All Batch One Kits Sent, The Flu, and We Designed Our Own End Mills: The July 12th update

Happy Wednesday everyone!

First and foremost, we’re excited to announce that ALL of the batch one kits have been sent out and are making their way around the world to your doorstep. We know that kits we started shipping last week have already started to arrive, so as you are getting your machine and putting it together, don’t forget to let us know if you see ways we can make the process easier or more clear, and most of all don’t forget to post pictures of the things you build!

We’ve also shipped almost all of the batch two kits, and those are starting to arrive as well. Unfortunately one of the shipments of motors we received from the manufacturer was a few motors short so we’re waiting on the the rest of those to arrive to finish shipping batch two. Fortunately, the factory was able to track down the missing motors quite quickly after we contacted them so we don’t have to wait for more to be manufactured, only for the ones which were already made to be shipped to us which shouldn’t take more than ten days. This small delay in the remaining motors means that we have to delay our shipment to the school winners as well. We’ll be sending the school kits with the remaining batch two kits.

The final load going out.

The final load going out.

The Flu

In a tragic turn of events, both Hannah and I came down with the flu this past week. We’re both on the mend now, but it was a bit of a rough week :-). Hannah in particular deserves some sort of award for still making sure all the boxes got shipped even while feeling awful.

Router Bits

Feedback we heard from our beta testers has been that router bits can be expensive, or hard to find in some parts of the world. We tried to find a source of quality and cheap bits to recommend, but didn’t find a supplier we loved. The best way to offer quality cheap bits to the community seems like it is to manufacture them ourselves, so that’s what we’re doing. Because we’re designing and manufacturing these bits, we can make exactly the bit we want and tweak the design based on YOUR feedback.

We’re starting with three types of ¼ inch bits. Based on the community input we’re open to having other sizes (metric or imperial) or designs made. Just let us know what you want to see, and if there’s a consensus from the community on something we all want to try, we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Our goals with designing these bits are to make low cost, high quality, quiet cutting bits that are designed just for our applications. One way that we’re reducing both the cost of the bit and making it cut MUCH more quietly is that our bits have a ½ inch long cutting surface, while the bits most commonly available have a 1 inch cutting surface.

Because Maslow cuts by making a series of shallow passes, the tip of the bit does most of the work while most of the router bits available at the hardware store are designed for use in conventional wood working where it is common to use the full edge of the bit when following a template. Reducing the length of the cutting surface reduces the amount that the bit protrudes from the router collet making it vibrate less while cutting resulting in a quieter experience. Reducing the length of the cutting surface also makes our bits cheaper because the time to machine each one is reduced.

Starting Monday, we’re going to have three types of router bit available.

Solid tungsten carbide ¼ inch two flute up-spiral bit

This is the basic bit that we’ve been recommending when we get the question “which bit should I use”. It’s versatile, very forgiving, and works well with most materials. This is a good bit to start with. $8.99

Solid tungsten carbide ¼ inch single flute up-spiral bit

Similar to the the tungsten carbide two flute up-spiral bit, but with only a single flute. Using a single flute means that for the same rotation speed and forward speed as the two flute bit, the single flute takes twice as big of a “bite” with each rotation. This can give you a cleaner cut or reduce burning in some materials. $11.99

Solid tungsten carbide ¼ inch two flute compression bit

A compression bit is designed specifically to reduce a phenomenon called “tear out” which is caused when the upwards or downwards spiral of a router bit leaves a chipped or fuzzy edge on either the top or bottom of a cut because of the aggressive action of the spiral. A compression bit solves this issue by being a down spiral bit on the top, and an up spiral bit on the bottom which compresses both edges of the wood towards the center leaving a smooth cut on both the top and bottom. $13.99

We’re going to offer them for sale from our website starting Monday with flate rate shipping of $6.50 anywhere in the US and $29.40 anywhere in the world, no matter how many you buy. We know that the international shipping is a little high, and we’re looking into finding ways to ship internationally more cheaply.

We hope making good router bits cheaper and easier to find will help the community, and as always your feedback is critical so let us know what you want to see we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Finally, if you are a beta tester, we will be sending you the new arduino shield as well as the changed hardware parts, which only includes 2 screws and 2 spacers that are meant to be used to help you align your chain in order to prevent the chain from tangling around the sprocket. Be on the lookout for those parts in the next week or so.

Have a great week everyone and get your flu shots!

-Bar and Hannah