Hot wire foam cutting

Posted on Dec 5, 2012

Getting the power from your 110 volt receptacle to a suitable foam cutting format presents several problems. A standard light dimmer can be successfully used to vary the heat, but it can`t heat the wire in a direct circuit. With a light dimmer powered by straight line current, you are taking a great risk of electric shock. Also, a guitar string is not going to be longer than about 2-3 feet (unless you get it bulk). But then how long of a wire are you planning to cut with? If the wire is too short (like only a foot or two) the light dimmer won`t be able to go low enough and may self destruct from excessive current, or it may light the wire up orange hot and snap it.

What I recommend for a power supply is a bell transformer. They are available at your local Kmart, Walmart, or Home Depot for about 15 dollars, and are intended for doorbells. They put out 24 volts nominal, and they can be operated with most light dimmers

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