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Req for Recommendations on my new "old" kit build, best practices, virgin documentation, lions and tigers - oh my!

Hello everyone,

Thanks for making this a great and welcoming forum for users of all levels of experience.

I ended up getting what was one of the last batch of kits from Bar and Hannah last year. Due to some major life changes and then a move to a new house, I never had a chance to build it until now. I’m finally getting set up in my new garage and itching to build the Maslow, which brought me back to many nights of reading on the forums. But also many questions…

VIRGIN EYES

Before I get to my question, coming from a tech background myself (but more on the business side), I wanted to offer my one-time-only virgin eyes. That is to say, while I’ve been doing my best to follow the forums for months, and learn the theory, I still haven’t cracked open the package and started building. This gives me a unique opportunity to provide detailed feedback on a build using the latest info, and maybe help improve the documentation and FAQ.

I know that once you get in to something it can be hard to remember what it was like when you “didn’t know” where to start, making new eyes valuable to “fill in the blanks” for those that come after us. I hope I can help in this regard by asking questions and carefully cataloging answers and sharing the results back with the group.

THE QUESTIONS

THE FRAME & CHAIN

From what I have been able to determine, it appears the current thinking is that a 12 foot top beam (ideally in metal or does it matter?) will yield the best calibration results. Is this correct?

It sounds like the actual design I choose is more preference and available space, so will likely go with the modified regular design with the plywood storage as that is a great combo and I need some sheet storage.

Assume this is correct, I believe I will need to source two new lengths of chain as the chain in the kit will be too short. Is there a recommended source of specification for the chain or can I get it from any local bike or hardware supply shop?

MOTOR SPACING

With a 12’ frame is 11’ 6" the recommended motor spacing?

OTHER COMPONENTS & Pi

I see various “upgrades” have emerged, like a new motor control shield with higher amp support and various other bits and pieces. Would you recommend any “must have” upgrades, given what the community has learned and developed over the past 6-12 months?

Also, for a control device, is a RaspberryPi 3B sufficient or should I scavenge up some PC parts and make a proper PC? I have an old laptop here, how much fire power is required?

ROUTER OPTIONS

Originally I purchased the Ridgid router but ended up returning it as I was able to get the Maximum brand from Canadian Tire on sale for less than half the cost, and I see various people using it successfully with minimal modification.

I also have a much smaller (but lovely) Makita RT0701C trim router that originally I was told wouldn’t be powerful enough, but I have since seen a number of people mention using it successfully. Any guidance on which way to go? The Makita appears to offer more precision and I do have the plunge base for it as well as the fixed based, if relevant ( https://www.makitatools.com/products/details/RT0701CX3 )

CALIBRATION METHOD

Should I build with the 12’ beam and use the normal GroundControl and calibration or jump straight to the branch with the Holey Calibration from the start? I would like the most precise experience currently available.

WORK SIZE & WORK HOLDING

I understand the top center and lower outside edges are where most of the accuracy issues normally arise. I currently have a Volvo XC90 that is surprisingly versatile for carrying wood but I am constrained to 42" wide. Without my home-made bed extender I can go ~ 42" x 78" for a sheet (cut down at store). With my bed extender I believe I can go 42" x 96".

Given that the size of sheet I can easily carry is already constrained in size, if centered on the work area (both horizontally and vertically), would I actually be ok with the 10’ beam and the stock chains and still have good accuracy? I don’t really want to build the frame twice, so my inclination is to just go 12’ from the outset, but I was curious given my constrained sheet size.

In the same vein, I saw someone did a neat “camera iris” style, four sided work holding clamp system. Are there are formal recommendations on how to secure the work pieces?

SAFETY & BUNGEE CORDS

I can’t quite tell if a move to 12’ beam removes the bungee cord requirement, which I believe some have had some safety concerns with (bungees letting go etc). Are there any other safety best practices or learnings that I should incorporate as I go about building my Maslow?

SLEDS, Z-AXIS

I did get the original Z-Axis kit included with mine (need to double check). Is the stock sled and z-axis fine or should I consider a different sled design (or material)? I see multiple references to a “chinese c-beam z-axis” but haven’t been able to find a link yet to see what that is. I believe going Makita would take me in that direction?

SOUND DEADENING AND DUST COLLECTION

I’ve seen one or two photos of large plexiglass overlay shells to help with sound deadening and dust collection. Now that many months have passsed, how have those worked out if you have one? I am a lot more careful with my hearing these days and given the long operating hours to cut a project I’d like to keep it as quiet and clean as possible.

