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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright haunters, we have a problem...purchased this at Hobby Lobby and began cutting into the bottom in preparation to carve a face into the front. As I began cutting the bottom the gourd began to break into pieces. I need a solution to the problem. What would or should be the best way to cut into this without in breaking into more pieces. It is hard molded foam, which some of you, I am sure have bought from them before. I also show a picture of the face I want to use. All help is requested and as this goes along I will post the progress. I will read all the posts as information comes in and want agreements or disagreements with what you all tell me. In a way a tutorial but to show others how to properly do this. Thanks and looking forward to the help. Pumpkin Calabaza Orange Winter squash Cucurbita
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His name is Roger Clyne
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Try a hot knife or Dremel instead.

Hot knives are basically wood burning kits with an Exacto blade attachment that heats up & slices right through the fake pumpkins. The Funkins are a little thicker but it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excellent ideas RCIAG. I have the Dremel, picture shown and have also attached pictures of the hot knives and no I'm not kidding about the ones sitting on the stove. I do remember doing something like that as a kid. How much are we talking about if purchasing a 'hot knife' ? Coca-cola Lip gloss Cosmetics Cola
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Michaels has a styrofoam cutter that should work if you are patient and take it slow. As with any hot knife/wire tool, let IT do the work, don't try to 'cut' with it. With a coupon, it's reasonably priced. I've used it on pink foam for years.

https://www.michaels.com/floracraft-styrocutter-plus/10456098.html

That said, if you're going to be doing a BUNCH, you might want to invest in a more robust hot knife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UnorthodOx, thanks for the information. I looked at the picture and looks the same at this... Adapter Electronic device Technology Electronics accessory Adapter
listed for $20.99. Great ideas for now. My plan is, have to go to work this afternoon til 11pm, then go out in the morning to purchase and begin the next step. Any other ideas out there people ?
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I use the one with the Exacto blade but I'm not cutting through a thick Funkin. I got it at Michaels a couple of years ago. They sell the replacement blades too. Last year they even had it on a hanger above the fake pumpkins.

Sorta like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Walnut-Hollow...0521705&sr=8-1&keywords=wood+burning+tool+kit

If you've got a coupon for Michaels it will be even less.

They work great on the thinner "fakekins" as I call them. For your Funkin though the tool Unorthodox recommends would work better. As he said, don't cut or saw with it, just let it slide through the foam.
 

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Deadview,

I used that same tool from Michaels to cut through the pink insulation to make some large tomb stones. It got the job done, but it was a slow process. The insulation is pretty soft and pliable. I think it'll struggle on what appears to be denser material for the pumpkins. I would probably lean more towards what RCIAG suggested as the sharp blade will also help carve through the material.

I had looked closely last year at the hot wire factory kit while at Scare LA. They're a bit more $$, but they do have a variety of attachments and give you the ability to crank up the current for getting through dense material so that may be another option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
EvilEye that is a concern with the pumpkin. But I plan on going slow with the cut after outlining the stencil. I'm hoping the store will have a good variety when I get there.
 

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So, I looked up funkins:

What are Funkins made of?
Funkins are made of patented low–density polyurethane foam and are painted with polyurethane paint. The walls of Funkins are about one half of one inch thick (varies with size of Funkin). And Funkins are already hollow. This makes them just as easy to carve as real pumpkins (without the gutting and the mess) and very realistic looking.
Having worked with Polyurethane in the past in industrial settings, I'll let HWFF explain:

From Hot Wire Foam Factory:

Not only is polyurethane foam difficult to work with as it cannot be easily cut with hot wire tools, but it also off-gasses and degrades and damages the instruments it is supposed to protect. We recommend that the polyurethane foams only be cut with a blade or saw.
The hard brittle spot you got is from an improperly mixed polyurethane (insert sciency reason here if anyone cares). Could be just that area due to poor mixing, or could be a whole batch.

Given those facts, I'm going to have to change my recommendation to stick with a dremel. Barring a dremel...this is perhaps one of those rare times one of those annoying little hacksaw blade doodads in the carving kits might be of use.
 

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I have only seen two suppliers for these types of pumpkins; Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby carries the Funkin and they are spun in a mold using expanding foam which gives it a thicker wall. The Michaels pumpkin is made in a two part mold then "fused" together. I used to get the Michaels pumpkins but the walls are just too thin and they don't look right. Here is a pic of the Michaels pumpkin (it's hard to see in this pic, look around the cut outs, the walls are thin):



Vs. This foam pumpkin that I made (look how thick the walls are around the teeth):



My understanding is that the walls of the Funkin is closer to the second picture (unfortunately, I have never bought one to tell you for sure).

In either situation, I use a Dremel to cut them out. Medium high speed and the bit that looks just like a drill bit. Be careful, start in the middle of the cutout and move towards your outline. You will feel it pull in a particular direction, go with it, don't fight it. Hope that helps.
 
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