[FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Builds

Discussion in 'Halo Costumes and Armor' started by WandererTJ, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Welcome to WandererTJ's comprehensive guide on everything related to foam constructed builds!
    Be sure to check elsewhere for guides on Resin+Fiberglass builds, Thermoplastic (Worbla & Terraflex), 3D Printing, Metal, and Leather builds!​

    Be sure to also check out my other guides:
    Resource Thread - Gloves, Boots, Compression Shirts & Pants, and More
    • Strapping, Magnets, Buckles, and other Fasteners [Coming Soon]
    • Lighting and Electronics [Coming Soon]
    • New Ultimate Scaling Tutorial [Coming Soon]​


    Table of Contents
    Introduction
    Foam
    • Puzzle Mat
    • Craft Foam
    • Blue Camp Pad​
    Cutting the Foam
    • Making Templates
    • Cutting Utensils/Tools
    • Non-Electric
    • Heated
    • Electric/Powered​
    • Blade Sharpness
    • General Tools
    • Safety​
    Refining the Shape of the Foam
    • Cleaning up Jagged Edges
    • Heat Gun
    • Adding in Details
    Assembling the Foam
    • Adhesives
    Sealing
    • Sealing for Paint
    • Sealing for Surfacing
    • Filling Material for Gaps along Edges
    • Sanding​
    Surfacing
    Painting
    Tutorials and Examples



    Introduction
    This is a big guide, and as such it will require maintenance. This is not something one person can do alone, so I ask you, the 405th Community, to step in when you can to provide any new information that would help this guide to further help others within our community. This Guide needs YOUR Input!

    It is my hope that we can assemble a guide with a list of details of the products/materials, variations of them, where to buy, what the quality of the items are, and maybe even ratings from us here at the 405th.

    You are all also welcome to post here about sales that might be going on for some of the various materials!

    DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise noted, purchasing links and prices shown are for USA Retailers and $USD.
    I happily welcome others to create duplicates of this guide for their region, but for the most part, this should help everyone to at least know the names of all the materials they may come across!



    Foam
    EVA = Ethylene-vinyl acetate​

    Puzzle Mat {EVA}
    Usage: Puzzle Mat EVA foam, which commonly comes as flat puzzle shaped pieces for gym floors and play mats for children, is the standard foam used for most foam builds. It forms the base of the armor. While both Puzzle Mat foam and Craft foam are both EVA foam, most people refer to Puzzle Mat foam as "EVA" and Craft foam as "Foamies".

    Details:
    • Standard Thickness: 9-13mm (3/8-1/2in)
    Most typically you will see Puzzle Mat Foam in one of the 4 variations:
    1/2'' with small oval pattern
    3/4'' with small oval pattern
    1/2'' with large diamond pattern
    3/4'' with large diamond pattern​

    Buying Options:
    • We Sell Mats - 3/8" Thick
    48 sq.Ft option - $48.50 with Shipping (Sale Price) - Recommended for single suit builds.
    96 sq.Ft option - $90 with Shipping (Sale Price) - Recommended for those who like to experiment.
    240 sq.Ft option - $200 with Shipping (Sale Price)
    Manufacturer: We Sell Mats​

    • Lowes:
    1/2" Thick - 24.6" x 24.6" Shop Mat (Set of 4) - http://www.lowes.com/pd_295099-4718...l=1&currentURL=?Ntt=eva+floor+mats&facetInfo= - $19.98
    Manufacturer: Varies from regions and supplier​

    • Harbor Freight:
    1/2" Thick* - 25"x25" Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat (Set 4 Pc) - http://www.harborfreight.com/anti-fatigue-foam-mat-set-4-pc-61607.html - $9.99
    Normally Priced on Sale at $9.99 (marked down from $15), but sometimes goes on sale for $7.00.
    *NOTE*: Thickness might vary depending on region and supplier; some have seen 1/2" while others have seen 3/8"
    Manufacturer: Varies from regions and supplier​

