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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me say this was the first attempt at building a prop out of foam. and for the most part I am really happy with the results.


I created a simple jig for my router with multiple holes for the various radius i wanted to cut. All cuts were made 1/2" deep in 2" thick foam, with the exception of the outermost radius.

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I ended up having to glue a temp plate onto the foam sheet since the foam itself did not provide enough rigidity to to act as the center pin for the jig.
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I did each radius and copied the work on the back side of the foam. this was repeated for all circumferences to make the wheel.

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Once the circles were cut I laid out the spokes of the wheel in the shape of bones. at first I tried to use a cheap foam hot knife which proved to be too slow and worthless

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In the end I used a jigsaw with a wood blade and it cut through the foam like butter. I cut out each void area in the center of the wheel. I did not cut the outer handles out yet as i wanted to minimize the chance they got damaged while shaping the spokes.

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I started to shape the spokes with a drywall rasp

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All surfaces were sanded with 120 grit paper to smooth them down from the work with the rasp. With the rough shape having taken form I wanted to add something to the rim of the wheel to make it pop. I laid out the lettering by hand and used a soldering iron with a fine tip to cut the letters in. This had a great effect like it was done with an old tool. I tried a dremel and attachment on a test piece but found it looked to machined. At the same time as doing the letters I put the first coat of west system epoxy on the spokes and glued the cut foam skull for the center in place.


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The exterior handles were then cut out and shaped as well. The whole thin then got two additional coats of epoxy to strengthen the shell and allow for spray paint to be applied. Given it was my first time working in foam I choose epoxy I had worked with before. The wheel will also be in a location where it doesn't get handled. I welcome any comment on what would have kept the detail and made it even stronger.

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Two coats of spray pain were applied to give it a brown/grey base color followed by multiple coats of diluted acrylic paint to give it some depth.

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Finish paint and ready for mounting


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Pictures from final placement IMG_2324.jpg

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Let me say this was the first attempt at building a prop out of foam. and for the most part I am really happy with the results.


I created a simple jig for my router with multiple holes for the various radius i wanted to cut. All cuts were made 1/2" deep in 2" thick foam, with the exception of the outermost radius.

View attachment 260672

I ended up having to glue a temp plate onto the foam sheet since the foam itself did not provide enough rigidity to to act as the center pin for the jig.
View attachment 260673

I did each radius and copied the work on the back side of the foam. this was repeated for all circumferences to make the wheel.

View attachment 260674

Once the circles were cut I laid out the spokes of the wheel in the shape of bones. at first I tried to use a cheap foam hot knife which proved to be too slow and worthless

View attachment 260675

In the end I used a jigsaw with a wood blade and it cut through the foam like butter. I cut out each void area in the center of the wheel. I did not cut the outer handles out yet as i wanted to minimize the chance they got damaged while shaping the spokes.

View attachment 260677

I started to shape the spokes with a drywall rasp

View attachment 260679

View attachment 260678

View attachment 260682

All surfaces were sanded with 120 grit paper to smooth them down from the work with the rasp. With the rough shape having taken form I wanted to add something to the rim of the wheel to make it pop. I laid out the lettering by hand and used a soldering iron with a fine tip to cut the letters in. This had a great effect like it was done with an old tool. I tried a dremel and attachment on a test piece but found it looked to machined. At the same time as doing the letters I put the first coat of west system epoxy on the spokes and glued the cut foam skull for the center in place.


View attachment 260684

View attachment 260693


View attachment 260694

The exterior handles were then cut out and shaped as well. The whole thin then got two additional coats of epoxy to strengthen the shell and allow for spray paint to be applied. Given it was my first time working in foam I choose epoxy I had worked with before. The wheel will also be in a location where it doesn't get handled. I welcome any comment on what would have kept the detail and made it even stronger.

View attachment 260701

Two coats of spray pain were applied to give it a brown/grey base color followed by multiple coats of diluted acrylic paint to give it some depth.

View attachment 260702

Finish paint and ready for mounting


View attachment 260703
That is very nice! How did you mount the outside handles?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The outer handles were carved out of the same piece of foam as the rest of the wheel. I had one break in handling the project but simply gorilla glued it back in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Creepy,

I think the weakest point is defiantly the handles that were carved out of the same piece of foam. they could probably be stiffened with wood dowels if i planned on moving it more. I'm not sure about what coatings would be more impact and harder that the West system epoxy I used. I bet there are better solutions, I sw commercial ones but opted for this since it was locally available. Challenge was to keep the detail and get a hard shell. Maybe more coats with glass would fabric would have made it bomb proof.
 

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For next time, try using the 3/4 ounce fiberglass cloth - super fine stuff we use for RC planes (not the heavy weave sold in the hardware stores). Wish I had more time to do the ships wheel - very nice work!!!
 
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