I had an old broken hairdryer sitting on the workbench today and i wondered how i could recycle some parts from it before i put it in the ewaste bin. Using the wire from the heating coils i decided to make a tool to cut foam.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
-Something to cut PVC pipe
-Wire. (cut the cord and plug off the dryer for free wire!)
-1.5ft of 1/2in PVC pipe.
- 2 bolts, nuts, washers.
- 9v battery.
- small switch.
Step 2: Harvesting the Bits From the Dryer.
There are two useful items in the dryer for this project. First cut the plug off the dryer cord and cut the wire off the dryer. This will give you 6 or so feet of well insulated wire to build with.
Next you want to remove the heating element from the dryer and remove some of the springy looking wire from the element. This wire is made from a metal that will not break when heated so it will be used as the cutting head. Take the coiled wire and stretch it out. I tied it to the workbench and pulled it as straight as i could. Don't expect the wire to become perfectly straight.
Step 3: Making the Handle and Wiring.
The handle is very simple. make a U shape out of the pvc and glue it secure. Cut a hole for the switch. Drill holes for the bolts and holes for the wire to run inside the pipe.
Step 4: Connecting the Heating Element.
Connect the wires to the bolts and push the bolts through the pipe. Use some of the heating element wire and wrap the wire between the two bolts. Make the wire tight so when you cut foam it makes the cuts more exact.
Step 5: Add Power and Cut Foam!
Connect the two wires to the 9v battery. It does not matter what direction the wires are hooked up. Turn the switch on and let the wire heat up for a few seconds before you start cutting.
This foam cutter goes through 1/2in foam like a knife through hot butter. The best part is it was make from junk parts i already had in the shop!
I hope you enjoyed this quick cheap build. Check out my channel on YouTube. Video for this project is on the first page of this build.
Build Stuff And Have Fun!