Polyfoam is used in many construction works. It has good thermal insulation. However, this is quite fragile and crumbling material. Therefore, when cutting it, special equipment is used. Otherwise, the edges will be uneven, and the material itself will lose its heat-insulating qualities at the joints.
Special equipment is on sale. However, a foam cutter can be made independently. This will significantly save the family budget. How to create different versions of a tool for cutting foam, it will be interesting to know for each master.
When creating a manual cutter for polystyrene foam , you should study the existing varieties of this tool. There are mechanical and electrical varieties. If the foam product has small dimensions, and the accuracy of cutting is not so important, you can give preference to the first version of the tool.
However, in order to ensure a tight fit of the foam plates to each other, it is necessary to ensure high precision cutting. The edges should be smooth. In this case, it is possible to create a high-quality insulation layer. Its heat loss will be minimal. With uneven cutting, large gaps form between the joints. Through them, the heat from the room will go out.
Professional designers and builders use only electrical equipment for cutting foam. At home, it is quite possible to create a similar tool.
Simple electric cutter
Considering how to make a cutter for polystyrene , you should study the design of the simplest equipment of this class, which is powered by electricity. In this case, you need to prepare a thin guitar string and several batteries (for example, from a flashlight).
The principle of operation of this equipment is simple. The design of the batteries forms a single unit. A guitar string is connected to it. With the passage of electric current through the circuit, it will heat up. It is in this condition that the string can easily cut the foam sheet.
During the operation of such a tool, the material will melt. The string heats up to 120 º and even more. At the same time, it is quite possible to cut several large plates of foam. If you need to perform a large amount of work, this option will not work. The batteries will run out quickly. You will have to provide for the option of connecting the system to a domestic network.
Varieties of Electric Cutters
An electric foam cutter can be used for a variety of purposes. The type of construction and overall performance of the equipment will depend on this. There are three main varieties of homemade cutters.
The first category is used for linear cutting. The second group includes cutters, which perform curly cutting of the material. They are used by designers. To carry out home repairs, this variety is used less often. There is also a tool with a metal work plate.
Such equipment must have a step-down transformer in its circuit. It should be designed for a minimum power of 100 watts. The secondary winding of the transformer must have a cross section of at least 1.5 mm. It must withstand a voltage of 15 V. In this case, you can achieve a high result of work.
Features of work
Studying how to make a manual foam cutter yourself , you also need to consider the features of the functioning of such equipment. As mentioned above, such an instrument has a string. It heats and melts the surface of the foam.
Such material does not react well enough to heat. Therefore, it is important to withstand the technology of the entire process. Cutting with a hot thread is fast. This allows you to achieve high quality cut.
Checking the string's heating level is easy. To do this, a test piece of foam is tested. If, when the thread is immersed, long pieces of material remain on it, it has not yet warmed up enough. If there is no foam on the string at all, then the temperature is too high. In this case, you will have to cool the tool a little. With proper heating, it turns out to perform fast, accurate cutting.
A do-it- yourself linear cutter for polystyrene foam will allow you to create blocks from the material of the required dimensions. This greatly speeds up the wizard. If necessary, this tool can cut circles, triangles or squares in the foam.
Two racks are vertically mounted on the table surface. Two insulators are attached to them. A nichrome thread is stretched between them. This alloy heats quickly, providing sufficient temperature for cutting. A freely hanging load is passed through one of the racks. The wires from the transformer are connected to the filament.
Passing along a nichrome thread, the current will heat it. She will be pulled all the time thanks to the load hanging on one side. This is necessary since the string may sag during heating. If desired, the design can be modified by adding a spring instead of the load. However, the original version is easier to implement.
Linear cutting process
When considering how to make a foam cutter with your own hands , you also need to understand how to work properly. Cutting can be performed vertically or horizontally. To do this, pull the thread in the appropriate position.
If the string is stretched horizontally, you can use it to make the same cuts. Polyfoam is evenly pulled across the table. The thread will evenly cut it into the required pieces.
When cutting the structure vertically, a metal or plywood frame is added. A holder is mounted on it. An insulator and a nichrome string are connected to it. On the other hand, the load is suspended. It will go through the hole drilled in the table. It should be large enough and covered with special insulating material. Next, you can perform vertical cutting.
If you need to cut out sufficiently large sheets of polystyrene foam or create decorative elements, sculptures from this material, a special type of equipment is used. It can also be done independently. This is a manual foam cutter. It is made on the basis of a manual jigsaw or hacksaw. In them, the cutting element is changed to a nichrome string.
If you want to create curly elements, you can make several tools of various shapes. A wire is connected to the jigsaw handle. It must be carefully isolated. Otherwise, working with this equipment will be unsafe. A nichrome string is attached to the contacts of the wire. This can be done with nuts and screws with washers.
Also, a pulsed soldering iron or a wood burner may be suitable for creating such equipment. This tool is considered convenient. Their work item is removed from such equipment and replaced with a piece of nichrome wire. In this case, the threads can be given a different shape.
Metal plate cutter
There is a foam cutter in the construction of which a copper plate is used . To create this equipment, you can remake the soldering iron. Suitable equipment with a capacity of 60 watts. The heating element is removed from the device. Instead, a plate is installed here.
One side of the copper billet must be sharpened. This will allow you to create an incision of greater accuracy. The sharpening angle should not be made too large. Cutting will be done by heating. To choose its required level, you will have to experiment on a trial piece of polystyrene.
This method is also used by masters of various skill levels and profiles. If necessary, the copper plate can be replaced with a steel billet. This option will require more effort when sharpening. But with the help of such a tool it is possible to cut more dense polymeric materials.
When choosing which cutter for polystyrene is more suitable for the master, you should consider the recommendations of professional builders. The larger the volume of work performed, the more complicated the design will be. A simple battery-powered cutter is well suited for cutting several blocks. However, to carry out a large amount of work, network types of equipment should be preferred.
When cutting, the foam heats up. At this moment, substances unsafe for human health are released into the environment. Therefore, work is performed in a well-ventilated room or on the street.
In order not to make a mistake with the configuration of the cutting, it is necessary to outline all the lines with a pencil before starting the action. This will avoid cutting errors. These simple recommendations will allow you to perform work quickly, correctly and safely.
Having considered what options for cutters for foam can be done with your own hands, each master will be able to choose the best option for himself.