I figured I would do my part in adding to the archives for all those wanting to try the EPS garage build.
I’m sure there are some out there who will want to add to it. I’m sure there might be some who are tired of hearing the same things.
But maybe there are some who will get some use as well.
Step 1 is aquire some EPS. This can be done from many sources, you can do the Home Depot route (read Benny1’s 14$ blank thread) or you can find an EPS manufacturer near you. (do your google searches) I discovered one in my area that makes blocks for geo-fill.
The block I purchased from them was a 12"x48"x96" of 2#/ft3 foam. The reason I bought one this size was that with 2 pieces of 12" wide foam I could simply glue a stringer in between them without the trouble of then cutting the blank in half. (thanks to one of the Europeans for this insight. Can’t remember who though… sorry)
Make yourself some templates. You will need outline as well as profile/rocker templates. I use the APS3000 software to do my designs and then print out the outlines full size. A little work with Adobe Illustrator and I put both templates for a board on one big page and send it to a local print shop to have them printed. Cut them out, trace them on masonite and then jigsaw followed by a belt sander to true up/smooth out the curves. Drill holes in the rocker templates so you can screw them to the block of foam.
You will also want to make a hotwire. There are plenty of ideas, schematics and pics in the archives. Just search ‘hotwire’. My own I made using an old train set transformer, a bow I made out of maple (16" wide and 8-9" deep) some electrical wire and alligator clips and finally for cutting I am using a fishing leader. I also found some NiChrome wire after some hunting, but haven’t used it yet, it is supposed to be the best for the job. Go and check out your local Hobbyshop for replacement wire for there small hotwires.
You want to put the block on edge and then get it Level, so all your marks will come out even from one side to the other.
Screw the first template to the block of foam and then use a level and square to make a straight line from that side to the other at the tail and nose. Take measurements from the end of the block and down from the top to get an accurate point to place the second template on the other side of the block. Putting the second one on is tricky by yourself, an assistant would make it a lot easier especially for longer boards, but I have made do so far.
With the templates you can get ready to fire up the hotwire. Have a fan blowing air on you while you work and the door open. This keeps the wire from getting too hot and it will vent the fumes to the outside. When you are doing the cutting I found that the advice of another swaylocker works best. Push then Pull. Do the top rocker first, pushing the wire down the nose curve and then pull the wire towards you, again from the nose to the tail.