Snail Maslow Assembly

Hello everyone, thank you for coming to see my Maslow build. Tonight was the first night I actually started work on assembling the frame and I got most of the way before I felt that 2230 was too late to keep making noise my neighbors may be able to hear. I got my Maslow in the second shipment from Bar and Hannah but haven’t had the space to assemble it until now. I recently moved to Kailua-Kona and I’m planning to use my Maslow to make lots off furnishings for my new place. Well, I will post a picture and I plan to be back tomorrow with some more progress. As you can see I went with the bolt together frame, I did this assuming that I would want to modify it and I thought that the bolt together frame offered the easiest modification platform.


Just like you, I’ve had my kit a long while but haven’t been able to set it up. I was prepared to start the frame, then Hurricane Michael reset my finances. The eye was pretty interesting to experience I must admit. I’ve extra chain, bits, the router and everything ready lol. You have made the first step, probably the most difficult, I’ll live vicariously through your build. Well wishes!!!


Well if you don’t see a post in a while feel free to comment and prod me along. I’m trying to get this together as quickly as possible so that I can start making some closet organizer things because I am using my son’s dresser until he gets here in October lol. I also need an office desk and an entertainment center. It will take a lot of applying myself to learning CAD and the realities of Maslow but I am excited to learn hands on!

I got the frame put together this morning and I will work on getting the hardware mounted to the frame when I get home from work tonight.

Still a lot of work to go…

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So, I don’t possess a router to mount on a temporary sled to make the final sled and I intended on going with a Meticulous Z from the start with a 500W spindle for my bit spinning duties. I have a table saw, C-clamps, spare lengths of 2x4, a drill, and a circular saw for wood working tools. I’m thinking that with care I could make a temporary Meticulous Z that will almost certainly be upgraded at some point. This doesn’t sound outlandish to the people with experience does it? I’m thinking that I will need to take my time and ensure that my cuts are good and square as the most important part. I plan to get some brackets and then print a template to drill all the holes in the correct positions. If I can get the temp sled working and everything going well, I’d like to cut a permanent sled out of the plastic counter material to keep the CG low. Any input on this area of my build is greatly appreciated as I’m working my way through the process. Here is a picture of my Z axis components. The rails are 400mm which I think is too long. I can’t cut the ballscrew any shorter because I don’t have a way to machine the bearing surfaces back ATM.

don’t bother with a temporary sled, just build your permanent sled with the
meticulous Z

don’t worry about making it a circle, any shape will work.

David Lang

Well, I looked for a 200mm ballscrew and I couldn’t find one. I was going to cut my rails down. In the end I decided to pay the $30 for a set that looks like the stuff the Meticulous Z calls for. I may still use the ballscrew at some point but I’m concerned with the amount of weight causing my CG to be far higher than I want.

The pulleys and belt say they were delivered today, and the new rails are supposed to arrive Friday. So I could, theoretically, have everything assembled a week from today.

Well, I got the Maslow parts secured to the frame and just need to build my sled. I’m planning to make some PDF files of the Meticulous Z and then simplify them to be cut with a table say. I ordered some 6mm single flute bits and they’re supposed to get here Friday with the new rails and lead screw. I have to get the rest of the fence put in at my house but I’m shooting to have the working sled completed by Saturday. I think that’s overly optimistic, but we will see.

@MeticulousMaynard are there PDF files of the upright components? That would just save me some time.

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Quick tip while your at this stage. Flush cut that bottom 2x4 that connects the front to the back. Then add a 8 in or so wide strip of plywood across the bottom and the top. You will want it later. Because the sled will tip when you are cutting on the edge. I added it later but wish I did it in the beginning.


Thank you for the advice! I will measure and see if I have enough ply currently. If not it may take a while for me to add it because my Elantra doesn’t carry very large pieces of wood. The F-150 is somewhere in the Pacific though so it should arrive beginning of next month. Initially I don’t have any large cuts planned, so I figure I will be securing my work to the backer board. Has anyone used dowels to hold their work in place? I was contemplating adding an 1/8” panel sheet as waste board and thinking that dowel holes in a grid would be useful.

This also gave me the idea of trying to make my own milling clamps like these. Not 100% sure how I’ll do it just yet though. Thinking of dowels through some stacked wood and a bolt to push the clamping portion…I will draw it out and then use a CAD program so other people can see what I’m thinking.

