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cut your own foam


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#1 Adam Tyler

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:59 AM

Hey guys I found this post on another forum that I know we will all want to use, the equipment is a little different but it just goes to show everyone likes tight fitting foam.

here is the link to the post with pics

http://www.ar15.com/...&...=4&t=292695

here is the post without pics

Many folks ask me how I cut my case foam.

I follow the "6 P's"

Prior
Preparation
Prevents
Piss
Poor
Performance

In other words; the hard work comes before cutting.



Razors and electric carving knives are crude...I've used hot wires to cut foam for years. Unfortunately, a handheld hot wire cutter is difficult to keep straight, and 90 degrees to the surface. So I designed the unit shown here. Works Great!


Essentially, it's a 24" x 24" piece of particle board, supported on some 2" x 2" lumber, with a hole drilled in the center to run some florists wire through, connected to a support arm. I modified a Wonder Cutter to handle my electronics.

The cutter can be easily made for under $50....Google "Hot Wire Foam Cutter", and you'll get many instructions on how to build one yourself.

____________________________________________________________________________

I recently replaced my battery stack with a household light-dimmer switch and a 25 volt, 2 amp transformer I got from RadioShack. I also got some Ni-Chrome wire instead of the steel florists wire...works great!!
_____________________________________________________________________________

So here's the Prep:

First:
Trace the item you want in the foam with a Sharpie onto posterboard, or card stock.

Err on the "inside" to make a tighter fit.

Next:
Clean-up your lines. Use a straight-edge to make everything parallel.


Then:
Cut out your shape, and tack it to the foam. This will allow you to visualize placement of multiple objects. If you're adding multiples...Plan, plan plan. Layout everything before you cut. Make sure it's what you want. You can get creative with your layout at this point.


Then:
Plunge a "pilot hole" with a box cutter.


Next:
Feed the wire through the pilot hole.


Then:
Turn on the cutter and slowly work your way all the way, around the template, like a jigsaw. Ending at the pilot hole.


Next:
Remove the template and the plug. Keep the template for future projects.


Then:
Cross-cut the plug to match the item's height. Re-insert the remaining plug into the hole.


Finally:
Assemble, and case the hardware.



Good luck, and enjoy.

Just take your time...It'll work out great.
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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 12:29 AM

And I was just wondering how I was going to get my rifle, scope, pistol and silencers to look perfect in their case for my upcoming job.....
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#3 Charles King

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 04:46 AM

Ha Ha Ha!!!! Americans and their guns...And they wonder why there is so much gun crime ;)
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#4 Afton Grant

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 07:03 AM

Ha Ha Ha!!!! Americans and their guns...And they wonder why there is so much gun crime ;)


Hrmph.

First of all, I've found this to be one of the more helpful posts in a while on this forum. I've already put together my own foam cutter and my sled will have a nice new bed very soon - all accessories soon to follow.

Perhaps the "second of all" should be moved to the Off Topic group, but for now... Charles, you do realize that historically, in case after case, study after study, as restrictions on civilian ownership of guns has gone up, so too has the crime rate. This is true of all countries, including yours. While the rate of crimes committed with guns may be higher here in the states, the overall crime rate here is considerably lower than most European countries with strict gun laws, again, including yours.
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#5 Charles King

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:00 PM

Ha Ha Ha!!!! Americans and their guns...And they wonder why there is so much gun crime ;)


Hrmph.

First of all, I've found this to be one of the more helpful posts in a while on this forum. I've already put together my own foam cutter and my sled will have a nice new bed very soon - all accessories soon to follow.

Perhaps the "second of all" should be moved to the Off Topic group, but for now... Charles, you do realize that historically, in case after case, study after study, as restrictions on civilian ownership of guns has gone up, so too has the crime rate. This is true of all countries, including yours. While the rate of crimes committed with guns may be higher here in the states, the overall crime rate here is considerably lower than most European countries with strict gun laws, again, including yours.



Well, if it's statistics you want than we can certainly play this game but I won't go there because this is a whole different topic and secondly, I can't really deal with American politics...End of discussion. But thanks for your views.

BTW, I do like the How-to cut foam article. Nice one. But I found pre-foam cut-outs that makes it easier. All you have to do is pull them out. Pretty cool and easier and less work...

Edited by Charles King, 03 November 2008 - 01:02 PM.

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#6 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:11 PM

Adam, thanks for posting that. Very informational and tempting (and those silencers are a little scary too).

Charles, you started it, have the conviction to answer it.
And the pluck and pull foam, while easier initially, eventually falls apart in any thin areas or strips. It doesn't hold up to long term use.
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 08:36 PM

No doubt. Pick and pluck is exciting at first but before you know it, you have one mangy looking case. I've always thought there should be some sort of spray "fixer" that you can apply once you have the setup the way you like it that would hold the cubes together...anyone?

But yeah, custom foaming is the way.
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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 08:54 PM

While the rate of crimes committed with guns may be higher here in the states, the overall crime rate here is considerably lower than most European countries with strict gun laws, again, including yours.


definitely not trying to stir the shiite storm, but maybe these numbers are off?
http://www.nationmas...r-crime-murders
http://www.nationmas...s-with-firearms
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#9 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 08:55 PM

No doubt. Pick and pluck is exciting at first but before you know it, you have one mangy looking case. I've always thought there should be some sort of spray "fixer" that you can apply once you have the setup the way you like it that would hold the cubes together...anyone?

But yeah, custom foaming is the way.



Haven't tried it but maybe spraying a sheet of plastic wrap with some 77 (adhesive spray) and laying over the top of the plucked out sheet of foam, cutting out the plastic over the already cut out patterns might preserve it?
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 08:58 PM

works for egg salad sandwiches, might work here.
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:45 PM

Anyone ever actually tried reading the pelican pick and pluck instructions? Yes there is an instruction sheet. It says that once you have plucked you should use spray adhesive to glue it all together so that they don't fall apart.

~Jess
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 05:32 AM

In that case, has anyone actually ever tried it?

I guess I must have read it at some point as the idea obviously stuck in my head...
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#13 Charles King

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 07:09 AM

In that case, has anyone actually ever tried it?

I guess I must have read it at some point as the idea obviously stuck in my head...


CP are you referring to the pluck out version of the foam?
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#14 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:15 AM

In that case, has anyone actually ever tried it?

I guess I must have read it at some point as the idea obviously stuck in my head...



Yes . . . .I have done the spray adhesive on my pluck foam storm cases, but as all have said eventually it starts to come unglued. But it wasn't until on location last June where I had 90 stand-ups in different locations and the rig was in and out of my case 5 -10 times a day where the wear and tear took it's toll. Before that they looked pretty good, lasted about two years . . . .

Now I have a garage full of foam and am looking to start making some custom cuts. Hot wire looks way cooler than my $19.99 electric knife . . . .

Charles . . . . Since you said you made one right ? Maybe in the new year Jackie and I will come over and she can see that new room makeover of yours and you get to help me with my cases . . .LOL . . .
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#15 Charles Papert

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:42 PM

Hi Rob--you're still welcome to come over, but I don't do my own foaming, I have my cases made at Innerspace. I don't need to foam out cases often enough to get into the custom thing myself.
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