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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched this site and others and came up with tons of products to use. The most common problem is the availability of adhesives or styrofoam glues. Liquid nails LN 604 seems to be a decent one, cant find any locally. Same with the Loctite PL300. "out of stock" I'd like more options/ideas on what you have used. How did it work and is it available? Amazon has the Liquid Nails at $24 a tube ( 10 ounce). It's like they know its hard to find and they are gouging the public. For comparison, Home Depot sells the PL604 at $73 a case (24) 10 ounce tubes, when its available. about $6 a tube. So I could use some other ideas. thanks
 

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I have used the liquid nails with great results and its plentfull around my neck of the railroad at about 3 to 5 a tube.
I have read that silicone adheasive calk can be used but i have not tried that so cant comit how well that works
 

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First, I hope you are talking about rigid foam such as Foamular, not Styrofoam. The only thing I have made with Styrofoam is a mess.

I like Loctite Power Grab for joining rigid foam. It is supposed to have a near instant bond, but I use a few dabs of the power grab and a few dabs of hot melt glue. The hot melt glue does have a near instant bond and the Loctite makes the joint more permanent.

The Power Grab is in plentiful supply around here, but the price does seem to have gone up slightly ($6/tube). Silicone caulk also went way up in price ($12/tube).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The dense blue board style of foam. Yeah, house building in this area is nuts. Lots of items out of stock. I have 1 tube of liquid nails LN 704, heard mixed reviews on that stuff for foam use. I'll give it a try.
 

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The dense blue board style of foam. Yeah, house building in this area is nuts. Lots of items out of stock. I have 1 tube of liquid nails LN 704, heard mixed reviews on that stuff for foam use. I'll give it a try.
Worked OK for me. It takes a while to cure, but it holds my foam together well. It's kind of thick, so if you use too much, the pieces float instead of stacking, but you will figure all that out as you start to use it.
 

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As you said, tons of options. I get that local suppliers may be out, but you can order online for home delivery.

You can use adhesive latex caulk as well.

For any adhesive on impermeable materials, spread it in an S pattern, not circles. If you do concentric circles, the adhesive closer to the outside cures, essentially sealing off the adhesive in the middle and preventing it from curing.
 

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I like Liquid Nails for Projects.
As you said, tons of options. I get that local suppliers may be out, but you can order online for home delivery.

You can use adhesive latex caulk as well.

For any adhesive on impermeable materials, spread it in an S pattern, not circles. If you do concentric circles, the adhesive closer to the outside cures, essentially sealing off the adhesive in the middle and preventing it from curing.
As I recall, Liquid Nails eats the foam, so you need to find "Liquid Nails for Projects", that "for Projects" is important as it does not turn the foam to mush. Also keep in mind that the product needs air to cure, so better to use an S pattern than concentric circles!
Agreed. "Yup" to all.
 

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Anything not solvent based.
Even wood glue or elmers type white glue will do the job.
I suspect most folks prefer a silicone for the same reason I do; it absorbs vibration.
You can buy wood/white glue by the gallon at home depot etc.
 

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Gorilla glue works. Creates a tight but possibly breakable bond with some extra effort. Expands slightly, may have to trim excess. I'd say 24 hrs to dry but... It may be less. Glue seam is apparent if you have to cut thru it. Iced used on pink board foam and regular white foam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Lots of suggestions, thanks. The "S" pattern really makes sense. The foam cutter has arrived. Planning on cutting the foam next to an open window with a fan pushing the fumes outside. Gluing them up and shaping them a few days later. I have a Dremel tool and a rasp files and a coping saw also. Any other helpful shaping tips would be appreciated as well.
 

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I found the nicron wire provided with the ws tool to be flimsy and prone to breaking. There's sources for nicron wire of different gauges and you might consider getting something from them and making your own using various DC power supplies you have on hand, and some kind of wire holder you make. I actually don't use any hot wire cutter at this pt and just go with a thin blade serrated knife. But ... There's certain kinds of cuts it seems to me that could or just about require a hot wire... So it's good to know how to do make one if the commercial offerings don't suit you. The hot wire cuts do produce noxious fumes... So consider good airflow when you cut. Blah blah blah...
 

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I found that a long, sharp, utility knife worked great for major carving. Then the rasp for finer contouring. I ended up using plaster cloth on top of the foam to smooth things out. You can also drape plaster cloth over wadded up paper to add more variation to the topography.

I used the hot wire cutting tools, but found them tedious... 95% of the time it was utility knife and a rasp. And a shop vac, lol.

Rectangle Font Musical instrument accessory Electric blue Automotive exterior
 

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I stopped carving foam a decade ago. My current method is the opposite mentality; add upon, not remove from. I stack the inner portions, then build up the exterior slope one of two ways; wadded newspaper covered in plaster cloth, or a custom mix of durabond 90 joint compound with sand mixed in. The latter is water proof, but dries like cement although it is easier to shape while wet than plaster as it’s consistency holds shape… like mashed potatoes.

The only real cuts that I make are general shapes, like cutting a curved piece, or needing a 4” x 18” piece.
And the way that I cut them is with a saber saw and a fine tooth 3” blade. I run it at high speed, not low speed. It cuts through foam like it’s not even there. There is a fine powdery-like dust but it is minimal. There is minimal waste too. Combined with the ability to steer a saber saw, the result is like making jigsaw pieces. You can cut a piece off, and if you try to fit it back to the main piece it was cut from, the amount of lost material in in the 32nds. Virtually no waste, virtually no dust, virtually any shape.

Removable scenery, like lift out mountains is a slightly modified method. Keeping it lightweight, I use foam for vertical supports, then use foam strips, like 2x2 size with angled ends, to connect the verticals, keeping them near the outer edge. Picture how the Inca terraced mountains for farming, I basically recreate a hollow version of that. Then with it on wax paper or a large tarp, add wadded newspaper (or similar), and plaster cloth. Because of the lightweight, you can build singular hills that are 9 feet long if you desire, with no seams.
EDIT; if the hill will have a road or homes etc, I create a base platform for those using sections of 2” foam integrated in. This way a road going up the hill is pretty easy to keep “flat” across the lanes, and houses are all level going up the hill. One can also model walk-out basements this way.
 

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Forgot to mention this. When stacking and gluing “terrace strips” between vertical supports, I use toothpicks as skewers to pin them in place while the glue dries. Don’t want it all to collapse an hour after you walk away to dry over night.
 
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