How do you Cut Foam? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

I have the pink Foam, made by DOW or Corning, or one of those I got from home depot. I have it layed down (2 layers) onto my set. My question is, how do you cut this stuff? What do you use to carve out hills and valleys etc etc?? I tried on a test piece to cut it with a razor, adn well that doesnt work very well, as it wants to come off in chunks.

(Also, if you have a link to a image of one, that would help too!)

I stole my wifes cerated bread knife and a couple old steak knives they work great. Get a small rasp/wood shaper {the kind that looks like a cheese grater} that works good for shaping. I hold the shop vac right there when I use it because that stuff is heck to get up later. I found too that drywall mud/joint compound stick to the pink foam and wont come off. Yes it dries slow and cracks if it is too thick. I have used 6 - 5 gal buckets of it on my layout with no problems. It is a by product of my work but at $10 a 5 gal bucket it is cheap to try.
What about a smaller one like this image below? (Im only working on a small project right now that needs it, 11.5"x29.5") and I just need it to make a few small dips really. Would this one work?


or something like this?


Entrepreneurial Teen
The soldering pen / hot knife looks like it would be great for shaping fine details, such as rocks, but not as well suited for removing large areas of foam, such as streams or gullies. If you're only working a small area, it would probably be fine.

I have no idea what the picture is of...but now I'm curious. Do you have a link to the auction?

You can also find the Woodland Scenics cutters on eBay for less. Here's an auction up right now from a great seller (M.B. Klein):
Yep those work too, I tried one someone brought over and I wasnt impress but maybe I didnt take the time to learn. My dad says if I cant mess up the whole room I am not having fun so maybe that is why I didnt like it. LOL


Just a guy
An electric meat carving knife works well for big cuts. Good ole steak knife do the finer cuts well.

Doc Holliday

Gentleman Gambler
I made my own hot wire foam cutter from an old soldering gun by replacing the tip with a piece of regular 10 gauge copper wire. I made several different shapes, depending on what shape I want to cut.


Coal Shoveler
I use a serrated kitchen knife I bought for $6 at Target. Had to buy a couple different ones to find one with the right type of serrations. Which was OK since the other one went into the kitchen for more regular use....



I want the MKT back!!
Right now, I'm just using an old steak knife for a rough cut on a rock face. It actually works out pretty good.

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