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I need to cut some of that red/blue foam from Home Depot/Lowes. A nice hot knife, like the 6 inch ones are $200. I guess if that is what it cost then so be it, but is there a cheaper one that is good? I heard the Harbor Freight ones suck bad.
Harbour freight is fine for rough work, but if you need details, I use a wood burning kit.
 

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I got this guy at Harbor Freight for like $15.
729813

...and I got this set for less than $10
729814


Be careful though, you do get what you pay for. But at those prices, you can just go out and buy another one...or buy like 10 of each at a time.
 

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I need to cut some of that red/blue foam from Home Depot/Lowes. A nice hot knife, like the 6 inch ones are $200. I guess if that is what it cost then so be it, but is there a cheaper one that is good? I heard the Harbor Freight ones suck bad.
harbor freight tool works great if you cant afford hot wire factory tool just keep the receipt and return it for a new one prior to receipt expire they do wear out with lots of use but great for starting out (use the 20% coupon )
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Nichrome wire will be here today. I also have PVC and a cutter. I have some momentary pushbutton switches on order from China, should be here by 2022
 

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All you wusses with your hot-wires, I don't need no stinking hot-wire. I just Michael Myers the hell out of my foam. 10" utility knife; I've been thinking of upgrading to a 12". Seriously - if your using a hot-wire to cut extruded polystyrene foam wear a carbon filtered respirator. The foam is made with some really toxic materials and it's not good to breath in the fumes.

730248
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Well some interesting observations after working with this a while. Using two completely different power supplies I notice that the wire jumps. I can see the wire actually moving at a regular pulsing rate. This is DC power and the power supplies have very clean output so I have no idea yet what causes that. Since the wire jumps like that it does not make a nice straight cut like I wanted. Timing the wire movement it appears to be jumping about every second, maybe a 60 hertz pulse? Either way it made me come up with a different idea that works better than nichrome wire.


That thing right there is the bomb. I can cut the foam faster, way more accurately and it serves as way to do my carving without using something like an exacto blade most of the time.
 
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