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View Full Version : Anyone in SD or OC build a foam cutting table you might let me borrow?


Agro
04-13-2009, 9:23 PM
So I want to cut my Pelican 1750 foam and I've read this 28 page thread on ARFCOM about building a foam cutting table, using wires, transformers or D batteries, wire, etc. I could build one, but I thought if someone else has already built one of these in San Diego or Orange County area, maybe I can borrow it for an evening or cut it at your place and I buy the beer? :)

Here is the ARFCOM thread
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=292695&page=1

I really don't care if yours is a real ghetto rig if it does the job well. Beggers can't be choosers, right?

They might look something like this...
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y44/mfingar/cutter/P3072243.jpg

mr2.0
04-13-2009, 10:33 PM
http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/home.php

bigbob76
04-13-2009, 10:43 PM
I saw guys at work doing a quick and dirty job with a cheap 12 volt car battery and a length of wire. One guy had one end of the wire wrapped around a battery terminal with the other end on a clamp like from jumper cables. He would connect and disconnect the clamp on command from the guy moving the foam through the hot wire. I wasn't around long enough to see if the battery was any good afterwards or could be recharged. They cut quite a bit of foam that way.

Rick530
04-13-2009, 10:48 PM
I'm also looking for one of these to cut out 3 1720 cases. ANyone have any luck with these?... opinions??...

http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/product.php?productid=16198&cat=103&page=1

Agro
04-13-2009, 10:50 PM
I'm also looking for one of these to cut out 3 1720 cases. ANyone have any luck with these?... opinions??...

http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/product.php?productid=16198&cat=103&page=1

The table itself might not be wide enough. You might have to fold the foam on the inside as your cutting out a huge piece of foam. Some of the tables these people have made in that thread have been pretty huge. They really allow for easy manipulation of the foam.

I may just hit home depot and build a ghetto rig one. Oh well

Rick530
04-13-2009, 10:54 PM
The table itself might not be wide enough. You might have to fold the foam on the inside as your cutting out a huge piece of foam. Some of the tables these people have made in that thread have been pretty huge. They really allow for easy manipulation of the foam.

I may just hit home depot and build a ghetto rig one. Oh well Yeah thats what I was thinking about the table aswell. Theres a decent hobby store here that sells all kinds of stuff, maybe they'll have a lead on something. The Home Depot trip sound slike a possibility, but was kinda hoping to just stumble across a place that sells these for a decent price. I have enough to do without tryign to build one of these and possibly screwing up my foam.

Rick530
04-13-2009, 10:59 PM
wonder if one with a table 12" x 22" would be a large enough sized one. Its almost 300 bucks but Ihave alot of friends who would love to use this enough to prolly kick down some of the funds.
Its the Hobby Table Hot Wire Table.

http://www.demandfoamcutting.com/multicut.html

Rick530
04-13-2009, 11:19 PM
wonder if one with a table 12" x 22" would be a large enough sized one. Its almost 300 bucks but Ihave alot of friends who would love to use this enough to prolly kick down some of the funds.
Its the Hobby Table Hot Wire Table.

http://www.demandfoamcutting.com/multicut.html I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered one of these. If it works out good anyone needing to use it in my area is welcome to give it a shot on there case. I'm 40 miles north of sacramento.

WokMaster1
04-13-2009, 11:25 PM
http://www.demandfoamcutting.com/handwire.html

Cheaper & works just as well.

Rick530
04-13-2009, 11:29 PM
http://www.demandfoamcutting.com/handwire.html

Cheaper & works just as well. To late already ordered. I dont mind spending the coin if it works well and puts out nice cuts.

skale240
04-14-2009, 12:56 AM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter1.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter2.jpg

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!

nplant
04-14-2009, 8:07 AM
Depending on how much you want to spend (time and energy), you could also get a customized insert from these guys:
www.casecad.com

xibunkrlilkidsx
04-15-2009, 8:03 AM
ive seen guys just use turkey carvers. wasnt a perfectly smooth cut but i worked real well.

scott.cr
04-15-2009, 8:49 AM
I'm also looking for one of these to cut out 3 1720 cases. ANyone have any luck with these?... opinions??...

http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/product.php?productid=16198&cat=103&page=1

I have that cutting table minus the guide fence. It's an okay table. The "reach" is a bit short so you have to do some horsing around if you want to cut to the center of some larger foams. Good thing about foam is you can bunch it up when cutting to the middle.

The DC power supply that comes with that table is garbage. It runs the wire too cold, and when the wire gets a bit of gunk build-up on it, it never gets hot enough to self-clean, and eventually it stops cutting. And I have no idea how to physically or chemically clean molten foam from the wire.

Oh, and when the wire is coated you have to use more force to get the foam to cut. That makes your edges jagged.

