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How To Cut Depron and Other Foam

Old 10-05-2008, 09:33 AM
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CHELLIE
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Build Review How To Cut Depron and Other Foam

Hi Everyone A Lot of Beginner Scratch Builders are Having a Difficult time trying to cut Depron and other Foams, I have been asked, how do you cut it so its a Clean cut, and I have seen pictures from other beginner scratch builders, and the cuts on their foam planes is ragged, pulled & torn, So I Know others are Struggling with Cutting foam, here is what I have learned, that works and makes some nice clean cuts, I will post the info on the pics, and Please add to this Thread, any Tips and Tricks that You may have learned along the way, to Help Others with their Build, Thank You, Take care, Chellie

the tools to use.
1. Large Handel Xacto knife holder, easier to hold and control
2. # 2 Xacto Blades, I have had the best luck with these blades, use a new blade for every new project
3. A Metal Straight Edge/ Ruler, a must, and guide knife into ruler so it does not drift off.
4. Masking tape, Tape the ruler to the foam, and cut right through the tape.
5. Most Important, Take your time, Cut Slow, Dont try to cut the foam with one cut, it wont work, It Takes a Minimum of 3 cuts to cut depron Clean, Dont rush it, hold knife at a 45 Degree Angle.
6. These cutting Hints, will work on foam board and other foams as well.
7. Cutting Board, Compressed Partical Wood Board, about 5/8" to 3/4" thick, Home depot has it.
8. Keep Hand away from Blade Path, keep holding Hand above knife and cut away from holding Hand

Hope that helps to insure a nice build, Now, Go Cut some foam and Be careful, Blood is Hard to get out of Foam
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Last edited by CHELLIE; 10-06-2008 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:05 AM
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I have to add to Chellie's post that you really do have to keep your fingers out of the way! I laughed at Dave Power's video on YouTube some time ago where he shows how he cut his finger while being intent on his build, but it sure wasn't funny when I did it to myself a few weeks ago. Fortunately my finger recovered and I'm back on the case...

Rick
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:15 AM
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gfdengine204
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Chellie,

What kind of board are you cutting on?
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RocketMan View Post
I have to add to Chellie's post that you really do have to keep your fingers out of the way! I laughed at Dave Power's video on YouTube some time ago where he shows how he cut his finger while being intent on his build, but it sure wasn't funny when I did it to myself a few weeks ago. Fortunately my finger recovered and I'm back on the case...

Rick
Ouchy Be careful Rick, Glad your all better now I have cut myself too, but not real bad, yes its going to happen, if your not extra careful, ask me how i know Take care, Chellie
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Chellie,

What kind of board are you cutting on?
Thats a compressed partical wood board, about 3/4" thick, bought it at Home depot, it works Great, Take care, Chellie
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:27 AM
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I thought so.....it looked like compressed board.....

Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Ouchy Be careful Rick, Glad your all better now I have cut myself too, but not real bad, yes its going to happen, if your not extra careful, ask me how i know Take care, Chellie
And to make matters worse, red blood on pink foam is not that attractive .
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:46 AM
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A good cutting board material is gypsum board or sheet rock. I use it as a sacrificial cutting surface over my build table. The gypsum board has one additional characteristic that make it worth using. It will not warp with changes in temperature and humidity.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:35 PM
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Great tip Chellie.
I've learned a "sawing" motion works the best.
The foam tends to tear if the blade is "dragged" or sliced through.

There... my 2 cents

Enjoy
Pat
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:02 PM
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So is there any difference between cutting foam with the #2 blade and a retractable knife? Say something like this:

http://www.stanleytools.com/default....ractable+Knife
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
So is there any difference between cutting foam with the #2 blade and a retractable knife?
Big Lots sells a 5 pack of break away knives, green and white/grey in color, and replacement blades for 7 bucks. I grabbed one of those and a Tungsten rod from the tig welder here at work... A blade is good for lots and lots of cuts.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:49 PM
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What's the tungsten rod for? A straightedge?
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
What's the tungsten rod for? A straightedge?
Its like a knife sharpener, but puts on a finer blade then a stone. Typically, its the last stage in sharpening a knife here and really improves the blade.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:40 PM
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Ohhhh, thats a good tip. Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
So is there any difference between cutting foam with the #2 blade and a retractable knife? Say something like this:

http://www.stanleytools.com/default....ractable+Knife

Hi Kev the #2 blade is long and thin, it does not have a lot of surface area to drag on the foam, the box cutter should be ok with up to 6mm foam, but with 9mm, it might start to hang up on the edge, just my 2 cents worth the #2 blade looks like the one on the right.


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Old 10-07-2008, 01:43 AM
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Thanks Everyone for the Great Cutting & Sharpening Tips, I knew we had a Bunch of Smart People Here take care, Chellie
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:22 AM
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I'm looking at cutting FFF........nothing thicker than that for now.....
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:04 PM
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I like using a utility knife but they should really make a foam cutting scissor
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:03 PM
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What a timely thread Chellie, thanks, the 2nd contest entrants will surely benefit
OK, my 2% worth........when cutting out your shapes and whatnot, you may notice the blade tends to tuck (away from 90 deg) sometimes.... making your cut angled a bit. Most likely the cause is that you're putting too much down pressure on the tool, I was 100% guilty of this one, not letting the blade do it's work and trying to bore through the cut in one pass. You just cannot rush these cuts......I know! :o:o
Angle your blade back a bit near 45 deg and "pull" the blade through the cut. This almost assures that you won't press too hard on the tool since your leverage on the blade is decreased.
Remember though too that all these foam materials are sandable.....you can fix most any oopsy pretty quickly.

be safe, have fun and more importantly get something flying!

oh yeah

--Ray
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Hi Kev the #2 blade is long and thin, it does not have a lot of surface area to drag on the foam, the box cutter should be ok with up to 6mm foam, but with 9mm, it might start to hang up on the edge, just my 2 cents worth the #2 blade looks like the one on the right.


Chellie, the #2 blade on the right looks exactly like the #11 modeling blade I commonly use. Is that correct? It's about the only thing I cut foam with (other than a hot wire). They do dull easily and several may be used to cut out one plane.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by oct2633 View Post
Chellie, the #2 blade on the right looks exactly like the #11 modeling blade I commonly use. Is that correct? It's about the only thing I cut foam with (other than a hot wire). They do dull easily and several may be used to cut out one plane.
Hi Oct The #2 Blade is a heavier duty blade than the #11, the #11 blade is for doing fine cutting with, and will get dull much Faster, the #2 blade is for heavier duty cutting, Hope that helps, Chellie



Last edited by CHELLIE; 01-31-2009 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:17 PM
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A Quick Tip, To sharpen your Xacto blade, I use a piece of 400 grit sand paper, lay it on the edge of my cutting board, and hold the blade at a 15 degree angle, and draw it a few times on both sides, works great, Hope that helps, Chellie
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:21 PM
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How can i thin a foam wing ?I NEED TO MAKE A SUPERCUB WING HALF AS THICK TO BE USED ON ANOTHER PLANE

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Old 01-31-2009, 05:01 AM
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CHELLIE
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Default Cutting Polystyrene or Styrofoam

Hi Everyone when Cutting Polystyrene or styrofoam, use a hot wire cutter, Michaels Arts and crafts has them,


A Hot wire cutter is the best way to go

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...ot+wire+cutter

http://www.spacemodeling.org/new/how_to/Foam_Cutter.htm

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...ot+wire+cutter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dk7S5UmgRQ
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:18 AM
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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03u1Hf7Dm5I[/media]





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME0WgH-AAdc
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