    • Walmart - Thickness Unknown
    [Product name, Link & Price Needed]​

    • Academy - Thickness Unknown
    [Product name, Link & Price Needed]​

    Craft Foam ("Foamies") {EVA}
    Usage: Foamies are most typically used on top of EVA in order to add an increased level of detail on parts that call for them.
    Most "Floating Faces" that you see in Pepakura Models imply that you use this kind of foam in those locations.
    • Standard Thickness: 2mm, 3mm, or 5mm
    • Other Thickness Uses:​
    Buying Options:
    • Hobby Lobby:
    • Silly Winks Foam: [Link & Price Needed]
    • Michael's:
    [Link Needed] - $0.99 per sheet
    Quality: Good, does not have the tendency to rip.
    405th Rating: 9.5/10 (by 1 Users)​

    Blue Camp-Pad Foam
    This foam, which can be found in rolls at Walmart, is great for making larp and boffer weapons (typically PVC padded with 3 layers of the foam).
    This type of foam is not very dense, and is quite spongy. Trying to make clean cuts on this kind of foam is quite difficult, and as such, this foam is not recommended for making armor out of. This foam can however be used as an option for padding (and possibly has other uses as well)
    • Standard Thickness: 5mm (if I remember correctly)

    Other Options
    Cutting Board Material? - Someone has mentioned using something like this before



    Cutting the Foam
    Paper Templates
    Cardstock Paper
    • Used for Pepakura Foam Templates
    • 110-lb weight thickness
    • Better for reusing over and over
    • Not as easy to tear
    Printer Paper
    • Cheaper option to Cardstock
    • Can be used for templates since the paper won't be integrated into the build (like the fiberglass/rondo method requires)
    • Easier to cut than Cardstock, but can move and flex more than Cardstock when pressed down to be used as a template
    Cardboard
    • Can use cardboard that comes from cereal boxes and other similar boxes
    • Great for those who scratch build and come up with their own templates on the fly
    • Free, because you are using something you would otherwise throw away.

    Cutting Utensils/Tools
    Blades & Blade Handles - Non Electronic
    • Scalpel (Recommended)
    • Precision Surgical Scalpels, or flat/square-handled knives are recommended over the X-Acto's round handle, because it allows the user to have more refined control.
    • Some suggest that the tips of #11 Scalpel Blades are less likely to break off than #11 X-Acto Blades.
    • Scalpel Blades also typically come in packs of 100 which are much cheaper than the packs of 100 X-Acto blades.
    #3 Scalpel Handel (For use with #10 - #15 Scalpel Blades) - http://www.amazon.com/SCALPEL-HANDL...=1408933279&sr=8-1&keywords=#3+scalpel+handle -- ≈$5.00
    #11 Scalpel Blades (Recommended Blade Shape) - http://www.amazon.com/100-Scalpel-B...8-4&keywords=scalpel+11+blades#cm_cr_dpwidget -- 100 Blade Pack ≈$7.00
    • X-Acto Knife: Can be found at Walmart and almost any Craft/Hobby store for around $4.00.
    • Box Cutter / Utility Knife:
    These come in 2 varieties, the first has blades that you can break-away as you use them, and the other uses a special fixed razor blade that can be flipped around when one side dulls and can be taken out and replaced or sharpened when both sides dull. While your choice of knife is up to your discretion, the ones with blades that are meant to break away are not recommended because their blades are not long enough to cut through our foam entirely, and their design means that they won't likely be as sharp as their fixed-blade cousin.​

    Blades & Blade Handles - Heated
    • Hot Knife: A "Hot Knife" is an electronically heated blade which allows for cutting through foam quickly and easily.
    Most hot knives are either attachments for Soldering Irons or Wood Burners, though some do exist with their only purpose being a hot knife.
    Wood Burners with Hot Knife Attachments:
    Walnut Hollow® Creative Versa-Tool (Recommended) - http://www.michaels.com/walnut-hollow-creative-versa-tool/10327706.html#q=walnut+hollow&start=4 -- $29.99
    Soldering Pencils and Soldering Irons:
    True Hot Knife (Expensive):
    • Handles:
    • Cutting Feet:
    • Blades (These are just a few options):
    • There are hot knives other that this one, but hsgmusa's website has a large variety of selection which is nice, and they had the shortest blades I could find for a "True" Hot Knife. Most "True" Hot Knifes have a 4-inch or longer blade.​
    Hot Wire Foam Cutting Table:
    • DIY - http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8528336&postcount=278

