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Cute foam cutter


cteno4

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Just stumbled on this cute little table foam cutter. Ingenious use of laser cut ply/laserboard for a lightweight base and arm. Simple nichcrome wire powered by 4 A cells. Less than $10. Simple if you want a small tabletop foam cutter to cut strips and such. Not for big projects as it looks to only be like 3” or so throat.

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002341155766.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5d244053GuCaQh&algo_pvid=db0664bb-b6cc-47bd-bd40-50bc25f393ae&algo_exp_id=db0664bb-b6cc-47bd-bd40-50bc25f393ae-41&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"12000020180805623"}

 

cheers

 

jeff

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I have one of those, it works decently for cutting urethane.

 

Speaking of, I wonder where it is...

Edited by roadstar_na6
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On 11/19/2021 at 2:52 PM, roadstar_na6 said:

I have one of those, it works decently for cutting urethane.

 

Speaking of, I wonder where it is...

 

This actual model from AliExpress for $1.60 or just a hot wire cutter. If this one, is it reasonable sturdy?

 

I have a bunch of hot wire cutters but I don't have a table mounted one. That would be handy for precision cuts. The only thing I don't like about hot foam cutting is having to do it outside because of the fumes. Winter issues.

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41 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

This actual model from AliExpress for $1.60 or just a hot wire cutter.


This one. For how little you spend on it it's worth it I guess but I'll need to investigate on how to make the wire flex a little bit less as right now if you cut thick urethane you won't get the same results on either sides of the urethane 😄

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They are rather simple to make. Way back in my youth we did a lot of foam carving to mock up rocks at the aquarium. We build a bunch of custom cutters for various tasks out of mainly 1x2 and bolts, wing nuts, washers, nichrome wire, a rheostat, and a power supply.

 

jeff

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I need to make a single purpose foam cutter.  I need to take foam that is 2 5/8" thick and shave it down to 2" thick.  These are left over pieces from the house and will be used to add extra insulation on the first level above grade.  (I actually have bought pieces for this but am not sure I have enough).

 

They will be up to 8" wide and 18" long. 

 

Suggestions on design?

 

 

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Chad,

 

built a number of cutters when I was young to do this type of cutting. We made a coup”e of big cutters that could do all these cuts, but they were a bunch of work to build. Otherwise you are stuck making one to do your rip cuts, one for cut offs and one for planing down.

 

if you have access to a table saw I would suggest using it to rip the 8” strips and do your 18” section cutoffs. It’s a bit messy so either do outside (but you will leave a ton of non biodegradable styrene dust all over) or use one with a decent dust extractor on it. Also good eye and mouth protection and vacuum yourself off well as the polystyrene dust can be irritating on the skin. But it’s definitely a very fast way to cut up styrene sheet like this.

 

for planing from 2 5/8” to 2” hot wire works well. Basically need to make a U bow of either wood or pvc pipe to string your nichrome wire across. You will need at least 8” of cutting area on the wire. Then attach that to a plank at a perpendicular. Basically the same thing as the mini one above but a bit more rectangular of a base (like 10”X24”) to support the 18” chunks as you feed them thru. Then make an L of plywood like a foot long that you can clamp to the plank with the long side up in the air parallel to the wire as a rip fence. adjust the distance between fence and wire to 2”. 
 

Lots of plans out there to make the basic cutter. I like this one as we did the same thing using shelf brackets at the aquarium to brace the arms.

 

https://www.therpf.com/forums/threads/i-made-a-hot-wire-foam-cutter-hooray-for-me-i-guess.84716/

 

cheers

 

jeff

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I am just needing to build the hot wire for the planing.  The cutting of leftovers I'll just use my reciprocating saw for to cyt away the plastic webbing.  Non of this is exterior where it matters on looks etc.

 

Thanks!  I'll see about building this next week.

 

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Yep then just have it tall enough for a little over 8” and room for a fence. There are a scad of plans out there just depends on how fancy you want to get, but if this a it’s only use then keep it simple and sturdy. Can even be crude with 2x4 to get sturdy fast and dirty. A way to tension your wire is to use an eyebolt on one end and you can just crank the nut town to pull the wire taught.
 

id see if you could use a table saw to cut your slabs as it’s way way faster than a saws all and will give you nice square edges to feed thru the hot wire cutter to plane them down easier and cleaner. Table saw will tear thru any plastic fine. Maybe I don’t get what you are cutting your slabs out of.

 

this is bring out memories from 40+ years back when we used a lot of expanded polystyrene to make exhibit mock-ups and moulds for making fake rocks. Back the there weren’t all the sheet options for insulation there are today and we used larger blocks made for dock floats and had to whack them down to various sized to work with and had a pile of contraptions for cutting. We brought in a Hollywood set guy who showed us a bunch of tricks to work with the foam and make cutters, it was great fun!

 

jeff

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marknewton
On 11/19/2021 at 12:59 PM, cteno4 said:

Just stumbled on this cute little table foam cutter. Ingenious use of laser cut ply/laserboard for a lightweight base and arm. Simple nichcrome wire powered by 4 A cells. Less than $10. Simple if you want a small tabletop foam cutter to cut strips and such. Not for big projects as it looks to only be like 3” or so throat.


G'day Jeff,

 

I read this soon after you posted it, but forgot about it until recently, when I ordered one. I'm going to assemble it tonight so I can cut out the bridge and abutments for my Belgian Congo cameo. I'll report back on my results.

 

spacer.png

 

I also bought this foam cutting tool from a local supplier. I used it today to trim and shape the sides of the embankments on the cameo. It worked very well, and I think it's well worth having.

 

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https://www.foamsales.com.au/products/polystyrene-cutter-cordless-dc?variant=8013431341104&currency=AUD&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3IqSBhCoARIsAMBkTb34tPo2xtyUBW8ml8jck0VWR5NcbFOlBSJZ1Jj2xXcdjYCf79r8lT4aAtYjEALw_wcB

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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Looking forward to the review!

 

I have a variety of hand-held cutters, and the little table one might be a handy addition.

 

That Foam Sales one looks like it has a very sturdy blade that won't be as prone to bending as others.  I do a lot of angled cutting on 1" and 2" insulation foam for gaming scenery, and the big cuts take a toll on the tools,

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Mark,

 

looking forward to a review! I keep inching towards it! I have a small bow cutter and a rod. Unfortunately the rod is a bit underpowered and keep meaning to try to juice it up a little. But I rarely cut foam much these days and usually it’s a small bit and serrated steak knife and 60 grit sandpaper works well.

 

way back in my youth we did tons of foam cutting and shaping for exhibit models and bases to make fake rocks. We made some very large custom cutters that was very fun to do. Also lots of sandblasting and that was very nasty dirty work! We had a Hollywood set builder come up for a day to show us techniques and tips on carving and making cutters. 

 

jeff

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chadbag

I have a fancy bow cutter somewhere for cutting wing cores for R/C gliders.  Have not used it since the 90s I think but someday will.  I need to find it 🙂  I think I know where it is as I know where the box with my vacuum setup is, I think....

 

I'm still planning on building a dedicated one to thin down my left over ICF block foam to 2" thickness for additional insulation.  Just need to get over the first pour hump

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We started to build a very adjustable big table cutter and swiftly realized it was better and easier to make a simple slab cutter to mill down slabs and then a larger table bow cutter to scroll work. It was a lot of fun, big tinker toys with pvc pile and plywood. That’s why this little guy brought back so many memories. He’s so cute!

 

jeff

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