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Author Topic: Tool for shaving spray foam insulation  (Read 3832 times)
Tenor
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« on: January 01, 2008, 12:12:57 PM »

Found this at Lowe's and it does a nice job.  It's a hand Saw.  What makes it different is that it cuts on the pull stroke instead of the push.  The blade is very flexible for getting into curves.  This has a long straight handle that can be gripped with 2 hands. The blade can be set at different angles and is double edged with an aggressive cut and a fine cut.  The blade is 10 inches long. The job of shaving this stuff down is still difficult, don't let anyone fool you.  Here are the details

Vaughan Bear Saw
Lowe's
$19.98 US.
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Glenn Williams
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 01:21:52 PM »

Glenn,

I wish I had needed a tool such as you describe, but I went a different way with my coach insulation.

It seems like in the last 3-4 months there was an episode of Dirty Jobs, where Mike Rowe worked with a team that did spray hot foam insulation in homes. When it came time to shave it down to stud depth, one of the insulation crew pulled out a homemade device for that purpose. It resembled a large beaterbar on a floor sweeper head, except it was obviously exposed. The part that did the shaving was a series of short steel brushes on a 2-3 foot wide roller, driven by a belt run off an electric motor.

Probably wouldn't be worth making one unless you were doing insulation, but it made a bad job really fast and easy.

Hope that helps.

Jay
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 01:27:52 PM »

The insulation in the Dirty Jobs episode was spray cellulose, not foam.  I don't know if their tool would work too well on foam.

Off topic a bit, I was suprised watching Dirty Jobs that houses are still built with 2x4 walls.  2x6 walls have been code required for years here in Minnesota for extra insulation.  Minnesotans spend a fair bit on heat, but I know folks in Texas who spend more on A/C than I do on heat and A/C combined.

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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 01:33:34 PM »

DON"T BREATH THAT DUST!  The little paper filter that covers your mouth and nose and is secured with the rubber band isn't enough.  Get a mask with replaceable filters from a paint suppy store.  The horror story I have heard from a friend would motivate you.  That good mask is about $30 and mine is still good after 10 years.

Have you tried an electric knife for carving?  That goes through soft foam like butter.

Best of luck,

John
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 02:11:23 PM »

Don't only protect your breathing but also your eyes.

Those little pieces of foam are really hard on your eyeballs when they get in there.

They seem to sneak in when you think you are done and getting cleaned up.

A good vacuum is VERY important to cleaning up -- I burned one up.

YMMV

Melbo
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 02:27:33 PM »

  Replace the spiral brush on a vacuum carpet cleaner with a blade, & hook to a large shop vac, no dust, no particule, no cleaning, one step operation. In any case use of a mask is safe.
            wrench
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Tenor
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 02:28:34 PM »

Again guys, thanks for the safety tips.  I am using a respirator with replaceable cartridges that I have used for painting.  Does a great job.  Can't even smell the stuff.  I am also wearing goggles to cover my glasses.  On a trial job with the saw, I realized right away that this would be a mess so I prepared for it.  I'm almost done.  I just have to keep stopping to stretch out my neck.  I suppose tall people (anyone over 5feet) don't need ladders and the job goes quicker?  LOL!
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 02:39:50 PM »

Tenor,

Take lots of pictures as you go. It's always good for referance later, and of course share with us.

Good Luck,

Paul
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 03:50:46 PM »

I would suggest a Goretex filter for your shop vac if you are doing this.  The paper filters might not filter as well, plus they will be harder to clean when they get dirty.  Dirt and dust just falls off the Goretex filters when you remove them to clean them up.

Yes, the Goretex filters are spendy at $30, but your health is worth it since less stuff will get through the filter.  My experience so far is that Goretex filters should last many times longer than a regular filter.

The Goretex filters for Ridgid and Sears shop vacs are at Home Depot.  No idea if they make them for the Shop Vac brand.
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2008, 05:14:15 PM »

I took a 3' piece of bandsaw blade and welded the ends to an arch made of 1" steel tubing. Somewhat like a tree saw but with the blade rotated 90 degrees from where it normally is .
It made a really nice way to do flush cuts...
But the best tool I made was simple, nasty, and extremely effective... three 1/4-20 bolts and an old grinding disc.  It is like cutting butter with a hot knife.  Just be CAREFUL if you make one of these- I can't imagine that they are the safest tool in the world to use... 
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2008, 09:43:19 PM »

Belfert,

I have a 13 gallon shop vac that sucks.  I mean...really sucks.  I installed one of those spendy waskable filters and it works really well.  The cleaning is not so enjoyable.  I have now installed paper bag filters that I throw away when full and the vac seems to suck right up to the full bag point and i am vacing drywall dust.  Thats fine!  I keep my spare bags in the vac folded behind the filter I am using.

John
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2008, 03:00:15 AM »

Belfert,

I have a 13 gallon shop vac that sucks.  I mean...really sucks.  I installed one of those spendy waskable filters and it works really well.  The cleaning is not so enjoyable.  I have now installed paper bag filters that I throw away when full and the vac seems to suck right up to the full bag point and i am vacing drywall dust.  Thats fine!  I keep my spare bags in the vac folded behind the filter I am using.

While the Goretex filter may be washable I have never done so.  I generally just take it outside and bang it on the driveway and the dust just falls right, even drywall dust.  I like the Goretex filter for that reason, plus it contains more fine dust.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2008, 03:37:14 AM »

Hey guys, I saved this picture of a home made tool for insulation work that one of the guys made.

