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Cutting foam for a bass case??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by mattm0805, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. mattm0805


    Oct 13, 2004
    Does anyone know how to cut foam? Any time I try I always ruin the foam or it ends up looking like crap. I just bought 2 flight case for my jazz basses, and they both need to be refoamed to fit.
    Any suggestion?
  2. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    If you are cutting styrofoam (white crubly stuff) ,like that which is used in skb cases, get a foam cutter from a craft store. it costs about 6 bucks and looks like a flashlight with a piece of coat hanger and wire attached. It cuts with heat and does a good job after cutting the foam, use a glue gun to glue it in place and then cover the foam with a fuzzy materiel.

    As for cutting the grey spongey stuff, I really don't know if a foam cutter would work, but it's definately hard to cut..

    Hope this helps.
  3. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    My dad says use a scimitar. I say use a katana.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Electric turkey carver. Really.
  5. +1
    If you can't get one of those, a jigsaw using only blades with small teeth.
  6. mattm0805


    Oct 13, 2004
    yea I think the foam is the gray spongey stuff. Could I use the turkey cutter for this foam?......Turkey cutter....who would have thought?
  7. Take a hacksaw blade, wrap one end w/ gaff tape for a handle and saw away. There is also stuff called pick and pluck foam which is already scored into little squares. You just pluck away the parts you don't need. Only good for straight lines & right angles tho-
  8. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    another +1

    I work for a sound company so we have to cut alot of foam for cases and such and those carvers are awesome. Good luck Matt...and don't get discouraged if you mess up an insert or two before you get the hang of it.
  9. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    1) Electric carving knife with sharp blade.

    2) this might not work for larger pieces, but a sound engineer i know used to take the foam, soak it in water, squish it flat and freeze it. Once it was frozen he could cut any shapes he wanted out of it and then just let it thaw out/ and it would return to its original shape and size. then just let it dry and you are good to go.
  10. mattm0805


    Oct 13, 2004
    That's a good idea, I'm going to have to try that.
    Anybody know what the deal is with the "hot wire" foam cutters and where you can get one?
  11. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    I think those are only for (rigid white) styrafoam, not for the spongey foam.
  12. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Read the first message I posted.
    If you need more info...

    They work by sending a current through a metal wire that heats up and melts/slices through the foam. You can get one at Michaels, JoAnne Fabricks, Hobby Lobby, etc. as for it's relation to spongey foam, see above posts...

    Best of luck.
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The spongy type of foam should be cut with an electric knife, NOT a styrofoam hot knife!

    I don't know about the bass case you are working on, but I have done this with a number of rifle cases. Typically there are two layers of foam on the bottom of the case. You remove the top layer, trace the outline of the rifle (or bass), cut the foam then return it to the case. It just takes a few minutes and works well. You can get a very percise fit with this method.
  14. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    +1 Works very well, especially if you can put the pre-outlined foam in cold storage for a while so that it's cold when you cut it. I used to use this method with good success many years ago for the foam in my SLR camera equipment hard cases.

  15. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I once used an electric turkey carving knife and didn't like the lack of cleanliness of the cut, BUT . . . it fit nice, so I bought a sheet of thin black soft fabric, sprayed 3M-brand aeresol glue on the foam, then formed the fabric over the foam. It then looked like a custom, professionally made case. Total extra cost for the fabric and glue was about $15 US.
  16. mattm0805


    Oct 13, 2004
    Now I dont have experience with cutting foam for a case, but from the sound of a 'turkey cutter' it does seem that edges will be unclean. I have thought about covering the foam with some fabric, but I wonder how it will contour to the cut out of the foam. Would I need to cut out each section and glue them in separately or just strectch and glue in one whole sheet of fabric? I know this is becoming a long and drawn out thread, but I want the case to look good. :oops:
  17. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    As mentioned already, an electric carving knife will do the trick. You may need a little practice to make the cuts straight, but it's an easy and effective way to cut foam.