Trying to get my head around everything.. Bought a 2nd hand rig

Hey guys, been lurking on here periodically for quite a few years, as title suggests I’ve bought a 2nd hand M2. I just saw that video on Maslow YT Ch. about MM and Maslow… So I hope there isn’t any bad blood between users?? Understand there are differences in software ECT that’s fine…

My questions are more around the hardware/ frame design ECT… Firstly what version of a Maslow is the M2 a clone of??

Running a 12ft beam hard mounted to the wall. next step is to get the work surface mounted just to confirm 15 degrees is the optimum angle and top edge of the work peice is 300mm 12 inches from beam? (is that the centreline of sprockets or bottom of beam?

Appolgies for the stupid questions but its very hard to get all of this information in one place it’s scattered across so many threads…

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Welcome! the M2 uses a faster controller and requires that you use the makerverse software to run it. 15 degrees from vertical is the mounting angle of the main work surface. the M2 isn’t a clone really. it is a second gen version that included the z axis and the newer controller.

WRT your question about beam height, it is to the plane of the motor sprockets. Those are legit questions. There is more about it here if you want to read or link to a video that may be helpful in describing the geometry.

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12" is on the low side, 20-24" would be better, this is from the center of the

As for angle, 20 degrees is too much, 5 degrees is too little, 15 degrees works.

David Lang

Thanks guys, I have a workpeice frame already just need to repair it from the move home (I did it solo so was a bit rough coming out of the trailer)

another thought I had regarding chain slack and bottom corners… (I imagine this has been asked bu I haven’t seen it yet I have been reading and searching heaps)

Is there a reason why something like a chain guide (either a flat surface or a conduit) wouldn’t work to remove slop in the chains? just trying to use automotive engineering solutions (have a mechanical background no engineering just work on cars)

fixture points would need to be flexible to allow for movement, have considered a few diff scenarios in my head and have been looking for a thread from someone smarter than me who has tried or debunked this already… :grin:

I can only speak from personal experience with 15’ chains.

Some folks (including myself) add a counterweight on one or both ends of the chain that are on the unextended side of the sprocket.

In my specific case the counterweight replaces a fixed anchor point for the chain and maintains tension created by a coupling spring between the two unspooled lengths of chain.

I guess you might have a nice alternative solution given your background though.

Pic attached to explain what i mean with the weight.


yeah sweet, how much weight are you using on those??

I need to get mine set up and then I can try a few things and see how it works out… the issue is going to be as it approaches the top close corner the chain guide will be full extension up in the air if it’s a fixed length thing…

how has your weights improved accuracy in the corners?

you don’t want the weight to overwelm the tension of the sled. On a stock maslow
that’s about 4 pounds (with a 12’ top beam it’s a little over 7), if you put the
slack along the top beam and put a weight on the pulley (hint, see the
clothsline pulleys) you can have the weight almost double the tension, so 6-8
pounds stock 10-12 pounds with a 12’ top beam

the weight on the slack side is just to keep the chain from getting tangled with
things, if it’s too heavy, you start pulling on the other side of the sprocket
and backlash of the gears comes into play and you become less accurate, below
that it doesn’t affect quality.

if you have the chain going down the side of the machine, you need to not have
it flex closer to vertical or it won’t feed onto the sprockets as well (they are
only designed for a misalignment of up to 3 degrees and the tilt of the maslow
is 15), if you make a guide for the slack chain to slide on and keep the angle,
you should have no problem and not need any significant weight on it. If you do
put weight on it, the same limits apply

(answering via text-based email so I haven’t seen the images)

David Lang

Im using two concrete dobbies from home depot (about 0.2lb per chain). As @dlang mentioned, those counter weights are mainly to keep the chain from fouling the work area / slipping sprockets, so I suppose they dont help with accuracy.

I think I read you as asking more about sled weight and its impact on accuracy.

I happen to have quite a heavy router and actually run my M2 without weights on the sled. I have found accuracy to be acceptable for my application, which is +/- 3/16" over 8’.

