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Old Mar 23, 2004, 01:14 AM
Registered User
New Zealand
Joined Jan 2004
164 Posts
whats' the best wire for foam cutting ?

Does anyone have experience in hot wire foam cutting ? I'm about to set up a small plant and would like to know whether I should use stainless steel or nichrome wire. Also if there are alternatives to using a variac (voltage transformer/regulator).

I intend to use regular polystyrene foam, but some say I should use high density polystyrene foam.

Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Broome.
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 02:40 AM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Guitar stings. Ran out of nichrome once. Worked just as good. Have to watch the temp/voltage/amps though.
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 02:30 PM
That Freeking Laird Guy
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United States, CA, Riverside
Joined Feb 2002
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Inconel.

But I use stainless steel fishing leader. It works great, it's cheap and easy to get in a variety of thicknesses. I like the .020 dia.

TFLG
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Old Mar 23, 2004, 02:52 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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That's what I have used! Fishing line leaders.

Now how about a good regulated power supply?

Did you know that Moreno Valley used to be two subberbs? Moreno and Sunnymead. Cousins lived in Sunnymead. Everyone called it Scummymead.
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Old Mar 24, 2004, 12:07 AM
Jim in San Diego
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Nov 2002
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I second the Inconel vote. Can't really say about the others since I haven't used them.

Inconel seems to handle the constant heating and cooling really well and is very strong - helps you crank it tight. I use 0.014 on smaller bows and 0.020 the larger ones.

I use a variac so can't really say if there's a good alternative. I know I've read many threads that have great info on the different options though. Maybe you can do a search and find some or, one of the users can post a link.

Good luck & happy cutting.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 01:39 PM
Rip th... Bring the Beer!
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La Mesa, CA, US
Joined Jan 2001
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I don't know what the best is , but I gotta give guitar strings a solid thumbs up.

Brad
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 02:56 PM
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East Stroudsburg Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined May 2003
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Re: whats' the best wire for foam cutting ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Raglan
Does anyone have experience in hot wire foam cutting ? I'm about to set up a small plant and would like to know whether I should use stainless steel or nichrome wire. Also if there are alternatives to using a variac (voltage transformer/regulator).

I intend to use regular polystyrene foam, but some say I should use high density polystyrene foam.

Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Broome.
Cooper coated nicrome wire.
Les
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 03:18 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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What does the copper coating do?
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 03:45 PM
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East Stroudsburg Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined May 2003
212 Posts
wire

Beter condactiviti.
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 04:02 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Thought it might be a chemical thing with the foam.

As to conductivity; you want resistance as this is what heats up the wire. Wire consistency in diameter and composition is important so as not to get hot spots.
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 04:09 PM
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East Stroudsburg Pocono, Pennsylvania, United States
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wier

Give me a call at 570-828-7396
les
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Old Apr 06, 2004, 07:15 PM
Registered User
Minneapolis
Joined Feb 2004
698 Posts
RENE 40 FOAM CUTTING WIRE

I have good results with stainless aircraft safety wire. Guitar strings and fishing leader material is also stainless wire. Inconel (sp) seems to be another favorite but the best I have ever used is Rene 40. It's the wire used by many commercial foam cutters. It's expensive but well worth the cost. It does not stretch. Does not break easily. Handles 100's of heat/cool cycles and is very tough.

I have a spool of .012 that I use on my bows and as many of you know I'm cutting 100's of cores for the kits I am producing.

If any of you would like to try it I can supply it for $.50 per foot with a 20 foot minimum. Shipping is an additional $3.00.

Ed
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Old Mar 22, 2008, 11:35 PM
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Omaha
Joined Oct 2005
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I have been using .012 or .015 seven strand control line flying wire for about 10 years. It is easily available from Brodak or Sig in the USA. I am not sure where you would get it in other parts of the world.
Bob
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Old Mar 23, 2008, 05:36 AM
Crikey never leave beer behind
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Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
23,437 Posts
Nichrome is crap its high resistance thats why they use it in kettles for a hot wire you want the lowest resistance wire you can get so the heat passes easier through the wire, resistance means it takes greater amps to heat the wire to the same level and keep it there ,and as others have suggested Stainless wire works a treat for that very reason .I use .022" lock wire from 737/700 ailerons but the fishing trace would be just the same . Also a victim of the foam fumes over many years.
SteveW
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Old Mar 23, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Vancouver, Canada
Joined Jan 2008
585 Posts
"Nichrome is crap" Then how has Les been able to cut thousands of near perfect cores using it?

When I started cutting cores in the 70's I tried Nichrome and could not get it to work for me, used SS fishing leader and ended up sticking with Inconel but Les has obviously found a way of using Nichrome that works, perhaps there are several types.

I like Inconel.


T.D.
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