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 mentioned in a couple posts back that the mini fairing fisheyed again pretty bad when I was applying the finish layer of epoxy. This looked really bad, so I sanded back down to a fresh smooth surface to begin again.
    I rubbed in a very thin layer of epoxy using the Breabaek technique. It worked well. Here is the fairing this morning. It actually looks better then in this picture.
    [​IMG]

    While I was at it, I decided to try another paint scheme. Masking tape applied.
    [​IMG]

    Here the design has been drawn on the masking and cut out.
    [​IMG]

    After spraying the paint and a couple coats of clear, this is what we have. It's not perfect, but I learned a lot about applying a finish layer of resin, applying paint to that layer, and the effect that clear has on a resin finished carbon fiber part. These lessons are priceless.
    [​IMG]

    Which scheme do you like better?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now back to the DR exhaust shroud...

    I sanded the shroud plug smooth with 220, then 400 grit sand paper.
    [​IMG]

    I then sprayed a couple coats of rattle can clear coat on it. I'll spray more coats of clear, then wet sand it followed by buffing. Once I can achieve an A1 super smooth, shiney plug, only then we'll move on to laying up the mold.
    [​IMG]

    More to come soon...
  2. aiMhi

    aiMhi Now with Titanium

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    Nice man have fun with it. I like playing with composites as well it provides a creative outlet. Getting rid of bubbles in CF is very hard, it's all about keeping this warm. I actually warm it up a bit with my heat gun which makes it soak better into the CF. Large mfg actually stamp out their parts out of perfect flat pre made cf pieces.Just watch out for the CF dust it's lethal.
  3. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    It is a lot of fun. The more I learn, the more ideas I get. :D If only there were more time...

    Yeah, the pre-preg stuff that the pros use look cool, but that seems so much like an assembly line type of work - no spirit. We are able to get intimately involved with our composite projects, bubbles and all. I'm sure I'll get better at getting rid of the bubbles, and I'll keep the heat gun trick in mind.

    Ebrabaeck has reported that spraying just a bit of acetone on the first layer of epoxy helps some of the bubbles surface, as well as helping with surface tension somehow. Maybe he'll chime in a bit on how exactly he applies/sprays the acetone, and what it does.

    The CF dust is nasty. I spend a lot of time with a respirator or dust mask on. Better safe then sorry.:deal
  4. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Home Depot..... Spray bottle...... Fill with acetone..... A few squishes..... Just like if you are misting flowers..... Done.
  5. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    the clear CF. :D Any paint design over the CF doesn't look right to me.
    400 is a good start. When I painted my little trailer I went up to 2000 (wet, with a touch of soap in it) after every coat of paint and clear. The result with a super smooth finish and that is what you need to make a good plug and mold. Let me brag...I mean show you what I mean. :D

    From this

    [​IMG]

    To this. With spray cans.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have thought about using this trailer to make a form to create a longer version of this to tow behind my pickup when going camping. I like the wheels tucks under the body.
  6. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Earling! I'm all set with the acetone sprayer for the exhaust mold and layup. I'll report back on how it works.

    That little trailer is awesome, 100! Very nice job! It's kind of amazing what quality you can get with rattle can paint.

    I hear ya about getting an A1 finish for a plug which brings us to my next post. Read below. :deal

    Twin-Shocker, are you with me?? :wink:
  7. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I took some time this morning to finish the exhaust shroud plug. I wanted an A1 finish as it's called.

    This is a sample of the finish before I started sanding and polishing. Notice the nice orange peel finish.
    [​IMG]

    Next I sanded with 800, 1500, 2000, then buffed with buffing compound, then polish. The results are fantastic.

    The overhead lights reflect almost like a mirror.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    So we went from a semi rough (nicked, scratched) shroud, to a smoothed, and polished plug.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    The idea is that when I paint on the coat of epoxy onto the plug when I begin to make the mold, the very smooth shiney surface of the plug will be transfered to the epoxy surface. That smooth, shiney mold surface will then in turn allow me to creat a CF part that also has a very smooth and shiney surface. The finish work shows through to all parts. We'll see how it goes...

    Comming soon... Making the mold from the polished shroud plug. Good times!!! :D
  8. kirkster70

    kirkster70 moto junkie

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    Very nice work! I am really enjoying your thread!

    I find it simply amazing what I can learn by reading the threads in this forum. Thanks for taking the time to post up as you go.


