My EPS Hotwire

Here is mine. Really simple. Really cheap. I still see questions from time to time on how to build one.

Thanks to AirFrame and G Loehr for the inspiration. I’m using 18 gauge wire and a 12 volt battery charger. I think I need thinner wire, so that it will get hotter and go faster.

I couldn’t get a good connection from the charger leads to the thin wire so I built the terminal block with a couple of aluminum bolts that came out of an I don’t know what. Works well though. I think my wife is going to wonder what happened to the lamp cord in the guest bedroom at some point.

The thing about having a surf kitty is that the black hairs are everywhere. They stick to the fiberglass cloth with static electric charge. The cat never budged while I cut the foam. (Don’t worry, while I’m not a cat lover in the true sense, I would never hurt one.) (Scotch tape on the bottom of their feet doesn’t hurt, does it?)

Above is the terminal block. Sort of a Soviet Union style transister.

Above, the harp. Couldn’t rotate the photo with my cheap little software. The black spot on the branch at the floor is … the result of the hot wire catching the wood on fire. Got to fix that soon.

Related issue: I thought I could make ply rocker templates at 3 inch thick and then for thinner boards just move the template up. Doesn’t look right to me. Looses the foil. What do you all do for thinner blanks with the same rocker?


The harp looks good! One thing you may want to remember is to keep a fan running while doing your cutting. The fan helps keep the end of the wire (near the wood) from getting red hot and catching the harp on fire. Keeps the kitty cool too!


Ken, expert Sways friend of mine, how do you make thinner blanks? Move the template up or make a thinner template?