View Full Version : Woodland Scenics foam cutter wire

6th Jun 2014, 12:23 PM
Howdy all!
I broke the wire on my WS foam cutter yesterday.
I was wondering. WS do make replacement wire expressly for their tool, but let's face it folks, it's just wire.
It is under a fair strain with the temperature though. Does anybody have any idea what the foam cutter wire actually is?
I'm sure my local hardware store will have a great replacement dirt cheap but I'm not sure if just regular steel wire would break due to the heat.

6th Jun 2014, 12:36 PM
Thin guitar wire according to this guy:​http://www.instructables.com/id/Hot-wire-foam-cutter/

6th Jun 2014, 02:37 PM
Yes, WS does make a replacement. It's a 0.10" wire, I believe.

With regards to the other post - I don't think an Ernie Ball Custom string is quite worth the cost? Maybe just a regular 0.11" - 0.09" EL CHEAPO (high) E string should work.

6th Jun 2014, 03:38 PM
Yes, use a light gauge high "E" electric guitar string. Ask your guitar player friends to give you their used old strings (most guitarists just throw them away). You can also use them for other modeling uses!

I also play guitar as well as bass, and I use cut-up pieces of used low "B" and "E" bass strings in bunches of 4-5 for container weights!

Paul Schmidt
6th Jun 2014, 08:22 PM
. . . but let's face it folks, it's just wire.

Whoa there, what Woodland Scenics supplies is not just wire -- it's nichrome wire with a predictable ohms per foot rating determined by diameter. Try replacing it with guitar string and you're asking for problems.

In the link above, the guy is using a rheostat to control the current through the guitar wire. The Woodland Scenics hot wire tool has no such feature.

And frankly, any time the instructions include having a fire extinguisher handy, I see yellow flags. ...

Michael Whiteman
7th Jun 2014, 01:37 AM
Find an old junk toaster and strip the wiring out of it

9th Jun 2014, 10:19 AM
Having made my own hot wire foam cutter (which was roughly based on several youtube clips), I found that stainless steel fishing lure wire worked the best for my unit. I tried several sizes of guitar wire but found it heated up too much and broke easily. Trial & error for me. However, I am sure there is some serious electrical resistance engineering that specifically goes into the material and correct size wire for the WS cutter. So unless you are prepared to go at it by trial & error, the WS manufactured replacement might be your best bet. As stated above, it's not just wire..... it's specifically designed wire for the output of the WS product.