Cut styrofoam in minutes ( Low Tech yet effective )

Picture of Cut styrofoam in minutes ( Low Tech yet effective )
 I've always planned to build a foam cutting device but when the time came I was short on time and too cheap to build a machine. This Instructable was created to help anyone looking for a super easy low tech method to make clean styrofoam cuts. Its much more effective than using a razor blade or hand saw and doesn't leave leave little foam bunnies all over the place. This method works especially well for making straight cuts and after gathering your items, you will literally be cutting styrofoam in less than 5 minutes. 

Materials you will need.
1 wire hanger
1 Propane torch 
1 lighter or other ignition device
1 pair of vise grip pliers
3 pieces of scrap 2 x 4 lumber

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Step 1: Making the cutter

Picture of Making the cutter
Bend the curved neck of the hanger straight then attach your vise grip pliers to the end. Lying the hanger on the ground while clamping the vise grips onto the end will help make your cutting tool more uniformed. 

Alternatively you could create any shape with the wire hanger to fit your needs. Making a box shape would also work quite well. 

Step 2: Make your cutting table, marking and aligning.

Picture of Make your cutting table, marking and aligning.
line up foam.png
In an open area of your garage place your 2x4 lumber in a reverse C shape or just a C shape for the lefties. Adjust the top and bottom 2x4's to accommodate your foam pieces. The top and bottom pieces are your adjustable pieces while the piece on the right or left is called your fence. The fence will guide your hot wire making cuts straight. Your fence will need to be long enough to accommodate the size of the styrofoam you plan to cut. I personally didn't use the C shape because I didn't have to cut large pieces. 

Now mark or trace your foam where it needs to be cut and place it on your cutting table. Align the styrofoam flush to the bottom edge of the fence. Next align your cutting mark on the outer edge of the fence. 

Next step.

royslade1 year ago
Good one and very simple and low tech.
Chrislee1 year ago
YaHoo! Now we're cookin'. Too easy. Thanks
Does this off-gas a lot? I always use an electric meat carving knife and it works well.
MasamuneX (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
There is a slight amount of it when you are making your cuts. If you watch the video you can see a little bit of it. I would say there is more when you are reheating your wire and there is a bit of styrofoam left on it.