How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to cut polystyrene with nichrome wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Polyfoam can be used in the country for various purposes, but it is mainly used as a heater. Many people buy polystyrene in huge blocks, it’s cheaper, but only then the question arises: how to cut polystyrene in such a size?
Indeed, the foam, in spite of its “flowability,” is difficult to cut, because if you use a regular knife, then you get not neat rectangles, but shapeless pieces. Then how to cut polystyrene in domestic conditions?
An electric soldering iron perfectly copes with this task. First, you need to flatten its end with a hammer, then put on a special device that can be obtained from the metal cap of the fountain pen and fix the blade-blade of the hacksaw at the end. After that, heat the soldering iron and cut and cut everything that your heart desires.
The most effective tool in cutting foam is nichrome wire. Start work with the correct location of the cutting table, this is done to avoid transverse stripes on the material. The table is set at an angle of 20-60 degrees, i.e. the sheet is fed as if gliding across the table. Note that your work tool, i.e. nichrome wire, when heated will become longer, so fasten its end with a powerful spring with the ability to choose the length of the elongated wire.
To supply voltage to our design, in order to avoid electric shock, it is better through a step-down transformer (for example, welding with the ability to adjust current). We cannot say exactly what current is needed, because it all depends on the thickness of the wire, but we can say for sure that heating for cutting will be enough even with barely reddening of the nichrome thread, if you go too far and the thread becomes very hot, the cut will have too wide a thickness.
So, we proceed directly to the process of cutting foam. Set the table at an angle, and the length of its surface should be two times the length of the foam. Now fasten the nichrome wire across the table, the second end of the wire through the spring, we already talked about this, pass the wires from the transformer to the ends of the thread and turn on the transformer through the LATR. The foam is laid on top of the wire, and thanks to the installed slope, the material gradually slides down, and the wire also gradually cuts it.
If you need to make excavations in the foam, then they can be made with a file, periodically wetting with water, then the surface of the foam will be smooth, and the file will not clog with chips.
If it is convenient to use the saw, then make sure that the saw is divorced.

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Do-it-yourself foam cutting with nichrome

Polyfoam is a material widely used in construction. It is an excellent heater, as it has an extremely low degree of thermal conductivity. It is made of foamed polymer and has many advantages over other products, which are based on the same composition (for example, Rockwool Light Butts). Polyfoam has high shown in environmental friendliness, sound insulation, moisture and vapor impermeability, fire safety.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Polyfoam is a very suitable material for insulation, due to its low cost, wide assortment and design features.

All its qualities are good, except for one significant drawback. the ability to crumble and difficulties when cutting.

This property of him greatly complicates the work with this material. This is especially noticeable in frame housing construction, where it is most often chosen as a heater of walls and ceilings. Since in the construction of the frame of the house the distance between the racks where the insulation is laid is different and does not always coincide with the standard sheet sizes, it becomes necessary to master such a kind of work as cutting foam with your own hands.

DIY polystyrene cutting methods using nichrome

If the electrical parameters of the nichrome wire are not known, then you must first try connecting a low-power electrical device, for example, a 200W electric bulb (current will flow about 1A), then a 1kW heater (1A), and so increase the power of the connected devices until the nichrome wire of the foam cutting machine heats up to the desired temperature. Electrical appliances can be connected in parallel.

  • nichrome wire cutting: option 1.

You can assemble a simple foam cutting machine yourself. In addition to the nichrome string, you will need: a step-down transformer for 12 or 24 volts, a segment of any pipe, a spring for string tension, a small table. The hardest part is finding nichrome. But here the old hair dryer can help out. The wire can be taken in it. The principle of operation of the apparatus is as follows: with the help of a step-down transformer, nichrome is heated to a certain temperature, foam is brought to it, which, when melted, is cut. In this way, you can get various curly products from this material.

