Hi, my first post.
I’m potentially interested in buying a Maslow kit but I’m concerned about the choice of out of the box routers available in New Zealand, I don’t really want to have to hack things to get them to work because I know I’ll stuff it up or lose interest due to lack of time.
I’ve done a search of the forums but most info seems to be from a few years back, so wondering if there is now an off the shelf router solution that works here in NZ?
I don’t think there is an off the shelf solution because there never really was. There might be more choice of solutions these days, but they all involve a degree of DIY and adaptation.
The Maslow can work without a Z-axis motor, so you could bolt any router to the sled and adjust the Z-height by hand for every cut (the software will pause and tell you to alter the Z-height), but that gets old really quickly. So, you need a motorised Z-axis.
We used the popular Bosch router hack, which is well documented here and works well. It is a little daunting, and takes time to get the parts together, but it can be done. Ours was a group effort, so we were lucky to have people with different skills to attempt every part of the build. If you’re worried you might stuff it up maybe you can find someone nearby to help. Where are you? We are near Christchurch.
I took a look at the Ozito router in Bunnings. It seemed that it could be modified more easily because there is a threaded boss on the outside of the frame, so everything is visible and accessible, but the router itself is probably not good for long-term use.
Other people are bolting motors to extruded beams, i.e. not buying a router at all, just a motor and a collet. Lots of ideas on this forum.
If you don’t want to hack things then you might find the whole Maslow experience a little off-putting. It’s not a product, like a TV or a toaster. It’s a machine which you have to build. Having said that, once you get it going it’s a cool thing.
Thanks Andrew, wondering if anyone here as has tried the recommended router that they use in the States but with a voltage converter?
I had even less choice of routers. So I made an actual Z-Axis sled thingo (see the meticulous z-axis, although my one isn’t ‘meticulous’) and mounted the router on that.
The other thing you REALLY need is variable speed control, because you’ll want to slow the spindle speed down to something like 9,000 - 16,000 rpm depending on the tool bit and material. So either get a small router that you can control the speed of, or…
For me I wired up my own emergency cut-off switch, and then included a light dimmer controller with that, and plugged the router into that so I could slow the spindle speed down on the router (it only did 32,000 rpm) but with the dimmer I can get it to down around 10,000 rpm minimum.
Not that I know of, but that would be an extremely poor choice for a build here.
I’m in Taupo if you need a hand with the Bosch conversion… No off the shelf one i know of, and a transformer from 240 to 110 is possible, but not cheap for a high draw device like that…
If you find a good parts site, you can compare the internal part numbers of the AEG (overseas) and the Ridgid router (used in States states). They are both made by the same company and have a lot of similar part numbers. I havent looked in a while but I think the speed control board and the motor itself had the same part numbers between the two markets.
With a brushed motor in these, They are not as sensitive to AC frequency changes as an induction motor would be. These routers use a closed loop pulse modulated driver on the speed control board. They basically cycle the power on and off very quickly while measuring RPM of the shaft. This is why when you load up the router, it will maintain speed until it maxes out the output.
As long as you do not exceed the voltage capability of the speed controller, it should function just fine. Seeing as how the routers in both markets use the same control board and motor part numbers, I would be inclined to say that it should work even though the voltages and frequencies are completely different between the countries. Similar in concept to a laptop charger just working wherever you plug it in to (I know chargers are much more complicated than a motor).
Remember, it is just turning the motor on and off at a very high frequency. It is not just dumping full line voltage into the motor and letting it run “wide open”. Without a closed loop variable speed, I would not use it.
That speed control changes everything!
Dig around yourself and look at the part numbers online.