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Discussion Starter #1
So I rescued a ton of 6" thick EPS foam sheets and have a growing list of things to build with it.

The problem I'm having is how to cut it accurately? I hate hot wire foam cutters and quit using them some time ago. Anyway, the one I have isn't quite long enough to do the job. Normally when working with 2" XPS I'll use a jigsaw or a razor blade for clean and highly accurate cuts, which makes things like tombstones come out quite nicely.

Not so with this stuff. The only saw blade I've got that's long enough is a 9" blade on a sawsall, but I'm finding that the blade bends mid-cut leaving one side wider/shorter than the other.

I had thought of using a table saw with guides and doing two cuts, one on each side, to get through the thickness. But I'm not sure if that's going to work out the way I want it to.

Anyone with practical eperience in getting this very thick foam to cooperate I would kill for your feedback. The clock is ticking and I'm starting to get depressed that I'm just not getting it done fast enough.
 

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Hollywood Haunters used some very thick foam to sculpt giant pumpkins. They used a homemade hot knife if I recall, basically they made a bow saw with the nichrome wire. But I like the carving knife idea!

I have a hot tub cover that will be replaced this fall and I'm going to watch this thread to see what I can use to cut it (and get ideas on how to use it).
 

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Hollywood Haunters used some very thick foam to sculpt giant pumpkins. They used a homemade hot knife if I recall, basically they made a bow saw with the nichrome wire. But I like the carving knife idea!

I have a hot tub cover that will be replaced this fall and I'm going to watch this thread to see what I can use to cut it (and get ideas on how to use it).
I used the foam from an old hot tub cover to make the peak above the door on my mausoleum. Just an FYI, most foam from a hot tub cover is wedged shape like an empty 3 ring binder. So keep that in mind when thinking of ways to use the foam.

@Kairayn, you are welcome. Bread knife or carving knife is pretty much all I used to cut foam before getting a hot knife. I love my hot knife. It makes cutting foam so much faster and cleaner. The only issue I have with it, is it doesn't have a long enough blade to cut through really thick foam. 6" would be pushing it.
 

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I would recommend against cutting foam with a table saw. The foam tends to heat quickly and stick to standard blades causing it to grab. Those blades will also throw major amounts of dust. There are special blades used for cutting foam but I have no personal experience with those.
 

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So I rescued a ton of 6" thick EPS foam sheets and have a growing list of things to build with it.

The problem I'm having is how to cut it accurately? I hate hot wire foam cutters and quit using them some time ago. Anyway, the one I have isn't quite long enough to do the job. Normally when working with 2" XPS I'll use a jigsaw or a razor blade for clean and highly accurate cuts, which makes things like tombstones come out quite nicely.

Not so with this stuff. The only saw blade I've got that's long enough is a 9" blade on a sawsall, but I'm finding that the blade bends mid-cut leaving one side wider/shorter than the other.

I had thought of using a table saw with guides and doing two cuts, one on each side, to get through the thickness. But I'm not sure if that's going to work out the way I want it to.

Anyone with practical eperience in getting this very thick foam to cooperate I would kill for your feedback. The clock is ticking and I'm starting to get depressed that I'm just not getting it done fast enough.
I've exclusively been using a fine-tooth hand saw, either miter style or maybe even better, Japanese style. It just needs:
  • Fine teeth to leave a smooth face;
  • Long enough to cut all the way through if you're pulling at an angle (rather than straight up and down);
  • Wide enough to help with the wobble/stability issues you might get with a bread knife;
  • Narrow enough top "profile" so it can follow the tooth edge into the cut without binding up.
Here's a $10 Harbor Freight Japanese style saw -- being two-sided it's perfectly flat so no trouble getting the whole blade through the foam, but it is a bit "floppier" than a miter saw:

Turns out it's not letting me post links, but just search Harbor Freight for miter saw or Japanese saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up opting to stick with the sawsall/saber saw with 9" blade. After some experimenting, I've found that firmly securing the foam block so that it can't bounce around allows me to get pretty accurate cuts. The angles can still be a little off sometimes, but that gets hidden fairly well once the stone is weathered and painted.

Thanks for the ideas!
 
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