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Author Topic: Foam Cutter  (Read 920 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Foam Cutter
« on: April 12, 2011, 05:51:32 PM »
For any of you foam crazy beeks out there, here’s a tool I built for cutting some foam. 



You can view more photos and details of the thing on my photobucket page:

http://s1082.photobucket.com/albums/j365/MichiganBee/Foam%20Cutter/


Offline edwardw

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Re: Foam Cutter
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 06:49:32 PM »
Wow, quite the setup.  I've always used a router with a 1" bit on it.

Edward

Offline AllenF

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Re: Foam Cutter
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 09:58:29 PM »
Cool set up.

Offline Hethen57

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Re: Foam Cutter
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 03:39:25 PM »
Would that same set-up work to embed wax foundation if you used aligator clips on the wires?  I have several old computers with good power supplys...is that basically what you used?  Thanks!
-Mike

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Foam Cutter
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 04:18:00 PM »
I haven’t tried using my setup to embed frame wire into wax (I use plastic PF120 frames), but from what I’ve seen on Youtube and this forum, it sounds like many people do use power supplies or car batteries for that purpose. 

My foam cutter uses a special kind of wire, called Nickel Chromium wire (NiCr), as opposed to ordinary frame embedding wire.  The frame wire is probably made from iron.  NiCr wire has a higher resistance and is used for heating elements like in your toaster, stove, or oven.  Due to its relatively high resistive, it heats up very quickly when you force a bunch of current thru it.  (Heat output = Current * Resistance squared).  I seem to recall reading that NiCr wire maintains a good deal of mechanical strength up to 1600F whereas other metals don’t.

My guess is you could embed iron based frame wire using an old computer power supply (or a new one, you can buy new for about $20).  To heat up iron based frame wire, it will probably require more current than my setup uses since the resistance of iron is less than NiCr.  However most computer supplies output well over 20amps, so that shouldn’t be a problem.   

Computer power supplies have 3.3volt outputs, 5volt outputs, and 12volt outputs.  I’m not sure which would work best for embedding frame wire, but 1 of the 3 would probably work ;)