Eventually I connected mine to a variable power supply and NOW it is a good table. Cuts smooth and I can get the wire hot enough to self-clean. Having the wire hot doesn't seem to cause other problems, such as over-melting the foam when you're cutting.

unamused
04-15-2009, 9:17 AM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter1.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter2.jpg

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!

looks sweet! details?

RomanDad
04-15-2009, 9:20 AM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter1.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter2.jpg

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!


Somebody got an "A" in "shop"....


NICE!

CA SHOOTER
04-15-2009, 9:25 AM
Just sold mine to another Calgunner :thumbsup:

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g273/JamesDub131/168.jpg

Jicko
04-15-2009, 9:29 AM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!

Can I come and use yours? :thumbsup:

PM me. :)

fonionrings
04-15-2009, 12:39 PM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter1.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter2.jpg

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!

Yes, details please :)

unamused
04-15-2009, 12:41 PM
where does one get nichrome wire?

scott.cr
04-16-2009, 8:12 AM
where does one get nichrome wire?

As long as you have a way to limit the current, any steel wire will do. (Copper wire won't "cut it" so to speak.)

Nichrome is high resistance wire so you don't necessarily need to limit the current, depending on the voltage, but changing its length will affect how much heat you get.

Agro
04-16-2009, 8:39 AM
My table is built other than the cutting wire in place. I have power wires, 12v source, etc. all in place. It is TBD if this will be enough (or to little) power. I may need to install a light dimmer switch to control how much juice I am providing

skale240
04-16-2009, 11:50 AM
I got the basic build plans off the internet. Once I find the link again I'll post. I used that then kind of improvised it a little bit. Most of the items used in wiring it up were bought at radio shack. The site I went to had a list of all the part numbers. Here are pics of the underside:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/FoamCutterunder2.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/FoamCutterunder.jpg

Rick530
04-21-2009, 11:10 PM
Got back from the Grand Prix in LBC and my hotwire cutter was on the doorstep waiting for me. Cut this out tonight. Now just have to pick up some spray adhesive to glue in the foam.
http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii379/Rickb530/IMG_0634.jpg
Holds 2 mags for each gun.
http://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii379/Rickb530/IMG_0635.jpg

Agro
04-22-2009, 8:00 AM
Got back from the Grand Prix in LBC and my hotwire cutter was on the doorstep waiting for me. Cut this out tonight. Now just have to pick up some spray adhesive to glue in the foam.


Very nice job, it looks really clean. I have yet to do mine. I may end up meeting up with a fellow calgunner and just power both of ours out the same day.

DirtRacer151
04-22-2009, 8:13 AM
awesome!! looks great

Rick530
04-22-2009, 9:04 AM
Thanks! I was a little sketchy about this at first but once I got going it was very easy. Worst part was the smell of the melting foam. That stuff stinks!! 1 down 2 to go. Anyone in the NorCal area is welcome to use my hotwire table.

unamused
04-22-2009, 11:00 AM
where did you guys get those cases? are they pelicans?

Rick530
04-22-2009, 12:06 PM
where did you guys get those cases? are they pelicans?
Mine are Pelican 1720 in OD green. Bought them from a company that sells thru ebay out of Long Beach.

CowboyShooter
04-22-2009, 12:22 PM
Got back from the Grand Prix in LBC and my hotwire cutter was on the doorstep waiting for me. Cut this out tonight. Now just have to pick up some spray adhesive to glue in the foam.


Great looking job! That is a very cool, professional looking case interior. :thumbsup:

I've been wondering, reading through this thread about the details of how to get the cutouts so close. Do you lay your guns on the uncut foam and trace the outline? I'm guessing you have to slice in from an edge and then just follow the outline? And the interior foam is in layers, right? Inquiring minds want to know! :p






:D

Rick530
04-22-2009, 12:35 PM
Thanks. I laid my guns out on some posterboard I picked up from office depot and taped together so they were long enough. Traced around the rifle with a pencil on to the paper then cut it out a little inside the pencil mark. Then laid the posterboard templets where I wanted them on the foam. (The bottom foam in the case is 2 pieces.) Pinned them down with some pins then cut a pilot hole with a sharp knife allong the pattern. Then threaded the wire thru the pilot hole, attched to back to the hotwire machine and followed the pattern around. Unhooked the wire from the machine, pulled it back up thru the foam and popped out the foam cutout. Picked up some glue from the craft store adn will glue the 2 bottom pieces of foam together tonight. Hope that helps.

Great looking job! That is a very cool, professional looking case interior. :thumbsup:

I've been wondering, reading through this thread about the details of how to get the cutouts so close. Do you lay your guns on the uncut foam and trace the outline? I'm guessing you have to slice in from an edge and then just follow the outline? And the interior foam is in layers, right? Inquiring minds want to know! :p






:D

Rick530
04-22-2009, 2:14 PM
I'm curious if when I glue the foam down if I should put the rifles inplace once i lay down a bead of glue so that the foam keeps its shape....?

