Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > Beginners
Reload this Page >

Hot wire foam cutter

Notices
Beginners Beginners in RC start here for help.

Hot wire foam cutter

Old 10-15-2011, 09:48 AM
  #26  
Gray Beard
My Feedback: (-1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hemderson, NV
Posts: 14,394
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 6 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Gene, show us some photos in use. The one I saw with the weights that ran it across a table made sense to someone like myself with hands that shake.
Old 10-16-2011, 01:50 AM
  #27  
OzMo
Senior Member
My Feedback: (3)
 
OzMo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: OZark, MO
Posts: 2,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Goirish,
Hi. I just am finishing setting up verticle and bow type cutters and home made swing arm table. Can't add to much but a couple things I picked up on are;
stainless steel fishing leader works great .022g or close (some are coated but it burns off easily)
U control wire is the same thing or works just as well and no coating
(the ^$ wires such as tungsten are preferred by guys doing LOTS of cores)
Thinner wire lets a smaller XFMR work well
letting the wire go slowly gives better end product...smaller kerf or melt out (cleaner TEs)
The less the bowing of the hot wire while cutting the better....use just enough but not to much weight, be patient
Sliding patio door rollers from Lowes make good swing arm table pulleys (the ball bearings ones)
Wives don't like foam cutting smells[]
Old 10-16-2011, 05:52 AM
  #28  
Russmall
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 343
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter




[/quote]
You can make your templates out of wood amd put Chrome furnice tap on the edges. Will not burn the wood and easyer to make.
[/quote]
Chrome furnace tape? What is it and where do I get it? Your method sounds like a good idea. I always dread the task of cutting my templates from Formica. RS
Old 10-16-2011, 02:42 PM
  #29  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Great thread!

On the "Articles/Files" page at www.TailwindGliders.com there is an article on how to build an automated foam wing cutter and also an Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet that will help with setting up where the pull clips go.

Curtis
Montana
Old 10-16-2011, 03:50 PM
  #30  
Live Wire
Senior Member
 
Live Wire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sterling , CO
Posts: 6,059
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Home Depot, Ace, Wally world, Just about any hardware store. It is made of Alum. foil to rap vent pipes and has many uses on model building.
Larry k
Old 10-16-2011, 04:02 PM
  #31  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Curtis, many thanks for the article and build file. I will build one of them tomorrow. Gee, being retired does have its advantages. Will let you know how it turns out. Again thanks.
Old 10-16-2011, 05:05 PM
  #32  
OzMo
Senior Member
My Feedback: (3)
 
OzMo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: OZark, MO
Posts: 2,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

HI,
Some say metal patterns act as a heat sink and slow the wire down. I wonder if the tape is not as much of a heat sink and would work OK. IF so stainded glass makers use a thin (1/2") tape to edge the glass pieces then they solder over these to make it look like lead. Copper foil tape? That would be a handy size.
Old 10-16-2011, 05:26 PM
  #33  
Live Wire
Senior Member
 
Live Wire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sterling , CO
Posts: 6,059
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

The Pattern is wood and only coated on the edges with the tape. Solid metal does act as a heat sink, and a coating of solder will melt by heat of the wire.
Old 10-16-2011, 07:48 PM
  #34  
olivialee
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: newyork, NY
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

It works great??
Old 10-17-2011, 04:42 AM
  #35  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Templates,

I've tried foil that is used for making stained glass but what a mess. At times the wire would actually pull up the foil and cause it to hang up during the cut ruining the core. Plus I did notice cooling near the ends. Perhaps I didn't try hard enough to perfect the process.

Here is how I make Formica template. They are quick and easy to do and they last forever.
From the video I produced called "A Beginner's Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings" I show how to make formica templates and it takes less than 30 minutes to make a set.
I print the template off of an airfoil program onto paper, I use Profili. Make two copies. I then trim the paper airfoil to size perfectly along the bottom and then just slightly outside the lines where the foam cutter will ride.
I glue this to the formica on the non-finished side with superglue by aligning the bottom edge of the template with the edge of the formica. The Superglue ensures the template doesn't move.
Then I rough cut this on the bandsaw.
I take this to the drill press and take a round dremel sanding disk and sand just right up to the lines. http://www.amazon.com/Pack-Dremel-Sa.../dp/B003NFIXDK
While at the drill press I align the bottom and top template up with the bottoms flush and drill two holes, which I will use to hold the template up against the foam.
Then I'll take hand sanders, a cardboard fingerboard sander works great, and I sand till I think the airfoil is accurate.
Now I take the two templates and hold them together with nails inserted in the holes I drilled. I lay these down flush against a straight edge and take a .007" diameter pencil and draw the airfoil on paper. I carefully pull the one template off and draw the other side of the airfoil.
Lastly I take another printed version of the airfoil and hold the drawn airfoil and the printed airfoil up against the window so I can see through them to ensure the are accurate. If not I go back and do a little more sanding till I'm happy with the accuracy.
Once I'm happy with the template I'll take a white polishing wheel on the Dremel tool and run across the template once or twice and it's smooth as a babies behind!

