- Can you make carbon fibre stuff in your garage?
I busted up a derailleur hanger and had one made. The guy who made it refused any payment, but suggested I buy him a book. When I took the book round, he showed me his latest creation, which was a carbon fibre telescope and tripod.
Eminently doable, especially for you because you’ve got the interest and the think-about-stuff-a-lot characteristic!Posted 4 years agoallmountainventureMember
This guy does, down the road from me in benaocaz http://www.carbonbikes.es/index.php?route=product/category&path=59
Pretty nice stuff too.
Posted 4 years ago
I didn’t mean the arm rests were non structural, I meant that what I have in mind is non structural but could do with being as stiff and thin as the arm rests, which are carbon.
I saw a bloke on the telly laying cloth then spreading on a resin, and pressing it in a form. Might need baking though.. Hmm…Posted 4 years ago
What kit did you need?
It’s a lot easier now. You can buy stuff on line, and lots of info.
I started by buying carbon tubes and lugs and sticking it all together (not as easy as it sounds), then made my own tubes (carbon cloth wrapped around a foam core, and stuck it all together. Ideally you need someway of making (or buying) the metal bits, like drop outs and bottom brackets (I had access to a lathe and mill).
A vacuum pump helps, but you don’t need an oven.
It’s fairly easy to make parts, less easy to make them look ‘nice’ unless you make moulds (which you can with MDF).Posted 4 years ago
You need a vacuum
No you don’t – certainly not for non-structural stuff. I’ve done a fair amount of composite stuff (mostly with kevlar as I got a job lot from an ex-gfs dad who worked in testing bullet proof vests and stuff like that). Have never used a vacuum – simply loaded up with weight normally, though sometimes not even that. You’ll just end up with a bit more resin and so a bit lower strength/weight. Though you can also do tricks like wrapping in tape with pinholes to squeeze resin out.
Don’t think I’ve got any pics, but I guess the best thing I’ve made is a sandwich construction kevlar map-board with foam in the middle. As mentioned above I just loaded that up with weight (wrapped the board in carrier bags), and it is structurally strong enough to use as an improvised tri-bar.Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
I have a couple of sq m of 300g carbon fabric, some fibreglass mat and an out of date west epoxy pack sat in my garage waiting for me to pull my finger out and try one of the numerous projects on my to do list…
It can all be done just takes time, research and some planning.Posted 4 years agoirelanstMember
I did a fair bit a long time ago, mainly in glass but some carbon for model gliders. Most of the stuff was cloth over foam core with UD stiffeners which was then bagged and I used an old compressor from a fridge for the vacuum and a hotbox made from plywood and a fan heater to speed up the cure. I could get fairly accurate and repeatable results on the profile.
I did make some parts using female molds and bladders but unless you plan on making a lot then it’s a fair bit of effort and soul destroying if you don’t get the release prep right.
There is loads of information on model aircraft sites. Oh and microbaloons are one of the coolest things you will ever use.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve built foils for dinghies (foiling moths and fins for windsurf boards), I needed a vacuum, rather a really good vacuum pump which I borrowed from a boat builder…
Pre Formed Shape
Strong (1mm thick) vacuum bags
Suck, suck, suck, in room temp harden overnight.
😉Posted 4 years agomeehajaMember
Ok, so i know there were early issues with glue failures etc, but if its good enough for indy fab’s… how hard would it be to build a steel lugged, carbon fibre frame? Presumably its more complex than pushing the tubes in, adding a load of resin and keeping it somewhere hot?Posted 4 years ago
Without getting too complex 😆 from what I learned, it’s all about what bonding agent you use and the weave.
