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Old 02-18-2011, 02:13 PM   #81
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Re: foam cutter

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Originally Posted by Flypaper View Post
Yep, works great. I use it on my bigger cutters. Ideal size is .020 which is what I have.
Interesting, I have lbs & lbs of .023, .025 & 0.030 here, never came across 0.020 before. Tried the 0.025 and it melted as soon as I put 12v / 2a with my charger to it. .020 snare OTOH worked just fine.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #82
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Re: foam cutter

I just measured it with a pair of calipers. A few tenths of thou. is not going to make any difference. I use a Variac and ramp the temp up till it starts to cut scrap foam for a place to start. Anything from .015 to .030 will put you in the ballpark. Precision mikes are it the garage somewhere. My migwelder is also out in the garage.

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Last edited by Flypaper; 02-19-2011 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #83
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Re: foam cutter


Once you build your power supply (with the light dimmer), you can pretty much use any type of wire you want at any length. Having an adjustable power supply is a must for foam cutting.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:51 PM   #84
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Re: foam cutter

I've had a few PM's about the transformer I used and the size. Here are the specs:

Primary Input: 120VAC
Secondary Output: 24VAC
Rating: 96VA (4 amps)

This is sufficient to power a 48" long bow. I strongly recommend the installation of a ceiling fan dimmer on the primary side to control the power. This will allow you to use bows of different lengths and wire thickness and adjust the power to suit.

Sourcing transformers of sufficient capacity are not the easiest. The ones I have used are typically found in commercial heating and A/C control applications. You can try places that specialize in furnace repair & parts, and electrical supply houses:

For those who are fortunate to live in Toronto or Mississauga, try places like Sayal Components:

Or Active Surplus (one of my stomping grounds in my college days):

Example of one type I have used:

Lectro Components LE12000:

Last edited by philipa_240sx; 02-19-2011 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #85
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Re: foam cutter

Originally Posted by philipa_240sx View Post
For those looking for cutting wire:

I have successfully used stainless steel fishing leaders as cutting wire. They are sold under the 'Danielson' brand at Canadian Tire. The longest ones are 36". To use them:

1) Cut off the swivels and eyelets at each end.

4) The leader is coated with plastic. I found out the hard way that I could not connect the leads to the wire directly... the plastic covering insulates of course. To burn off the covering, power up using the lowest setting and increase until the plastic starts to melt. Clean off any bits with a a rag.
I got my stainless wire from Cabelas in various gauges. Bass Pro has it and I am sure a lot of sporting goods stores have it and even some hardware stores. McMaster Carr also has it.
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