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Microslit foam...any ideas?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Hot Tuna

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:06 AM

First let me confess that I'm cheap when it comes to certain fly fishing items.... I make a hobby out of coming up with alternatives to some brand name products. Just because an item is for fly fishing doesn't give the manufacturer the right to charge 5 to 10 times what the product costs...I'm sure you can think of many examples. Now threre is no doubt that C and F fly boxes are excellent but they are way over priced IMHO. I'm looking to retrofit a 3 drawer Richardson box with Microslit foam inserts....if I buy the C and F replacement inserts that's going to set me back over 70.00 for six inserts(one for the lid and bottom of each drawer) never mind the cost of the Richardson box as well. So here's the question, has anyone come up with an easy way of replicating microslit foam?? Let's hear from the great minds in here!
Hot Tuna

#2 SmallieHunter

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:50 AM

Well, I have a C & F box and also a "Bugger Barn" that has similar slits in the foam.

The Bugger barn foam looks very similar to what you would find on the foam sandles that you can buy in any store. In fact the foam seem identical to the the foam door knob hangers that you can buy in any craft store: http://www.stainedgl...oorhangers.html

The problem would be trying to find a square piece of this stuff without it being cut into a shape. I guess you could also glue several pieces of foam together.

test


#3 cutthroat.trout

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:40 PM

Target stores had some foam place mats for picnic tables and such use that were made from this foam.
Wouldn't surprise me if those were a seasonal item though.

Michaels crafts has foam like this as mentioned, Joann crafts also has foam like this, and both the foam and place mats were in multiple color choices.

The trick to cutting the nice narrow slits may be to use a double sided razor blade cutter since they are much thinner than the regular Xacto and box cutter style blades.

Getting slits cut uniformly spaced and uniform in length might be an issue.

One idea I had was to use a hair comb to serve as a guide to slice the slots with.

You could also make yourself a template out of a margarine tub lid or something soft enough to cut yet rigid
enough to work as a guide.

If you were really into it, and entertained thoughts about mass production, you could make yourself a foam cutting die to cut the foam to shape before you slit it. There's flytyers that make foam cutting dies like this for crease flies, you could make one for die cutting the box foam in it's proper rectangular shapes.

--cutthroat.trout


--cutthroat.trout


#4 Joe Hard

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:57 PM

I was thinking this same sort of thing last night, as one of my first boxes has been replaced with craft foam and I rely dont like it. Too cheap to replace it with the original flat and ripple it came with, The bugger barn came to mind with the slots. the links provided and ideas are great.

I dont think it would be to hard to cut the foam to fit the box. I like the idea of a punch to cut the slots neat and uniform. A double edge razor blade snapped in half lengthwise, and then again sideways would give you 4 blades. Probably close enough to a proper slot. Even trimmed a little shorter. You could make as many blades as you would like, and set them in a hardwood block like a foam cutter. Spaced out how you prefer. Just thinking out loud and trying to save a buck as well. I am interested in what you come up with.

Even if you took a piece of hardwood and marked one side where you wanted to blades to be. Then coated that edge with epoxy and set the blades in place. You would be able to see better to line the slot cutter up. if you were only going to make a few here and there the cutter would last for a long time.
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#5 Hot Tuna

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 10:40 PM

Great ideas guys...thanks for the responses. One other idea I had was to find a saw blade that had the right distance between the teeth and use that to notch the foam and then finish off the slits per the ideas above.
I'll let you know how my project comes out when I'm done....
Hot Tuna

#6 Alex C.

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 05:40 PM

You could just hold(tape) a piece of grid paper over the foam, then use the lines as a guide. When you're done just untape the paper and throw it out

#7 oatka

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 07:13 AM

First, i have to admit, I'm not 100% sure I know the boxes you're talking about...but if it's what I think, can't you just take the foam, a pair of those zig zag scissors (look in mom's sewing drawer) and cut the edge with the scissors. Now, you have your zig zag edge, and then take the razor blade (with some good ideas here on how to hold it) and cut where the zig zags?

I've thought of this, but having never used that box, i wasn't sure if i wanted to build one.


#8 Hot Tuna

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 09:59 AM

Zig zag scissors.....BINGO!!!
Thanks
PS They're the box that Will is offering as a prize for signing up for the new magazine...you definitely had it right.

#9 Rustyspinner

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 12:20 PM

I make these all the time.

I use regular craft foam in 2mm and 3mm sizes. I cut the foam with pinking shears that have a jagged effect to them then use a razor blade to cut the slits. You can use a sharpie marker to mark your razor blade as a guide to get uniform slits.

I then glue them to a piece of stiff plastic sheeting cut to the size of the container I am putting them into. Using some velcro to secure it to the container will allow you to interchange your sheets.

You can make a bunch of the sheets, but only need one or two boxes.

Once you get the hang of it, it only takes a half hour or so to do a couple sheets.

Good Luck,
Warren

#10 flytire

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 04:40 PM

You could make some cutters to make the slits like the c & f inserts have

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#11 Hot Tuna

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 04:46 PM

Normand...did you make those?
I was going to get the pinking shears in different sizes and then hand cut the slots...
Looking good.
John

#12 flytire

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:10 PM

Hot tuna,

I found them on another board and thought they would make good slit cutters. They were actually made for cutting zonker strips from rabbit hides.

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Fly tyers sure do have a way at making things complicated

 

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#13 ol_grayfeather

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:08 AM

Anyone ever try those round wheel type fabric cutters? I can remember what they're called but the 'blade' is round and you just roll it over the material. Also, those who have successfully used the zig-zag scissors, what brand of scissors do you have? I was thinking of the same thing a while back and couldn't get the scissors to cut the foam. I was only trying to cut 2mm foam.

#14 Hot Tuna

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:26 AM

I've started researching which scissors to get....you probably had the ones craft stores sell to cut decorative edges on paper....you're going to need Wiss or a similar brand pinking shears. My wife had a pair in her sewing kit. Ebay had some interesting lots of scissors, some of which included pinking shears. I really liked the idea of velcroing plastic sheets with the strips glued to them. That is definitely going to be the ticket.
Thanks for all your great ideas and participation folks....
Hot Tuna

#15 ol_grayfeather

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:55 AM

Thanks for the info. I just searched ebay and the scissors I tried did not look like shears.... so I probably had the ones for paper, Back to the dang craft store.