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Subject: foamboard cutting tools rss

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Pasta Batman
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Anybody have any experience with the following tools from Logan/FoamWerks that they'd like to share? I'm considering getting maybe a straight/bevel cutter and a v-groove cutter for making custom organizers like this. I know, all I need is an ordinary x-acto knife and a straight edge, but I'm looking to save time & materials, and hopefully achieve a more polished result.


Bevel/Straight Cutters
These two seem functionally equivalent - which is better?



V-Groove Cutter
Combined with a bevel cutter, this seems ideal for forming precise corner joints and dividers.


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I don't think I want any of the following, but include them here for the curious.
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Straight Cutter
Not sure why I'd get this in addition to one of the Bevel/Straight Cutters.


Rabbet Cutter
Not quite sure what to use this for.


Circle Cutter


Hole Drill


Freestyle Cutter

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Greg r
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This is a great question.

Hopefully someone in the know will answer back. I know I too have looked at most of those tools wondering if I really need any of them, or 1 or 2.
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Wow...I had no idea these types of tools were out there. Very Cool.
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JonnyRotten
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Would these work well on the Elmers Foam board I've been buying at Walmart recently?
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Guidance is internal.
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Too bad that circle cutter only goes down to an inch.
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Clifford Mudd
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The hole drills are for circles less then a inch. Looks like you could make some pretty nice foam core counters using them. I may have to go by Hobby Lobby to check this stuff out.
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cmudd02 wrote:
The hole drills are for circles less then a inch. Looks like you could make some pretty nice foam core counters using them. I may have to go by Hobby Lobby to check this stuff out.


I wonder if anyone has actually done that. since the tools intent is the hole itself, I wonder if the material removed (what we want) is damaged in anyway.
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pastabatman wrote:

Straight Cutter
Not sure why I'd get this in addition to one of the Bevel/Straight Cutters.



I think it might be for accuracy. It looks like you can use it in conjunction with their "Channel Rail" product instead of a straight-edge and it would reduce wandering.
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James Hébert
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I have the red Logan cutter (from Michaels), the V-groove cutter (Hobby Lobby carries the FoamWerks line from Logan), and the T-clips.

Making my own trays and storage is a hobby, and not a natural skill for me! Despite my efforts, I can be a bit sloppy making the items I want, so you'll have to judge my comments from the point of view of someone who is careful, but whose finished work still leaves him wishing he were best friends with Norm from This Old House.

Both the red Logan 45/90 cutter and the FoamWerks V-groove cutter work pretty well and, if you have a 40-50% off coupon, it makes the price much more manageable. (That parabolic bowl for cutting circles is $50 at Hobby Lobby, for example.)

The T-Clips
The T-clips (on this page, http://www.foamwerks.com/tools/accessories) are awesome. If you're making any custom boxes or trays and need perpendicular dividers or corners held while glue sets up, they rock. I've also used them just to "blue sky" a layout while I fiddled with the position of different bits.

The Red Logan 45/90 Cutter
I bought the red Logan cutter before the Foamwerks products were out. The squared shape is a little clunky to handle. The blade mounting mechanism looks to be the same on both cutters... but the rotating 45/90 block on the FoamWerks one seems a better design to me. You rotate the plastic guide to change from 45 to 90 degrees. On the red Logan cutter, you have to flip the blade instead. This involves unscrewing it while holding onto the threaded bit, flipping the blade, 180 degrees, then reinserting the screw and positioning the blade for depth. A little more hassle.

It's important to gauge the amount of blade against the thickness of what you are cutting. Too much blade, and it can curve or bend slightly as you cut, making for less exact cuts. Too little, and you don't cut all the way through (which can be desirable for certain projects). I think it's a little sloppy, there's a little play, but that could be my fault, not the tool's. I do not consider it a questionable buy, but if I were buying new, I'd get the FoamWerks one. Changing angles would be much easier, there may be less play to the blade, and it looks like it's easier to hold.

The FoamWerks V-Groove Cutter
As for the groove cutter, the jury's still out for me. I've only had one project to work on, and haven't worked with it enough to make a definite yay/nay vote, but I will voice what I've noticed.

First, the design of the mechanism that raises and lowers the blades has play in it. The result is that the blades can shift to the left or right of the line-up marks on the tool, at times up to 1-2 mm. Something to pay attention to as you go to cut, if you're using the line-up marks! It's possible a shim of sorts could be slipped in somewhere to reduce or eliminate this... I haven't tried disassembling it to see yet.

Second, the blades can change depth as they "bite" into the foam core, particularly near the beginning of a cut (as your hand gets up to speed) and the end of a cut (as the cutter's back end runs out of foamcore to rest on while the blades still have the last 4 inches of material to cut). Recommend having a 6-inch piece of scrap against the bottom edge so the cutter doesn't shift as the back end runs off the foamcore. You may find you should "overcut" a piece of stock to allow for sloppiness at either end, which can be trimmed off the finished piece.

I'll admit I need more practice with it before rendering judgment. Blade wandering may be my fault. If you have woodworking or foamcore experience, you may have encountered the things I mention and may be better able to identify where the operator or the tool may be the incompetent one! Also, see my note below about using the 45/90 cutter for grooves instead.

A few final thoughts:
• The 45/90 cutter could be used to create the same V-grooves just by setting it to 45 degree and making two cuts that "face" each other. Cutting that way may offer more control and less chance of error, while giving you more use out of the one tool. Might be all you need.

• The blades used by the red Logan cutter, and the FoamWerks 45/90 and V-groove cutters, plus the rabbet cutter (which I have not bought/tried) is the same blade. Handy.

• Dumb marketing/sales move: The V-groove uses two blades at a time to cut grooves, but it ships with 5 blades. Go figure.

James

PS Let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer.

(edited for typos and such... )
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Greg r
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jhebert wrote:
A few final thoughts:
• The 45/90 cutter could be used to create the same V-grooves just by setting it to 45 degree and making two cuts that "face" each other. Cutting that way may offer more control and less chance of error, while giving you more use out of the one tool. Might be all you need.



Thanks did not think of that Also thanks for pointing out the t clips never thought about mock ups, just commit and glue!
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Pasta Batman
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James, thanks very much for the thorough comments! I'll definitely pick up the Foamwerks straight/bevel cutter, and some t-clips. Based on your comments, I'm hesitant to get the groove cutter. In theory, it seems ideal, but 2mm of slop sounds like a lot.

I was imagining making three grooves on a length of foamboard to form three side corners of a box (and using bevel cutter to form ends to glue 4th corner). I was also hoping to bevel the bottom edges and bottom panel to mesh the sides and bottom together (no visible foam). But accumulating 1-2mm slop on every corner seems like it might prevent everything from matching up very well at assembly time.

You probably noticed this, but the FoamWerks site does say this for all their tools:
Quote:
IMPORTANT: Always use a scrap piece of foamboard underneath the piece you are cutting. This is to protect the tool and extend the life of the blades.
Sounds targeted at preserving blades, but perhaps it would help with accuracy too?
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Chris Miller
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I saw those tools at our Hobby Lobby the other day and thought they looked interesting but expensive. Looks like I'll have to watch for them on a 50% off week.
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Rob Derrick
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pastabatman wrote:
Rabbet Cutter
Not quite sure what to use this for.


This is IMO the coolest of the cutters. It removes the paper from one side and all the foam for the width of the foam board. This allows you to make a 90 degree joint with no foam edge showing.
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Greg r
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That is a cool tool then.

SO which one are you using there?? It does not look like the foamwerks one.

Thanks for you reply in advance
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Rob Derrick
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pepperhead wrote:
That is a cool tool then.

SO which one are you using there?? It does not look like the foamwerks one.

Thanks for you reply in advance

Dickblick: http://www.dickblick.com/products/foamboard-rabbet-cutter/

Around $10, and uses standard single-edge razor blades. It takes two cuts to do the job, but both are made with the same device, using the two sides of the same blade.
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Will
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robmderrick wrote:
pepperhead wrote:
That is a cool tool then.

SO which one are you using there?? It does not look like the foamwerks one.

Thanks for you reply in advance

Dickblick: http://www.dickblick.com/products/foamboard-rabbet-cutter/

Around $10, and uses standard single-edge razor blades. It takes two cuts to do the job, but both are made with the same device, using the two sides of the same blade.


This is just to prepare the edge for invisible joining though right? You can't use it for cutting through the foamboard in the middle I think?
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Rob Derrick
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Yargo wrote:
robmderrick wrote:
pepperhead wrote:
That is a cool tool then.

SO which one are you using there?? It does not look like the foamwerks one.

Thanks for you reply in advance

Dickblick: http://www.dickblick.com/products/foamboard-rabbet-cutter/

Around $10, and uses standard single-edge razor blades. It takes two cuts to do the job, but both are made with the same device, using the two sides of the same blade.


This is just to prepare the edge for invisible joining though right? You can't use it for cutting through the foamboard in the middle I think?

Correct. This is a specialty tool for that one purpose -- making rabbet joints. However, one added bonus of using rabbet joints over the default, known as butt joints, will be added strength, since the glue area will be doubled.

With the foamboard, the overhang lip from the rabbet will be the thin rigid paper surface only.
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Jason Hopper
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The straight cutter and the channel rail work very well. Obviously just for cutting straight edges , but the combination does it very well -nice clean and easy cuts.
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k harris

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I've dealt with Dick Blick previously and really like them. They seen to have the whole list of cutters. http://www.dickblick.com/products/logan-foamwerks-foamboard-... at very reasonable prices.
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Jim Scheiderich
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Has anyone tried Foam Werks tools with matte board or other heavier weight paperboard stock? My working assumption is (1) you go slower, (2) you'll use more blades up...

Forgive my terminology. I don't know all the materials that are out there but for markers/counters/units that you might want round they would likely work better on something thinner than foam board - and more dense.

Are there specific cutters for that?

Thanks
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Will
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LHIM wrote:
Has anyone tried Foam Werks tools with matte board or other heavier weight paperboard stock? My working assumption is (1) you go slower, (2) you'll use more blades up...

Forgive my terminology. I don't know all the materials that are out there but for markers/counters/units that you might want round they would likely work better on something thinner than foam board - and more dense.

Are there specific cutters for that?

Thanks


I was at michael's the other day and they have a section of tools specifically for matteboard cutting. If you are going to do lots of markers/counter shapes in matteboard though, it might be better to get some sorta die cutter machine. For instance when I did Merchant of Venus, I shudder to think of how much work it would have been to cut out hundreds of circles with a scissors or straight cutting tool.
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Donald Dennis
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Yargo wrote:
LHIM wrote:
Has anyone tried Foam Werks tools with matte board or other heavier weight paperboard stock? My working assumption is (1) you go slower, (2) you'll use more blades up...

Forgive my terminology. I don't know all the materials that are out there but for markers/counters/units that you might want round they would likely work better on something thinner than foam board - and more dense.

Are there specific cutters for that?

Thanks


I was at michael's the other day and they have a section of tools specifically for matteboard cutting. If you are going to do lots of markers/counter shapes in matteboard though, it might be better to get some sorta die cutter machine. For instance when I did Merchant of Venus, I shudder to think of how much work it would have been to cut out hundreds of circles with a scissors or straight cutting tool.


What tool did you use for the circles?


Edit to add: Was it the tool above, or something else for matteboard?
 
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Henning B
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I recently got the rabbet cutter and really like it. Here are some examples in which I used it besides it's normal use:

1. Shrinking the inside box and making a tray for the board:




2. Covering the card holder:

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David
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Hey Henning,

I just got a foamwerks rabbet cutter. Unfortunately it cuts too far inside, so a 90˚ joint with another board leaves some overhanging paper. This can't be fixed that I can tell.

Have you run into this problem? I'm wondering if I have a defective unit and should ask for an exchange (or just return it for a refund).

Edit: and yes I use 3/16 board of course.
 
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Jake Staines
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ScoobyG wrote:

Edit: and yes I use 3/16 board of course.


Could the tool be designed for 5mm foamboard? 3/16ths of an inch is a fraction less than 5mm, which could leave a noticeable overhang. Is the difference around 1/64th of an inch?
 
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