Fun With Carbon Fiber

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by therivermonster, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I watched some of the Fiberglast videos last night and they are all about lots of layers of wax with an hour of wait time between layers. I wonder why they do that as it doesn't really make sense to me either.

    I can see how TAP could save on some shipping charges, so I'll have to have a drive up to their store and take a look.
    #21
  2. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I really enjoy the plug building process. I feel that it is a big part of creating some part from nothing, and I really like to see it come together. My little fairing is coming together fairly well I suppose.

    Speaking of lessons, I have given much thought to a mold not releasing from the plug. I think that I understand the basics and how to avoid this (no negative curves, good wax job, good PVA coats, pull gently but firmly), but any more advice would be great. What things should I avoid, what things are must do-s?

    You guys are great! Keep it coming!
    #22
  3. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Practice the basics using plastic containers as moulds, then apply release to the outside of the parts you have made, and lay up over them to get experience of whats needed for hassle free release of parts.

    If you have 40-50 hours into making a mould, and it wont release from the plug, its going to be a real bummer, so practice on things that dont matter first. Remember though that is you choose to use PVA the surface finish of parts isnt going to be that great, so its maybe best to avoid this if its difficult to manually final finish parts or tooling.
    #23
  4. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    hello , keep up the good work , ... i have just made my first part with carbon fibre , i made a leg "fairing " for my prosthetic leg , ... one practise one in fibre glass , then i made the cf one , ... made a mold of my other leg to get dimensions right , them made a front and back mold ... high gloss finish for the surface , wax on the mold release , lay up the cf into the mold , wait till it goes off , then "pop" comes right out ... heres some pics .
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    the molds
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    fresh out of the molds
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. Brad Felmey

    Brad Felmey Long timer

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    That's simply awesome. :clap

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  6. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Like Brad said! Very cool!

    Jim :brow
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  7. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I have really only read about wax and PVA being used. if PVA isn't used as a mold release agent, then what else could be used?

    I would hate to have a plug destroyed because the mold wouldn't come off, but I suppose that it could happen sometime.:eek1
    #27
  8. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Danm! I can't see the pictures here at work, but this sounds awesome. I can't wait to get home and check out your project.

    Stumpy, how did you loose your leg?
    #28
  9. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    The man in brown just dropped off a bunch of goodies here at my place of employment. Check out the links below to see what's included.

    Belt Sander: I needed something to trim up edges and flanges of the composite parts that we'll be making here pretty soon, and this seemed to be just the ticket. It is a Harbor Freight tool, so we'll see how it goes, but to be fair it has received some good reviews.
    For anyone that is interested in looking into this sander, check out the YouTube videos about tuning the tool. I'll also include some details about how it's working for me when I have a chance to sand some stuff with it.

    MAX CLR-HP Epoxy Resin: I chose this resin per the recommendation of Ebrabaek. If you guys don't remember who he is, check out the Resources in the first post of this thread. I guess he really likes this stuff.

    5.7 Oz 2x2 Twill CF Fabric: Second item down on the page. I was very surprised when I looked at this product for the first time. It was very well packaged, rolled on a stout cardboard roll, and securely wrapped in paper. The cloth is clean and looks very nice. This is the first time that I have ever seen CF in cloth form. :D

    8.5 Oz 2x2 Twill FG Fabric:
    5th item down on the page. The cloth seemed like it would be a good all around material to get started with. I have actually ordered some 1.5 oz mat, and some 4 oz plain weave E glass to compliment the 8.5. I'm hoping that these three options will allow me to practice making small molds and small parts.

    Mold Release Products: I purchased the top two items on the page: Partall #10 PVA, and #2 Paste Wax. Hopefully these work well enough. Fingers crossed.:evil

    I also picked up some mixing cups and stirring sticks, but nothing worth posting a link to.


    I ride the DR to work just about every day, so I'll have to make a trip in with the car to pick all the goodies up. Once I get everything back to the shop, I'll post some pics. I'm excited!!
    :clap
    #29
  10. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    hey rivermonster ..... make sure your mold is as smooooooth as possible , wax on 5 or so coats of release wax ... then i use a wet cloth with the pva on it and wipe all over the mold to give it a nice barrier,,, let it dry then add another pva layer .... let it dry ...very important !!! then start adding either your gelcoat or resin and cloth ..... good luck .

    as for how i lost my beautiful leg ...go to "face plant" forum and look at "my story"
    cheers
    #30
  11. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    i just noticed twinshocker said not to use the pva ...... my finish is very smooth and nice .... i guess the trick would be to keep the pva layers thin, so they dont leave an undesirable surface . ....just use a damp cloth . no worries
    cheers
    #31
  12. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    nice work stumpy-ktm.

    Always amazed how many people do not want a blingy leg. We're always covering them in foam and cosmetic skins which is terribly dull.
    #32
  13. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Get a dust collector ASAP if you're going to start grinding on composites.
    #33
  14. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    cheers pbg ... i cant stand the look of the foam covered pink leg ..... my real one is gone , i never want to try and look like the old leg .... i love this look and there are a couple of companies around the world who do sweet looking covers .... bespoke innovations in the states is one , and carbon stride in the uk is another ...

    sorry to change the thread ..... start making stuff in carbon fibre .... i want to try kevlar next
    #34
  15. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I'll try to take some photos of how we laminate sockets, materials are all about the same,

    Some S-Glass, some old school e-glass, I've seen some spectra layers added, but the straight carbon are interesting.

    There is a machine being used by a few fabrication labs that weaves a braid directly to the positive model of the limb, so the braid is custom to the socket which is slick, no more stretching cloths to get them to conform, but we'll never own the machine - sad.
    #35
  16. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Stumpy, I just saw the pics. Very nice work! Is this your first CF project?
    #36
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Good God, man! That is some story. The pictures of your x rays are crazy. I am very happy that you are still with us. It makes me happy that you are someone who really enjoys life. The photo of you in the wheel chair with the "I'm only in it for the parking" t shirt is priceless.

    Check out Stumpy's story here.
    #37
  18. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I have a shop vac that I plan on using to suck up all the dust from the sander. I was thinking of making some sort of scoop woth foam board mounted to the sander. On the back of the scoop, I'll tape in a length of PVC and connect my vacuum hose to the PVC. I also ordered a resperator, so that plus some safety glases should do it, right?
    #38
  19. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I would love to see some pictures of how you guys fab your parts. Any video of the custom braiding machine in action, PBG?
    #39
  20. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Honestly, if its me, you get a HF coupon and buy a dust collector.

    Shop VACs work OK, and as you mention if you confine the space so there is an airflow, you'll trap a lot of it.

    But any fiber product, be it glass or carbon itches like crazy. At work we'll try to cover any sq inch of skin, wear respirators, goggles, but you'll still be itchy.

    "all the dust" is a joke, if you are talking carbon and glass, you want to have as much dust recovery as is physically possible.
    #40