Friday, March 27, 2009

How I made a hot wire foam cutter

Make magazine posted a 5-minute project to make a hot wire foam cutter.

I got real excited because I had almost all of the materials at home already. There were only two things I needed: an aluminum rod, and a piece of Nichrome wire.

I looked for the Nichrome wire on the net, but I couldn't find anybody selling it in small quantities. So I started calling hobby shops.

Our local Hobbytown turned out to stock a replacement part for a Woodland Scenics brand foam cutter...4 feet of wire -- plenty and to spare.

They weren't kidding. Why, it only took me ten minutes to make it.

I've had a few problems. The wire broke when I tried to cut a 2" thick block of foam. I'm not sure how durable this wire is. But it was easy to make, and I've always wanted one. 


  1. I take it that this is used to cut pieces of foam? More efficiently than a saw, I guess?

    I don't think I've ever had to cut a piece of foam, other than to break apart packing material for the trash.

    Is this for making dioramas and such?

  2. Yep, foam, for crafts, basically. I feel this post left a lot to be desired. I shall address this.