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New "Clamping Skirt" Frame: 100% coverage of stock (including corners) for any width, height, and thickness of stock

I have been trying to solve some problems as I’ve perceived them with the Maslow default frame(s):

  • The edges of the stock are generally considered unusable.
  • Most frames are meant to support only one size of stock (i.e., 8x4), but I want to use 5x5 as well.
  • I often needed to screw the stock to the spillboard to correct warped stock.
  • It’s hard to load/unload stock.

This weekend, I finally am declaring “success.” Yesterday, I trimmed off a 1/2" border from an 8x4 sheet of MDF. Each of the 4 cuts had a tolerance of less than 1/8" across the entire cut. The corners were quite square… not perfect, but almost.

The solution is what I am calling the “Clamping Skirt” frame. There’s a full write-up, including gcode, plans, photos, etc. here. Aside from the frame, this also requires “overclocking” the Holey calibration.

I took inspiration from the metal tracks often used in woodworking benches to create a spoilboard with built-in tracks for clamps. Actually, this upgrade could be applied to just about any frame. It’s really the spoilboard that is the upgrade.

It’ll cost you about $150 in parts. You’ll need a working Maslow to cut out the routes for the tracks (~8 hours of cutting). Then, about 4 hours to assemble. The resulting spillboard is 10x6, and can support stock as small as 2’x2’.

You could clamp your stock directly on to the spillboard, but the clamps will impair your ability to reach the edges. Instead, I clamp a 10" skirt which actually supports the stock. I use scrap wood of the same thickness as my stock, meaning I get a perfectly flush skirt all the way around the stock.

To demonstrate the efficacy, here is a dogbone piece I cut from the very very edge of the stock. It fit perfectly, within 1/16" tolerance.


Awesome, thanks. Now I know the next upgrade that I’ll be doing.

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This is fantastic!

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nice engineered solution and write up! How heavy is your sled with the extra bricks?
this place is a little cheaper, but knobs don’t have metal bar and they require $100 order to get free shipping.

Thanks! I’m at ~35lbs right now. I just weighed it, as I’m applying my M2 upgrade… but that’s another story… let’s just say I’m already starting my next DIY fix for the total lack of dust collection on the M2 upgrade :cry:

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wow that is heavy, no issues with motors stressed out in top center? 65 lbs force?

I’d be woried the motor gears will eventaully need replaced.

Whoops! Thumb-typing quickly last night coming in from the garage; I meant 30.5 lbs :slight_smile:

You’re spot-on; this was a problem for a while – “sled not keeping up” errors in the top middle. I did have the weight higher at one point, and dropped it down to the current weight to account for that. If you look closely, the last photo has a different brick configuration than the others. In addition, I used broken, oddly shaped bricks… the closer I got the weight to the center of the sled, the better it worked (fewer errors). The one time I’ve taken the sled over the top of the stock onto the top skirt, it immediately started struggling again.

But I’m admittedly doing a lot of this on “feel.” I’m a software engineer with some electrical skills… the mechantronics are quite new. I’d love to take a look at that calculator, @Metalmaslow… is 30.5 still too much?

Here you go (credit: @dlang) I hope this is the latest version.

Kind regards, Gero

Edit: Looks like I can tell who changed it last :wink: . Where is the ‘reset to default’ button? :grin:

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Thanks! Using 22" motor height and 30.5 lbs sled weight, the max force is 52.19. I’m not sure how concerned I should be about the fact that it is yellow (not blue or red). I guess if I eventually wear out the gears, that’s a worthwhile price to me to achieve this level of coverage… and in reality, I rarely ever actually cut the top 1" of stock.

Hah, once upon a time (when I was an engineering manager) my Google-fu would have been good enough to set up per-person filters so people didn’t clobber each others’ changes… but I forget how to do that now.

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The Yellow areas show the differences between the two machines you are comparing. At least that’s what is says at the top.

Correction: That refers to the yellow on the side, yes orange confirmed.

Eh, I guess I mean “orange” not yellow. Pretty sure “yellow” refers to the pale-yellow on the right.

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i think it’s too heavy. reduce it to 26-28 lbs range and raise the bar up to 30" ( or just never cut within 10" of the top of plywood ) and it will be much less stress on the motors. The motors are rated for 70lbs, but people have still had gear motor failures.

alternatively lower the plywood 10"