Home-made Foam Cutter for Large Polystyrene Sheets & Boards

Uploaded by danrfrazier on 06.05.2011

Hi there, I'm Dan Frazier. And this is my version of the Five Minute Foam Factory. I'm
not affiliated with the folks who made the original Five Minute Foam Factory YouTube
video, but I've made this device based on their their plans. And uh I think mine has
some advantages. So I wanted to explain what I've done differently and how this might be
useful. Um, the original Five Minute Foam Factory had a cut width of maybe eight inches,
ten inches at most. Um, this design has a 24 inch cut width which is much more useful
if you're working on big pieces of foam, bigger projects. Um, so you can see here that I've
used a long piece of wood uh instead of just an aluminum type post that they used in their
design, um, to get that 24 inch length. And my electric wire is stapled to the top of
the of the piece of wood here. Now down here on the end is the little piece of aluminum
post that I need to hold my wire. And my wire is right here. This is my hot wire. This is
the train transformer. Uh when you turn that on this hot wire does get hot. And you can
see I've attached this piece of wood with some uh some hardware here. Just sort of improvised
it. It's a little bit of a hasty design. You can see that the board is not perfectly straight.
It's not a big concern to me. You can see that you could cut a piece of foam up to,
I don't know, maybe five inches thick there which is plenty thick for most of the kinds
of things that I'm doing. I'm doing a lot of work in my attic, uh lately. And I'm cutting
pieces of foam to go on the walls of my attic to try to keep my attic cooler, especially
in the winter when we have problems here with ice dams. So I wanted to show you a couple
of interesting innovations, uh, with my with my uh my foam factory. They suggest in the
original plans, using a piece of um, oh I forget what it's called, the board with all
the holes in it. Well, I didn't feel like I really needed that. I went with a smooth,
a smooth board and um that makes it easier to slide foam across it. I've drawn some lines
on my board at one inch increments so that I can uh see exactly where I'm at in terms
of the width that I'm cutting and I've got a piece of wood here um at the 24 inch point.
This is a removable piece of wood. It's got two nails in it. And it just fits in right
to these two holes that I've drilled. And you can take your foam, put it up against
the wood and then run it through. Now when when I need to cut shorter lengths, say, a
15 inch or something like that, I can put the wood here and I can put some uh some clamps.
I don't have the clamps here right in front of me but that's what I do is I take some
little spring loaded clamps and hold the wood in place that way uh as my as my guide. Now
I wanted to show you what I've done on the bottom of this foam factory. Um, I've taken
uh the bolt as they've suggested in the original plans and attached it to the hot wire here
but you can see that the hot wire runs all the way down here to the hole and then up
up through the other side. And what I've got here is a piece of elastic cord. This elastic
cord is connected to the bolt and then over here to the hook. And what that does, it it
creates a constant tension on the wire, on the hot wire so that it is always nice and
tight and cuts straight. And uh also, I think it extends the life of the wire so the wire
is less likely to break because, if if uh, if you put stress on this continuously with
pieces of foam or what have you, it it can break. And by putting the elastic in there,
it gives it a little bit of an ability to flex when there's tension so you don't put
too much tension on it. These are my rubber, rubber feet so I can use it on my living room
table if I want to. Um and, so let's go ahead and we'll do a demonstration now. We're going
to cut a 24 inch piece of foam from a four foot by eight foot piece of of foam, which
I've got right here. So, what I'm going to do, my living room space are a little bit
cramped. I'm going to move this over here and then, we're going to take this, piece
of foam, put that right there. Now we'll just slide it up so that it's up against the wood,
the wood guide. And so that it looks fairly straight. We want to maintain that pressure
against the wood as we cut here. So, here we go, we're cutting, we're cutting away,
a two foot section from this four foot by eight foot piece of foam. And it's cutting
beautifully there. And we're just trying keep it nice and straight. You can see that, you
might not be able to see it but that hot wire is staying very nicely tight, taught, uh as
it cuts through this big piece of foam. Now you could make this Five Minute Foam Factory
even bigger than I've made it if you've got the wood that's bigger, and the space to store
it, I see no reason why you couldn't have one that cut three feet or four feet, however
big you need it. It's really not that difficult to do. It's just how big do you want to go?
Where you going to store this monster, these are the things you've got to think about here.
So we're two thirds of the way through it, and uh, I got my train transformer here set
to about 25 or 30 and it's cutting through nicely. And, my cat is walking around the
living room wondering what is going on? Well we're almost done. Now we get to a critical
point. I'm going to turn it off for just a second. My foam is starting to fall off the
table. So we're going to pull this back, pull this back across here. And then we're going
to turn it back on and keep cutting. You don't want to leave it on while you're cutting the
foam because it will melt a big hole in your foam. If you want it to be smooth, and look
nice, turn it off whenever you need to stop, like that, OK. So we'll turn it back on and
then we'll just keep on pushing it through here. And, there we go, all done. All right,
thanks for watching. I'm Dan Frazier and you've watched me use my my improved 24 inch cut
capacity foam factory. Thank you.