best options there.

I didn’t bother with a picture for the step to stand the maslow up :slight_smile:

If the weather works with me I may be able to test some ideas tomorrow. I have a few ideas that I’d like to try to work through.


How did the build go so far?

Thank you

So far I’ve just bought everything and read through the instructions carefully once to try to understand how everything goes together. I’m thinking it will take me until next week to really get things together because I want to go slow and take pictures along the way.


I think I am going to write complete instructions for by bolt together style frame first as a practice run. I keep second guessing myself about how to do the instructions and I think having a practice run with a frame that I understand well will help.


please do, i wanna bolt mine, i got no problem drilling straight holes :slight_smile:


I would also like to see someone build this frame ‘badly’, making the common
types of eror that a beginner will. Such as:

measurements off a bit
cuts that aren’t square
cut across two boards that aren’t square (so one is longer than the other)
(what other problems should be tested)

I designed the assembly process so that it should give you a good, solid frame
even in he face of such errors.

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OK - cliff notes

Alternate Legs / Center Frame - New build

qty 9 2x4’s - 2.5 hrs

It is pretty heavy as in I need help to move it. Defiantly different. It was very unstable without the rear cross member. Once I added 2 out of the 4 screws in the cross member it got tight. It is ready to Maslow.

More complete thoughts will follow.


Thank you


two items comaring this frame to the one I list above

  1. the rear kickers are angled to the front legs, so they cannot be used to hold material

  2. the bottom crossmember of your frame is not held on very solidly, all you have is the pull-out strength of scres/nails going through it into the end grain of your verticals, or toenailed screws/nails on those verticals going into the crossmember

moving the kicker from the outside of the leg to the inside and making it square to the front leg (as I do in the plans above) addresses both of these issues.

can you see how good/bad the anti-racking is if you have short diagonals rather than one long one? (I agree the one long one is better, but how much worse are short ones on the corners)?

I will have the measure out if I have the board stock to do the smaller parts. As far as strength I’ll give it a standing test. I’m again close to 200 pounds or ~14 Stone. The weight of a sheet of material plus the sled are no where near that. We agree to disagree on this. Rated at ~100lbs per screw my 4 screws will distribute 400lbs. As long as the racking is accounted for you are not tearing through the the wood vertically. Racking brace is handling the horizontal force. I see no issues here. I will trade you, I need some CAD help. I’ll test your bracing, if you can do some CAD. (wink)

I built the legs the way I did to cut down on the time and complexity, mainly I’m concerned that this design is 3 small fulcrums that working together may have a racking issue.

I will wait to see what @bar test run shows.

There is still the problem of top rail mounting that I think you and I are trying to address in a similar manner. I will break the out in a separate post. I picked up some all thread and took some pictures.

Bottom cross member, just as in wall construction is 2 screws per vertical to fight twisting. So 8 vertical screws. What exactly would be applying a downward pressure to over come the the bottom cross member? Why would the force be only on the bottom cross member? Outside of me standing on it? With a workpiece attached the weight should be distributed.

I concede I have not made a storage system as part of this build. This will be a part of my expanded documentation on the plus and minus of what we are proposing vs this build.

My screw count is 20 total on this build. I did learn a lot today. I stabbed myself on a splinter when I let a timber slide in my hand. My bad should be handling with gloves. I also lost a Phillips bit and a drill bit.

More to come. Lets talk CAD off line.

Thank you

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I don’t understand what screws you are talking about here?

I can do the cad work, how tall are your verticals, how wide are your crossmembers?

my legs are also three pieces plus a small block, just assembled slightly differently

If you make the kicker at a right angle to the front instead of the back, and have it stick out a little bit (I opted for the thickness of a 2x4), then the legs become almost the same (look at steps 1-5 above and ignore the top block)d

this all depends how the workpiece is attached. If it is sitting on tabs that are attached to the bottom crossmember, then all of the weight (including impulse force as the workpiece gets dropped onto the taps) will be applied only to the bottom crossmember.

If you put another beam across the front of the machine, then that beam can handle the weight.

right now there is nothing on this frame to hold the workpiece/backer/wasteboard.

As you say, cad talk offline. I’ll let you know what my schedule is like this weekend and when I am available.

Are you cutting the bottom of the legs flush with ground? I do this by sitting a board flat on the ground next to it. Then dragging a pencil across the top off the board to make a parallel line with the ground. That will give you the angle to make it sit flat. It looks great, I love the design.

Are you cutting the bottom of the legs flush with ground? I do this by sitting a board flat on the ground next to it. Then dragging a pencil across the top off the board to make a parallel line with the ground. That will give you the angle to make it sit flat. It looks great, I love the design.

we have not been doing that (it’s a more advanced technique)

In an earlier version of my design I described this, but as we tilted things
back further, the kickers some down to the ground, so trimming things flat
becomes more of a hassle, so it was dropped from the optional enhancement list

David Lang

I agree that when I built the New Frame Design I only used 2 screws per 2x and going into the end grain I had no trouble with strength and could support my weight like yours did. There were some issues with sag in the middle when I stood on it but when I put a 7/16" sheet of OSB on it there was no problem with racking or sag.

I think that we tend to way over design something thinking that a minor problem will be a deal killer. After all, the whole purpose of the frame is to hold your sheet you are going to cut and hold the motors. The most important part of the frame is to hold the motors and keep that piece from moving or deflecting.

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This is what I’ve been trying to say here for a while and I think you summed it up well.

However, true to form, I think @bar bar has “nailed it” with bolts.

This is a good simple let’s get going design that can be added to.

I think it bears saying there is much input from everyone here, this is the result of a community effort. I hope we will document at least 2 more designs. An Advanced adjustable design and an all Unistrurt.

Thank you

Oh not to worry, once the instructions are clear and (mercifully) concise with lots of @bar’s pics, I’ve definitely got you covered on the n00b build test front.