Thanks for that info. There was nothing about balancing the sled in the frame setup or from Metal Maslow.
The reason for removing the spacers is the chains were actually contacting the top edge of the work surface when the sled was at the lower extremes. Once removed the chains are roughly parallel to the work surface. Maybe off by 1/4” depending on where he sled is.
The sled itself is pretty balanced. It hangs relatively straight but the downforce on the bottom seems to be somewhat light. This is what I believe lead to the bad cuts in conjunction with the binding in the pantographs.
I’m also wondering if my work surface is tilted a little too much toward vertical. There is a noticeable difference in the pressure exerted by the sled when at the top vs at the bottom. In my mind the downforce of the sled should be greater at the top than the bottom but it seems that in my setup the force at the bottom is slightly less than desirable.
Sometime during the 80’s the network that covered football tried a camera suspended above the field. It mainly consisted of two cables that ran along the long side of the stadium. The camera was mounted on a sled that created an “X” with the cables. Here were two capstans that were used to drive the sled to different positions. There were two drums used to handle the slack during setup and operation. This allowed for vertical movement such as during setup and registration of the camera.
I bring this example up because I believe it could be a logical evolution of the Maslow CNC. It would move the motors onto the sled but I believe it may be a significant improvement in performance. Increasing the angle of the bed towards horizontal would improve contact with the work surface perhaps necessitating more powerful motors but would eliminate most of the issues I’m seeing. That being the sled lifting slightly when plunging into the material before lateral movement and binding of the ring/pantograph.