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Jan 23, 2020, 10:01 AM
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JIMA's Avatar
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Hot wire templetes made from foam board

I am looking for a method to quickly make some hot wire cutting templates. These would probably not be used more than 3-4 times. I have read about using foam board with aluminum HVAC tape added along the cut edge. Was just wondering if the Elmer's foam board at Wal Mart would work? And what ya'll thoughts were on the subject. Looking to make some park flyer sized warbirds.

Last edited by JIMA; Jan 27, 2020 at 10:10 AM.
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Jan 24, 2020, 06:35 AM
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PaulB's Avatar
Try it, not risking much.


PS, be sure to post the results back here (win or loose)....
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Jan 24, 2020, 03:06 PM
Went to mow a meadow
frank48's Avatar
Cardboard from cereal packets works ok with aluminium tape on the edges
Jan 24, 2020, 03:51 PM
Registered User
I've tried plywood and also cereal boxes without anything on the edge.

I think anything that is stiff and smooth and has a higher melting point than the foam should work.
Jan 26, 2020, 12:37 PM
The Junk Man
The fastest (as far as hands on time goes) and most accurate way I do templates nowadays is to 3D print them.

If you have, or have access to, a 3D printer, this works a treat. I use PETG filament.

Jan 27, 2020, 08:40 AM
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JIMA's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks all.

Tom, I read about your 3D printed templates in your P-47 thread. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a 3D printer.

I bought a sheet of Readi-board at Dollar Tree. I was not very impressed with the stuff. It was wavy on one side. Have not tried using it yet.

Jan 28, 2020, 08:02 AM
I Look, Listen, and Learn
Timbo383's Avatar
Originally Posted by JIMA

I bought a sheet of Readi-board at Dollar Tree. I was not very impressed with the stuff. It was wavy on one side. Have not tried using it yet.

The dollar tree stuff you have to dig thru them to find the (less) wavy stuff. It's rare to find some but sometimes you get lucky.
On the templates, grocery stores have the thick hard card board stuff they use on pallets...they can be from 1 to 3 mm thick, and 4X5 foot keep the small stuff from falling thru. Just go to the receiving dock and ask, they just throw them away. The temperature that is used to cut the foam doesn't even scorch the cardboard.
Last edited by Timbo383; Jan 28, 2020 at 08:09 AM.
Jan 28, 2020, 09:49 AM
Out the Window
High Flyin''s Avatar
I use the thin white cardboard they sell at Dollar Tree. Easy to cut, cheap, easy to make the drawing, 100%!

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