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  1. CplSharko's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 4:26 PM - EVA Foam? #1

    Hello everyone. I am still quite new to costume and prop construction, and I have a few questions regarding EVA Foam, which is both really good for armor construction, and a little confusing.

    1. What would be the best way to sand it? I took a dremel and some 400 grit sandpaper to it, and it seemed to get the job done, but not very well. Surely there is a better way?

    2. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam together? Is there some sort of adhesive that I need, or will any glue work? (I'm partial to hot-glue, but I doubt I will see the result I'm looking for if I use it)

    3. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam to cardboard? This question is rather important as I'm nearly done a vest and I wanted to have a cardboard backing to stick all my EVA Foam pieces to. Hopefully an efficient method exists.

    4. Is resining and fiberglassing EVA Foam a good idea?


    That's about it. Thanks for reading and responding if you choose to do so. Feedback is very much appreciated.
  2. RPF Premium Member Pannaus Props's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 4:53 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #2

    I can answer to your 2 and 4 question.
    2. There are usually 2 ways to glue the foam together. Either with super glue or hot glue (don't know if there are other means out there, but there are many guys here who will be able to tell what's best)
    4. I Don't think it is. Foam is used for its flexibility and putting it under resin or fiberglassing doesn't make much sense to me. BUt I could be mistaking

    Hope this helps
  3. CplSharko's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 4:55 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #3

    It does. thanks a bunch
  4. BAK55's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 6:10 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #4

    For question No.2-

    I've seen a lot of members use hot-glue for their projects, but I had used contact cement to keep the flexibility that I needed.
  5. endo500's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 6:57 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #5

    I figured I might post a question in here as well, but where is a good place to purchase EVA foam from? Can you buy it online? I live in NYC and there are no Walmarts close by where I live.
  6. CplSharko's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2011, 7:13 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #6

    I live in Canada, so I just went to a Zellers and they were selling EVA Foam matting for kids. $10 for 4 big squares. You could also order online. A friend sent me this link; maybe you can find it useful.


    4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set
  7. Member Since
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    Jul 31, 2011, 7:15 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #7

    same for me but im in the uk, need a good website for it
  8. Member Since
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    Nov 13, 2011, 1:23 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #8

    Additional purchase resources are being discussed in this thread http://www.therpf.com/f24/eva-vs-plastazote-131636/

    Dean
  9. Cal's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 2:22 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #9

    1. A combination of Dremel and electric sander is what I use, with different degree of grit from 200 to 600

    2. Dap or hot-glue

    3. Hot-Glue, just be aware that it depends on the cardboard, the hot-glue will make it bind but the cardboard can rip off if it has a weak top layer.

    4. No, resin melts foam. The only option would be cold caste resin and its way to costly to put on foam. 5 or 6 coats of Plasti-dip makes it solid with a little bit of give but not much.
  10. Fullmetalsam's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 5:37 AM - #10

    Cal said: View Post
    4. No, resin melts foam. The only option would be cold caste resin and its way to costly to put on foam. 5 or 6 coats of Plasti-dip makes it solid with a little bit of give but not much.
    This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

    However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.
  11. Cal's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 8:45 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #11

    Fullmetalsam said: View Post
    This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

    However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.
    What resin are you using? I used standard fiberglass boat resin and my piece got so hot it warped it, when it dried it was ruined.
  12. MandaBear's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 8:55 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #12

    Fullmetalsam said: View Post
    This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

    However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.
    I've personally put fiberglass resin on EVA and it did not melt.

    For the most part I'll agree that many people pick EVA for it's flexibility. However, in instances where a rigid outer surface is needed as well as a good bit of depth, couldn't you use a foam base + resin to get that dimension, as well as the rigid outer, without adding a lot of extra weight?

    Now, I'm not sure what the pros & cons of something like that VS. EVA+Plastidip, or even pep + resin + then EVA underlining would be.

    Opinions?
  13. DethBecomesYou's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 11:01 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #13

    I just wanted to throw in something. I use Elmer's glue or white glue like in schools to coat the foam. It is a cheap alternative to Plastidip. Just brush it on and as it settles the brush strokes disappear and you get a flat shiny surface that mimics plastidip. It is not tacky on the surface. Then just spray paint and you are good to go. The foam still remains flexible which is a plus for the bulkier builds. Give it a try I promise you will be surprised by the results. :-)
  14. Fullmetalsam's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 1:12 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #14

    Cal said: View Post
    What resin are you using? I used standard fiberglass boat resin and my piece got so hot it warped it, when it dried it was ruined.
    Oh, I didn't say the foam will not get hot - I've only said the foam will not melt. The heat given off by the resin+hardener reaction can sure warp your foam piece if you're not careful... but with proper support, I'm guessing this can be avoided.

