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castle wall - 2

Cutting the Foam

Here you will learn about different methods of cutting the foam, used in making a modular castle wall.   Although I prefer using hot wire tools from the Hot Wire Foam Factory in cutting the material, other kinds of blades and heated tools will suffice.  I show all the pieces that need to be initially cut for the castle wall and explain the process further in a video.  

Most of the material for this wall can be made with expanded polystyrene or white beaded foam, however, I do use a small portion of extruded polystyrene or pink foam as well.  Both kinds are mainly used as insulation in the construction of homes.  The color of the two does not matter whether it is pink, blue, yellow, or green, since it is going to be painted any way. They can be found at any hardware store, such as Lowes or  Home Depot. 

Once you have selected your materials, it is time to cut it into its respective pieces of the castle wall.  I highly recommend using hot wire tools for cutting foam, especially with expanded polystyrene because of the beaded mess created using a knife.  If you still choose to use a knife to cut with, then I recommend using a knife with a serrated blade.  A steak knife or a bread knife will suffice and minimize the beaded mess as long as it is used with a gentle sawing motion.  Below is an example of a castle wall I built.  

While referring to the left photo, you should have measured and cut:  

One runner piece(left).  Dimensions:  L= 7 in, W= 1.5 in, H= .5 in.

Two main wall pieces(middle).  Dimensions:  L= 7 in, W= .75 in, H= 3.5 in.

One trim piece(bottom).  Dimensions:  L= 7 in, W= .75 in, H= 1 in. 

One merlon section(right). Dimensions: L= 7 in, W= .75 in, H= 2 in.

The right photo shows how the pieces will crudely stack together before assembly.  


The next two pieces(above) that need further cutting are the merlon piece and the trim piece. 

Using a square or ruler, measure out the pattern for the merlons and trim piece.  I preferably use a metal rafter square(bottom left), since the one edge will sit flush against the one side as I measure and mark the sections to cut out.

In this picture(left) with a Sharpie black marker I have measured the width of the merlons to be .75 inches, so the width of the crenalations will be .5 inches and the depth 1.25 inches.  

The markings on the trim piece are .5 inches in width and the height of the rounded part is .25 inches from the top.  

The above right picture shows how they will look after the parts are cut out, which is further explained in the video below.  

At this point if you have used a hot wire tool to cut the foam I recommend using a small file or fine grit sand paper to gently remove the angel hairs that are produced on the cut edges.

This video is part two of my castle wall tutorial.  In this segment I show how to cut the foam using the hot wire foam factory 3D scrolling table.