Question on how deep some cuts go in Maslow videos

Hi Guys

I’ve just put my order in and looking forward to getting my Maslow CNC over here in Switzerland.
I have a brief question for you. I’ve seen some videos on youtube where items like a small sword are cut out using the Maslow. However it looks to me like the cut only goes partially through the plywood board. Is the item then partially separated or in fact has the cut gone all the way through the plywood board and there is another full sheet of backing board behind?
I hope thats clear enough. I would assume to remove an item you need to go all the way through your plywood cutting sheet.
Thanks for your reply

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Hi Brian!

  • Yes we cut all the way through.
  • The cutting depth depends on your setup, the bit being used, how far the bit is recessed, etc. The Rigid Router Z-Axis only has so much travel distance.
  • People commonly work with 3/4 or 0.75 inch plywood, and using the Rigid Router and standard setup, it is very easy to cut all the way through and then some. Cutting 0.80 all the way through is generally recommended.
  • When preparing your design files with Makercam, Easel, Fusion360, etc. you generally want to add “Tabs” which are small pieces of wood which hold the piece to the 4x8 sheet. This is done before you export the G-Code to be imported into Ground Control which actually runs the Maslow.
  • Once the job is completely finished, you generally take a oscillating cutting tool, or a flat head screwdriver and a hammer, and cut through the remaining tabs to separate the completed job from the work piece.

Hi Chuck

Thanks for the great reply. It was just the video I was watching as I had noted the tabs but couldn’t see any light through the cuts and it almost seemed like a layer of plywood thinner than the overall thickness was being removed. I was questioning how that could be done and wondered was it just another large sheet behind as a backing board. But your explanation makes sense of course!

3/4 plywood is about 18mm over here in Europe and pretty easy to come by. Whilst i’m waiting for the machine to arrive i’m toying with the idea of makinga smaller frame 4x4 purely for the ease of collecting and transporting the plywood sheets. I wonder has anyone else gone down this route?

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I’m sure there are other discussions but these threads might enlighten.

I need to update my frame but I’ve set it up full size but tend to work in a 4 x 3 ft area so i could just buy smaller boards even though i’ve been cutting down large ones. I guess there’s more value for money in the larger sheets.

So the outside sheet tends to stay in place unless i’m working with something that isn’t 18mm thick or need to cut larger. I probably need to think bigger with future projects to start using this to its full potential.


You are right on in that observation. You usually want to cut in multiple passes. I generally do 1/8th inch passes with a 1/4 inch bit so a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood is cut in two passes…the thicker the plywood the more passes you take. When you set up the file to cut the program you use (Autocad Fusion360, MakerCAM…etc) will ask you how many passes you want to use.

There is a second sheet of plywood behind the one being cut called a “spoil board” which is really just there to give you a surface to attach what you are cutting to. It gets cut up because you always cut a little through the material on the surface.

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From: Brian Bergin

Thanks for the great reply. It was just the video I was watching as I had
noted the tabs but couldn’t see any light through the cuts

That’s because there is a layer of plywood behind the one that’s being cut (a
backer/waste board) If you see light through that, you are cutting up your frame

Hi guys
Thanks so much for the replies. Is it correct that the original frame design uses a spoil board but the latest frame designs don’t? Thats probably where i was confused.
@KingOfScolboa I really like that design you use. So when you need to you buy a smaller sheet and fit it in the middle 4 x 3ft area? If you buy a full 4 x 8 sheet you just lay it over whats shown in the photo?
Guys I can’t tell you how excited I am to start doing some work. :slight_smile:


For a full sheet I would remove the top layers back to the spoil board then place the new board on top.

You might also want to consider at this point a modification I’ve seen others make where they add a skirt around the board so that the sled doesn’t topple in the absolute extreme edges of the full 8 x 4 foot area. Obviously this isn’t an issue working in the 4 x 3 foot zone.

More info here…

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No, in the original frame the spoil board was part of the structure of the
frame, in the new designs it’s not.

This means that you can use something like rigid foam as the spoil board (about
half the price of plywood), run without the spoilboard (as @bee does), and
easily replace the spoilboard when needed instead of having to rebuild the

David Lang