The assembly of the apparatus is simple: you need to fix a wooden block on the table, in which we will drill a hole and install a piece of pipe in it. We thread the wire into it and, using a spring fixed on the back of the table, we stretch the nichrome wire. We connect it to the transformer, and it to the mains. Slowly moving a piece of foam with your hand to the wire, cut it.

  • nichrome wire cutting: option 2.

To make this device you will need:

  1. The hardboard in which you will need to make holes for perforation (using a drill and a thin drill).
  2. 0.5 m long aluminum bar.
  3. Quick fix glue.
  4. Pigtails with crocodiles.
  5. Small wooden blocks, 5-7 cm thick.
  6. Cardboard sheet.
  7. Scotch.
  8. Power Supply.
  9. Nichrome wire.
  10. Bolt and 4 nuts.

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The sequence of assembly of the apparatus for cutting foam

In fact, this is the same hot string, but brought to perfection. A professional tool allows you to achieve high cutting speeds, it is possible to use curly nozzles.

  1. Making the basis for the apparatus. It is a square piece of hardboard (rib length 40-45 cm), which must be fixed with screws or nails to two wooden bars. They will fulfill the role of “legs”. Thus, you get a pretty solid stand with a perforated surface.
  2. In one of the bars, you need to drill such a hole so that the aluminum bar prepared in advance is firmly inserted into it.
  3. We measure on an aluminum bar 30 cm and at this point we bend it at an angle of 90 °.
  4. We insert the bar into the hole drilled in the bar.
  5. We find the hole closest to the free end of the bar on the hardboard and mark it with a marker.
  6. We cut the aluminum rod with scissors for metal so that its tip is exactly above the marked hole.
  7. So that the rod does not rotate, we will drill a hole through it and the support and drive a nail there.
  8. We install a wire from nichrome. First, screw 2 nuts onto the bolt. Wrap a wire around it, tie it and screw another 2 nuts on top. They should be tightened properly.
  9. Put the bolt and nuts on the base and fix the nuts on it with glue. It is important that the nuts do not rotate.
  10. Pay attention to the hole opposite the tip of the aluminum rod. We marked it with a marker. We will extend the wire into it and, making a loop, we will throw it on the bar and tighten it.
  11. We connect the power: with the help of "crocodiles" we connect "" with a rod of aluminum, and "-". with a bolt.
  12. On the power supply, you need to make such an adjustment that the nichrome is heated no more than 100 °. When working with the device, you must not forget about the safety of your hands.

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Other Styrofoam Cutting Methods

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How to cut polystyrene with nichrome wire

Polyfoam can be used in the country for various purposes, but it is mainly used as a heater. Many people buy polystyrene in huge blocks, it’s cheaper, but only then the question arises: how to cut polystyrene in such a size?
Indeed, the foam, in spite of its “flowability,” is difficult to cut, because if you use a regular knife, then you get not neat rectangles, but shapeless pieces. Then how to cut polystyrene in domestic conditions?
An electric soldering iron perfectly copes with this task. First, you need to flatten its end with a hammer, then put on a special device that can be obtained from the metal cap of the fountain pen and fix the blade-blade of the hacksaw at the end. After that, heat the soldering iron and cut and cut everything that your heart desires.
The most effective tool in cutting foam is nichrome wire. Start work with the correct location of the cutting table, this is done to avoid transverse stripes on the material. The table is set at an angle of 20-60 degrees, i.e. the sheet is fed as if gliding across the table. Note that your work tool, i.e. nichrome wire, when heated will become longer, so fasten its end with a powerful spring with the ability to choose the length of the elongated wire.
To supply voltage to our design, in order to avoid electric shock, it is better through a step-down transformer (for example, welding with the ability to adjust current). We cannot say exactly what current is needed, because it all depends on the thickness of the wire, but we can say for sure that heating for cutting will be enough even with barely reddening of the nichrome thread, if you go too far and the thread becomes very hot, the cut will have too wide a thickness.
So, we proceed directly to the process of cutting foam. Set the table at an angle, and the length of its surface should be two times the length of the foam. Now fasten the nichrome wire across the table, the second end of the wire through the spring, we already talked about this, pass the wires from the transformer to the ends of the thread and turn on the transformer through the LATR. The foam is laid on top of the wire, and thanks to the installed slope, the material gradually slides down, and the wire also gradually cuts it.
If you need to make excavations in the foam, then they can be made with a file, periodically wetting with water, then the surface of the foam will be smooth, and the file will not clog with chips.
If it is convenient to use the saw, then make sure that the saw is divorced.

