Foam Cutting and Vacuum Bagging
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Foam Cutting and Vacuum Bagging

This section of the site contains articles about foam cutting and vacuum bagging contributed by our members and anyone else we can cajole into contributing!  If you have an idea that you think others might benefit from, please click here to email webmaster "at"

Foam Cutters Foam Cutter Plans and Products Foam Cutter Bows and Power Supplies Foam Cutting Tips Airfoil Templates Vacuum Bagging

Foam Cutters

Here is where Joel (webmaster) stands up on a soapbox to say a couple things about this section (since I figure you'll write to me asking which one is 'best' anyway - grin :-)...   The design of foamcutters seems to be an almost religious topic.  Each person or group who has designed a cutter is adamant about why theirs is the best. Each of the three designs listed are essentially different variations on a theme.  They are all drop-arm cutters where the position of a pulley system determines the cut angle (straight for constant chord wings or angled for tapered wings). 

Each design has strengths and weaknesses - of the several folks I know who have "built their own" most have ended up with a cutter that is somewhere between the Brengman and MRCSS design.  Either the Brengman or the MRCSS design can be built for $50-75, depending on how fancy you get with hardware, and how many parts you buy as extrusions and how many you make from wood.  The FeatherCut® is available for about $150.

So... here's one strategy for deciding which way to go.  If you like scrounging parts from hardware stores and putting together your own tools, then definitely build one of the home-built designs (or a composite of both) listed here.  If you don't really want to spend time hunting around for parts, or are willing to spend the difference in price to save the time, then the FeatherCut® might be for you.  Although all parties involved will make persuasive arguments why theirs is the best system, any of them can be used to create almost any wing section imaginable.  Check out the various designs and see what you think.


This page presents foam cutter plans created by several people.  Most foam cutters are powered by wall current. YOU take all responsibility for safety regarding the contstruction or use of any design on this page.  These designs run from house wall current, often with step-down transformers.  You MUST be familiar with electrical wiring and power safety in order to safely construct and operate a foam cutter.  

Foam Cutter Plans and Products

Foam Cutter Bows and Power Supplies

  • Martin Brungard's Bow Tension Calculations and Bow Design spreadsheet
  • Another Bow Idea (a catalog page showing an old frame saw design that could work for a foam cutting bow - courtesy of Thomas Keisling)
  • Foam Cutter Power Supply (Joedy Drulia's inexpensive foam cutter power supply that you can build with a few parts from Radio Shack)
  • Another Foam Cutter Power Supply (doesn't even need a separate page to describe it - attach a LuTron switched dimmer to a 2/10/50 battery charger and hook the bow up to the dimmer - if you use the type of dimmer with a switch you can leave the setting from cut to cut and just flip the switch to power up and power down!)

Foam Cutting Tips

  • Foam Cutting Sequence (an interesting discussion by people with real experience, about the sequence of foam cutting operations and options for "getting it right")
  • Why Cut Bottom First? (an explanation by Eric Sanders - author of CompuFoil, on why to cut the bottom surface of a foam wing first)


Vacuum Bagging



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