    NOTE 1: Hot Knifes are recommended for making the angled Bevel/Chamfer Cuts on the back side of the foam to allow 2 pieces of foam to meet up in a corner, while you stick to using only Scalpels/X-Actos for making the cuts when you cut the foam templates out. As such, you can optionally consider a Hot Knife to be more of an assembly tool than a cutting tool. Forum user Spacemeat has been known to press the heated stem of his iron into the foam in order to burn a recessed groove into the foam, allowing it to flex and bend more at junctions of foam.
    NOTE 2: Most people who dislike Hot Knives have only used ones that attach to long-stemmed Soldering Irons, which in all fairness causes cuts to be less precise because the handle is very far from the material you are cutting. There are however a few soldering irons with short stems, or alternatively, wood burners which are more renowned for having shorter stems than soldering irons. Another issue that Soldering Pencils/Irons have is that often their blades can be too short to cut all the way through the foam.​

    Electronic/Powered Cutting Equipment
    • Scroll Saw - ≈$50 (minimally)
    Scroll Saws could be considered as mini band saws or mini inverted table Jigsaws.
    • When shopping for a Scroll Saw, you want to make sure you find one that has a top that can be lifted up away from the blade. This allows you to do cuts internally without having to cut into your project to get to the interior. All you need to do to make cuts internally is drill a hole that the blade can fit into.
    • You also want to make sure you find one with a pedal which will allow you to control the speed, which is extra important with foam.
    • The last thing you might want to look for is one with a table that can be angled. Having a table that you can tilt is something that would be important if you want to make the cuts on the backside of the foam where you need 2 pieces of foam to meet up.​
    • Laser Cutter
    There are both benefits and disadvantages to using a Laser Cutter. The primary benefit is time and effort, as the laser cutter machine will cut the foam for you.
    The disadvantages however include accuracy and the chance that the foam might catch fire...........
    There is also the disadvantage of cost for those who do not have access to a laser cutter readily available to them.​

    Keeping your Blades Sharp: Blade Sharpeners & Replacement Blades
    • Blade Sharpeners: [Product information to be added]
    • Replacement Blades: Remember to look for packs of 100, they will typically be much cheaper per blade than packs with fewer blades.
    Details on replacement blades for Scalpels and X-Acto Knives are listed above.​
    NOTE 1: When using Foam for your crafting needs, it is vitally important that you keep your blades sharp. Keeping your blades sharp results in cleaner cuts which means the quality of your build will be much higher and it will look much better.
    You can either go with purchasing lots of blades you can change in and out, or you can use a blade sharpener to increase the life of each blade. You also have the option to do both.
    NOTE 2: Make sure you get the right sharpener for the job. Double-sided "\|/"-shaped blades require a sharpener different from the single-sided "|/"-shaped blades.

    General Tools to Assist in Making Cuts & Adding Details as well as Technical Drawing Tools
    [Product information to be added]
    • Self-Healing Cutting Board
    • Ruler (Steel) - 12-inch
    • Straightedge / Architect's Scale (Aluminum)
    • Right-Angle Square (Steel) or a T-Square - You typically want this to be longer than the Ruler
    • Protractor / Protractor & Sliding T-Bevel / Swing Arm Protractor / Adjustable Compass Protractor / Adjustable Drafting Triangle
    • Wood, metal, or plastic Triangles with 30 and 60 degree angles or with two 45 degree angles
    NOTE 1: When you are only using templates, you really only need the Cutting Board, and either a Steel Ruler or Square.
    Having a ruler is critically important, because it can help you make sure your straight cuts stay straight. Place the ruler on the line you are cutting, make an incision, and then cut along the ruler while pressing down on the ruler to make sure that it doesn't slide from the position you have it in.
    If you are dong a scratch build, you may need some additional technical drawing tools to assist you in making the scratch parts for your build.
    NOTE 2: If you are using a measuring instrument for measuring, not just making sure the lines you cut stay straight, its best to go for quality over just buying whatever is the cheapest option available to you. Precision is something we should all consider to be dire and important. Additionally, do your best to not bend your steel rulers and try not to store them in a location where they could get bent.

    Safety
    #1 Rule for Cutting: Never cut towards yourself. If you are exerting a lot of force (which possibly means you might be doing something wrong to begin with), and if you are cutting towards yourself while exerting a lot of force and the blade slips out from the cut or ends up finishing the cut faster than you thought it would, you can easily hurt yourself.
    • Remember to keep your blades sharp so you don't have to use as much force when you make your cuts. Making sure your blades are sharp will also help ensure that your cuts stay clean as well.