That's it!
Of course it's easier to see this than type how it's done, thus why I produced a video; it's like having a building clinic right in your house that you can view over and over! :-)
Hope what I wrote helps.

Curtis
Montana
[link]http://www.TailwindGliders.com[/link]
Old 10-18-2011, 05:53 PM
  #36  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

I have watched several videos of cutting foam, both manually and semi-automatic. Most of the cutting that was done was with a smooth wing, no slots for spars. I built a automatic foam cutter via plans from tailwindgliders.com. By a gentleman named Curtis. I don't understand how to do the wing with the spar cutouts in it. Looks like the hot wire will not drop down into the slots. Do you cut the slots last after the profile has been cut? I will include a picture of the wing rib profile so you will be able to see what I am talking about. Thanks`
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Wu60345.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	69.2 KB
ID:	1676291  
Old 10-19-2011, 06:10 AM
  #37  
Live Wire
Senior Member
 
Live Wire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sterling , CO
Posts: 6,059
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Smooth cores then the slots or you will have a mess.
Old 10-19-2011, 06:16 AM
  #38  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

I'm glad you found the article helpful.

The foam core is cut to the planform then the airfoil shape. Make sure you cut the bottom of the airfoil first then the top or your airfoil will be thinner. Then you prep the core with spars slot, holes for servo wires, etc.... Then you apply the skin of your choice; ie. composite material, balsa using epoxy, gorilla glue etc...

I can give more details later but it's all shown and much, much more in my instructional DVD.

Curtis
Montana
Old 10-19-2011, 04:11 PM
  #39  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Here is a picture of my foam cutter. Now I just have to figure out how to work it.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Ig12178.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	71.0 KB
ID:	1676616  
Old 10-20-2011, 05:11 AM
  #40  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

I just want to pass along my thanks to cloudyIFR (Curtis) for all the help he has given me building my automatic foam cutter. I have ask many, many questions and he has responded quickly and friendly. If ever you think of building one of these cutters I'm sure Curtis would appreciate letting him know how it is working. Thanks again CloudyIFR.
Old 10-20-2011, 05:23 AM
  #41  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

ORIGINAL: goirish

I just want to pass along my thanks to cloudyIFR (Curtis) for all the help he has given me building my automatic foam cutter. I have ask many, many questions and he has responded quickly and friendly. If ever you think of building one of these cutters I'm sure Curtis would appreciate letting him know how it is working. Thanks again CloudyIFR.

Gene,

Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it. I'm addicted to models and gliders specifically.
Anything I can do to help folks build from scratch is what I like to share. The initial learning curve to cutting and bagging foam wings may be steep but I've tried to make it as easy as possible for folks to do with as little research time and investment as possible and still build a beautiful model.
Old 10-22-2011, 01:17 PM
  #42  
Russmall
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 343
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Live Wire, I tried your method of making templates from wood and chrome furnace tape and it works fantastic. My friend and I cut two sets of wings with them today. We will never use Formica again. Thanks for a great idea. RS
Old 10-22-2011, 03:00 PM
  #43  
Live Wire
Senior Member
 
Live Wire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sterling , CO
Posts: 6,059
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Glad I could help. My cutter is just a little bit different. I had to find out a different way to make templattes, My cutter will cut 6' cores on a 5' boom and it got to be a hassle I have 2 4 and 6' bows.
Larry K
Old 10-22-2011, 04:54 PM
  #44  
kenh3497
 
kenh3497's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rockwell, IA
Posts: 1,517
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter


ORIGINAL: goirish

kenh3497 Makes sense to me. My wife didn't understand it, but I did.


I'm glad you understood that, because, I'm completely in the dark about what I just wrote. LOL
Old 10-26-2011, 08:24 AM
  #45  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

CloudyIFR, Have had a chance to practice with the automatic foam cutter and to say the least this is the cat's meow. All I can say is that this works GREAT!!!! Thanks Curtis.
Old 10-26-2011, 08:47 AM
  #46  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Fantastic! I'm glad it's working well for you.

Any chance for a photo or two?

Curtis
Old 10-26-2011, 08:53 AM
  #47  
goirish
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
goirish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, MI
Posts: 5,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

Wish I knew how to do the videos. This thing is so slick. Using the pink foam I don't even think any sanding needs to be done before putting the skin on. Maybe someone will chime in and tell me how to post a video.
Old 10-26-2011, 08:59 AM
  #48  
CloudyIFR
 
CloudyIFR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

I'd say the best way to post a video is upload it to youtube or similar website and post the link here.

Curtis
Old 10-26-2011, 09:01 AM
  #49  
bruce88123
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 11,703
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

http://www.rcuniverse.com/mvp/mvpPosts.cfm?videocat=1
Old 12-20-2012, 10:30 AM
  #50  
peglag
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Belgrade, YUGOSLAVIA
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Hot wire foam cutter

In order to help fellow friends on this site I have recently found by surfing this interesting article about home made hot wire foam cutter so plese check it out .It is very helpfull for common building of your own hot wire foam cutter

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.