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Creating Finer Ground Foam

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  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Creating Finer Ground Foam
Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, June 27, 2022 2:38 AM

Got yet another one for my Forum friends and it's a bit specific this time. Can anyone give me the right appliance for making your own fine ground foam (similar in size to WS fine ground foam)? I make a lot of my own to match colors I have on my layout and I have used commercial when it works for the application. I have a bunch in a few colors that I have already made using a blender to chop the foam in water, dye it in the blender, let that mix dry, chop it again when it dry, etc. The problem is the result still comes out a bit coarse for what I really want. I have a pair of little coffee/herb grinders that I can use to chop it finer but they can only do small batches and get warm quickly. I have looked at a few small food processors and the blades look to be too high above the bowl to get fine enough, but I could be wrong on that. I don't want to get top of the line for something this simple.

As usual, any suggestions would be most welcomed.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 27, 2022 6:39 AM

I've been using a coffee grinder to make ground foam finer.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, June 27, 2022 7:45 AM

Hi FRRYKid,

We have a small Ninja food chopper that will cut things almost into a paste if you run it for too long. I have never used it for foam, but I think it would do the job quite well. The blades are wickedly sharp. They are not expensive, and if it doesn't work for the foam, it is really handy for food prep.

This is the 16 oz. version, but I don't think it would do a full 16 oz. of foam at once. It would probably do about a cup at a time. Available on Amazon.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Ohio
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Posted by josephbw on Monday, June 27, 2022 7:59 AM

Years ago my stepmother gave me her old coffee grinder. It's an older one, but it has a high speed and very sharp blades. It works very well for foam, paper (for scraps found all over RR properties), and anything else I need to grind up.

Joe

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, June 27, 2022 12:34 PM

Hello All,

Have you tried a kitchen sieve (strainer) with a plastic putty knife?

Once the foam has dried, try pushing the coarse foam through the sieve with the putty knife and see how that works.

You can find graduated sieves on Amazon under Garden Sieve.

These are available in different mesh sizes, depending on the final size of the grain you are seeking.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, June 27, 2022 8:33 PM
"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 7:37 AM

FRRYKid

Hi FRRYKid,

Yes, that is exactly the model I was speaking of.

I'm curious to know what the price is in $USD. The listing you referenced shows $41.00 + $16.65 shipping but it doesn't specify whether that price is in $USD or $Cdn. If you are looking at paying $41.00 plus shippong in $USD, I would shop around. The Canadian Amazon price is $35.00 Cdn. so it has to be available for less than $41.00 USD. The current conversion rate would suggest less than $29.00 USD.

Just a reminder. The blades are extremely sharp and they sit loose. There is nothing to stop them from falling out if you turn the bowl upside down. Our DIL dropped the blade assembly out of hers and without thinking, she tried to catch it in midair. Several stitches and a partially severed tendon later....... I'm sure you get the picture.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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  • From: Southington, CT
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Posted by mthobbies on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 9:14 PM

I love airbrushing my ground foam and static grass after they are glued down. It creates a cohesive color between the two, and I can make whatever color grass I want! That way I don't have to worry about the color of my ground foams as much.

- Matt

  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, June 30, 2022 3:17 AM

hon30critter

I'm curious to know what the price is in $USD. The listing you referenced shows $41.00 + $16.65 shipping but it doesn't specify whether that price is in $USD or $Cdn. If you are looking at paying $41.00 plus shippong in $USD, I would shop around. The Canadian Amazon price is $35.00 Cdn. so it has to be available for less than $41.00 USD. The current conversion rate would suggest less than $29.00 USD.

Just a reminder. The blades are extremely sharp and they sit loose. There is nothing to stop them from falling out if you turn the bowl upside down. Our DIL dropped the blade assembly out of hers and without thinking, she tried to catch it in midair. Several stitches and a partially severed tendon later....... I'm sure you get the picture.

Cheers!!

Dave 

I went ahead and ordered it. It ended up at 37.09 with shipping included. Not a bad deal to me.