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Thanks guys, David can you understand what I’m thinking?? In automotive when you have slack/slop in a chain drive (commonly a timing chain so tooth to chain position is super important like this application) you will see a combination of tensioners and guides used to keep everything smooth and tight… We have multiple tensioner options but the spot where my inexperienced eye notices is the run between the sled and the sprocket… that gravity affected slack directly impacts the sled position… so if we had some sort of guide that would facilitate a “straight” chain between the sprocket and the sled that would improve the tracking of the sled??

I know this idea needs work it’s just in my head right now I’ll need to put it on my rig and see how it fouls on everything…

what I’m picturing is a C Channel, attached at the sled allowing for pivot then a length that runs back up to a point (Above?) the sprocket where it rides between 2 pins allowing it to move freely in x and y top close will be an issue with 10-14 ft of ch now pointing up in the air…Should I put down the crack pipe??

yes, chain sag does affect things, the holey calibration attempts to detect this
and correct for it.

if you have a chain guide go from the sled to the sprocket and extend beyond
that as the sled gets closer to the socket, you will have 10’ or so of guide
waggling in the breeze, that will cause more errors (and errors that depend on
the speed of movement and so are harder to correct for) than the errors you are
trying to eliminate.

the maslow4 replaces the chains with kevlar reinforced timing belts, they have
less stretch than the chain (another source of error) and are lighter, so sag
less at the same length and tension.

you would be better off trying to replace the chains with belts than to
mechanically prevent the chain from sagging.

David Lang

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Totally agree, is there potential to “upgrade” to the version 4 system once it comes out?? I suppose only diff is that I already have the work surface built…

That will likely be next week’s project in getting it all set up, I do have to get some internet connection down to my shed 100m away from the house so wifi falls over once I get into my metal shed… :cry:

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Totally agree, is there potential to “upgrade” to the version 4 system once it
comes out?? I suppose only diff is that I already have the work surface

not really, the maslow 4 is such a differnet system that it’s a replacement, not
an upgrade (even the frame is significantly different, 4 anchors, all 2’ out
from the edge of the workpiece)

David Lang

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understand, but if your telling me a community of makers will throw their existing frames in the “trash” and build a brand new one for a version 4? or take the bones of what they have add some additional mounting locations for new motors and get started cutting? :grin: not trying to be argumentivie but how different can a 1200x2400 flat work area be from one the next??

the classic system has a top beam and must be oriented at 15 degrees from vertical. I’d mount the new on on the old frame with some modification to get it to work. It is wood, it will work, but it must be modified because you have 4 motor mounts now instead of 2, but no more hanging weights or chain slack to deal with.


A frame is a frame, but the M4 has its motors etc built into the sled, so you need 4 anchor points rather than motor mounts.

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I think the biggest difference as far as frame design is concerned is the need to mount the anchor points with a 2-foot margin. The working area of many existing Maslow frames aren’t two feet off the ground. After all, who wants to lift a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood two feet off the ground when 8 inches will do?

I do have confidence in the Maslow community to figure out how to modify their frames to work with Maslow 4, but it will take some thought.

but it won’t be 2 ft in a straight vertical direction… 2 ft on a 45 degree from the corner… making it a “lift” of 1 ft? it’s midnight and I’m under caffinated so don’t shoot me if that maths is wrong but it seems solid in my head??


the old frame was a 10’ wide beam 18" above the work area (so ~6’ tall). it has
the processor, motors and chains mounted to the frame

the new frame is 12’ wide x 8’ tall and has everything mounted to the sled with
just anchors connecting to the frame corners.

I actually expect that most people will just put anchors on a flat surface
(driveway, etc) but building a new frame is not a big deal for people who built
the first one.

There isn’t a need to stop using the old machine if you get a new one, and no
real benefit to trying to convert the old one.

David Lang

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I think that it shouldn’t be too hard to modify an existing frame. The frame for the Maslow4 can really be any flat rigid surface so as long as we can figure out how to attach anchor points to the old frame we should be able to use them no problem.

I really appreciate all the help here from everyone, getting me excited to finish getting all this other stuff sorted so I can get up and cutting… That way I can prove to the missus there is a value to this gear and when I say I need to upgrade to the version 4 she won’t give me too much of a hard time… lol