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Thread: BIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter

  1. #1
    Senior Member OCD's Avatar
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    BIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter

    Not exactly sure where to post this here on AA so this is as good as any I suppose.

    I know some of you don't visit Hoodlum's Hangout (THF) so I'll share this with you all here on AA.

    I took my sweat time and built a 24" x 24" custom commercial grade Hot Wire Foam Cutter with dual miter capabilities.
    Total cost to date is $200.

    I still have to order components for fabricating the fencing and jig accessories for cutting different shapes.

    Video Corrections:
    1) The digital voltage controller is actually a speed controller.
    It displays percentage of operational capacity, not the actual voltage level such as 12v, 15v, etc.

    2) AC/DC Transformers, NOT "Regulators". They were from old computers I had.

    3) The electrical feed wire attached directly to the bottom of the overhead arm would have been a weak point in the design.
    It would have also been susceptible to breakage being it's a mitering design setup so I had to figure out how to overcome this issue which is
    exactly what I did as shown in the video.

    I added detailed fabrication procedure pictures of manufacturing toward the end of the video just incase anybody wants to build one for themselves.


  2. #2
    What's BIY?
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    https://www.youtube.com/user/jagboy69
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  3. #3
    Senior Member OCD's Avatar
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    Build It Yourself.

    Never understood the DIY, aka Do it yourself.
    Do what? Build it, duh. "BIY"

  4. #4
    Senior Member TRYPHON974's Avatar
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    Nice build, seems pretty effective. Made one, years ago, wasn't as nice as this.
    Jack of all trades, master of none.
    http://fournaisedupiton.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    I know he's not popular here but I did mine based on the King of Randoms "styro-slicer". Not nearly as nice looking as yours but for cheap pattern making that doesn't have to be precise....it works pretty good.


    https://youtu.be/N2n_EbRzZ0g

  6. #6
    I had never seen his styro slicer before. But his use of parts is what 95% of foam cutters use. Grant just packaged the video and made himself a few grand off 3.6million hits on it. The asshat is going to need that cash for his legal defense. The household transformer is the way to go. Not sure why John went the route he did with the old computer power supplies. Probably what he had on hand.

    Speaking of those shitty transformers... I had a few of those that came with a security camera kit. Found them getting dangerously hot recently. Tossed them in the trash and replaced them with 5amp versions for chump change off ebay. Nice and cool now. Ya gotta watch these things, the chinese do not care if you burn down your house due to some inferior wall wart they produced.

    Look at the STAPLES on the wiring!!! dumbass.
    https://youtu.be/N2n_EbRzZ0g?t=9m37s
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    https://www.youtube.com/user/jagboy69
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  7. #7
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    I had to investigate some transformers the company was buying in the far east to go with a product we were shipping. The safety markings were clearly BS! Failed resistors (NOT a genuine fuse type resistor!) was the only thing between the big bang the customer heard and a fire, creapage and clearance in the package.... forget it!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wolfcreek-Steve's Avatar
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    My kid brother has been playing with foam and foam cutters for years. Unfortunately he doesn't tell much about how and what components he used to build it.
    http://bluswede.com/CNC_Foamcutter.html
    What is that squeaking noise?

  9. #9
    Senior Member OCD's Avatar
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    The ac/dc transformers were from old computers and are UL rated.
    I don't trust any electrical component that's not UL rated.

    The main reason I used the "those" transformers is because the calculator indicated I needed a certain amount of amps for my design so that's what I used since I already had it sitting around.

    The digital speed controller was a hole whopping $10.
    The majority of the expense building it went into plywood, laminate, laminate glue, funky little weird hardware, metal........ It adds up quickly.

    This past Thursday I ordered $60 worth of T slot channel for the fence, glide track and miter guide.

    I'll get plenty of usage out of it as I'll not only use it here and there for less intricate plug building for casting but plan on making a few RC planes with foam cores plus I'll be making the grand kids a few throw away planes as well.

    Like any tool, they sit there collecting dust until you need them and then your glad you have it.

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