Agro
04-22-2009, 8:34 PM
I'm curious if when I glue the foam down if I should put the rifles inplace once i lay down a bead of glue so that the foam keeps its shape....?

The foam should be slightly smaller (maybe 1/8") than what you traced out. This way when you put your items in, the foam is snug and expands to keep them in place. If you use spray adhesive on the middle piece of foam to prevent it from coming out when you pull your items out, do it without any items in their slots. Let it cure, then put all your stuff in the next day. Good to go.

Rick530
04-22-2009, 11:09 PM
The foam should be slightly smaller (maybe 1/8") than what you traced out. This way when you put your items in, the foam is snug and expands to keep them in place. If you use spray adhesive on the middle piece of foam to prevent it from coming out when you pull your items out, do it without any items in their slots. Let it cure, then put all your stuff in the next day. Good to go.

I used a glue I picked up at the craft store called tacky glue. Looks like elmers glue. Ran a bead all over the place on the underneith of the foam. Tomorrow I'll find out how well it held.

Agro
04-22-2009, 11:11 PM
I used a glue I picked up at the craft store called tacky glue. Looks like elmers glue. Ran a bead all over the place on the underneith of the foam. Tomorrow I'll find out how well it held.

That's what M. Fingar (I think his name is) at LaRue used. I've used that Tacky Glue for other crap. It'll work well.

Rick530
04-22-2009, 11:15 PM
That's what M. Fingar (I think his name is) at LaRue used. I've used that Tacky Glue for other crap. It'll work well.
Yeah it was at the other forum I saw he mentioned that stuff. I never have very good luck with the spray stuff. Gets everywhere. I just hope I used enough of that tacky glue stuff

Donut
04-23-2009, 5:00 AM
I've got one that I built a while back sitting in the garage all busted up. I kind of lost interest after I went through three transformers (using the wrong wire, even when turned down will kill transformers right quick.) before I realized it was the wire. Then I ghettoed it again, and started buying wire-wound resistors to crack open, and that wire works great for about 15 seconds before it breaks. Aircraft Spruce has NiChrome wire designed specifically for foam cutters, and it's pretty cheap, I just never ordered any.

I'd like to rebuild it to something like Skale's setup, all nice and sturdy, but I haven't even thought about it in months (unless I stub my toe on it in the garage).

skale240
05-13-2009, 2:22 AM
Hey guys! Just thought I'd post pics of the results from finally cutting my foam for my pelican 1750. I'm heading to Boise on Friday so I had to get it done. The longest part was tracing everything on poster board and cutting them out. After that it was a breeze pinning it to the foam and cutting!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Pelican2.jpg

I bought a sheet of MDF board to lay on top of my foam cutter since the Pelican foam is pretty large. Worked out great!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter.jpg

unamused
05-13-2009, 7:24 AM
looks good!

ciscollector
05-15-2009, 1:50 PM
Any one have a feel for which density of foam would be better for rifles and pistols? Foam Factory has Charcoal regular density (1.1lb density) foam and a charcoal firm foam (1.6lb density)>

Rick530
05-15-2009, 1:53 PM
Any one have a feel for which density of foam would be better for rifles and pistols? Foam Factory has Charcoal regular density (1.1lb density) foam and a charcoal firm foam (1.6lb density)>

I bought there charcoal firm foam but it haset shown up yet. I'll let ya know how it is when it finally shows up.

lionbassplayer
05-29-2011, 8:04 AM
I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone around Sacramento has a foam cutting table that I could use to cut out some foam for my pelican case. I live in Roseville and am thinking about building one, but then after it's done, I don't have much space to store it so if I could come use one, or borrow one and return it, it would be more practical for me.

hk91666
05-29-2011, 8:42 AM
My wife did pillows and cushions and only used a a carving knife (like for turkey and thanksgiving)

NinjafiedGun
05-29-2011, 9:40 PM
After doing a bunch of research and reviewing different build plans I ended up building my own version:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter1.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/skale240/Foamcutter2.jpg

I haven't cut much foam yet but it works. Right now i'm just using guitar string and want to try out nichrome wire. It works though, just gotta practice. Your more then welcome to come over and use it if you want!


So this would be for cutting out foam for pelican cases?
Id be happy to kick some funds ammo or beer your way
in exchange for your services. :)

rareair
05-30-2011, 1:59 AM
So this would be for cutting out foam for pelican cases?
Id be happy to kick some funds ammo or beer your way
in exchange for your services. :)

I contacted skale240 about his table. He no longer has it :(

NinjafiedGun
05-30-2011, 10:36 AM
Bummer