Finally - Decent Cut On Foamboard!!

Decorating By grandmom Updated 10 Nov 2009 , 4:06pm by MacsMom

grandmom Posted 3 Nov 2009 , 11:08pm
post #1 of 20

Well, most of us would rather eat sand than cut foamboard. I, like many others, had a very hard time getting a 90 degree edge when cutting circles.

Earlier I bought an X-Acto product touted for making up to 9/16" 90 or 45 degree cuts through foamboard. Pffff. It did not make cuts that deep, not even 1/2' deep. However, with practice, it did make 90 degree cuts, nice and straight, just not through 1/2" board.

The knife has double blades; we only need one, so I removed the left one so I could see my mark as I cut right-handed. I also switched the screw that holds the blade to the right side for a better view. One must concentrate on keeping the blade buried and the "foot" of the knife pressed firmly against the board as the cut is made. The foot is what keeps the blade at 90 degrees.

All that is fine and good, but it still didn't cut through the 1/2" board. I tried using a #2 X-Acto knife and a couple of other blades to finish the job, but always butchered the straight cut the first blade started.

Today I used a hot knife to finish the cut the special X-Acto blade started, just taking my time and going very slowly, allowing the heat to finish the cut. I turned the board over and made sure the paper was cut through, then popped the circle out. The end result was a nearly perfect 90 degree edge! And no scraggly pieces sticking out either! See the blurry close-up photo below.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/x-acto-board-cutter/#description
LL

19 replies
Cakepro Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:06am
post #2 of 20

Welcome to the wonderful world of the hot knife! Had I not discovered that amazing tool a couple of years ago, I would never use foamcore. LOL

Just be very careful with it ~ I have melted several things unintentionally.

Happy cutting! icon_smile.gif

bcake1960 Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:21am
post #3 of 20

Wow thats great.. where do you purchase something like that.. I have been using a band saw (only used for cake boards.) works great just have to trim a bit of paper edges off not bad though and my BIL is making me a jig for circles.. that will be really nice.. but always striving for that nice clean edge.. Thanks for sharing

cylstrial Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:27am
post #4 of 20

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! I hate cutting foam board for that very reason.

MaryAllison Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:35am
post #5 of 20

Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing you technique!

tiggy2 Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:48am
post #6 of 20
bcake1960 Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:56am
post #7 of 20

Thanks Tiggy2 !!

Price Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:08am
post #8 of 20

I use a hot knife too. I got mine at Michael's. If I remember right, it's in the section near the woodburning kits.

splash2splat Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:29am
post #9 of 20

I like - thanks for sharing

tiggy2 Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:42am
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcake1960

Thanks Tiggy2 !!



You're welcome!

tatorchip Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:48am
post #11 of 20

My hubby cuts all of mine lol

grandmom Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 10:30am
post #12 of 20

bcake1960, both a hotknife and the special X-Acto knife can be bought at www.dickblick.com. There is a link to the X-Acto in the first post.

One can use the hotknife by itself, but I'm unable to get a 90 degree edge freehanded. Starting with the X-Acto really helped me with that.

PinkLisa Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 11:53am
post #13 of 20

I bought a hot knife a few months ago but couldn't get it to cut through the paper of the foamboard. It just sort of burned it. How do you handle that?

grandmom Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:37pm
post #14 of 20

Did it fail to cut the top layer of paper, or the bottom?

I cut the top with the X-Acto, and the hot knife cut almost all the way through the bottom layer. I just had to work loose a few tiny spots it missed.

Maybe the blade on your hot knife isn't large enough to cut through? The blade in mine is about the size of an X-Acto #2.

Or if it's not cutting through the top, then, maybe the hotknife doesn't get hot enough, or isn't sharp enough, or defective in some way? Even with a hot knife, I still have to push the blade through the paper to get started, but it's really very easy to get it through.

I'm baffled!

PinkLisa Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:40pm
post #15 of 20

I haven't looked at it for a few months, but it wasn't really a blade. It was a hot wire sort of thing. I got it at Michaels. It worked great with the foam but not the paper. Maybe I need to get the knife kind. Thanks for you help.

lchris Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 3:42pm
post #16 of 20

I have the worst time cutting foamboard!!!

I watch Sugarshack in her DVD's, and she just zips right through it. Pfffttt, I thought being a nurse had something to do with it. icon_razz.gif

Anyway, my new mission is finding a hot knife at Michaels, and trying that. Has to be better then what I'm doing....

grandmom Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 5:36pm
post #17 of 20

I traveled within a 35-mile radius of my hometown and could not find a frickin' hotknife in any store. I finally bought a Walnut-Hollow Versa-Tool at Joanns online. It was on sale and I had a coupon, so I got the thing for about $14 plus shipping. I like the Walnut-Hollow brand because their blades are large.

I already had another brand of hot tool,geared mostly toward sewing, and it had a blade attachment. It was useless. The blade was small like a #1 and it just did not get nearly as hot as the Walnut-Hollow. It didn't even get hot enough for the intended purpose, which was pressing fabric.

But anyway, I attribute the straight sides to both tools, the special X-Acto which starts the straight cut and the hotknife which finishes it.

MacsMom Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 12:58am
post #18 of 20

Really? I find a regular old serrated kitchen knife works great. I trace my circle and cut right through (holding the foam core sheet on it's edge).

grandmom Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 1:17pm
post #19 of 20

Funny how methods and tools work great for some, not so great for others! I could swear I'm holding whatever implement straight and true, just sure I'll get a nice straight edge - seldom happens!! Same way I guess when I was a kid and saw that badmitton (sp?) birdie coming my way... I got it! I got it!! I GOT IT!!! swoosh... right by me...

MacsMom Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:06pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by grandmom

Funny how methods and tools work great for some, not so great for others! I could swear I'm holding whatever implement straight and true, just sure I'll get a nice straight edge - seldom happens!! Same way I guess when I was a kid and saw that badmitton (sp?) birdie coming my way... I got it! I got it!! I GOT IT!!! swoosh... right by me...




Well, I don't worry about a nice straight edge, though. I cover my cake board with fondant all the way down the sides and wrap a ribbon or a boa around it icon_wink.gif .

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