Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden Newsletter

Questions for a potential buyer

I am looking to buy the Maslow CNC and I am an overall newbie when it comes to CNC and was hoping some users could help answer some questions.

What Is the Minimum size bit that can be used for cutting finer details?

When set up for 4’ by 8’ stock can smaller stock be used easily? ex: 1/4" x 8" x 4’

How close to the edge can the Maslow get to the edge of the stock, can the wood be fully utilized?

Can full cuts be made to the stock so the parts fall loose or do you have to leave them attached and break them loose later?

would be hard to use a Milwaukee router instead of the ridged https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000QV1CXW/ref=psdc_552866_t3_B000QV35AK ?

What Is the Minimum size bit that can be used for cutting finer details?

That depends on the router you use. using a 1/16" bit in a router with a 1/2"
chuck is tricky. People are routinely using 1/8" bits.

anything you can use in the router that you select will work in the maslow

When set up for 4’ by 8’ stock can smaller stock be used easily? ex: 1/4" x 8" x 4’

yes (see below)

How close to the edge can the Maslow get to the edge of the stock, can the wood be fully utilized?

This is something that we are currently talking about. The maslow rides on the
material being cut, so if you don’t have something that can support the sled,
bad things happen. This can be if you cut away too much of your workpiece, or it
can be when you go past the edge of the stock. Adding material past the edge of
your stock for the sled to ride on will allow you to fully utilize any stock
(small or large)

Can full cuts be made to the stock so the parts fall loose or do you have to leave them attached and break them loose later?

that depends where the router is when they fall, if the router is below them,
they will fall into the bit, which is generally not what you want to happen, but
if the router is at the top, and they won’t be damaged by falling, you can have
them fall loose

would be hard to use a Milwaukee router instead of the ridged https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000QV1CXW/ref=psdc_552866_t3_B000QV35AK ?

that looks like it would probably work, it’s not clear how much adjustability
there is when using the fixed base. I’ll point out that that router is over
double the cost of the ridgid oen from home depot.

David Lang

1 Like

Welcome @Commodorewolf to the Maslow forums! I’m glad you’ve found your way here :smiley:

This is limited more by your choice of router than the machine. We have cut with as small as an 1/8" diameter bit (that I know of), but a 1/16" bit with an adapter collet or a larger shank should work as well. As a side note, the machine doesn’t perform well with large diameter bits. The maximum feed rate is currently 1,000mm/min (~40ipm), and to get the correct chiploads you would need a low rpm router.

In the (old) stock design, the fence would get in your way when you get too close. Solutions to the problem are either to use a similar thickness strip for a fence, or to do away with the fence. I like the former myself. While I have yet to implement this on my machine, I plan on having 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", and 3/4" strips on hand for that reason.

Similar to the fence question. At the bottom of the machine, the fence will support the sled. I do this all the time with my machine with no problems. Again, sizing the fence to the material is important. At the top, no support is needed since the CoG is low enough. The sides may need “skirts”, which really are just like the fence I keep referring to. See @Bee’s thread, 80 Dollar, 60 minute Frame Build aka 80/60, for more details.

In theory, you could make it so the start and stop of your cuts are at the top, so that the part falls away as it finishes it’s cut. However, the easier and more common solution is to use tabs. Many CNC’s without vacuum tables will do this as well to keep parts from flying off the machine as it’s cutting. I keep a sharp 3/4" chisel on hand so I can cut the tabs after the machine is done. It’s quick and easy to clean-up.

Three things to look out for in your router selection:

  1. Variable speed range.
  2. Ease of mounting the Z-Axis kit.
  3. Size of the router and base

Issue 1: The Rigid R2200 router (the recommended stock one) has an RPM range of 10,000-20,000. I checked the Amazon listing you have linked and didn’t see RPM as one of the listed specs. I would strongly recommend making sure you can go at least as low as 10,000, if not more. The reason for this has to do with the above mentioned feed rate and the ideal chipload for a bit. See my thread, Increasing the Max Feedrate?, for more details about the relationship of speed and chipload.