    General Safety Rules:
    • For Hand Tools:
    • Gloves = OKAY
    • Goggles = If you think something could possibly break/shatter/explode while you are working on it, you should wear goggles. If you Don't think something could possibly break/shatter/explode while you are working on it, you NEED to wear goggles.
    • Respirator/Mask = Depends on the material you are working with and what you are doing to it. ​
    • For Power Tools & Equipment:
    • Gloves = BAD
    • Loose Clothing = BAD
    • Long Hair Not Tied Back = BAD
    • Open toed shoes = BAD
    • Shorts/Skirts/Kilts/Anything not jeans that go down to your shoes = BAD
    • Goggles = Mandatory
    • Respirator/Mask = Depends on the material you are working with and what you are doing to it.
    • Ear Plugs = Is it loud? If Yes, Earplugs = Yes; If No, Earplugs = No.​



    Refining the Shape of the Foam
    Cleaning up Jagged Edges
    To be added

    - Note: Rotary Tool can be used

    Heat Gun
    Usage: Used for adding curvature to the foam, allowing you to make round or formed shapes
    Buying Options:
    [Link & Price Needed]
    Operating Temperature: [Input Needed]

    Adding in Details
    Wood Burner: [Product information to be added]
    • How to Use: [Information to be added]

    Rotary Tool (Dremel): [Product information to be added]
    • How to Use: [Information to be added]
    There are some usage tips on how to make use of your dremel with foam in fsracer's build thread.​

    Additive Manufacturing: Use multiple layers of foam to build up details rather than trying to cut into the foam.



    Assembling the Foam
    Adhesives
    Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue (High Temp Only) [Product information to be added]
    DAP - Large Cans of Concrete Cement [Product information to be added]
    3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive [Product information to be added]

    Brushes & Tips on how to Spread your Glue
    [Product information to be added]




    Sealing
    Purpose: The purpose of sealing the foam is to add layer/surface above the layer of foam to which the foam can bond to. The sealant is added so that you can paint over the top of the sealant layer, since foam typically does not agree with paint products and is prone to getting eaten/dissolved by the paint.
    Sealing the foam is also beneficial so that the foam does not absorb moisture, which will deteriorate the foam over time and cause it to progressively weigh more over time. Unlike composites, trying to cook the moisture out of the foam will be detrimental to the foam's lifespan.

    Sealing for Paint
    Heat Gun: Details to be added - Do not use Heat gun to seal foam after using Hot Glue, you will create issues with your seams.

    Plastidip: [Product information to be added]

    Rust-oleum FlexiDip: [Product information to be added]
    405th Rating: Mixed reviews have been given, you can read them all here, in EVAkura's thread about the product.

    Sealing for Surfacing
    PVA: [Product information to be added]
    Wood Glue: [Product information to be added]
    Elmer's General Purpose White Glue: [Product information to be added]

    Corn Starch:

    Acetone: ?

    Polyurethane (see Surfacing/Hardening section below)

    Safety: [To be added]

    Do's and Don'ts: [What Materials eat/dissolve _______ types of Foam?]


    Filling Material for Gaps along Edges
    • Caulk
    [Link & Price Needed]
    How easy is it to Sand/Shape?: [Input Needed]
    • Hot Glue
    [Link & Price Needed]
    How easy is it to Sand/Shape?: [Input Needed]
    • Please tell me we have other options!


    Sanding
    Types and Grades of Sand Paper:
    80 Grit
    100 Grit
    220 Grit
    550 Grit
    [Product information to be added]

    Harbor Freight Sander - $15
    [Product information to be added]

    Wet-Sanding vs. Dry Sanding: [Tips and Information to be added]



