Author Topic: Build your own hot wire foam cutter  (Read 2174 times)

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Ian MacMillan

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Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« on: April 07, 2007, 01:46:20 AM »
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I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

Chris333

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Re: Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2007, 05:15:24 AM »
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I made one from an old transformer I found at work. The wire is from a stitcher (machine that staples pages together)

When I first hooked it up the wire turned bright red and disappeared so I hooked up a light dimmer to adjust the heat. If I was going through a thick piece of foam and the cutting got slow I would just turn up the dial a hair.

I also made shaped wires to cut roadbed forms into foam like Bill Darnaby.

kiwi_al

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Re: Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2007, 05:16:20 AM »
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Geez that's going way back to the 1970's. We used to use a 9 volt battery and nichrome wire attached to dowel and did that freehand.

Man you guys must be in the ace ages!!!!   ;D ;D ;D

Good idea - waaaaaaaaay over engineered!
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inkaneer

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Re: Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 10:44:39 AM »
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At the craft store [PAt Catan's] they have a battery powered one for about $7.00 or so.  Not designed for heavy duty use but does do the job.  I got one but never used it after reading abuot the toxicity of the fumes released.  I just use a serrated knife that I bought in a Dollar store to cut he basic landform then use lightweight spackling to make the final contour.  That stuff is great. 

tom mann

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Re: Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2007, 11:20:30 AM »
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After spending way, way too much time cutting foam for my layout I decided that next time, I would use a wire cutter. :-X

diezmon

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Re: Build your own hot wire foam cutter
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2007, 06:24:52 PM »
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Here's my $1 cutter (originally made for airplane wings)

-used toaster from garage sale:  $1
-wire rods found in a junk pile: free
-three foot 2x2: free

I just ripped the nicrome out of the toaster, drilled holes for the rods, and used a clamp to pull them in before wrapping the nicrome around the ends.

I just "aligator clip" my leads to a transformer.. and only need about 7-8 volts.. and it works like a champ.

The little dowels on the wire are in case I need to "grab" the wire to guide it :)  I hang it using bungee cords, so I can guide and move it around..




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