When doing the foils (pattern off an original (male/female sandwiched together) i had to soak four sheets of weave then lay it ontop of the releasing agent (white silicone stuff) then pour the bonding agent and nead through the weave, this was the hard bit as it’s bloody messy and you need gloves 😳 I used a squdge made out of wooden mallet. After pressing 4 male and 4 female weaves I sandwiched them together and clamped them hard, open both ends and two breathers in the mould, covered the whole “mould” with 1mm thick sealed plastci bag and then formed a nozzel for the vacuum which I placed midway along the mould. Enter a lot of suck at room temp and left to cure overnight. Came back the next morning to find some creep out of the mould (expected) and then opened out the mould and trimmed the foils down. Quite remarkably (for me) they came out straight and true with little trimming to be done. I then built up the top edge of the foil with move weave to fashion a union/junction for the tiller ext and did a similar thing to above except it was more freeformed and harder to vacuum well enough.
The fins were peasy compared to the foils so not really worth bothering to talk about.
I have bonded masts together and spar/shroud attachments/junctions without vacumming but to get the best bond vacuuming sucks out all the trapped air and oxygen nonsence that contributes to mass failure 😆Posted 4 years agoirelanstMember
I was thinking of making a mockup out of something bendy, and casting a male and female mould. Then I could squash the carbon between them both.
Your part might be suitable for that method but generally speaking I wouldn’t do that. I did try that method once and the results weren’t very good, I ended up with voids and lots of slippage between the layers of cloth (although that would depend on geometry). IMO, female mold with bladder, or male mold with vacuum bag is a much better method.Posted 4 years ago
Unless your happy producing pieces that are [comparatively] heavier and not as strong as they could be.
I said that. For most home builders, and particularly for non-structural stuff like molgrips wants it’s not that big an issue. Most of the air can be got out by good use of a roller/brush and use of weight/compression.Posted 4 years agospazzolinoMember
The process and the equipment you need will depend on a number of things:
Size of part, surface finish requirements, performance requirements, your budget, how much time you have and also how many general tools you have in your possession.
I can let give you step by step run down of what you need for the project and how to do it of you are serious.
You can pm me if you are interested.Posted 4 years ago
The male/female method will be hard to do at home, as the two moulds need to match up, with exactly the correct gap between, then you need the correct thickness of carbon, too much and where does it go, too little and it’s not in connect. One mould is much easier, and works if you only need one good surface (the face that is in contact with the mould), the other face is ‘uncontrolled’ but is often inside, so doesn’t matter what it looks like.
Someone mentioned carbon tubes into steel lugs, fine, but isolate the carbon from the steel (galvanic corrosion).Posted 4 years ago
Hmm.. the vacuum method requires me to source a pump of some kind.. which is a whole pre-project.
Hence why I’m explaining that you almost certainly don’t need one. My understanding is that the vast majority of kayaks are made without a vacuum pump (in general you pay a significant premium to get a vac bagged one).
How big is what you’re thinking of (or you could always tell us exactly what it is unless there’s IP involved – send me a message on FB and I’ll fill in a NDA for you if necessary!)? Various options for molds, if it’s small then you can use plasticene, or for something a bit bigger making a single composite mould using glass on your mockup for the good side (which is how kayaks are usually made). Then lay up on your mould (don’t forget mould release, though IME if you’re not that bothered about finish supermarket carrier bags work) and use sand and a weight to compress the other side.Posted 4 years ago
They would match up correctly, since I’d cast them both at the same time with a form.
However.. it woudn’t work easily, because I’d need to layer the fibres over the top of each other in different places because it’s quite a 3d shape.
The inside of the curve is important. So what I might do is get a foam block, scoop the inside of it out andcheck fit onto the bike, thereby making a female mould. Then I can cast a male form and proceed layering the carbon onto that. I reckon I can get away without vacuum, at least for aprototype.
I’d tell you what I’m planning but it’s such a simple and obvious thing that I’m amazed no-one’s thought of it yet (or produced it) and someone might just start rattling them off and remove any chance I have of making even a small bit of cash from it.
If someone’s already a dab hand at the fabrication I might cut them in to save hassle 🙂Posted 4 years ago
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