Belfert I sent you an email this week about heating your bus did you get it???

WVaNative
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 08:03:51 AM »

I do not know if anyone has tried this before but several years ago I was into R/C airplanes. Some of them used foam wings. Cutting those wings was done with a bow and "Hot wire" made from a transformer a household dimmer switch and parts from Radio Shack. Makes super clean cuts with very little mess. The bow can be made to fit between the wall studs and it will accomidate any curves you encounter.
Here is a pic showing the bow ready to cut a wing.

and a link to the site that shows how to make one.http://www.charlesriverrc.org/articles_foam_vac.htm
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2008, 09:46:44 AM »

When I did my house, I rented a tool that looked like the rotory blades on an OLD hand push mower. It had a handle on either end. Worked GREAT!! Lots of little slivers, but not too much dust.
 I then used a 9" sanding disc, 36 grit, on a 4 1/2" right angle grinder for the outside of my skylight boxes. Worked REEEEEALLY fast (be careful) but TONS of dust!!! But I was outside and protected.
 But if you can find the rotory blade tool, that baby is the ticket.

    Chaz
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2008, 05:12:00 PM »

Hornet,

That is some INTERESTING info.  If that works with sprayed foam, your rig is a must.  Even if it won't do the whole job I would build it for what it would do.

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2008, 05:45:00 PM »

Don't forget to add The Amazing Ginsu to you aresonal( or any other cheap serrated kinfe)
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2008, 09:35:13 PM »

U might want to visit Tom Hall's site http://users.cwnet.com/~thall/articles.htm.

Click on Articles then click on Fred Hobe and look over the tips he has, ideas, and tools he has made over his years of converting buses.

He is a power house of knowledge and more than willing to share with anyone who asks.  He has given quite a few free seminars loaded with tips on how to convert a bus to a motorhome.

Maybe this can help someone.

Enjoying the journey from NC,

gene
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2008, 07:54:22 AM »

I would suggest a Goretex filter for your shop vac if you are doing this.  The paper filters might not filter as well, plus they will be harder to clean when they get dirty.  Dirt and dust just falls off the Goretex filters when you remove them to clean them up.

Yes, the Goretex filters are spendy at $30, but your health is worth it since less stuff will get through the filter.  My experience so far is that Goretex filters should last many times longer than a regular filter.

The Goretex filters for Ridgid and Sears shop vacs are at Home Depot.  No idea if they make them for the Shop Vac brand.

Brian from my experience any filter should last a long time in your vacuum, since ya left it plugged in when ya pulled outta my shop and tore the end off the cord! LOL! (sorry didn't mean to tell, but I couldn't resist with the subject you were on! LOL!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2008, 08:09:13 AM »

Brian from my experience any filter should last a long time in your vacuum, since ya left it plugged in when ya pulled outta my shop and tore the end off the cord! LOL! (sorry didn't mean to tell, but I couldn't resist with the subject you were on! LOL!
Grin  BK  Grin

That was my extension cord I left plugged in.  It still works, but the ground pin came out.  I've used the vacuum a lot since I was at your place.
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2008, 09:44:01 AM »

Hornet,

That is some INTERESTING info.  If that works with sprayed foam, your rig is a must.  Even if it won't do the whole job I would build it for what it would do.

Thanks,

John
Should work like a hot knife through butter.
Only now a hot wire through foam. Wink
Just an idea. I have not tried it out. If you try it please report back. Hope it helps.
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2008, 09:11:19 AM »

I was at a Square Dance last night and a fellow told me about a system used for spraying cellulose mixed with water between joists in a new home. The dried mixture shaved immediately afterward and the removed material was then thrown right back into the hopper for reuse!
I don't know if anyone has used this system for bus conversions but if there is any interest I will try to find out more.
I believe the company was out of Birmingham, Alabama.
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2008, 09:46:19 AM »

i plan on doing the "spray foam" to my bus as well as my house, but i am going to invest the $ for the rig/job myself & hopefully can make some $ hiring the rig out?!? anyways, on some home improvement show i watched, theses guys use what looked like a "sawzall" with about a 3' blade ( looked like a piece of 'banding' material used on big sewer/storm lines),anyways, this cut right through the spray foam perfectly even with the house studs. there is no way i'm doing the "grinder thing", what a mess!
lately i've been "hooked" on Holmes on Homes & what a find! especially since the 'bargain fixer upper' i bought (ca$h) was built by a complete moron... who insulated with newspapers from 1948 & did a terrible job at that. still waiting to tear out some more walls & find "that bundle of cash"... best thing i found so far was a 1948 Sport magazine w/joe louis on the cover in still readable shape. $10. on ebay...
got the bus moved into the backyard, built a nice gate & threw the garage in the toters, literally.
plans to build a "bus barn" 25' X 55' with a Gambrel roof... & a new house attatched to that...
getting this bus is one of the best things i've ever did in my life!
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2008, 09:46:43 AM »

I was at a Square Dance last night and a fellow told me about a system used for spraying cellulose mixed with water between joists in a new home. The dried mixture shaved immediately afterward and the removed material was then thrown right back into the hopper for reuse!
I don't know if anyone has used this system for bus conversions but if there is any interest I will try to find out more.
I believe the company was out of Birmingham, Alabama.

Won't work.. It falls off with vibration.. Also can absorb water from air and in a bus interior condensation is a very large factor. Better stay with the Foam systems it stays stuck and doesn't tend to absorb moisture...

Dave....
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