EVA foam (or craft foam) can be cut with a scroll saw quickly and accurately. EVA is one of the most versatile materials for sculpting and crafting, and it’s available in many different thicknesses.
Cutting EVA foam with a scroll saw is ideal to preserve its flexibility while getting the precise measurements needed for detailed projects such as armatures or dragon heads.
Today, we’ll talk about cutting EVA foam with a scroll saw and some cool things you can make with it!
What You'll Learn...
What is EVA Foam?
EVA foam is a type of foam found in yoga mats, pillows, and even lifesavers. It is made from polyethylene with expanded polystyrene beads on the inside.
EVA foam provides good cushioning because it is lightweight, durable, tear-resistant, and inexpensive. All these advantages make it ideal for use in the construction industry and by health care professionals who use it for therapeutic purposes like massage therapy or physiotherapy.
What Can You Make with EVA Foam?
You can use EVA foam to create a variety of different DIY crafts, like:
- Throw Pillows
- Tiles (either to use as an accent or in a mosaic)
- Wall Art
- Decor for childrens’ rooms
EVA foam is a popular choice for making cosplay armor, toys (especially for kids), and props. It’s also used extensively in the automotive industry and by hobbyists looking to create scale models or battle-ready armor.
Where to Buy EVA Foam
You can find EVA foam in a lot of craft stores, and it’s also available directly from a number of online retailers. We personally like this 100-pack of colored pads, as these offer many creative options for EVA foam designs.
How to Cut EVA Foam with a Scroll Saw
There are two different ways to cut EVA foam with a scroll saw. One option is to drill a hole in both pieces of EVA foam so that they fit together tightly when assembled. Then you can cut through the piece by feeding it into the blade from one end.
The other option is to saw on top of the foam without a hole, just as you would regular wood. Depending on which works best for your project, you can do this with or without an auto-return feature.
Cutting EVA foam with a scroll saw is similar to cutting when making scroll saw patterns from wood—you’ll need to set the tension and track the blade through the cut.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Prepare the pieces of EVA foam. Cut them to the same length.
2. Drill a hole near one end of each piece of foam. Then glue the pieces together and let them dry completely.
3. Attach some cardboard to a base, then attach that base to your saw table using screws or clamps, depending on what’s available at your workshop (you can also find ready-made mounting platforms for scroll saws at most home improvement stores).
4. Place the foam pieces on the track with the hole toward the blade and tighten them down to the desired tension (you can also use a screwdriver or small nut driver to secure them).
5. Mount your scroll saw blade: for a scroll saw with auto-return, set it for a cut equal to the size of your cut pieces of foam. For a scroll saw without an auto-return function, set it for a cut that fits snugly in your material.
6. Cut through the foam.
You also may be able to cut EVA foam with a jigsaw or band saw, but it’s probably best to start with a scroll saw if you’re new to cutting with this tool.
The scroll saw blade will break through the foam instead of getting jammed in it, which frequently happens with other types of saws.
If you have a scroll saw and different power tools, you can use whatever works best for your project.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have an auto-return function on your scroll saw, be sure to cut the foam pieces before gluing them together.
Also, make sure not to push too hard on the saw when it’s cutting through the foam. If you can’t put enough downward pressure on the blade to make a solid cut through the material, use a longer piece of EVA foam that’s easier to push through.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is EVA foam good for cosplay?
EVA foam is a popular choice for cosplay players because of its high durability and low weight. Finished pieces of EVA foam are lightweight, strong, and flexible.
But if you plan on making large, heavy cosplay armor out of EVA foam you should incorporate fiberglass into the design to increase its durability.
Can you spraypaint EVA foam?
It is possible to spraypaint EVA foam. However, it should be noted that adding any type of paint to EVA foam can be tricky because the density of the material can make it difficult to coat evenly with a single coat of paint.
Is EVA foam environmentally friendly?
EVA foam has been touted for its sustainability due to its natural insulation properties. This has led many people to believe that it’s a green product.
The only reason Eva foam is considered to be environmentally friendly is because of the manufacturing processes used to create the product. This process does not produce a toxic by-product like other foams.
However, the environmental benefit of Eva foam is minimal due to the way it is manufactured and the fact that, in most cases, it’s still being used in all new construction irrespective of its green credentials, or lack thereof.