    MandaBear said: View Post
    For the most part I'll agree that many people pick EVA for it's flexibility. However, in instances where a rigid outer surface is needed as well as a good bit of depth, couldn't you use a foam base + resin to get that dimension, as well as the rigid outer, without adding a lot of extra weight?

    Now, I'm not sure what the pros & cons of something like that VS. EVA+Plastidip, or even pep + resin + then EVA underlining would be.

    Opinions?
    If I wanted to achieve something with a bit of depth with a hard surface... I think I'd still go the pep route first (so paper+resin+bondo) and then I'd add the foam on the inside.

    I've never tried it or had to do something like this... but I figure it would be easier working with the cardstock only to get the correct surface I'm looking for... and then when I would add the foam in, I'd heatform it to the shell I have. So I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of "pepping foam".

    Just my opinion - I don't know if someone who has actually done both (pep with foam and with cardstock) can jump in. I've never went the foam pep route, all my foam work is done with my own patterns.
  15. simul8r's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 1:33 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #15

    There is something I just discovered while building my Alien suit. It's Shoe Goo Adhesive, it's texture is flexible yet holds a tough hardness shell and is paintable after it cures. Now, I'm not suggesting to go out and buy boxes of this stuff which might be costly but there is an equivalent adhesive that comes in a bigger tube and better affordability. It's E6000 which is more liquidy and manageable or it's cousin E6100 which is used for vertical surfaces.
  16. Member Since
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    Nov 13, 2011, 2:40 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #16

    simul8r said: View Post
    There is something I just discovered while building my Alien suit. It's Shoe Goo Adhesive, it's texture is flexible yet holds a tough hardness shell and is paintable after it cures. Now, I'm not suggesting to go out and buy boxes of this stuff which might be costly but there is an equivalent adhesive that comes in a bigger tube and better affordability. It's E6000 which is more liquidy and manageable or it's cousin E6100 which is used for vertical surfaces.
    Hey there,

    Do you know the dry time and hold times for this? Currently I'm using super glue but it's going to start getting expensive.

    Thanks,
    Dean
  17. simul8r's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 4:04 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #17

    Indigogyre said: View Post
    Hey there,

    Do you know the dry time and hold times for this? Currently I'm using super glue but it's going to start getting expensive.

    Thanks,
    Dean
    Shoe Goo - 24 hours for dry time but depending on materials and temperature might be up to 2 to 3 days total cure. Probably same for E6000/6100. I recoated some parts that were hot glued since they were seperating but once cured it became permanent and provided a tough but flexible layer, like plastic leather.
  18. Grave's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2011, 4:34 PM - Re: EVA Foam? #18

    cplsharko - Im in canada as well as STEALTH. im sure we can help you find what ever you need. dont use zellers. canadian tire has everything you need.
  19. Fullmetalsam's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 6:08 AM - #19

    Grave said: View Post
    cplsharko - Im in canada as well as STEALTH. im sure we can help you find what ever you need. dont use zellers. canadian tire has everything you need.
    Grave, I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to be an ass or anything... but why close an option when it's plenty good enough and they can have sales when Canadian Tire doesn't ???

    I'm in Canada as well and my way of thinking is that wherever you can pick up the cheapest foam kid matting is the right place to buy it from... Zellers or otherwise. In Quebec, Zellers, Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Rona actually carry exactly the same brand of foam mats... Since these are all "chain stores", it wouldn't surprise me that it's the same thing happenning across the country.
  20. AxiomUltra's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 6:35 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #20

    Hey Fullmetalsam (or anyone else with the knowhow :P)

    What about using fiberglass cloth with a liquid plastic like smooth cast 320 to reinforce EVA foam? I'm only asking because there are parts that I have that do not need to be flexible and could look better if I squeeze them a bit *letting the fiberglass/plastic hold it's shape*

    I got some extra mats I need to use and I'd rather not deal with the toxic stuff in this cold
  21. Grave's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 8:08 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #21

    Ctire here in Ontario puts the foam on sale every other week. My brother works fir zellers and tells people to goto Wal-Mart all the time. From all the shopping ive done Ctire has everything either cheaper or on sale more often hen anywhere else. Plus its all right there.
  22. PepMaster is offline PepMaster
    Nov 14, 2011, 8:16 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #22

    AxiomUltra said: View Post
    Hey Fullmetalsam (or anyone else with the knowhow :P)

    What about using fiberglass cloth with a liquid plastic like smooth cast 320 to reinforce EVA foam? I'm only asking because there are parts that I have that do not need to be flexible and could look better if I squeeze them a bit *letting the fiberglass/plastic hold it's shape*

    I got some extra mats I need to use and I'd rather not deal with the toxic stuff in this cold
    What I have done with some of my foam pieces is I have brushed a coat of urathane resin on the inside of a piece, it gives it a bit of strength, while still bieng a bit flexible, it'll still crack but I don't recommend using fiberglass cloth with it that will make it too strong.
  23. Fullmetalsam's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 9:58 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #23

    Axiom... there's a lot of way you can use to make sure the foam is holding it's shape.

