DIY Hot Wire Styrofoam Cutter Help (AC current)


Old 08-19-13, 12:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
DIY Hot Wire Styrofoam Cutter Help (AC current)

I'm trying to build my own hot wire cutter for cutting and shaping styrofoam. I have this AC cord that I stripped and split the two end wires:

I'm using a guitar string (the third from the top) for the wire that is to be heated.

I touched the two ends of the AC cord to the two ends of the guitar string, plugged it into an outlet, and nothing happened. What am I doing wrong?
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
Old 08-19-13, 07:10 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,219
Received 477 Votes on 447 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

The principle is's called a hot wire cutter. You've probably already seen/used one.

In your picture you're using what looks like a 20vdc 1.8amp computer switching power supply. No good. When you connected the guitar string to it you created a dead short on it and it shut off.

You need a power supply that can run into a dead short or is good for several amps. In the videos below they show you what they use. The first video the guy uses a power supply with a dimmer for varying the voltage. Probably a good idea. The second guy uses an actual desktop computer supply which seems to work ok.

DIY Hot Wire Cutter - YouTube
DIY Foam Cutter on the Cheap - HOT WIRE! - YouTube

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: