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  • What way do you cut your foam board?

    Posted by Andrew Blackett on June 3, 2002 at 7:57 pm

    Now then, now then, guys and girls, guys and girls (must type quick body being possessed by jimmy saville!)

    Can you tell me what you cut your foam board with, we have a varga saw (but only cuts 610mm wide) and a circular saw but its not accurate enough. I have been looking at something called an x-acto board cutter which claims to cut upto 10mm foam board in one cut, and its only $18

    Anyone tried it or got any other cheap suggestions


    Steve Broughton replied 22 years ago 8 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Phill Fenton

    June 4, 2002 at 6:07 pm

    There are a number of specialised cutting devices for foamboards on the market. I had one a few years ago and found it to be both expensive and disapointing (very difficult to get a good cut – and replacement blades cost an absolute fortune).

    I now use a conventional table saw – This was bought from a local tool specialist and is really a wood saw but it cuts foamboards extremely cleanly and fast. It also cuts acrylic with ease and can handle fibreglass as well. The table saw has an adjustable straight edge for setting the width of the cut up to a maximum of 1220mm. You feed the boards through holding it a against the straight edge to get a nice neat straight cut. A bit expensive at about £400 but a lot cheaper than a wall saw or one of the specialised foam cutting devices on the market. The only real drawback is that it produces a lot of dust.

    The cheapest way is on the floor with a steel ruler and a stanley knife – ok for up to 5mm thickness but difficult to get a good finish. Any thicker than 5mm becomes impossible this way.

    I’m afraid I’m not aware of anything available that is both cheap and up to the job of producing a neat cut. 🙂

  • Andrew Blackett

    June 4, 2002 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks Phill,

    I’ve had a look on a few websites for a table saw but none have the ability to cut 1220mm with a straight edge. Closest I’ve found up to now is 800mm using guide rail.

    What make is the one you’ve got and I’ll do some more searching.


  • Phill Fenton

    June 4, 2002 at 8:14 pm

    It’s an Elecktra Beckum TKHS315 with extension table (taking it out to 1220mm) made by Metabo 😀

  • Joe McNamara

    June 5, 2002 at 8:46 pm

    Hi all,
    I’ll go along with the table saw idea with a guide…make sure you use a blade with " zero degree offset " for plastics for a clean cut. I also cut foam using a straight edge, a pair of clamps and a stanley knife with a new blade……go very lightly with the first cut…just to score the material and get a nice straight line, then apply slightly more pressure on each subsequent pass of the blade. That’s my tuppence worth!

  • Lorraine Buchan

    June 10, 2002 at 7:14 pm


  • Andrew Blackett

    June 10, 2002 at 7:45 pm

    I used to use the jigsaw myself lorraine but found it difficult to get a true square line. That in itself ain’t a problem for vinyl signs but if we are engraving laminates etc the edge needs to be totally flat for it to sit square on the bed. (if its slightly off the text will with out a doubt go all to pot!)


  • Martin Pearson

    June 10, 2002 at 9:43 pm

    I would go down Phills road with the table saw, if it can cut the majority of board at the size you need Andy. Europoint, Cox Plastics and Amari all offer a board cutting service which is free of charge so if you need boards cut larger than you can manage they will cut it for you.
    If you buy a table saw you are also better off buying a second blade. One with negative rake for cutting plastics, laminates and ally. Gives a much better finish to the edge of the board.

  • Adrian Howard

    June 10, 2002 at 9:53 pm

    i cut my panels on the cnc router but if its being used we made a
    straight edge cutter (from the link below) and use a circular saw
    we made a 8 foot and 4 foot handy and quick
    check out this link
    this site has other good ideas


  • Robert Lambie

    June 10, 2002 at 9:56 pm

    Ok ill give you my method… it works perfect if done right!
    First get a scarp of foam board and a good straight edge… I just use a strip of 2mm alloy. About 5 inches broad… must be broad!

    1, mark the Foamex with a pen or whatever.
    2, lay the straight edge in position. “As you would”
    3, take a Stanley knife. “Must be very sharp”
    4, hold the knife proper! (To do this you must get a good comfy grip of the knife.
    Holding the back of the knife low. Low enough that your knuckles are almost touching the foam.)
    5, while holding the straight edge. Scratch the surface of the Foamex with the blade
    Very gently. Making sure your not digging in or with any kind of pressure. Making sure you stay tight to the straight edge. Remember this is a scratch not a cut!
    6, repeat this “scratch” 3-4 times, on the 4th start to apply slight pressure. Then carry on cutting it the normal way you would but always keeping the knife gripped the exact same way and taking your time…

    Sounds long and drawn out but works perfect!

  • Steve Broughton

    June 11, 2002 at 9:33 am

    jigsaw and a fretsaw.

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