    Surfacing / "Hardening" the Foam / Making it Feel like Metal or Plastic
    Purpose: The purpose of this is not to actually "Harden" the foam. You don't want to make the foam rigid, you still want it to be somewhat flexible, but you also want the surface to feel like Metal or Plastic, where it is smooth and when you touch it, it returns a sound more associated with what you would expect armor would make.
    Now, some people might prefer a completely rigid/solid feel to the foam, but if you do that, then the externally hardened side will be more prone to damage. The damage that is likely is primarily cracking. The externally hardened side of the armor will want to resist flexing while the internal foam side will not resist flexing. As you apply stress to the parts, the hardened side will fatigue as it deforms. Think of it like glass, you can easily stand on the flat side of tempered glass and it will support an extremely high amount of pressure, but the second you apply a stress laterally, the glass will break. As you fatigue your armor, if it is not made to be flexible, then you will eventually begin to see stress fractures where the edges from 2 pieces of foam meet with one-another. The fractures will be crumpling from compression or cracking from tension. These can also be seen even if you have painted your armor, and can sometimes even be more visible with the paint, because it can cause the paint to chip and flake off.
    So, keep in mind, it will be important to ensure that at the end of the build, you suit is still somewhat flexible. Make sure you reinforce areas in your armor where edges meet up by applying an extra layer of foam on the internal side of the corner/edge to increase the strength.
    For those who are interested in having the plastic-y or metal feeling surface, here are some options:

    Polyurethane: [Product information to be added]

    Envirotex Lite Pour-On solution (see Carpathia's video): [Product information to be added]

    Fiberglass Resin? Bondo? Rondo?
    [Product information to be added]

    Sanding/Detailing

    Dremel: [Product information to be added]

    Safety: [To be added]

    Do's and Don'ts: [What Materials eat/dissolve _______ types of Foam?]



    Painting
    NOTICE: It is important to note that certain paints are known to dissolve and eat foam. Because of this, it is important to make sure that you have sealed and/or hardened your foam and/or you are using a type of paint that will not dissolve the kind of foam you are using.

    Recommended Paints / Paints that work on flexible surfaces
    [Product information to be added]

    Types of Paints to Avoid:

    Do's and Don'ts: [What kind of Paint tends to eat/dissolve [What Kind of] Foam?]



    Foam Tutorials, Q&A Threads, & Detailed 405th Foam Build Threads
    General Topics on Foam:
    Official Q&A Help Thread: "Help!" for: Foam
    Q&A Thread, asked by Tom117: Calling all (or most) foam builders!

    Ben Streeper's Guide: Foam Armoring - Contains Videos
    DBmike's Guide: basic foam tutorial - Contains Videos
    X-Robots Tutorials (External Link): http://www.xrobots.co.uk/ironmancostume/
    TheRPF Foam Guide (External Link): http://www.therpf.com/f24/foam-speed-building-files-jango-fett-helmet-added-148889/

    Supply Guides:
    HaloGoddess: http://halogoddess.weebly.com/armor-making-the-foam-way.html

    Video Guides/Tutorials:
    Thread with Video links by Drack: Foam Technique Tutorials
    - - • Video by Drack: Foam Technique Tutorial Part 1
    - - • Video by Drack: Foam Technique Tutorial Part 2
    - - • Video by Drack: Adding Lighting to Foam Builds/General Lighting Tutorial
    Video by EVAkura: #1 Contouring and Forming EVA for armor
    Video by EVAkura: #2 Making EVA detail lines
    Video by EVAkura: #3 Uses for Dremel with EVA
    Video by EVAkura: #4 Simple Electronics tips (LEDS)
    Video by EVAkura: #5 Creating Templates Tips
    Video by EVAkura: #6 Continuation of contour lines and templates
    Video by EVAkura: #7 EVA cutting techniques

    Tutorials on How to Build specific armor pieces from Foam:
    Tutorial by EVAkura: Detailed construction tutorial: Reach Foam Forearms
    Tutorial by EVAkura: Detailed construction tutorial: Reach Foam Biceps [Shoulder]
    Tutorial by EVAkura: Detailed construction tutorial: Halo 4 MK VII Foam Biceps (file in the 405th db)
    Tutorial by EVAkura: Detailed construction tutorial: FOAM H4 MC Shoulder Armor (NEW template! File within)
    Foam Boot Discussion/Idea Thread by Apothacary: "Flexible" Spartan Boots ( quick tip for foam builds w/ pictures )

