Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden

Yet Another Z Axis Mod


Somebody get this man a linkage kit!


Yes, I wasn’t sure of the name. But two L brackets, chains, cotter pins, etc.

Ring kit has been on my list of upgrades (along with better Z-axis) for a little while.


Have you looked at the wooden linkage kit by @pillageTHENburn or the top mounted pantograph by @dlang? They are both available and some think they may perform better than the ring kit. We are working on testing them, but life is slow.


I haven’t. I felt I could grok how the ring works, and while I know the theory / math behind those other kits is basically the same, they didn’t speak to me the way the ring kit did / does.

So the ring kit is just deprecated at this point? In favor of those other styles of linkage kits? I’ll give them a look in any event.


With the top mount kit, you can use either a v-bit or a small (3/32" or 1/8")
bit in the router an use one of the side arms with the small hole at the bit and
then drill through the other two holes to make the mount holes in the sled.

David Lang


No, it’s just that nobody is makeing and selling the ring kit separately. They
are expensive to make (especially in small quantities) and don’t work with lots
of routers (especially ones that are available outside the US)

Currently the people planning to make the new kits are defaulting to the ring
because that’s what Bar last shipped, but they are testing the two linkage
designs to see what the differences in performance really are.

David Lang


I agree that accurately mounting any solution is critical.

I’m not sure how the ring is aligned but both linkage solutions can use one of the linkage pieces to accurately drill your mounting holes. The 45˚ kit also comes with in-depth instructions with pictures of every step as well as a printable PDF sled template with alternative instructions for new sleds or retrofit sleds.

…For what it’s worth


that’s right, both linkage kits give you a way to reference the kit from the bit
(assuming that you can drill straight holes for the stand-offs)


Correct. It certainly can be done without a 3D printed alignment system. I just don’t see how it would harm anything to give people the option to make it easier to assemble their sled accurately.


For anybody following this thread, here’s where I’m at with the modified design:

It consists of a base where the rods seat (as before), and a dust shroud / that locks into that piece in the back, but then gets bolted down in front to make it solid. It fits snugly around my router, so I think grease will be called for in operation. The dust shroud has two side portholes with sliding-door covers you can use to sight the bit for zeroing. The clamp, cap, and rods are pretty similar to the previous iteration, except I’ve nudged the linear rods inwards a tad in order to improve the profile when used with the ring system. Here’s what that clearance looks like in a test-fit render:

I’ve printed the parts enough to know they fit / work together, but I haven’t had time to print a full set and do a full assemble with rails, motors, and ground control. I’ll do that as soon as I can find a suitable block of time. In the meantime, if anybody wants a set of the latest iteration’s printable model files (STLs), let me know and I’ll either post them or DM them to you.


I suspect that you will want a wider piece (or two pieces) to clamp on the router. you may get away with just one and the air guide if the fit is snug enough, but I expect that you will want something with more rigidity to attach the router the the rails.


Has anybody put this to use for some time? I’m curious to here results in the field with heat and vibration over time.


I’m OTandAT on the Maslow forum as well. I have a tighter version of this as well that traps more dust.



@Jay_settle: Unfortunately no real-world usage to report on yet. It’ll be December before I can try it out in a full setting because my frame is dismantled. If you want to be a tester, I can share the latest model files with you. The latest tweak is that I put a larger door on one side so you can get a tool in there to change bits, etc. It all fits together pretty nicely and feels solid, so I have high hopes for how it’ll perform in the real world. But nothing substitutes for real usage!

Here’s what it looks like with the big tool-access door:


@OtandAT. Nice. But how snug is yours? Do you have to grease it to allow smooth movement, or just let friction happen and not worry about wear and drag? Also, how do you change bits? Do you just raise the router above the entire shroud when you need to change it out, or do something else?

Credit where credit is due: I borrowed your basic “porthole” design but decided to have a 3D printed sliding door instead of bent plexiglass. But in deference to your design, you can still just do what you did, and dispense with my printed door and substitute bent plexiglass instead.


Mine has about 1 mm clearance so there is not any contact with the router so no grease,I also removed the small metal pin (it fell out making my router holder rings). Using the vacuum creates an inward suction of air so very little dust escapes. The port is for setting the but height and also clear so I can see the router bit and be sure everything is OK when cutting. The bent plastic is very easy to make. My z-axis allow the router to lift beyond the base to change the bit without a problem. I put the vacuum exhaust on the right due to the spin of the bit and have not had any problems with buildup. Here is a video I made of the Z-axis and older (looser) dust collection. Hope this helps, Jon


Are the STL files of the dust collection parts, with and without the tool-access door available somewhere?
I have an old version of the Maslow, without the Z-axis motor, so I’m planning on modifying mine.
II have quite some experience with ( and access to ) 3D printers, so I was thinking along the lines of your design.



The design files are available. DM me at and I’ll ship you a collection. But first let me post an update for you and anybody interested:

@gder and I took the design offline for a while. He’s done a lot of work and suffered through multiple prototypes, and made numerous suggestions to get the design better. Including some hand-mods that I haven’t been able to reverse-engineer into the STL files yet (I’m moving households so my workshop is unsettled at present). So at the moment it’s very much at the prototype phase still.

On the good news side, gder reports that the improvements are really paying off in terms of the accuracy of the depth control. Here’s a picture of the current (very-much-protypical) design and a couple of notes about it:

  • The big thing it’s missing is some external supports to further brace the top motor mount and add rigidity. that’s a hand mod that gder has done that I still need to work on. If he chimes in on this thread, he might be willing to provide you a picture or other specs in case you want to attempt a similar hand mod to get to where he has landed.
  • The orientation has changed. To have room for the supports you need, the motor is now mounted on the south end of the sled, not the north as previous pictures have it.
  • You can see that the dust shroud is significantly shorter now, which eliminates the need for the big tool door the previous design had. (The dust shroud itself is a little bit of a hack job, and I want to get it looking more professional before we call this done.) There is still room for an inch or more of cutting depth.
  • Also note there are now two sets of clamps. This was needed to improve the rigidity of the whole setup and remove some of the slop / flex that was present in earlier iterations.

Realistically it’ll be after Christmas (I have a long break then) before I get fully back on this, although I may yet spend some time on designing in the supports this weekend. So you have the option of waiting a bit and seeing what gder and I post as our improved design in a couple of weeks, or you can jump in as a prototype tester and enjoy the messiness of that process. Either way, if you want the STL files to look at or play around with, just shoot me that note.