How to cut polystyrene with nichrome wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Polyfoam can be used in the country for various purposes, but it is mainly used as a heater. Many people buy polystyrene in huge blocks, it’s cheaper, but only then the question arises: how to cut polystyrene in such a size?
Indeed, the foam, in spite of its “flowability,” is difficult to cut, because if you use a regular knife, then you get not neat rectangles, but shapeless pieces. Then how to cut polystyrene in domestic conditions?
An electric soldering iron perfectly copes with this task. First, you need to flatten its end with a hammer, then put on a special device that can be obtained from the metal cap of the fountain pen and fix the blade-blade of the hacksaw at the end. After that, heat the soldering iron and cut and cut everything that your heart desires.
The most effective tool in cutting foam is nichrome wire. Start work with the correct location of the cutting table, this is done to avoid transverse stripes on the material. The table is set at an angle of 20-60 degrees, i.e. the sheet is fed as if gliding across the table. Note that your work tool, i.e. nichrome wire, when heated will become longer, so fasten its end with a powerful spring with the ability to choose the length of the elongated wire.
To supply voltage to our design, in order to avoid electric shock, it is better through a step-down transformer (for example, welding with the ability to adjust current). We cannot say exactly what current is needed, because it all depends on the thickness of the wire, but we can say for sure that heating for cutting will be enough even with barely reddening of the nichrome thread, if you go too far and the thread becomes very hot, the cut will have too wide a thickness.
So, we proceed directly to the process of cutting foam. Set the table at an angle, and the length of its surface should be two times the length of the foam. Now fasten the nichrome wire across the table, the second end of the wire through the spring, we already talked about this, pass the wires from the transformer to the ends of the thread and turn on the transformer through the LATR. The foam is laid on top of the wire, and thanks to the installed slope, the material gradually slides down, and the wire also gradually cuts it.
If you need to make excavations in the foam, then they can be made with a file, periodically wetting with water, then the surface of the foam will be smooth, and the file will not clog with chips.
If it is convenient to use the saw, then make sure that the saw is divorced.

Video: How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire


How to cut polystyrene with nichrome wire | Country house

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Polyfoam can be used in the country for various purposes, but it is mainly used as a heater.

Many people buy polystyrene in huge blocks, it’s cheaper, but only then the question arises: how to cut polystyrene in such a size?

Indeed, the foam, in spite of its “flowability,” is difficult to cut, because if you use a regular knife, then you get not neat rectangles, but shapeless pieces. Or it can even crumble into small pieces, which will already be difficult to apply for your purposes.

Then how to cut polystyrene in domestic conditions? We will try to answer this question in this article.

How to cut polystyrene foam?

An electric soldering iron perfectly copes with this task:

  • First, its end must be flattened with a hammer.
  • Then put on a special device that can be obtained from the metal cap of the fountain pen and fix the blade-blade of the hacksaw at the end.
  • After that, heat the soldering iron and cut and cut everything that your heart desires.

Cut the foam with nichrome wire

The most effective tool in cutting foam is nichrome wire. Start work with the correct location of the cutting table, this is done to avoid transverse stripes on the material. The table is set at an angle of 20-60 degrees, i.e. the sheet is fed as if gliding across the table. Note that your work tool, i.e. nichrome wire, when heated will become longer, so fasten its end with a powerful spring with the ability to choose the length of the elongated wire.