I "try" to be careful about blades and such. I have cut every finger (including my thumb) on my left hand at least once with a hobby knife. I have a scar on my index finger from a hobby knife that slipped when I was kitbashing a building for my old layout 20 years ago. (The building is now on my new layout as well.) I was cutting a pilaster out of a wall that was being sacrificed to build the end panels. (Part of a DPM Laube Linen Mill kit. Three of those kits went into it.)

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,230 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, June 30, 2022 3:44 AM

FRRYKid
I have a scar on my index finger from a hobby knife that slipped when I was kitbashing a building for my old layout 20 years ago.

Hey FRRYKid, we are a matched set!! I sliced the tip of my left index finger wide open several years ago. I required several stitches to close it back up. The scar is barely visible but the partial loss of feeling persists.

Speaking of sharp blades, we bought a set of three rather expensive Japanese kitchen knives a few months ago. They are so sharp that you can't feel it when you get cut! Fortunately Dianne and I have only suffered very minor injuries, at least so far anyhow. I will say that they are an absolute joy to cook with.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,049 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 3:50 AM

I found that the Ninja arrived yesterday (July 4). When I set it up and tried to use it, I found that rather than being a ninja, it was a flop. I tried to use it on some foam that I had previously chopped with my coffee grinders. It didn't chop it any more than it already had been. I then tried it on some blender chopped foam (quite coarse). Again it didn't even phase it. I have no idea how to explain it. The blades are reasonably sharp. (Cut some cardboard from a detail part package but not like a hot knife through butter.)

Anybody have any further ideas?

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,230 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 3:59 AM

FRRYKid
I found that the Ninja arrived yesterday (July 4). When I set it up and tried to use it, I found that rather than being a ninja, it was a flop.

Hi FRRYKid,

I'll take the blame for that. I shouldn't have suggested the Ninja if I wasn't certain it would work. My Bad!

I'm curious to know how full the blender was when you tried to cut the foam? If it was only partially full I can see the foam bouncing off the blades because it is not 'trapped' in place by having the blender full.

I also wonder if moistening the foam would have any better effect?

In any case I will offer to pay you for the Ninja if you can't return it. You can keep it. My email is in my profile. Let me know what you would like to do.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,707 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 3:38 PM

The coffee grinder seemed to work fine - has the OP tried a coffee grinder?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 5:58 PM

Hello All,

FRRYKid
Anybody have any further ideas?

 Well, I guess not...

jjdamnit
Hello All,

Have you tried a kitchen sieve (strainer) with a plastic putty knife?

Once the foam has dried, try pushing the coarse foam through the sieve with the putty knife and see how that works.

You can find graduated sieves on Amazon under Garden Sieve.

These are available in different mesh sizes, depending on the final size of the grain you are seeking.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,049 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 3:11 AM

riogrande5761

The coffee grinder seemed to work fine - has the OP tried a coffee grinder? 

As I said in a previous post, I have two that I switch off. The reason I was looking for something else is that they have such a small capacity that it takes forever to make any great quantity and they heat up quickly.

hon30critter

I'm curious to know how full the blender was when you tried to cut the foam? If it was only partially full I can see the foam bouncing off the blades because it is not 'trapped' in place by having the blender full.

I also wonder if moistening the foam would have any better effect?

In any case I will offer to pay you for the Ninja if you can't return it. You can keep it. My email is in my profile. Let me know what you would like to do.

Dave 

I tried it both full and part full. Didn't seem to make a difference. As to the wetting idea, I've run it dry in the coffee grinders with great success. I haven't looked into whether I can return it or not as of yet. I will give it one more try in case I did something wrong though.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,049 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 2:19 AM

I tried again late last week without success. I printed out the return paperwork and sent it off this afternoon.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,230 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 3:06 AM

FRRYKid
I tried again late last week without success. I printed out the return paperwork and sent it off this afternoon.

Hi FRRYKid,

I apologise for putting you through all of that. If it cost you money to return it, let me know. I will gladly pay for my mistake. My email is in my profile.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 2,049 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 3:15 AM

It didn't. I had the supplies on hand so don't worry about it.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.

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