    Hardening & Sealing Tutorials/Guides/Q&A:
    Tutorial by EVAkura: Hardening EVA and Craft foam.
    Tutorial by EVAkura: FOAM Builders! New hardening technique - Alternative to Plasti-dip and PVA!
    Video Tutorial by Carpathia: Hardening Foam
    Q & A Thread on Sealing Foam, asked by Ferret304: Foam Sealing Methods.
    Info Thread & Video by Ithica (Very Old): Using Resin On Foam Sheets -

    Build Threads:
    Drack: MK VI Foam Build
    Drack: Iron Man Foam Build
    EVAkura: Aztlan's Halo 4 Rogue + Binary Rifle + M6H + Exo-suit WIP, PIC HEAVY!
    LilTyrant: KAT ARMOR BUILD - with custom undersuit
    RoxyRoo: RoxyRoo's Reach Build + Undersuit
    TheBradinator: H4 Chief Scratch Foam Armor Build
    Icon Props: Halo 4. Master Chief scratch, foam build.
    Danielle_J!NX: J!NX's Halo 4 Master Chief Foam Build
    Danielle_J!NX: J!NX's Commander Sarah Palmer Foam Build
    Timecon: Reach and mass effects, its been awhile for me
    Ravarkian: Ravarkian's Foam Noble 6 Build
    Chefbzd: ChefBZD's Foam Reach Spartan Build WIP
    hyundai2806: First Halo Foam Build(Project ODS-Variant) Unit-010 PIC HEAVY!!
    bbc-Gunbunny02: Halo Reach Foam Armor Build Suit 1 of 2
    Anhtrung: My custome odst foam armor
    fsracer: Spartan 4 foam armor build (PIC HEAVY) - This thread contains a Dremel usage tutorial.
    Zero-071: Second Foam Build, Reach MK V with Undersuit
    kitnip: kitnip's Halo 4 Master Chief foam build with custom paint scheme and undersuit
    Sepheus 13: Sepheus 13's Forging of a Mk V. (Foam)


    Some Random Threads related to Foam:
    Something for you foam builders.
    Foam Builders......I hope This help

    If you see that I am missing any helpful threads relating to foam building, please post a link. I am certain that I've probably missed quite a few.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2017
  2. Kusak3

    Kusak3

    Redribbon, RYNO 666 and WandererTJ like this.
  3. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Material, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    UPDATE: I have added in a lot of threads and videos that relate to the Foam method of building.
    Kusak3, thanks for the info! I've already added it to the OP.

    I'm going to try and dissect some of the threads I linked for information, but any info people can provide here would be outstanding, especially in regards to purchasing supplies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2017
  4. elusch99

    elusch99 Jr Member

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    I can throw in some info about the Michael's craft foam:

    Price: 99 cents a sheet
    I really like the quality, it's never ripped or anything like that. Good for detailing. I'd rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars
     
    Koenator2284 likes this.
  5. HaloGoddess

    HaloGoddess

    WandererTJ likes this.
  6. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Awesome!
    I know I had seen it but I had totally forgotten about it.
    I definitely have your page about scaling bookmarked though!

    Added to the list!

    Details on the Michael's craft foam has also been added.
     
  7. Demogorgon

    Demogorgon

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Another method to cut foam would be to use a scroll saw. A little more money (roughly $50) but it would pay for itself in no time.
     
  8. GeekGuardianDee

    GeekGuardianDee

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    You may want to add a small disclaimer that the prices are for US retailers and in US dollars.
    It can be frustrating trying to follow the links, make the order, and then get directed to the Canadian site to do it all over again (at double the cost).
     
    WandererTJ likes this.
  9. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    If it is not obvious enough, then I have failed you. Let me know if it is clearly noticeable.

    Can you provide any more information on the item?
    It sounds interesting, it would be great to have some details and info on the item within the thread.
     
  10. Demogorgon

    Demogorgon

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    64a8dddf-7515-4346-b9fc-c506c29385ef_1000.jpg

    The scroll saw is a very helpful tool when cutting EVA foam. It gives you extremely clean cuts, as well as the ability to angle the table, giving you a perfect cut every time. The cutting blade is very small which allows very tight maneuvering and to cut rounded shapes with ease.

    The way a scroll saw works is that it simply modulates the blade up and down. It is recommended to use a low speed setting when cutting EVA mats. The price of the scroll saw varies widely, from $50 - $600+ USD. The cheapest will work just fine for cutting foam. There are a plethora of different special blades you can buy which can be useful.

