Poll: Best sled linkage

In the interest of upgrading my sled I would like to find out what people think is the best sled linkage. Post your opinion below if you feel strongly about any of them.

Best Sled Linkage
  • Included Ring and Bearing
  • Triangulation Linkage
  • Pantograph Linkage

0 voters

My opinion:

A good four bar linkage is great. The ring is often not perfectly round which is bad. Plus the friction on the ring isn’t very smooth. A good linkage moves very nicely without any jerky motion.


Just a feeling:
A 4 bar (are they not 6?) triangulation linkage with 4 screws is easy to align precise around the centre of the router / bit.
Just from a feeling, the sled balance seems to be distributed more evenly.

Both rings i got (1 standard size {found a new home in Uruguay} and a special edition for large routes {looking for a new home for only shipping} had this issue. Take a compass, draw a circle on paper and place the ring on it to check.

The problem with linkage is hardly anyone uses them. As a seller of kits I have to explain why metalmaslow kit uses linkages instead of a ring. I read comments on facebook that using a linkage kit is being a guinnea pig, etc. That the Ring was an upgrade to replace the linkage (wrong) and other misguided statements. Average buyer doesnt’ really dig into the technical details of a kit.

Not worth the confusion IMHO. So next batch of kits we will just use the ring kit like everyone else. Trying to offer something different did not pay off. Most people just want what everyone else has IMHO.

1 Like

How many rings do you have to come up with this conclusion… who did you buy them from?

  • EastBaySource rings are perfectly round Laser cut and believe MakerMade are as well.
  • EastBaySource uses CUSTOM made ball bearings, they don’t have a recessed slot in the middle, having a smooth surface for low friction prevents biding and jerky motion.

  • The ring is also easily and precisely adjustable in height, which is a must to properly balance the sled and prevent tilting.

I can’t say which one is better, there has never been a real comparison between the three and each one has its own pros and cons. However one thing that is unquestionably is that the ring has a proven functionality backed by thousands of users.

Having just built my Maslow, using the ring with the 3d printable alignment guide (http://maslowcommunitygarden.org/Ring-and-bit-alignment.html), I must say that it works quite well, the alignment is perfect.

I guess I’m just trying to find out what you guys think the other systems do better. I assume they solve the rolling resistance of the v-groove ball bearings.

there might have been a batch of ring kits that were out of round, see this thread

the main benefit of the linkage kit is that one could easily attach motors to them and use a wound spring to keep the excess chain from getting in the way. this would make a very compact portable setup more like the shaper origin in size. it could be boxed up shipped as a turn key setup pre assembled. the linkages also have better torque.

thousands of maslow kits have been sold, but many never built collecting dust. It’s a small percentage of users that advance the kit to be better.

Has anyone actually done this. I like this idea very much, it might suit my setup better.

no one has done it. I’ve thought about doing it. I got some #25 chain sprokets with bearings inside made to route the chain and used clothes lines retractable spools to take up the chain, but they would only hold about 10’ of chain and one needs about 12’ so custom holder would need to be made or just live with a smaller 4x6 wasteboard