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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Doug Harvey

A Hot-Wire Bow for Cutting Blue Foam

Whether or not we’ve actually tried it ourselves, most of us know that a carefully guided hot wire can cut blue foam slabs and blocks into elaborate cornices and other architectural details very efficiently. The technique takes so little time and the resulting pieces are so feather-light that some shops have virtually abandoned the much more tedious process of assembling lumber, plywood, and veneer of one sort or another into complex and heavy mouldings. The simply built hot-wire bow described in this article, the descendant of an earlier version developed at the Santa Fe Opera, could be a valuable tool for any scene shop.

FIGURE 1: THE HOT-WIRE BOW

CONSTRUCTION

The bow, pictured in Figure ...

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