    Have you tried heat ???
    A bit of time with a heat gun... might help the foam retain a curved shape (just remember that the foam will still try to keep it's original shape (flat :P), so when heating, hold the foam piece more curved than what you're actually looking for)

    Anything from hot glue to liquid plastic with fiberglass cloth (or just regular fabric (which will serve the same purpose) will do the trick.

    One little trick I've been using when I needed a foam piece to hold a very precise shape is metal wire. I would cut a groove in the piece (usually more than one, depending on the complexity of the shape you're looking for) and would hot glue a metal wire in there. The metal wire needs to be "stronger" than the foam and the hot glue... but once you've got it in there, you can bend it anyway you want and it will help the foam keep it's shape.

    If you're going that way... stay away from hangers
    I've tried using those, but working that gauge of metal wires without any tools (once it's in the foam, you don't want to scrap your foam finish) is a bit difficult

    Anyhow... that was my way of achieving this without compromising the flexbility of the foam and without have to use any toxic-smelly stuff
  24. Coolc's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 10:23 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #24

    CplSharko said: View Post
    1. What would be the best way to sand it? I took a dremel and some 400 grit sandpaper to it, and it seemed to get the job done, but not very well. Surely there is a better way?

    2. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam together? Is there some sort of adhesive that I need, or will any glue work? (I'm partial to hot-glue, but I doubt I will see the result I'm looking for if I use it)

    3. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam to cardboard? This question is rather important as I'm nearly done a vest and I wanted to have a cardboard backing to stick all my EVA Foam pieces to. Hopefully an efficient method exists.
    I started making costume using EVA foam. Hopefully I can answer some of your questions.

    1. I would avoid sanding as much as possible. The best way is to cut the foam clean. I think you can sand but foam has a tendency to flake off. Once you are all done with your foam build, cover it with Plasti-Dip. This will cover some of the imperfection.

    2. Hot glue works just find. It melts the foam and fuse them together.

    3. I would recommend that you glue foam to a larger piece of foam. It provides more flexibility. Cardboard will fold and break which defeats the purpose of making a costume.

    I created a simple tutorial on using foam. Hope this helps. I also address how to retain the bend with foam.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzC8rqAXtsM

    Here is a handplate for my son I just completed in 1 hours over the weekend. It is hot-glued and detailed with foamies.
    Last edited by Coolc; Nov 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Add photo
  25. AxiomUltra's Avatar
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    Nov 14, 2011, 10:48 AM - Re: EVA Foam? #25

    Fullmetalsam said: View Post
    Axiom... there's a lot of way you can use to make sure the foam is holding it's shape.

    Have you tried heat ???
    A bit of time with a heat gun... might help the foam retain a curved shape (just remember that the foam will still try to keep it's original shape (flat :P), so when heating, hold the foam piece more curved than what you're actually looking for)

    Anything from hot glue to liquid plastic with fiberglass cloth (or just regular fabric (which will serve the same purpose) will do the trick.

    One little trick I've been using when I needed a foam piece to hold a very precise shape is metal wire. I would cut a groove in the piece (usually more than one, depending on the complexity of the shape you're looking for) and would hot glue a metal wire in there. The metal wire needs to be "stronger" than the foam and the hot glue... but once you've got it in there, you can bend it anyway you want and it will help the foam keep it's shape.

    If you're going that way... stay away from hangers
    I've tried using those, but working that gauge of metal wires without any tools (once it's in the foam, you don't want to scrap your foam finish) is a bit difficult

    Anyhow... that was my way of achieving this without compromising the flexbility of the foam and without have to use any toxic-smelly stuff
    Thanks for the tips guys. And yes, I did use a heat gun, but the assembled foam parts when together presented a piece that was not quite narrow enough for my liking. I would use the heat gun on the assembled part, but I know that it could melt the hot glue and cause the pieces to separate. I want to use the urethane plastic and slightly *squish* the part a bit.

    I like the idea for using metal wires but I think this time around I'll just use whats left of some of the materials that I have laying around.

    I understand the need for mobility and the like, but I'm only using foam for it's lightness and the fact that I can build this part faster than if I went the paper/resin/bondo route. The parts I'm talking about are knee pads and shins, which don't flex normally so a super strong reinforcement isn't going to mess up my build

    Thanks again!

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