    Keep up the good work! :freaky
  9. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Kirkster! I am really enjoying doing this stuff and sharing it with you all. Don't forget to check out all the resources on the first page for WAY mor learning. Ebrabaek's posts are my primary motivation. He has done a lot for the DIY composites scene here on ADV and TT.

    If you are thinking about giving this a shot, do it! Don't wait any longer. If it looks hard to you, it's not. I'm serious about this. Like Nike says, Just Do It! :D

    If you have any questions about how to get started, just post them up here on the thread.
  10. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    thanks!
    and POW! You hit a home run. That looks fantastic and will make a great mold. Did you notice how the 2000g paper was smooth then suddenly started to "stick" to the surface? I am only guessing but it seems that the last of the orange peel creates a suction to the sandpaper and it suddenly disappears and become like glass. I knew I was almost done sanding when that happened!
    I am looking forward to seeing the finished part.
  11. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Regarding the acetone spray.... Have a look here.... It about cover many items, as it takes you through a complete cycle....

    <a href="<iframe width=" 560"="" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eaakqJg1lsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">"><a href="<iframe width=" 560"="" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eaakqJg1lsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eaakqJg1lsU" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>
  12. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks 100. I want to do a good job on this part. There's a lot left to do, so we'll see how it goes.

    I did notice the suction effect with the 2000 grit. It's kind of a funny thing.:D



    Thanks again, earling!
  13. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I decided to lay up the mold for the exhaust shroud today, but I had a big issue to deal with that I didn't think about before. Holes...

    These holes.
    [​IMG]

    So I decided that I would stuff the cavity below the shroud with grocery bags...
    [​IMG]

    And use non drying clay to fill the holes.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I waxed the plug with Partall paste wax...
    [​IMG]

    ...followed by a couple coats of PVA.
    [​IMG]

    With my workstation all set I got started. I applied the first coat of epoxy...
    [​IMG]

    ...and used some of the yarn from the fiberglass cloth to fill the corner between the plywood and the part.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I layed up 5 layers of 8.5 OZ 2x2 twill fiberglass fabric over the plug. This is the finished result.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am really concerned about bubbles. Look at this picture; there's lots of those little guys in there.
    [​IMG]

    Now that I am gaining some experience, I made sure to have an ample supply of Coors Banquet beer with me. :1drink

    Now we'll let the layup sit for a day or so, then pop it off, trim it up, clean it up, and hopefully lay up a cf part soon.
    [​IMG]

    Thoughts:

    Making a quality plug has been a great experience and great practice. I think that the mold will turn out OK, but not great because of bubbles.

    I had thought that I would just make molds from epoxy, but the more experience that I get, the more gell coat and chopped strand mat makes sense to me as mold making components.

    I think that I'll order up some poly tooling gell coat and some mat for the next mold project.

    Anyhow, more to come soon!!:evil
  14. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Thought I'd share this picture. Just today started a new project.....and only used water, and soap to clean the part ( plastic Beak from a F800GS) and then release agent (two layers) then two layers of Max Clr-Hp.... No orange peel, after the two layers of clear coat....... that,s after the beak has seen over 3 years on the road......

    [​IMG]

    Until then....
  15. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Nice!

    What kindo of soap did you use?
    Two coats of PVA, right?
    How long after application of the resin to the part did you snap this pic?
    Did you follow up the resin with glass or carbon?
    Is this the 800 beak extension that I have read about? If yes, are you posting a thread?
    Also, that resin looks pretty bubble free. How'd you manage that?

    Rock on, man! :clap
  16. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Ironically, the first few seconds after acetone spray, it will orange peel, but it auto levels after 30-60 seconds.

    Yes... new thread...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=678072
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Earling, when you degas the resin with vacuum, does it help keep the bubbles out a lot, or are a lot more introduced when you brush the resin on?

    Were you in the process of making a mold in the pic you posted?
  18. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Yes.....
  19. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Sweet!!! I can't wait to see more of your process.

    I popped the mold this morning and it looks pretty good besides a number of bubbles (now holes) in the surface of the mold. I have some Cabosil on the way, but I may just mix some talc with epoxy to fill the holes, sand, spray with clear coat, sand, polish and then lay up the carbon. Of course I'll post pics of the popped mold and the finishing process...

    I need a vacuum pump now...:wink:
  20. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vacuum-Cham.../140863871284?pt=BI_Pumps&hash=item20cc241934