Smaller sheets with geometrically increasing frame support? Thicker materials?

Has anyone tried using smaller sheet material with frames (especially the new default frame), or thicker materials?

I don’t have my maslow kit yet, but I’m thinking it would be cool to build a frame that (aside from the current full sheets) can also handle full smaller sheets, but maybe thicker materials too.

I was thinking that it might be a good idea to half the distance between frame rectangles, toward the origin. Illustration:


Does anyone have ideas on how thicker material could be supported? I’m thinking some sort of raise-able landing gear-like wheels on the sled, to let it work around a thicker block, OR maybe some sort of surrounding border sheet to support the router sled beyond the (blocky) workpiece’s edges might work.

BUT, I don’t know how well the Maslow handles chain depth changes. Maybe not at all, mechanically. Or maybe it works for a few inches mechanically, and just equates to slightly vertically offset coordinates? Or maybe it offsets coords ways that break the scaling calculations?

I guess in that case it might still be possible to raise the chain/motors, or sink the bed, to get more depth. But that might be more difficult to do with accuracy and rigidity; it’d basically be adding an extra axis to move a whole sheet or more, but for manual control. I want to build an enclosure for the whole thing at SOME point though, so maybe adding something for bed depth to it wouldn’t be TOO much more work.

Anyone tried either of these things – using multiple sheet sizes, or using thicker/non-sheet materials?

I designed the negative space frame to support the entire sheet of material, however you could Fir out to any depth. you would need to add Z adjustability to the top beam. this is pretty easy to do.

Have a look at the 8060 here:

Thank you

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That is exactly what the majority of us are doing. We sometimes refer to it as a “skirt”. Any scrap material the same thickness as your work piece around the edges will work.


Thanks @Bee. That looks useful. Some sort of supporting “skirt” was what I was thinking of for thicker pieces, and to access the whole frame.

If all of the electronic/mechanical parts are on the top bar, then yes, making that adjustable for depth should be doable, especially with this bootstrapping-with-a-simple-design approach (which I appreciate a LOT :D).

I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like something like moveable skirts (something like a workmate bench’s vice system) for smaller/thicker pieces, but I can only think of how to make that work on one side (since moving one skirt would require the another skirt to be adjustable in length somehow). Still, moving one skirt would help hold the workpiece, and would give cuts to the edge on two sides, at least.

Lol, scrap material does sound simpler :smiley:

And it does not take too long to come up with a large collection of scraps😅!


in the new frame design thread, we had a discussion of many different ways to
make the top beam adjustable to handle different material thicknesses.

My preferred way (which I haven’t built yet) is to use unistrut 2484 brackets at
the top of the legs, and then have a short piece of unistrut across the top of
this (replacing the existing wood support brackets that are mounted at the top
of the legs) and then attach the top beam to the short pieces of unistrut

link to example bracket

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I’m contemplating what my new frame will be built like and one idea I had (to handle thick material) is to just extend the arms supporting the top beam out further and just use extra sheets of foam spoilboards for normal thickness cuts (remove them when trying to cut something thick).

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