Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Halloween AA Member
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on my cemetery columns at the moment and I just purchased my pink styraphome today. I have to cut each sheet into 3 sections. I don't have a table saw, but I do have a jigsaw. Has anyone used a jugsaw on 1.5" thick stryaphome, and how did it turn out? Also what's the best way to get it straight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
For straight line cuts, I definitely prefer a Utility knife over a hot wire cutter. With the hot wire, unless you are a brain surgeon, it is hard to go for long distance lines without wiggling a little, then you don't get a perfect straight line without adding another step - sanding. With a utility knife, you score down a yard stick, and depending on thickness - you can either go all the way through the foam and make a straight cut, or score it then snap it free, in a perfectly straight line.

I also like it over serrated knives, which give you little stragglies as well. Sharp utility knife all the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
Cheap wire cutters that run on batteries can be found at most craft stores but the batteries are short lived. That type in more for shaping then actual cutting. The real nice wire cutter, like Hot Wire, are pretty exspensive but very nice to have. I have never tried a fillet knife but I will now. I imagine it dulls the blade pretty fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Definitly a utility knife or hot wire. It's a good thing you don't have a table saw, it can bind and kick back on you, (found that one out the hard way) the best tool I've used for cutting foam is a band saw. If your using a jig saw use a tile cutting blade (looks like sand glued to the edge of the blade) and a strait edge to run the saw down, the cuts come out great.
 

·
Grand Poobah
Joined
·
2,897 Posts
I use a long utility knife. Electric wire works best, but I'm not keen on breathing the fumes or taking that extra effort. ;-)

Just scoring it and breaking it gives you straight breaks, but also a pretty cool granite-like texture when you are making tombstones.
 

·
Hauntless
Joined
·
8,343 Posts
Yep, that's what I use for my rip cuts, a jig saw. It's great. The blade is juuust long enough. It's easy to make a straight cut. It cuts so easy that you have to slow yourself down a bit 'cause it goes so fast through the styro. Any blade will do. I use whatever is in there (wood cut or smooth cut blade). Use a tape measure and mark several places and then use a yard stick and a Sharpie to make the line. Then, cut away. I use sawhorses underneath.
 

·
Shadow box dancer
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
this might be overkill but you can attach a board alongside the line you are cutting and make sure it is the right distance from the guide so that the blade follows the line. you get perfect cuts every time. it works great for circular saws as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
If you could keep the foam from moving while cutting it then a jigsaw or a hot wire cutter could make things go a little quicker. Same thing goes if you jigsaw or cutter is table mounted as you could just feed the foam through it.

A jigsaw might create a lot of flak, but a with some sandpaper you can smooth it right up.
 

·
Halloween AA Member
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I can't use a wire cutter at this time since I have to stay away from the fumes right now. I'm 8 days away from giving birth. =) This project has been a great distractor. I had to wait a couple of days to get the styraphome and I was going nuts, not having anything to do and not at work. I will start with the utility knife and if it doesn't work for me I'll bring out the jigsaw.
 

·
Halloween AA Member
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yep, that's what I use for my rip cuts, a jig saw. It's great. The blade is juuust long enough. It's easy to make a straight cut. It cuts so easy that you have to slow yourself down a bit 'cause it goes so fast through the stryo. Any blade will do. I use whatever is in there (wood cut or smooth cut blade). Use a tape measure and mark several places and then use a yard stick and a Sharpie to make the line. Then, cut away. I use sawhorses underneath.

How did the final cut come out Terra? Was it pretty smooth or was it very ruff?
 

·
Hauntless
Joined
·
8,343 Posts
How did the final cut come out Terra? Was it pretty smooth or was it very ruff?
Dark Star is right, the smooth blade makes a smoother cut. The way I do my stones, it doesn't matter to me because I go for the rough edges. I think it looks more like old, weathered stone. In fact, I add more roughness when I'm shaping the stone.

Here's a picture of the last stone I did (the one on the right). These are two pieces of 1 1/2" foam glued together with two PVC pipes sandwiched in between. Then I take a drywall rasp along the sides to have the edges match up closer. I continue to rough the edges with the rasp up until I get a look I like. I rip and gouge the edges randomly. I then use wood putty to seal the seam between the two pieces. After all that, I directly spray paint the foam, focusing a lot of the paint on the edges to get them to look even rougher.





Scatterbrains, the pink foam is the same as blue foam just a different manufacturer. It's about $20 for a 4'X8' sheet. The white foam is cheaper, but it's different, it's made out of little balls of foam and I hear you can't get as good of a detail out of them.


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
If your LUCKY its $20 a sheet.... some of us in the warmer parts can only get 1/2", and its only $9.99 a sheet, but you have to use about 12 of them to make one grave! (Ok, 12 is being dramatic, but wow, I wish we had thicker sheets here!)
 

·
1031 Props
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
I used a handheld PVC saw. Its not electric or powered or anything. Its just a saw used for cutting through PVC. Afterwards i used a soft sanding block and sanded and rounded the edges.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top