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Old Nov 30, 2005, 08:35 PM
ThermalSeeker is offline
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United States, CO, Denver
Joined Sep 2005
281 Posts
If it's the do-it-yourselfer trying to get out..then go for it. I'm the same way and it looks like a fun project.

If just cutting a couple wings as cheaply is possible is the goal there's a much simpler way. Many moon ago when Burt Rutan and his company Scaled were still selling homebuilt airplane plans they had a little "How to" booklet to give confidence to the would be builder that he could actually do composites. The hot wire power supply in that manual consisted of two 12 v batteries in series to give a maximum of 24v available. (I used a 12v battery and a 12v battery charger..also Nick is right that you'll need to have a means to vary the heat that the bow creates for the length of foam you're going to cut.) To vary the heat on this set up you just need to add about five feet of safety wire (variable resistor) to one of the the battery connections that's going to connect to the bow. Run the safety wire in a zig zag fashion across a bunch of nails in a board left to right. Use an alligator clip to connect your bow to the battery on one end and one of the safety wire nails on the other. The further away from the battery you connect on the safety wire the cooler your bow will be.

I used this when I first started hot wiring long ago. Currently I use 13 to 15 volts on a 30 inch long core. I've used Nichrome wire but didn't like it, .030 stainless steel safety wire for many years with great success, but now like .020 Inconel even better. You might try something close to that for a starter.

I hope that helps,
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