SOFTWARE

I currently use SketchUp for my woodworking projects and I really enjoy it but it seems it is not a great fit for the Maslow workflow. I know Fusion360 is recommended, and I should really take a look. I am having an MFT style detailed top made by a local CNC shop and they recommended I export from SketchUp and build up the CNC appropriate file in Rhino3D (https://www.rhino3d.com/). Yeegawds I just saw the price and my eyes are watering. Nonetheless, has anyone else here used it for Maslow work? Trying to find the shortest path that works with my SketchUp style brain.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN SHARE

If you have anything else you can share about your build and set up experience I would love to hear it. Thanks for reading this far!

-Jeff

1 Like

12 foot top beam… will yield the best calibration results. Is this correct? yes

Is there a recommended source of specification for the chain or can I get it from any local bike or hardware supply shop? I have some extra for sale that I bought off ebay. unfortunately 14’ long is not a common size so you would have to buy a bulk roll and cut it down or use $10 chain tool to add more chain to your exisistin gones.

With a 12’ frame is 11’ 6" the recommended motor spacing? I put my motors at the very end so more like 11’ 10"

Also, for a control device, is a RaspberryPi 3B sufficient or should I scavenge up some PC parts and make a proper PC? I have an old laptop here, how much fire power is required? PC needs to support OPEN GL 2.0 or latter. Which basically means it needs an intel 2nd generation or later chip made in the last 6 years. or if you are using a desktop, you can just upgrade the graphics card. whether you use Linux or windows is a personal preference.e

ROUTER OPTIONS

I was able to get the Maximum brand from Canadian Tire on sale for less than half the cost, and I see various people using it successfully with minimal modification.
I also have a much smaller (but lovely) Makita RT0701C trim router both will work and both will require modification to work with z axis. really doesn’t matter that much.

Should I build with the 12’ beam and use the normal GroundControl and calibration or jump straight to the branch with the Holey Calibration from the start? . when using a 12’ beam you need to change a few default settings. The chain length needs to be increased to 4267mm and the chain feed needs to be about 2540mm. Otherwise when you go to hook up sled it will not reach.

have a Volvo XC90 that is surprisingly versatile for carrying wood but I am constrained to 42" wide. Without my home-made bed extender I can go ~ 42" x 78" for a sheet (cut down at store). With my bed extender I believe I can go 42" x 96". buy a hitch and a cheap harbor freight trailer IMHO or roof rack.

I can’t quite tell if a move to 12’ beam removes the bungee cord requirement, bungees still needed.

I see multiple references to a “chinese c-beam z-axis” but haven’t been able to find a link yet to see what that is. I believe going Makita would take me in that direction? Yes about $40 to $80
https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?ltype=wholesale&d=y&CatId=0&SearchText=150mm+c+beam&trafficChannel=main&SortType=price_asc&groupsort=1&page=1
you will need to also order belt and gears & router clamp and mounting screws.

good luck

1 Like

VIRGIN EYES

Before I get to my question, coming from a tech background myself (but more on the business side), I wanted to offer my one-time-only virgin eyes. That is to say, while I’ve been doing my best to follow the forums for months, and learn the theory, I still haven’t cracked open the package and started building. This gives me a unique opportunity to provide detailed feedback on a build using the latest info, and maybe help improve the documentation and FAQ.

I know that once you get in to something it can be hard to remember what it was like when you “didn’t know” where to start, making new eyes valuable to “fill in the blanks” for those that come after us. I hope I can help in this regard by asking questions and carefully cataloging answers and sharing the results back with the group.

very good, please update the wiki to reflect your viewpoint.

THE QUESTIONS

THE FRAME & CHAIN

From what I have been able to determine, it appears the current thinking is
that a 12 foot top beam (ideally in metal or does it matter?) will yield the
best calibration results. Is this correct?

it will improve the movement in the bottom corners significantly (you may want
to make it a little higher above the workpiece)

metal vs wood is still being debated

It sounds like the actual design I choose is more preference and available
space,

yep

Assume this is correct, I believe I will need to source two new lengths of
chain as the chain in the kit will be too short. Is there a recommended
source of specification for the chain or can I get it from any local bike or
hardware supply shop?

most people get it online, this is smaller than normal bike chains. you only
need an extra 12-18" for each side, and I believe the kit includes master links
to let you join the chain segments together.

MOTOR SPACING

With a 12’ frame is 11’ 6" the recommended motor spacing?

no, 12’ :slight_smile:

as wide as you can make them.

OTHER COMPONENTS & Pi

I see various “upgrades” have emerged, like a new motor control shield with
higher amp support and various other bits and pieces. Would you recommend any
“must have” upgrades, given what the community has learned and developed over
the past 6-12 months?

not ‘must have’ but ‘nice to have’ the stock machine works, but if you do manage
to burn it out, get the upgraded motor controller.