To supply voltage to our design, in order to avoid electric shock, it is better through a step-down transformer (for example, welding with the ability to adjust current). We cannot say exactly what current is needed, because it all depends on the thickness of the wire, but we can say for sure that heating for cutting will be enough even with barely reddening of the nichrome thread, if you go too far and the thread becomes very hot, the cut will have too wide a thickness.

So, we go directly to the process of cutting foam:

  • Set the table at an angle, and the length of its surface should be two times the length of the foam.
  • Now fasten the nichrome wire across the table, the second end of the wire through the spring, we already talked about this, pass the wires from the transformer to the ends of the thread and turn on the transformer through the LATR.
  • The foam is laid on top of the wire, and thanks to the installed slope, the material gradually slides down, and the wire also gradually cuts it.

If you need to make excavations in the foam, then they can be made with a file, periodically wetting with water, then the surface of the foam will be smooth, and the file will not clog with chips.

If it is convenient to use the saw, then make sure that the saw is divorced.

Rubric: Summer councils, Housework

Foam cutting with nichrome wire (video)

(Last Updated On: 12/30/2017)

Foam cutting with nichrome wire

There is a place for foam in any home, because not every innovative insulator can repeat its excellent insulation properties, and even more rarely, what material combines all the qualities of the foam at once. Of course, there are materials that are superior in terms of performance to polystyrene, but here comes one more advantage of the latter. the cost of polystyrene is small enough to perform high-quality insulation of a large area without extra costs. Probably, the only major drawback of this convenient and practical material is its tendency to crumble during cutting and fitting to size, but this problem can also be solved. cutting foam with nichrome wire allows you to make a high-quality and strong cut that will not allow the material to crumble into separate components.

“Is it really so difficult to cut polystyrene? you ask. “Picked up a knife and go!” That’s how it is, of course, that’s it, only the productivity of such labor will be very low. it will take you 3-5 minutes to cut a foam sheet of a meter in length. And if these meters need to be cut 100? No, manual labor is not quoted here. Here, foam cutting is quoted by nichrome wire. a wire made of a durable alloy from which reliable threads with a thickness of 1 mm can be drawn. Such a thread is strong enough to cut, roughly speaking, a foam wagon. But the workflow in this case is also not manual; electricity and engineering ingenuity come to the rescue.

Foam Cutting Equipment

In order for the cutting of polystyrene with nichrome wire to be productive and high-quality, it is necessary to assemble a small machine. To make the machine we need:

  • nichrome wire;
  • surface for the desktop of the device;
  • piece of wooden block;
  • metal tube;
  • spring;
  • transformer;
  • switch.

We fasten a wooden segment to the surface, we mount a segment of the tube into it. We pull the wire into it and fix it from one end with a spring, which will provide good tension. On the other hand, we connect the terminals of the transformer to the nichrome wire, which will supply low-voltage current to the wire, sufficient to heat the wire. On the table, you can mount a switch that will interrupt the supply of voltage to the wire. cutting polystyrene with nichrome wire, heated to too high temperatures, can end with a rush. And you have to disassemble another hair dryer. Therefore, after each cut sheet, it is recommended to allow the wire to cool for a couple of minutes. During this time, you can just remove the cut foam sheet and prepare the next one.

The work of such a machine is productive enough to prepare the amount of polystyrene foam sufficient to warm the floor in a private house, it takes a couple of hours of strength. The machine is also assembled literally before our eyes, so the process of preparing a heater for use is quite easy and fast. Therefore, cutting foam with nichrome wire is today one of the most common options.

hot knife and other devices, how to make, video and photo

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

All products in the picture are skillfully carved from foam

Have you tried to cut polystyrene with an ordinary knife? It doesn’t work, because the material is crumbling. I will tell you how to make a cutter for foam with your own hands, and also offer three simple instructions for step-by-step assembly of cutters for foam and plastic.

