Minicell foam block help

I need a foam block to fit a 7" x 6" space but have no knowledge about minicell foam, whether there are certain types for certain applications or if I can even buy a block 7" thick and if so, from whom. NRS sells a block 4" wide for $68, which is insane.

The back story is that I removed the seat hinge and it’s back rest from my cockpit and replaced it with a back band. Don’t like that either, so that went out. Currently paddling with nothing but want to try a foam block.

Grateful for any suggestions.

You could buy a pair of minicell kayak pads, the kind that serve as cradles on racks. Cut one to size and keep the other one for other projects. Or cut up both and glue together to make the dimensions you need. For a while I kept quite a stash of both regular and odd shapes of minicell foam pieces.

I remember finding a company that sold all kinds of minicell. They vary in firmness, though the stuff you usually see in kayaks is pretty much the same firmness.

Search on minicell foam and you will probably find the same company.

Google brought up this:

CLC has some as well. You may need to glue some up to get the thickness that you want.

May have to be careful about the size and shape you buy to get the piece you want. But these guys are cheaper.|404_55220|1017540002|NB_NCA|0abee1c2-53bf-49b7-a78d-5f8a272c5a69|pla-282876974291&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_55220|1017540002|NB_NCA|0abee1c2-53bf-49b7-a78d-5f8a272c5a69|pla-282876974291&gclid=CjwKEAjw9_jJBRCXycSarr3csWcSJABthk07iJVPuIm9zqImwUqL2_eGb1CmQyF2qzdLDaQQ5lT12hoC3zXw_wcB

I have a large block from Mountain Equipment Co-op, probably 4" thick by a few square feet. I know the source isn’t a help to you, but I do recall it was not cheap. I’ve been using bits and pieces of it, gluing them together for this and that, so a little can go a long way.

If you just want to try something out inexpensively, there are probably cheaper foams that you could use. Even builder’s insulation you can find at the local big box store could be glued up in layers and shaped. I’m not suggesting this as a permanent solution, but it could help you sort out what size/shape you need before getting something more expensive.

Three inch thick minicell plank is widely available but is not cheap. Long planks can also entail high shipping costs. You will need to lay up two 3" thick sections to get a piece 6 x 7" in size, so a piece of 3" thick minicell at least 14" in length should work. Use contact cement to join the pieces. Most people use DAP Weldwood that can be found at Walmart in a red and black can. Make sure you get the “flammable” variety that is not water soluble. Minicell soaks up contact cement so you will need to apply at least two coats to both pieces and possibly three, to assure a good bond.

Salamander sells a 1 x 2’ three inch thick minicell plank for $30.58. Shipping is an additional $8 or so. That may be about as good a price as you will find.

Some of the blue insulation foam is dissolved by the solvent in some contact cements and may not be closed cell so that it will take on water.

I got a four inch thick piece 12x12 on Amazon for twenty bucks.

Thanks very much for all the good suggestions.

Do like the idea of trying a cheaper material as a prototype to see if what I have in mind will actually work.

I take it these minicell foam blocks are pretty much the same density (softness/hardness). Did find a place where I can get 3" and 4" 12 x 12 sections at quite reasonable prices. If that doesn’t work out, will try Amazon.

Are any special tools needed, or will a sharp knife and sandpaper work? Does the foam compress after time, or is it pretty stable?

Thanks, too, for the tip about the contact cement. I have the DAP Weldwood bottled version which I was going to use for some seat padding which is currently held in place by Gorilla double sided tape. Will check the flammability rating on the bottle.

We haven’t seen compression of minicell. My husband has a piece he shaped to his back and its stayed stable for years… A very helpful tool is a metal sanding rasp.
Here is an old thread that mentions DragonSkin which we find handy

My minicell blocks, as in the ones I use to press my feet against rather than foot pegs, have never compressed. There have been some long paddles where I wished they would…

Rookie - minicell tool suggestions: serrated steak knife, sureform, dragon skin, coarse & medium sand paper.

Have used yoga blocks successfully, and easy to find at a chain store.
Serrated knife works great, lost my dragon skin and have been unable to locate a replacement.

Glad to hear the foam doesn’t compress over time.

@kayamedic Thanks for the link. Had to do a search on dragon skin - came up with some interesting responses.

I have a couple of Microplaners in my kitchen drawer. I can grate really hard cheese with them, so they should be able to multitask and work on minicell. Would be nice to have the same tool help fix my meal and my kayak.

Had no idea what sureform was but after seeing a photo, happy to learn that’s what the one I have is called. Thanks!

you can get a few hints on carving out a seat or working with minicell foam from this Nick Shade video…

You can glue up pieces of foam with contact cement.

Remember …“Sanding is fun…sanding is fun…sanding is fun…”

You can get some minicell from Redfish Kayaks cheap. These $12 “kits” have some nice sized scraps from their seat building and outfitting. Nice chunks for a good price.


Oh Rookie don’t use the same planers for Minicell and Parmesan! I don’t t hink Minicell is good for your tummy! Unless you have cleaning tips for those microplanes… Mine doggedly hang on to petrified lemon zest.

But it’s such a handy little rasp, kayamedic The small one would be easy to use in a tight space - although right now I have no idea if the shaping should be done in or out of the cockpit. Will watch that video overstreet linked tonight.

When mine get gunky (like with ginger) I soak them in hot soapy water for a bit then clean them under running hot water with a small stiff brush. Am too curious not to give it an initial try, but if it doesn’t clean out easily then it will be Plan B.

Thanks, Jon, for the link. Saving all this good info in my “kayak repair” folder.

Kayakmedic: dried citrus makes a nice glue so I know what you mean. I have had success with my zest micro-grater by soaking it in soapy water and cleaning it with a retired toothbrush. All my old toothbrushes go first through a dishwasher cycle for sanitation and then into a jar under the kitchen sink. Perfect for everything from cleaning tile grout to evicting dog doo from the interstices of Vibram soles.

I’ve been wondering about those yoga blocks and bolsters I often see (very cheap) in the off-price stores as raw material for kayak mods. They seem to be made of a pretty dense closed-cell foam.

I have a lot of experience with construction type styrofoam – would not recommend it for any boat modification purposes. Too brittle and soft, also semi-absorbent.

another option is to traipse to big blue box or big orange box home improvement store and buy a package of four puzzle tiles. They are sold as workshop flooring… A little ( or a lot) of contact cement can laminate the appropriate size strips together. Those tiles are the same minicell we all love but in a 3/4 thick by 12 by 12 piece. They go for about twenty bucks for a package of four.