Issue 2: This may be harder to figure out from just the Amazon listing. With the Rigid router, the Z-Axis motor connects to the base’s depth adjustment leadscrew via a shaft coupler:

From what I can see, it looks like you can remove the depth adjustment knob and attach the Z-Axis motor to that, much in the same way that you can with the Rigid router. I’m not sure, however, if the Z-Axis motor and the router itself might collide at some point in it’s range of motion.

The other thing to keep in mind with the Z-Axis is that, at least with the Rigid router, there is a fair amount of slop in the depth adjustment mechanism. We’ve solved that issue by preloading the router towards the material with a bungee.

Issue 3: I don’t think this will be an issue from what I can see with the Milwaukee. Some routers are really bulky (especially those that are available in the EU) and have been tricky to get to work with the triangular kinematics kits. Those kits would be either linkages, in the case of the top mount or 45 degree kits, or bar’s awesome ring kit. There are additional derivatives of these designs as well, but those are the major 3.

For more info on the triangular kits, here is some pretty heavy reading:
Very long development thread for Triangular kinematics: Throwing my hat in the sled modification ring
Link for @pillageTHENburn’s 45 degree kit: Linkage kits are now available! 🎉
Link for @dlang’s top mount kit: Metal Top Pantograph kit available
Link for @bar’s ring: Newsletter Ring Development
Accuracy tests for the different kits: Triangular Linkage Evaluation Criteria and Measurements

If you have any other questions, let us know! Remember, there are no dumb questions!

3 Likes

Thank you for replying so fast, with the z axis can you control the depth of each cut individually of you want some final pieces to have dado cuts?

2 Likes

When you are in CAM you can layer your patterns and each layer can have a different set of values including depth.

@MeticulousMaynard

Great write up - Thank you

2 Likes

That’s right. Also, it’s often necessary to make cuts a little at a time, increasing the depth each time around. Having the automatic z-axis greatly simplifies this. Having to stand by and adjust the router depth quickly becomes tedious :wink:

2 Likes

So my Milwaukee arrived(ended up ordering from home depot), no play in the z axis. And 1/4 connection under the knob. The knob travels up and down with the router so I’ll be looking into creating a mounting bracket that directly attaches to the housing. There are two cover screws directly next to the knob that look like they would be ideal for connecting a bracket.

2 Likes

Pictures please?

Thank you

2 Likes

Is that a plunge base I see in the background? If so I would use that on my sled. Then you don’t have to worry about bungee tensioners.

The plunge base applies tension outward and would require you to push the router into the work manually. The fixed base with is fine adjustment knob is quite form with almost no play. I’m not sure I’ll need a bungee at all.I’ll have more details as my maslow parts come in. Might start another thread in an appropriate place on the forum. Will link here when I do.

1 Like

I have this exact router and love it so I had to reply, you wont be disappointed. the plunge base is amazing but not ideal for the maslow. For the Z-axis; the clamp that holds the spindle on the fixed base will need to be loosened enough so the spindle can slide up and down with out unclamping, but tight enough to keep side slop to a minimum. You will need a bungee to pre-load the adjustment knob side, to keep the spindle from cam-locking while being adjusted, it moves perfect out of the box, but with all that vibration it wants to gull up quick. I actually lubricate the spindle after every other project or so to keep movement smooth and to keep the metal from gulling. I made a collar out of wood that hugs the entire outer perimeter of the red housing tight. used 1 stock z-axis bracket mounted to said collar. Made some brackets to clamp the collar to the housing to eliminate any wiggles. if the vacuum attachment is used you wont have to worry about lube as often.

Ill post pics of my setup in your new thread if you like, or when I finally get around to make a final sled I might start a thread too. Here is my first cut after getting the z-axis dialed in. it made 2 passes totaling a 1/4 inch depth with an 1/8 inch straight bit, overall its about 12 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall. the depth stayed consistent and I’m pleased with the accuracy so far. just have to keep the spindle moving smoothly

5 Likes

Hello,

Did you ever post a new thread on how you set yours up? I have a rigid but it keeps breaking so I’m really interested in the Milwaukee one.