Carving Styrofoam Yikes

Decorating By Kitagrl Updated 9 Apr 2010 , 3:27pm by dchockeyguy

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 12:38am
post #1 of 15

I have some high density foam I ordered online and now I"m freaking out because nothing cuts it! Not a serrated knife, not a mini saw, and its too big a project for my little hot wand.

What kind of tool cuts styrofoam, especially for 3D work? HELP!!!!

14 replies
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ptanyer Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 12:59am
post #2 of 15

Did you try an electric carving knife? Where did you purchase it? Maybe their website has suggestions?

I saw a post in the forums about a new foam supply website - here's a link to it. Maybe they can help you.

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:06am
post #3 of 15

I tried a small electric saw....

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HobbyCaker Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:44am
post #4 of 15

I tried cutting some with a key hole saw, worked pretty good, but now I am looking into a table top band saw. DH says it will work much better. Have seen others use an electric knife. I am new to cake dummies, and don't have anywhere near to purchase them so thought I would try making my own.

I have attached a picture of what I made, they need a little tweeking. This is for a practice cake for a baby shower.

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:46am
post #5 of 15

I decided to go with "plan B" and use rice crispy treats! I have some cake shaped dummies but needed some carved 3D work too...oh well. wasted money buying a chunk of foam but who knows, maybe I can use it someday....

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cakemom42 Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:54am
post #6 of 15

Taylor Foam is a great place to get dummies that don't need to be cut & for a great price too.. I use them for all my competition cakes. I just use fine grade sand paper to smooth the edges a bit.
You pic looks like you did a great job even if it was infuriating....

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:56am
post #7 of 15

I got my regular cake dummies from a good foam company, dallas.... but I need to make a 3D character and didn't want to have to make it edible...but I guess I will use RKT because there is no way I can carve the styrofoam that detailed...I don't know how people do it.

I wasted money too as I ordered a large block to carve down and now I can't carve it haha...had to vacuum, styrofoam everywhere, just the small amount I did try to carve! I cannot believe how much I spent on styrofoam I cannot use. *sigh*

Oh well, live and learn.

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cakemom42 Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 2:33am
post #8 of 15

I prefer Taylor Foam over Dallas as my shipment comes in better... had a bad experience w/Dallas...
Also Taylor will cut your foam for you if you give them the specs you desire..
Plan B is a good one let us know how it turns out! Best of Luck! :0)

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sweettooth101 Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 3:14am
post #9 of 15

My husband cut mine for me by heating a regular Knife on the stove when hot it just slices through, no mess but you have to keep heating it (wipe the knife with a paper towl) before placing on the stove again 'cos whatever styro. stuck on the knife will burn and smell.

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sweetcakes Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 4:00am
post #10 of 15

<<In the United States, the word styrofoam is often used as a generic term for expanded polystyrene foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers or cushioning material in packaging, which are typically white and are made of expanded polystyrene beads. This is different from the extruded polystyrene used for Styrofoam insulation. The polystyrene foam used for craft applications, which can be identified by its roughness and by the fact that it "crunches" when cut,[6] is moderately soluble in many organic solvents, cyanoacrylate and the propellants and solvents of spray paint, is not specifically identified as expanded or extruded.>>from wikipedia

Have you tried using the polystyrene kind, that is easy to cut with a serrated knife. Have you seen the planet cake you tube of her carving the baby, i think she is using this kind cause she justs carves away and uses her finger to push it in to shape it.

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ChoueiriCakeCo Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 10:54am
post #11 of 15

I use the pieces of Styrofoam found in boxes that are delivered (to protect items during shipping) may be the polystyrene kind, and its very easy to carve for practice cakes.

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:30pm
post #12 of 15

The hot knife sounds cool...I'm just going to to with RKT this late in the game... yeah I might check into Taylor.... Dallas was okay and they made me some custom pieces due to the specs I sent in (I wanted my topsy turvies to be different than the ones they sold on the site) but I was disappointed with a sphere I asked from them.

Disappointed with myself for spending so much money on a solid block of foam hahaha....

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Doug Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:38pm
post #13 of 15

here's a major supply house for all things foam

you'd be surprised how much of sets and the exterior decoration/detailing on buildings is nothing but foam with a stucco or other coating.


WARNING -- using any kind of hot wire or hot knife to cut foam releases TOXIC fumes!!!

you MUST do only in a well ventilated area and to be fully OSHA compliant should wear a organic grade respirator.

that said -- doing it outside when there is a breeze blowing will be safe enough for very short term exposure.

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Kitagrl Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 1:42pm
post #14 of 15

I did notice a terrible odor last night when I was experimenting with the hot wand....

RKT best all around. haha. Wish I had asked BEFORE I spent $75 on foam and expensive shipping....

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dchockeyguy Posted 9 Apr 2010 , 3:27pm
post #15 of 15

THey make a hot wire device you can use. I have one and it works pretty well for cutting through foam, but I wouldn't suggest it for a complex shape (Or maybe I"m just not that good)

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