Hot wire foam cutter construction

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Robot Monster, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    Anyone ever make a large scale hot wire cutter for foam. I am looking for some tips on construction/materials ? You see them used on monster house all of the time and they all look kit bashed.

    I have some a background in electronics and have worked with the smaller versions.

    Thank you
    Tek
     
  2. Jimbo890

    Jimbo890 Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tekmage3000 @ Apr 27 2006, 02:49 PM) [snapback]1234140[/snapback]</div>

    How big are you talking about? Seems like a if you were to take a soldering iron, attach a length of sturdy, thin wire to it, and build a 'C' shaped frame to hold the wire, thats about all there is to it. OR, Just scale up the kind you can get from the Hobby-Lobby store.
     
  3. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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  4. TK648

    TK648 Sr Member

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    And If you need to put a hard coat over the foam try this
    foam coat resin
    UreShell Resin
    its great stuff
    25 min working time
    4 to 1 mix
    you can use a brush or a roller to apply it
    viscosity is like latex house paint

    Andrew
     
  5. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    Thanks, I'm reading the spec sheets right now. Better idea than I had for the hard shell using sculpt and coat.
     
  6. muttley

    muttley Well-Known Member

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  7. swhite228

    swhite228 Well-Known Member

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    "How big are you talking about? Seems like a if you were to take a soldering iron, attach a length of sturdy, thin wire to it, and build a 'C' shaped frame to hold the wire, thats about all there is to it. OR, Just scale up the kind you can get from the Hobby-Lobby store."


    Acually a lot of smaller theaters do make foam cutters out of soldering guns. They bend stiff coper wire into the shape they need and attach it to the gun. Then pull the triger and start cutting. I've seen the setup used to turn lamp bases, make stair rails, make molding and bowls. It works.
     
  8. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    if you want some great tips, catch up with rileyreplicas. he basically uses the foam for his sculptures, and they are amazing.

    great guy to pester for inane details too ;)

    chris
     
  9. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    electric carving knife "turkey knife" or small electric chainsaw work great also.. nothing like cutting into a block of foam with a chainsaw hehe
     
  10. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(swhite228 @ Apr 28 2006, 07:43 PM) [snapback]1234973[/snapback]</div>
    So many good tips from the group on this one. I recently used the hobby style hot wire to help my niece create an "Old man of the mountain" project here in N.H. It turned out so well I wanted to gather info for a bigger project.
    The thread has been very useful for me on this. I will give the copper shapes a try soon. Cleaning room in the basement Sunday to start.

    Thanks
    Tek

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Megatron @ Apr 30 2006, 12:55 AM) [snapback]1235677[/snapback]</div>
    I did use the turkey knife for my lava monster 2 years ago. It was the soft foam but it worked very well.
     
  11. rileyreplicas

    rileyreplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hello,

    I have a 2 types of cutters, one cuts 2 feet wide and the other 4 feet wide. I also made them extra deep so I can go in 2 feet. Basically I got my wire from demand products and made a "c" shape out of 1 inch PVC pipe. The pipe "flexes" which I like so I cut my wire kind of short and then hook it to some bolts on the end of the cutter this keeps the wire tight. As for power I use a 6/12 volt battery charger. I like the chargers that allow me to switch back from 6/12 volt so I can use more or less heat if I need to. I use sculpt or coat for monsters and such but the ureshell looks good for hard type objects such as armor, metal texture etc.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you are making from foam :) PM or email me if you have any questions.

    Richard

    PS By the way for rounding obejcts I use a wood rasp but do this OUTSIDE unless you want Christmas to come early this year. lol Are you using the white foam or the blue/pink foam?
     
  12. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    I have white foam in stock right now at home. I am still thinking of materials to use but I am trying for a stargate. My idea was to form a section out of foam and mold and duplicate it. Then place on a wood backboard. It's just a first attempt so I just want something that looks like it. I'm not going for all the detail here.
     
  13. rileyreplicas

    rileyreplicas Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What are the largest pieces of foam you are using? Just curious since I almost always work in foam :) I can get pieces that are about 4 foot wide, 4 foot think and 8 foot long.
     
  14. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    Just the stuff from the Home Depot. Still in the planning stages so I'm just playing with things I have around.
     
  15. Robot Monster

    Robot Monster Sr Member

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    Got the nichrome wire for the project, pretty thick stuff should hold up well. A good couple of feet of wire for 3 bucks at Youdoitelectronics . In store sale only I think. The store is in Mass, if your local you should check it out for parts.
     

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