Author Topic: Upholstery Foam & Hot Wire?  (Read 69 times)

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Offline Binjo

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Upholstery Foam & Hot Wire?
« on: July 09, 2017, 07:15:08 pm »
Okay, so, I'm sure whoever sees this would tell me to check the fursuit LiveJournal / Matrices / some other place for fursuit-building help, but this is the only forum site I'm comfortable with using.

I bought a pretty big roll of upholstery foam that's about 2 inches thick, and there's no way I'm gonna strain my hands cutting it with scissors. Not even the strongest pair is comfortable to use to cut that stuff. I read about cutting foam with a hot wire, mainly styrofoam. I tried searching about cutting upholstery, but I barely got anything.
I did find something about cutting it with a hot wire, and it releases some toxic fumes or something when cut into, not to mention this kind of foam is pretty flammable.

Being the desperate person I am, I got an old wire, heated up part of it for around 3 seconds ( over the stove, smh :( ), and lightly touched it to a small piece of foam. It melted like butter (and it did release a sliver of a fume), but nothing else much happened. It left some yellow where it melted, but didn't affect the texture of the foam.

Here's a cr@ptastic photo of the small cube of foam that I tested the wire on (because my phone camera quality succ) but you can still see the yellow on the foam.


Now, I don't have an electric knife (nor do I want to use one, because I doubt it will work for me), so I want to know if this is a safe method of cutting.
Maybe if I wear a mask and cut the foam outside, the fumes won't be much of a problem. Will the foam catch on fire very easily, even if I just use a low-heated wire? If this is not such a good idea, I'll just go back to the old-fashioned SKIZZURS. ✂

But, if it's possible to use the wire, I'd like to hear about any precautions about using it.
I'm not going to cut whole chunks, I'm just thinking of using it to "trim" small edges and to shape/sculpt the foam to get a smoother, cleaner look, since scissors don't cut it very well (literally).
[Btw, the bold words are just so I can grab your attention to these specific things. o_o]
[Sorry if it's annoying.]

Thanks for any help or advice~
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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Upholstery Foam & Hot Wire?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 08:38:52 pm »
Well, the hot wire seems a good idea, but I have a few others that I can suggest to you along the same lines. If you've a knife with a at least semi-heat-proof handle, you can heat the knife blade and cut. You could use a heated nail or screw to cut as well, by melting slowly. It's a tedious process, but the fumes wouldn't be too much of an issue. Technically most fumes are toxic, but that doesn't prevent people from say painting things indoors. Certainly you'd reduce your risk outside, but at least from my experience, unless you begin to feel light-headed it's not much of a matter. The way I usually cut things thicker (and thinner) than cardboard is with scissors, but it takes forever.
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Offline Binjo

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Re: Upholstery Foam & Hot Wire?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 12:26:52 am »
Thx, I'll try that with a knife, I guess. P:
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