    You can also cut out details within the piece without having to cut through the piece to get to the detail, if that makes any sense haha
     
    WandererTJ likes this.
  11. Zero Prime

    Zero Prime

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    For Walmart's brand it varies from location to location, in AZ at least in my area they sell Gold's Gym 6ct 1/2" thick X 24"x24" floor mats for about $20. They work rather well, they are flexible and are rather durable from the time I used it.
     
  12. Cskippro

    Cskippro New Member

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    This thread is AWESOME!!!!!! You just condensed everything I spent a month researching!! YOU ROCK
     
  13. GeekGuardianDee

    GeekGuardianDee

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    It looks just perfect.
     
  14. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Please keep in mind that this is still currently only an outline.

    I really want to eventually turn this into a Shopping List for foam builders with plenty of information as to where to buy and what kind of options there are in case certain products have a higher quality than others or if you can find the same item for cheaper at an alternate location.

    Also, I haven't found all the related foam threads yet, everything above is just what I have in my Subscriptions that had "Foam" in the title or I remembered was a foam build.
     
  15. cayoke

    cayoke

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    For paint's One thing I have noticed while at Lowes is most if not all of their Valspar paints are all latex based and when applied to the foam they will flex without cracking, and no layer of plastidip before hand, which I could see as a big upside to them. Only issue I have with their paint is the lack of variety at my local Lowes.


    As for heat guns go I have this one

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Wagner-HT1000-1200-Watt-Heat-Gun-0503008/100048744

    It works really well, I use it for more than foam work and it was the cheapest at lowes though the build quality is pretty bad compared to one I saw at Harbor Freight for half the price. The clip for hanging the heat gun fell off pretty quickly after I stated to hang it up.


    I haven't checked to see if you have a list for the cutting tools, but I use a cheap X-acto Knife with Excel #11 blades. The X-Acto name brand blades I have used always hand bent tips that tear the foam as I cut it so I would not recommend them. I buy a 15pk of Excel #11 blades at Hobby Lobby for about $7 it comes with a neat dispenser so you can safely dispose of them or keep them for cutting paper.

    For filling gaps I use some silicone caulk that has worked pretty well so far, I cant think of the name right now but I'll let you know later.
     
  16. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    In regards to getting 3/8" EVA from We Sell Mats, there are a few options:

    If you go with 1x1-ft squares, they come in a pack of 24, if you get two of those, that's 48 sq.Ft, and with shipping, the price is $40.48
    http://www.wesellmats.com/overstock-12-x-3-8-blue-foam-pack.html
    This is an "Overstocked" item, blue only.

    If you go with 2x2-ft squares, and you get 12 mats, which again is 48 sq.Ft, the price is $46.56
    http://www.wesellmats.com/foam-floor-mats/standard-eva-foam-mats/large-interlocking-foam-mats.html

    Then there is what I have linking above in the OP for the 48 sq.Ft with the link to Amazon, and it prices out to $48.44

    While I would guess that they are all the same material, the Amazon link does specify that it is Anti-Fatigue and the Amazon link has a bit more information (reviews/questions) for the foam as compared to buying directly from We Sell Mats.
    I would hope that there is NOT a difference between the two options, because if so, buying directly from We Sell Mats will come out cheaper.

    Another interesting thing to note, is that if you buy 100 sq.Ft from We Sell Mats directly rather than the 96 sq.Ft from the Amazon link I have for 96 sq.Ft in the OP, they are almost exactly the same price. So buying in this quantity gives you 1 whole extra 2ft-by-2ft piece to work with.
     
  17. Ashuraa

    Ashuraa Judicial Officer Division Staff 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    For the paint you could also purchase latex paint at Walmart, brand would be Glidden. The high endurance plus is a paint and primer. It should hold up well to use and abuse, and flex to a point. They would also be able to tint it to specific shades for you.
     
  18. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    I know that there is some mixed opinions on whether or not to use a Hot Knife.
    Some say they burn the foam while others say that Soldering Irons are typically hard to handle because of their very long tip, causing you to not always get the most desirable cuts since it is hard to control.

    Well, I wanted to look into the subject more, so I did, and I found a few things....



    Hot Knife:
    • Handles:
    • Cutting Feet:
    • Blades (These are just a few options):
    • There are hot knives other that this one, but there website shows a lot of different types of blades you can use, and they had the shortest blades I could find which I thought was important.