Also, for a control device, is a RaspberryPi 3B sufficient or should I
scavenge up some PC parts and make a proper PC? I have an old laptop here,
how much fire power is required?

a laptop would need openGL support, but if you can run linux, the mesa emulator
is good enough.

a Pi with WebControl is looking like a very good option, but due to it (so far)
being pretty much a one-person effort, it doesn’t yet support the holey
calibration option, which is looking very promising.

I would say that currently, try an old laptop, but in a couple months, the
WebControl may end up geing the way to go

ROUTER OPTIONS

whatever you are able to motorize the height of will work.

CALIBRATION METHOD

Should I build with the 12’ beam and use the normal GroundControl and
calibration or jump straight to the branch with the Holey Calibration from the
start? I would like the most precise experience currently available.

Some people are able to get very good results with the default, others are doing
much better with the holey version. Personally, I think the holey version has a
better theoretical basis, and will be the better approach in the log run

WORK SIZE & WORK HOLDING

I understand the top center and lower outside edges are where most of the
accuracy issues normally arise. I currently have a Volvo XC90 that is
surprisingly versatile for carrying wood but I am constrained to 42" wide.
Without my home-made bed extender I can go ~ 42" x 78" for a sheet (cut down
at store). With my bed extender I believe I can go 42" x 96".

Given that the size of sheet I can easily carry is already constrained in
size, if centered on the work area (both horizontally and vertically), would I
actually be ok with the 10’ beam and the stock chains and still have good
accuracy? I don’t really want to build the frame twice, so my inclination is
to just go 12’ from the outset, but I was curious given my constrained sheet
size.

the 96" length would be the harder thing to dea with, sticking with 42x78 will
keep you out of a lot of the problem areas (make it so that you sit higher on
the frame to avoid the bottom corner problems)

look at the spreadsheet and put in the numbers and you will see what I mean.

In the same vein, I saw someone did a neat “camera iris” style, four sided
work holding clamp system. Are there are formal recommendations on how to
secure the work pieces?

whatever keeps it from moving and doesn’t interfere with the router :wink:

it’s useful to have extra material the same thickness as your workpiece on the
sides and bottom, otherwise the router will tip

SAFETY & BUNGEE CORDS

I can’t quite tell if a move to 12’ beam removes the bungee cord requirement,

no, you still have slack chain to deal with. I much prefer weights than bungee
cords

which I believe some have had some safety concerns with (bungees letting go
etc). Are there any other safety best practices or learnings that I should
incorporate as I go about building my Maslow?

the danger is if the chain comes off, the slack control (bungee or weight)
coming loose may make the slack go somewhere that makes the chain come loose
from the sprocket.

SLEDS, Z-AXIS

I did get the original Z-Axis kit included with mine (need to double check).
Is the stock sled and z-axis fine or should I consider a different sled design
(or material)? I see multiple references to a “chinese c-beam z-axis” but
haven’t been able to find a link yet to see what that is. I believe going
Makita would take me in that direction?

this gets back to the router selection, some have height adjustments that are
easy to motorize, some are hard enough that it’s easier to build an external
one. The external ones are better in the long run, but it’s easy enough to build
a new sled once you have a working machine, so look at how easy it is to
motorize the routers you have

SOUND DEADENING AND DUST COLLECTION

I’ve seen one or two photos of large plexiglass overlay shells to help with
sound deadening and dust collection. Now that many months have passsed, how
have those worked out if you have one?

I think I saw an update on that within the last month or so.

SOFTWARE

I currently use SketchUp for my woodworking projects and I really enjoy it but
it seems it is not a great fit for the Maslow workflow. I know Fusion360 is
recommended, and I should really take a look. I am having an MFT style
detailed top made by a local CNC shop and they recommended I export from
SketchUp and build up the CNC appropriate file in Rhino3D
(https://www.rhino3d.com/). Yeegawds I just saw the price and my eyes are
watering. Nonetheless, has anyone else here used it for Maslow work? Trying
to find the shortest path that works with my SketchUp style brain.

people have used whatever they have access to, I would not spend the money on a
commercial took, the open tools are pretty good.

Bar is working on Maslow Create, so take a look at it as well.

David Lang

TL ; DR
Will take a new attempt this weekend.

Kind regards Gero

1 Like

I like https://www.estlcam.de/ $59
makercam and partkam websites suck, take forever to load etc.
worth the price IMHO.

Me too :joy: love the post. Also there’s really nothing more I can add after David.

1 Like