Author Topic: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?  (Read 17924 times)

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Offline Reiska

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What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« on: January 23, 2014, 03:48 PM »
I'm in the process of organizing a bunch of my non-festools into systainers and I'm trying to make nice looking shaped tool inserts cut in foam.

I've acquired a meat carving knife similar to this with its double reciprocating blades for exterior and rough cutting and the Proxxon hotwire cutter like this for shaping. I also have carpet knives and normal knives like my leather man, etc. at my disposal.

Now unfortunately the hotwire cutter doesn't seem to be powerful enough for the rigid foam I bought nor does it seem to work on natural rubber (stinks to high heaven and burns the material).

As you can see, my attempts to shape a nice insert for storing my Knew Consept coping saw, Veritas dovetailing saw & some dovetail templates didn't turn out very pleasing:

99885-0

We don't have Kaizen foam here so I need to figure how to cut these nicely normally.

I've watched a bunch of videos about cutting these shapes into rigid foam and some suggest to actually cut the silhouette out first through the whole foam, then thin/shape it to measure and to glue it back into the foam bit. Is this really the way to go or are there specialized X-acto or similar blades to carve these concave shapes, standard depth cuts with straight walls etc.?

I've seen some really nicely cut inserts made by Foggers, but how do you make them?
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Offline Davej

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 04:52 PM »
You may not be able to get kaizen foam 'per say*but you should be able to get ethafoam which is the same.  It's very easy to cut and  you can build up layers easily to suit your needs. In the UK you can get it in various thicknesses and it's v cheap.  I have used it for custom inserts myself.
Dave
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Online RKA

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 05:36 PM »
I stumbled on this post on a fellow FOGer's website yesterday.  If you scroll down to the comments you'll find one made by "Kevin" that suggests using heavy artists paper, tracing the outline with an xacto knife and using a dremel with a router base and diamond grit abrasive bit to cut out the foam.  It seems like it would work really well.

http://toolguyd.com/jigsaw-blade-handle-holder/
-Raj

Offline neeleman

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 05:43 PM »
Why don't you use the "Rasterschaumset" SYS-VARI RM T-LOC 497878 from Festool.
It has a lattice work of diced sections which can be pushed out to produce any desired aperture.

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Offline RL

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 07:23 PM »
I would be careful using hot wire cutters on foam unless you are sure the odours are non-toxic.

I would try an xacto blade- see if you can get a long one and cut from both sides of the foam. This is what I used for cutting styrofoam and it worked excellently. Indeed, Xacto recommend this blade for foam.

http://xacto.com/products/cutting-solutions/blades/classic-blades/Whittling-Blade-26.aspx

I would use two layers of foam- one as the base, and the other cut out, and stick them together with double-sided tape.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 07:26 PM by RL »

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 07:34 PM »
I think that what you are seeing is due to material differences.  When you see the examples using "kaizen foam" that product is made up of thin layers of foam laminated which depending on the strength of the bond can be separated.  If the foam is a solid thickness then you will be seeing what has happened to you.

Someone else mentioned ethafoam.. In addition to searching for that you might also want to search for "laminated polyethylene sheets" in your area.  That might produce more results.

Peter

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 09:13 PM »
A 9mm  snap off blade knife works well.  Sharp enough to just slice through and the adjustable length is  quite useful. Extend it out for cutting all the way through or shorten to desired depth  to cut part way through.  If you hold the knife at a consistent angle throughout the cut you can use the handle  as depth gauge.

Seth

Offline bkharman

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 09:25 PM »
Not to make light Reiska...  But when I opened that pic, I laughed out loud. Mainly because I have had failures like that so it hit close to home.

A thin blade x-acto works well for me no matter the density of the foam.

It also reminded me of the first time my wife made cake pops. Hence the chuckles. When does the Festool foam cutter premiere?  Mayr it is called the Kazam. ;)
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Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 09:42 PM »


I have no idea if it would work, but has anyone used a multi-tool?

Or as hrrb has suggested/called it in post below, a MultiMaster.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 02:55 AM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline hrrb

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 02:30 AM »
I've done some cutting in similar foam and I always used a thin knife with snap of blades. But it was the thin layer type and I know it's not easy to do a nice professional looking job if the foam is thick.

I'm just thinking out loud here and I've only got one cup of strong morning coffee so the idea might sound stupid.  [unsure] How does it behave if you plunge a router bit into it?

If you make a template of thin masonite. Place it on the top of the foam and use a copy router bit (you know the ones with a bearing. Are they called pattern bits?). I don't know if it will clog or burn...just an idea.
99896-0

Back to the coffee mug! Have a nice day and good luck.  [smile]

PS! have you tried with a Fein Multimaster?

Kind regards
Henrik
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 02:33 AM by hrrb »

Offline mikeneron

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 01:17 PM »
I did what Henrik is suggesting before I could get my hands on the Kaizen foam.  I just used a piece of 1/8" hardboard and cut it to fit the systainer.  Then I traced the outlines for the items I wanted and cut them out with a jigsaw (don't forget to include finger holes so you can get your items out of the foam).  Then I used double sided tape and stuck the foam to the hardboard and then took a template router bit and went to town. 

Don't cut your foam to final size until afterwards.  That way you can use a nice big piece to work on which will be safer.  I didn't have my OF1400 when I made mine so was using my Triton 3HP which is a bit of a beast.  So using a larger piece of foam made things a lot safer.  I have attached a few pictures.  I am planning on converting these to Kaizen foam at some point, but they all work fine.  You may want to experiment on getting the right fit as I found some of the items don't fit as tightly as I would like.

Offline Reiska

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 01:11 PM »
Thanks for the great ideas thus far!

I'll give the router with a copy ring a try - I'm wondering should I use a normal straight bit or would using a spiral up-cut bit be of any benefit here? I'm guessing it won't make a huge difference since I'll be cutting mostly air?
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline woodguy7

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 03:23 PM »
It should help as its a "shear" cut
I don't think your foam is dense enough though.
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too

Offline briankb

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 04:07 PM »
I've have some success using very small end-mills on my CNC machine, also the diamond patterns round nose bits will "shave" away if you want to do 3D carving. Obviously the design part of that is quite a bit of work.

A while back I found this Tips & Tricks video from FastCap, I've skipped to the part where they show a simple tool they made with a piece of scrap copper to make quick and nicely contoured finger holes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwe0QEvG1ew&feature=youtu.be&t=2m40s

Offline Michael Garrett

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 04:21 PM »
Would a dremel work?
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Offline briankb

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Re: What tools do to use for tool insert foam shaping?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2014, 04:28 PM »
Would a dremel work?

Sure. In fact the bit I use with my CNC/Router I found at HomeDepot for $14 which is a Dremel 1/8" Tile Cutting Bit.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Dremel-1-8-in-Tile-Cutting-Bit-562/202263176