Hot wire plans/ideas

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  • Hot wire plans/ideas

    Just wondering if anyone has ideas, plans or experience building a hot wire unit for cutting foam?

    I'm thinking low voltage with a pot' to control the wire temp

    Thanks, steve

  • #2
    piece of piss
    Do you want a hand or table cutter and how big are your cuts..
    how much do you have to cut..
    do a google for hot wire cutters.. and post an image of what you are looking at in size

    jaycar for a low voltage high current transformer
    buy a open submersible kettle element and unwind it for the nichrome wire, it straitens when heated.

    I can work out power requirements and heat control with zero point switching and do a shopping list for you for the transformer and related electrics..
    shouldnt cost you much, might even have something suitable bits on me already that could help you out..


    • #3
      Yeah A bloke I know has done it with a frame work for cutting bees wax and the principle is the same -- he uses nickle heat wire --the same as used in heater elements and toasters sort of think -- yonks ago we used to make voltage steppers the same way to run 6 volt car radios from a 12 volt system.
      You will just need to adjust the voltage to keep the wire heat under control with a pot as you say or a coil to prevent overheating your cutting piece.
      To hold it some fit it up in a frame like a fret saw to get around the shapes.
      lots of instructions and ideas here (link)

      Decoy has cross posted as I write and on reading that it would seem if you need to go 240Volt then you will need a tranny --old radio shops would have some.
      Don’t poke the snake, walk around it and come back later with a double-barrelled shotgun and blow its [email protected]#!ing head off!.

      Australia in future, the outcome is the same, a bloody dictatorship run on the whims of a very few ego-centric pathological elitists.


      • #4


        • Greenwich-biker
          Greenwich-biker commented
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          There was me thinking this was a thread on nefarious means of acquiring motor vehicles :P

      • #5

        This was a good link someone once posted about cutting guncase foam. Yeah I want to make one also...


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      • #6
        i was looking at building one myself, but ended up just getting a Proxxon Hot wire cutter THERMOCUT. Being adjustable and the sliding mitre setup on it made it worth the extra dollars. Cost roughly twice what the bits your getting are costing you..but i never had the time to make one. Saying that..i now run a heavier wire in it and have upped the PSU to a 3A output which helps when cutting the thicker (6 inch) foam

        As for the wire..get it in ebay ( ) its cheap as

        One thing i have learnt if you want a real nice finish is to make a stencil out of heavy card and use that as a guide to cut around.


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          Its interesting I have one of those Proxxons, but its simply to small I have found for full sheets of the foam out of my Pelican 1750, as for the guide I totally agree with you, I used some paper I got from a plan printer to do my first one, and it was really horrible, other ones I have used harder templates for. Another thing I have found is that its easier to do stiffer foam than squishy foam as when you push against the squishy foam to move it, it tends to bunch up rather than move, thereby making the cut uneven and ugly. What I have been thinking of doing however is taking the same concept an applying it to one of my wooden (vinyl covered) work tables, simply drill a hole in the middle and when needed insert the arm into a slot at the back, don't need it, simply pull it out, and put a cover (thinking one of those desk cable hole covers) over then wire point, this would allow me to do large pieces of foam when required, can simply cut a groove in the ends to create a rebate for a mitre

      • #7