What you need to know about cutting foam

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

When processing expanded polystyrene, each such ball slows down the course of a cold knife, another thing if the knife is heated

Expanded polystyrene is a cellular material, the structure of which consists of many dense compressed bubbles. Bubbles are poorly served by mechanical deformation, as they are forced even with a sharp knife.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Such figures are easy to cut on professional CNC equipment and here the principle of processing foam is the same as with any thermal cutter

The only way to accurately cut such a material is to use a cutting tool heated to temperatures above 100 ° C. A lower heating temperature will cause the material under the torch to sag and tear.

The heating temperature of the cutting tool above 200 ° C will cause the edges of the cut to light up and burn.

By the way, a correctly assembled thermal knife can cut not only polystyrene, but also extruded polystyrene foam, polyethylene and other polymeric materials.

Assembling a simple torch from a regular soldering iron

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

The photo shows the simplest foam knife made in 10 minutes from a conventional soldering iron

There are situations when the foam needs to be cut right now and there is no time to manufacture a complex machine. That’s it for such cases, I propose a simple way to remake a conventional soldering iron into a polystyrene foam cutter.

The instruction is very simple, but because the tool will be ready in 10 minutes, or maybe earlier.

Hand torch assembly on nichrome thread

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

In the photo. a wire cutter on polystyrene foam and it can be cut both in a straight line and in a curved line

Now that you know how to make a simple thermo knife from a regular soldering iron with your own hands, I suggest assembling a hand torch with a cutting part from nichrome wire.

This cutter is as simple as a thermal knife, but it can be used for accurate, curly cutting of polystyrene.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

  • Nichrome wire thickness 0.8-1 mm;
  • Two ice cream sticks or similar wooden planks;
  • Two metal strips from the children’s designer;
  • Fixing bolts and nuts with a size for holes in metal strips;
  • Block for two plastic AA batteries;
  • Two finger AA batteries;
  • Small size button;
  • Soldering iron, hot glue gun, pliers, drill, screwdriver.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Solder the button to the wire cutter, and on the other hand, solder the cut piece of wire. We fasten the button to the strip with hot glue and with the same hot glue we isolate the soldering sections.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

We remember the safety precautions, since the working surface of the torch heats up over a hundred degrees, so you can burn yourself

Assembly of a stationary vertical cutting machine

The previous nichrome cutter is held in the hand during operation. The model you are learning about now is stationary. That is, the fixture is stationary, and the foam will be fed manually to the filament.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

  • Plywood thickness from 10 mm and more or flat sheets of chipboard;
  • Bar 50 × 50 mm;
  • Small lanyard;
  • Metal plate thickness not less than 1 mm;
  • Nichrome wire diameter 0.8 mm;
  • Power Supply.

On two opposite edges of the plywood sheet we fasten on a piece of wooden bars. We fasten pieces of timber with an indent from the edge of 10 cm.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

The installed crossbar, as shown in the photo, is reinforced with a diagonal spacer along the inner corner.

To determine the point of its passage through the bed, we apply a square angle to the bed and the opposite part to the crossbar.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

Mark the center of the plate and drill a through hole in the center with a diameter of 2 mm.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

With a chisel, we knock out the wood to the thickness of the plate. We put the plate into the notch and drive it in until it gets flush with the surface of the plywood.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

For marking, drill holes of suitable diameter with a depth of 5 mm. Pour a little hot glue into the holes and insert a bent nail.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

We wind a nichrome wire onto a screw. Tighten the screw so as to press the wire.

How to Cut Styrofoam with Nichrome Wire

We put the wire on the crossbar from the nail and tie it to the loose lanyard.

We turn the lanyard until the cutting nichrome wire is stretched.

We connect one cable through the terminals to the bolt on the crossbar, and the second cable to the lanyard from the bottom of the bed.

To summarize

A foam cutter can be assembled by everyone who has at their disposal a little free time and a simple tool from a home workshop. I am sure that the proposed instructions were useful to you, and you can make a suitable device. Do not forget to watch the video in this article, there you will find a lot of useful things.

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