    Soldering Pencil & Soldering Irons:
    • Weller WP 80 Solder Pencil Set - Antistat 80W Soldering Set: http://www.antistat.co.uk/product.php/361/80w-soldering-set
    • Pace TD-100 Soldering Iron / Thermodrive Iron Kit: $80-150

    Hot Wire Foam Cutting Table (DIY):
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8528336&postcount=278



    Not sure if any of you have used any of these, but I wanted to make sure they were seen.

    The first option, which is specifically designed for cutting foam is really pricey and the handle seems quite bulky which might make it harder to get refined and good looking cuts.
    The soldering iron options do interest me though, they have very short tips which is really nice.
    It would seem that the Pace TD-100 does not have any large blades available for it, but in the least, you'll be able to make nice and crisp surface cuts and then later go back and cut through the foam with a normal blade.

    Then there is the Hot wire cutter, which actually looks like a pretty reasonable idea, except that we might need a much larger table/platform due to the large sheets of foam we tend to work with.
    I would also imagine, that for those of us who have the ability to go up and beyond, it would be possible to have a table that tilts to allow for angled cuts. Since what is doing the cutting is just a wire, you could make it tilt on multiple axis based on your needs, to allow you get angled cuts from side to side, not just feeding it forward. That way you can get the angle you want without having to deal with the arm the head comes out from.
     
  19. elusch99

    elusch99 Jr Member

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    For filling in gaps along edges, I like filling it until it overflows with hotglue, waiting for the glue to partially dry, and then shaping it while it's warm but not hot. Hot glue doesn't sand well at all.
     
  20. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

  21. Seth Knight

    Seth Knight

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Just wanted to say this is a great start for a solid resource for this subject. Keep up the good work
     
  22. Termhn

    Termhn 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    For Scalpels:
    #3 handle is what you will want: http://www.amazon.com/SCALPEL-HANDL...=1408933279&sr=8-1&keywords=#3+scalpel+handle
    #11 blades (these come with a #3 handle that is basically the same as linked above): http://www.amazon.com/100-Scalpel-B...8-4&keywords=scalpel+11+blades#cm_cr_dpwidget

    Another reason that scalpels are used over xactos is that they are much much cheaper! $7 for 100 blades and a handle, what?!
     
    WandererTJ likes this.
  23. WandererTJ

    WandererTJ 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Thanks Termhn!
    When I opened up the 405th this morning and read that it was a great surprise.

    Not sure why I didn't think to check Amazon, I was thinking I was about to have to buy them from a surgical supply company; especially since it doesn't seem as though there are any local stores that carry them. The girl I asked at Hobby Lobby was extremely confused when I asked if they had surgical scalpel handles.

    Besides cost, scalpels have the advantage over exacto knives because their handle is flat rather than round. Having the flat handle allows you to control it more easily when making cuts so that everything is more precise in the end.
    I've also heard that scalpel blades might come sharper than exacto blades do, but if you have a blade sharpener, that aspect doesn't really matter either way.

    Are scalpel blades "V" shaped or are they "|/" shaped?


    Have any recommendations for blade/knife sharpeners?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2017
  24. Termhn

    Termhn 405th Regiment Officer

    [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam...

    There are a bunch of different types of blades. The #11 blades are |/ shaped. Here's a link to what the shapes are https://www.preservationequipment.com/UserData/root/Products/Images/000529_0.jpg

    The #3 handle fits #10-15 blades.

    When I'm cutting using xacto or scalpel I end up holding it in such a way that the handle shape doesn't matter too much. I grip it so my palm goes over the top of the handle and the top point of the handle presses into the back of my palm so that I have more leverage to make the cut. I find if I hold it normally it is very hard to actually cut through the material, but that could just be me.
     
  25. Ashuraa

    Ashuraa Judicial Officer Division Staff 405th Regiment Officer

    Re: [FOAM] [GUIDE] List of Options for Supplies, Tools, and Methods Used for Foam Bui

    Hobby Lobby has mini high temp glue guns for $2.99 to $15 for a duel temp gun. They also have packs of 50 High temp 4" mini glue sticks for right around $6.00
     
    WandererTJ likes this.

Share This Page