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Not at this time, although I’ve been working on getting 2D files together for DXF’s and PDF’s now that the NC files are taken care of.

Ok no problem. Today I’m at the DMV so I’ll spend most of my day waiting. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow and I THINK I can make the sheets in SolidWorks.

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It’s quite easy to make a circle with a jig and a table saw.

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I’m not worried about the sliding surface at all, I’m worried about a way to attach my spindle to the sled while keeping it perpendicular to the work surface and also having a Z axis. I really didn’t think about how I would make the Meticulous Z without having a CNC machine to cut the parts. I’m thinking that I can make a pretty simple tower with three sides though, similar to the Meticulous Z, just no tabs or fanciness. I bought some angle iron today to attach my tower to the sled. The only problem I have at the moment is that I don’t have the new components I am planning on using, so trying to figure out how wide and tall the tower needs to be is guesswork. Using what I have on hand I think I can get a pretty solid idea. I’ve spent today watching a FreeCAD tutorial and I think I will be able to model my idea in that tomorrow. The tutorial did a good job of showing how to make variable geometry built into a design so I’m pretty confident I can get it modeled and then adjust as needed when I get the parts.

So, I would imagine that this is a silly question, but does the Maslow use the center of the work area as it’s usual origin? I have read that there aren’t workshift offsets, but I’m not sure how you set the Maslow to the origin of your cut. I’m working on better understanding FreeCAD and keeping the origin centered seems like a decent idea if that is the home position for the Maslow.

The machine origin is at the center of the machine, but you can tell it where the program origin is. You jog the sled to where you want your origin to be, and then press “define home” in Ground Control.

I usually set it to the bottom left corner of the stock, because that makes it easy to know that all my parts are going to land on the work-piece. Also, all my X/Y coordinates should be in the positive then, and that just makes my OCD happy. :wink:

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Thank you! Coming from an aerospace CNC machining background I also want everything in the positive with the origin in the lower left corner lol. Although, I usually programmed my parts with the top being Z0 so that I knew if I saw a negative Z I should be in the material. I was thinking of using my Maslow to cut a grid of holes in my board and then making some pegs for the workpiece to sit on and another set of clamps that I plan to make. The FreeCAD video I was watching had the guy centering everything on the origin and I could see some sense to that also, although at the end of the day it really depends on preference I guess.

Nice! I come from robotics prototyping myself. Admittedly, though, I usually set my origin to the back corner so X is (usually) positive, and Y and Z are negative. That’s just because I want to be able to repeatably position off the back jaw of my vice, though. And then there’s castings and rough-cut waterjet parts, where I definitely prefer to center my origin, just in case there’s any variation in the part.

I do that with my Maslow, too, although I didn’t explain that well in my previous post. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anything along those lines is a great idea. I’ve thought about doing something similar, or come up with some kind of side-clamping system that works well with the Maslow. I say this a lot at work, but workholding/fixturing is probably the most important problem to solve with anything CNC.

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currently setting home causes GroundControl to re-write all your g-code to new
coordinates, we need to get someone to add G54 (and family) to the firmware and
clean this up.

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I loved having a hole of known dimension in the stationary vise jaw, then we would reference that hole as being a known dimension from the bottom left corner of the part. It may not be accurate better than+/-0.005" but we always had at least that much wiggle room in the stock. Otherwise origin was the center of a bore or some other prominent feature held to a tight tolerance. The biggest thing I want to adapt from that experience was having tapers serial numbered and then having 300 tool offsets in the machine. Each tool was set once and then you could change from one job to the next pretty quickly from gathering tools from the rack. It takes a lot of care on the operator’s part to put things back and keep all of the documentation correct, but you can do small lots with near large lot efficiency. Then there was the cell system hahahah.

I’m looking to afford a Tormach at some point. They seem to be worth the money since I’m not going to get 480v 3ph piped into my house to run anything that would do mass production lol. I think of the Maslow as a way to learn realistic systems that work in my garage until I can afford more expensive toys.

While this obviously works fine that makes me nervous. I suppose a G54+ command isn’t a whole lot different in practice though. I would really like to have the workshift offsets just for nested parts. I like being able to set my origin based off a feature I am trying to hold a tight tolerance on.