Wednesday Dec 20th Kickstarter Update

The Wednesday Dec 20th Kickstarter update is posted:

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

I’m really excited to get the project of the week contests going again.

Hello! I am super excited to get my Maslow when you start shipping. Reading this update and looking at the frame part of the update it says wood frame is recommended, metal frame is not recommend. I feel like a metal frame would be a lot more rigid and smaller / thinner and easier to store than a wood frame.

Can you share some insights on why a wood frame is better than a metal frame?


Great questions!

Steel is stronger for a given dimension, but way more expensive. So a 2x4 made of steel would be much stronger than a 2x4 made of wood…but also much more expensive. The stiffness of a material goes up exponentially with the cross section so a 2x2 beam is 4x as stiff as a 1x1 beam (I think). The end result is that a 2x4 from wood that costs $3 ends up being stiffer than a 1x1 steel uni-strut that costs $50 especially in the 4 inch direction.

The unistrut is still a totally viable option, but it’s going to be quite a bit more expensive.

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That makes since, especially with Unistrut. I have a bunch of square aluminum tube laying around and was thinking of welding a frame from that. The main drawback you are referring to is cost, not an inherent issue with steel or metals as a whole. They are also definitely not as forgiving when modifying in the future.


I’ll point out that the sample frame you show as the 4" be the front-to-back
dimension, do you need the stiffness there or in the other direction? (it may
depend on if you are horizontal or mot)

also, your sample frame is fairly weak in the racking direction (push on
opposite corners) but a diagonal brace across the corners would strengthen it
drastically (doesn’t have to be especially thick, a piece of 1/2" or 3/4"
material would be pleanty)

you put fancy gussets on every joint, that’s nice but you may be able to get
away with simple screws/nails into the endgrain, especially if you have diagonal

hard to know for sure without having something to test with :slight_smile:

if you sheet over the whole thing, it would be extremely stiff, even if you only
used 1/4" or 1/2" material

David Lang

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Also, for those getting ready to point out that wood expands with humidity, it
does, but mostly across the grain, meaning 2x4s get a little thicker.

metal expands with team (more so than wood does)

in both cases, this expansion can end up warping pieces

the other reason for wood instead of metal is ease of construction. Just about
anyone has the tools to work with wood, not as many people have the tools to
work with metal (at least, unless you get significantly more expensive metal
that has holes/slots aready made in it)

but some people have good access to scrap metal, and if you have it, it can make
a really good frame.

David Lang

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it’s a lot easier to add a little length to a metal piece (if you have a welder)
than it is to add a little length to a wood piece :slight_smile:

one additional thought from my other posts, the frame expanding or warping is
less of a problem with the maslow4 than with earlier versions, since the maslow
4 can check it’s calibration and detect the problem a lot easier (wonder what
the thermal expansion of the belts ends up being :slight_smile: )

David Lang

hmm, earlier you had been saying you wanted 2’ in every direction from the
corner, this example is only 1’ off the ends (10’ wide for 8’ cutting area, not
12’ wide)

is this a change is recommendation? or just a slip?

I do agree that putting sheet material over the whole wood frame (or metal) would make it much stiffer without needing diagonal braces. This could also be your washboard. It can add some significant weight to it though.

I was also curious about the 2’ in every direction of space. It does have 2’ on the Y axis but it looks like only 1’ on the X axis. That wouldn’t be hard to make bigger, but worth a conversation and updated plans.

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I think that there are pros and cons to both, but the direction that seems to need the stiffness the most is in the twisting direction.

Having a sheet across just the middle three verticals is enough to prevent it from racking quite well, but it can still twist.

We’ve been playing around with using some of these wires:

In a cross on the back to add stiffness in that direction and it seems to work well. I’d like to do a little more testing before recommending it, but it seems worth it so far.

Hey, @bar. Where’s the best place to post monthly/weekly contest entries?

You are certainly going to be first across the start line :grinning:

I’d start a new post for your design in the Hardware category. That way we can ask follow up questions and clarifications, updates…etc will all be in one thread

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@bar have you tested cutting at different plunge depths. I would think since we aren’t relying on gravity or sensitive angles, the 4 belts may allow deeper cuts in a single pass without losing accuracy or just messing up.

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I think you are missing a good advertising point. Place maslow4 on the lawn and use tent stakes for the belts.


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Yes, you can absolutely cut more aggressively than with the original Maslow, both much faster and deeper

I think that’s a fantastic idea :smiley:…I don’t have a lawn to try it out on, but I will keep an eye out for one. I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work and I bet the grass would also provide enough friction to keep the wood you are cutting from sliding around.

I do not either butt have a neighbor with one. One thing I want to mention. Be carefully about cutting too deep. I do not think dirt would to bits any good. I am surrounded by gravel. Which is why I am planning either deck or frame leaning against ladders which from your angles would be 25 degrees. I look as vertical as 90 degrees from level. That is just a matter of perspective which I am working on.

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a wasteboard is still a good idea, it doesn’t have to be much (foam board is

but dirt is very abrasive. and wet, and will stain the wood

David Lang


Sheet material for stiffness doesn’t have to be very thick and therefor is pretty cheap. One could probably get away with 1/8" (3mm?) hardboard, plywood/doorskin or even mdf if you glued a sheet to both sides. Though it might need the squares broken up a bit more by example a single 2x4 horizontally in the centre in between the verticals.

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I agree but oarticle board may be better choice as it can be screwed or nailed to workpiece. Actually nails through qorkpiece and spoil board would help keep boards from sliding. Like spikes in the ground.


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