The Meticulous Z-Axis

The 9" belt is if you go with the bigger pulley on the stepper motor? Or 1" to 1:

I think I am set up to go 10T on the lead screw and 16T on the motor output for a mild increase. I will check when I get home. My meticulous z axis is still in parts and needs finishing. I decided to buy a 3D printer to print out the dust chute which led me down another hobby rabbit hole :smile: I have also been super busy with work and life stuff.

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Lol I did the same thing. Been a busy week of learning. I’m printing the router clamp also. Is there an advantage to increasing the z speed?

I feel you there! xD

Yes, it a has a couple of advantages. The first is that the machine will be able to move faster, which means your programs aren’t going to take as long as the stock setup. This may seem like a small improvement, but when you have many z moves in a program, that increase adds up. The other, more important improvement is that the z speed will now more closely match the speeds it should be moving at for the common routing operations for the Maslow. A great example of that is drill speed. Without this upgrade, I can’t drill a through hole in a 3/4" sheet of plywood without burning both my material and the bit. Also, it would allow it to move more coordinately with the other two axis for lead in moves and engraving.

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Thanks, here’s my progress with the 3d.

The speed increases definitely makes sense. Thanks again for the information

If you haven’t printed the duct yet…don’t make the mistake I made by printing it laying down. Very difficult to get the support material out and will be tough to get it smooth inside.

and alot of wasted material!

I printed that way myself. It was already a long print, I didn’t want to make it longer by flipping it up like others had done. I ran into the same problem as you did xD

If only I had a printer that could do multi filament, I could print the support in PVA and then I could just dissolve it. Eventually, I will have a better printer.

“Neither 3D printing or CNC woodworking are for the impatient.” - Ghandi



Tricky how that image disappears :slight_smile:

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Done. Kind of.
Here is my setup: standard BOM as @MeticulousMaynard has setup as far as plywood components and lead gear.
15 tooth gear xl pulley on the lead gear, 30 tooth on the z motor. Gates 100xl belt. Z axis pitch in GC is currently -16 and really close. I’ll have to get a good caliper to get it any closer.

Here’s my first issue, the but isnt in center of acrylic, it sits more toward the floor. Not sure why.
#2 I cut the router clamps out of oak. They look nice but one already cracked when I screwed down the top. Even with a pilot hole. Sooo I would be happy to pay someone to print me some. :0)
#3 I was messing around calibrating the z pitch and ran it too low busting the acrylic. Guess that will be my next cut lol. I think if using a short bit like the smaller diameter bits tend to be it would be easy to do the same. The button to lock the router to change bits hits. Anyone run into that?

Did a test run drilling some holes and a short path. Z axis moves along nicely, drilled the holes nice and smooth like it should instead of taking forever. Didnt seem too fast at all. Raising to safety height was nice and fluid. Love it!
Dust chute seems to work well too.

I plan on adding a layer of hdpe to the bottom of the sled but I cant get it locally without buying a full sheet. I think I’ll order a smaller piece.

image image image


I highly recommend the hose clamp method I used. It puts the tension on the sturdier part of the wood. It is not nearly as pretty, though.

Yes, I found that I had to remove the window for some cuts with smaller router bits. I thought about cutting another window with an extra cut-out for the lock button for when I need it. I haven’t done it yet, though.

Nice build!

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Maybe just notch the acrylic where the lock button is located?

Another thought, since the center of gravity is significantly higher with this setup should the too beam be adjusted to chains will be parallel to work surface?

Yeah, that might work.

While a decent pair of calipers would work, a drop indicator would be the ideal tool for the job. It will be able to measure the movements of the Z-axis very accurately. Just make sure to move it in small increments, as this indicator only has a 10mm range. You’ll also want some form of a stand for it to hold it steady.

Have you run an test of your X-Y accuracy? I’m worried that your plywood thickness is different than what I had in my design, so your spindle is off-center relative to the ring. That could have an effect on your machine’s accuracy. We can always adjust the new spindle clamps to center up the router.

Out of curiousity, those of you out there that have made plywood clamps, how well have they held up? It sounds like the hose clamp method that @theHipNerd mentioned might be a better route to go for the wooden clamps.

Either way, I can print you a set of the spindle clamps this weekend if you want. I’ll want to print them so that they are the correct offset to align your spindle as I mentioned above. PM me and we can work out the details.

Ouch, that’s a bad oversight on my part. I like your idea further down in this thread to notch the acrylic. I will make that change to the main model when I have a spare moment. I modeled the Rigid router in the Fusion model, so it shouldn’t be too hard to use that geometry to place and size the notch.

Yes, the chains should always be parallel to the work surface. Is your ring currently above the CoG of the sled?


I used 3/4" birch. My machine has been very accurate imo. The new sled measures within a 1/16’’ all the way around, for reference. Everything fit together well.
Thank you for offering to print some clamps! I’ll PM you.

In the picture above ring was at proper CoG.
Thanks for the reply, and all the time you have put into this mod @MeticulousMaynard

You can also just do a 3d Printed version of that plexi (not as thick obviously) I have one similar that I printed at .5mm thick and I had a router go a bit too far into it and it just self clearanced with no other issues haha. The down side is the plexi just looks so pretty and you can see all the way thru.

Besides the aesthetics, I think for safety and other reasons, it’s really important to see where the bit is cutting.

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