I need a tool, for freehand cutting thin styrofoam patterns


I would like a tool for freehand cutting 1" and larger fonts into blue 1/2 inch Styrofoam. Something fast and leaves a clean edge. there are hot blades and then those little 12 volt jigsaws for gourd carving but I've never seen either. Anyone have experience cutting fine patterns in sheet Styrofoam, mostly lettering. thanks
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inch
carving but

What about a variable speed scroll saw on slow speed setting?
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How do I get that in the middle of a large sheet? I use my band saw and Dewalt scroll saw for some stuff but pulling the SS blade for each letter is a pain even in small sheets.
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snipped-for-privacy@noad.here expostulated:
| I would like a tool for freehand cutting 1" and larger fonts into | blue 1/2 inch Styrofoam. | Something fast and leaves a clean edge. | there are hot blades and then those little 12 volt jigsaws for | gourd carving but I've never seen either. | Anyone have experience cutting fine patterns in sheet Styrofoam, | mostly lettering.
Dale...
You can use a router. I have bits as fine as 1/32" with a 1/2" CEL. They cut fast, leave only 1/64" radius in inside corners - but I suggest you consider using templates rather than cutting freehand.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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I'll try that. I have a router base on my Dremel. But the Styrofoam is my template.<g>
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On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 15:49:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@noad.here wrote:

router
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snipped-for-privacy@noad.here writes:

If you have never seen them, MicroMark sells them. Hot knife cuts thru styrofoam like butter:
http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action talog&Type=Product&ID897
$58.30
There is also the hot wire foam cutter for $30.80
http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action talog&Type=Product&ID104
It cuts styrofoam up to 4 inches thick.
I think the advantage of these is that it doesn't leave little bits of foam all over.
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On 24 Jun 2005 01:38:20 GMT, Bruce Barnett

Both are handy tools but how I'm going to carved a one inch font with either is a mystery.<g>
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snipped-for-privacy@noad.here writes:

Ah. I missed the "carve INTO" part. I thought you wanted to cut the outside away. Never mind.. <g>
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snipped-for-privacy@noad.here wrote:

Build different sizes yourself. For the r/c stuff, I had 8-9 bows. I had wide versions for 3-4' long wing airfoils that traveled along a pattern for the tip and root airfoils, all the way down to tiny hand held wands used for making small engine cowlings, including the inside cutout. A connector on the wire allows for easy inside cuts.
Once you have a power supply, you can easily make additional, shop made bows from wood and nichrome wire. With a variable supply, you can even control the cutting (melting) speed to keep things comfortable.
Sometimes, shop made is the way to go. I find creating jigs and tools to be a very enjoyable part of the craft.
Barry
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Bruce Barnett wrote:

http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action talog&Type=Product&ID104
I've used hot wire cutters to cut TONS of r/c model airplane parts from blue, pink, and white foam. Accuracy counted on the parts, and for my money is the best way to cut the stuff.
Jigs can be built where the wire is following a wood form, if you need to cut a bunch of identical parts, like letters.
Use proper ventilation when cutting, you're melting plastic.
Barry
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On Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:33:49 GMT, B a r r y

Not to worry, the gallons of open Xylene based products will hide the smell.<g>
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Drill press with an end mill for the cutter. Layout the letters, bring the bit down and lock it, then move the foam around. You need a fairly large table for it. It is also good to have some air blowing away the dust. The dust is a real PITA as it is very clingy with static electricity. After cutting, touch up can be done with sandpaper and the usual sanding blocks for corners, etc.
We use an old Walker Turner DP for this but any can be use on a fairly high speed. It is the first choice for people that make pre-production samples of this type of material for a living.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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