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Slack Chain Hassles

I used an old workout band! Cut some chain guides and have full run of the 4x8 sheet! Cain’s stay tight!image


Neat set up! How close do the hooks get to each other when the sled is at the top of the board?


About 40 inches apart.


Ohh interesting, did you link up both take-up sprockets with the same workout band?

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Yes they are strapped together and pull on opposite ends of the band.


Not liking over stretching bungees, no work out band or paracord nearby, decided to try counter weight for top beam. After a few iterations that dragged because too much friction, finally successful with perfect tension. However we quickly learned we cannot cut left 10 inches, or right 10 inches of 4x8 sheet.

Guess we can tie rope directly to sprocket, and turn wheels towards small original bearings and bring rope in like you did to get few more inches. But what is your far left and right margin?

Can I see a picture of the front? Moving the nail that holds the other end of the chain closer to the motors will get you extra inches.

*Edit: Going out and up with the nail could get you the extra inches needed.

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Appreciate your thoughts on this :slight_smile: Don’t think it has anything to do with leftover chains. Everyone should have the same amount of left over chain, as the setup process measures out a predefined number of links. In my 2nd picture you can see the sprocket comes too close to the first pulley. Once that happens, sled is 10 inches away from side. Can’t cut any of it.

Pull on the side of the chain that is attached to the nail. You will see the sprocket moves further away from your pulley.

It’s not that you have more chain on the leftover side. Your top bar is either shorter, your pulleys are too far apart or the nails are not far enough out.

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Did that work for you?

You could move any one of the ends in the red arrow directions to get those 10 inches back.
Moving the motor would obviously require more work. Staggering the pulleys would work but not with the way you have them set up now. Moving the nail horizontally out would be the easiest.

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It is not the amount of slack chain that would be the problem, it is where it is stored. If you move the sled to the opposite bottom corner, how much chain is still available to extend further? That should all go, just move the nail till most of it is gone
On my fancy paint picture below the amount of chain is about the same, but the nail position gives more clearance on the top one.

Could you provide us with a picture from the front?


Really appreciate the feedback! Ignore previous pictures, that was so yesterday lol. On my 7th iteration I’m now able to bring ropes a bit further towards center. Also removed a lot of friction, rope no longer touches any wood with 4 Large clothes linen pulleys from Home Depot for $2.38 each. also 2 Large metal wall ceiling pulleys $4.28 each needed on surface for 90 degree turn as orange rope too large for original small bearing. You may wonder why I switched some heavy duty metal wheels to plastic - its because they spin much easier with rope. None of these have bearings in them anyways.

However you can see how we still run out of rope trying to reach top left corner. So your saying I should move nail termination over - and possibly down a bit - ok. We will try that as soon as i return!


Thanks again and to clarify, a quick test showed I currently cannot access top left corner as shown in picture. So yesterday when I was testing I must have started from the top and tried to go straight left… anyways, I will make adjustment per your recommendations and will test from home > each corner, and back to home.

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LOVE IT! Fix worked as you both suggested! Moved nail and terminated chain above motor, while I was at it I brought termination point out a little to help keep chains co-planar. I also added a block of wood under the two metal pulleys to keep not only the rope, but also the chains off the header. LESS FRICTION FOR THE WIN! We (Anthony and I) filled 2 liters with sand for a total of 7.2lbs but added a little water to remove air, increasing weight to 8.2lbs for now - may add more later. Used a small washer to reinforce cap. I drove sled to all the extremities and happy to say I am back to cutting the full area (minus the edge which requires a skirt)


Looking good!

*Edit: hahaha just noticed the dog cheesin in the top right picture.

Great to know it works, then i’m gonna do it the same way, once i find a free day to play a little with my maslow (maybe next saturday finally) :slight_smile:

was water only not heavy enough to keep the chain out of the way?

I would have tied the chain around the neck of the bottle rather than relying on
the caps.

Thanks for doing this. I’ve been advocating this approach for a while, but
nobody (including me) has been able to take the time to build and test it.

David Lang

No. Water (2.2lbs per 2 liter) was not enough. The pulleys would hesitate for a revolution or two of the sprockets - sometimes catching up in time. Sand (7.2lbs per 2 liter) was not enough. Wet sand has 30% more density, so adding a little water quickly extracted alot of air bubbles and increased to 8.2lbs which seems to be working great. Our old traditional frame only required 4lbs per each tension rigging, which delayed us coming to this conclusion.

Yes tying around the neck would be safer, but then they would be angled and have chance of twisting. I really want to make cement triangles in homage to Abraham Maslow :wink: But may end up with long skinny cement cylinders - like the lead weights on a grandfather clock.

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and how would them being angled or twisting hurt anything :wink:

assuming that they can be positioned far enough apart to not catch on each other as they pass :slight_smile:

The weights ahead we’re just barely good enough to pull the slack up in time. I wasn’t liking that so I upped one side of weights to 20lbs and was a tremendous difference. Will be recommending 20 pound weights for each rope going forward. But I cut for over one hour with the counter weight system the chains were awesome! Zero jumps, zero bindings. Oh and no fear of bungee cords breaking :wink: