Author Topic: How to make carbon fiber parts  (Read 1898 times)

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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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How to make carbon fiber parts
« on: February 28, 2016, 09:21:24 AM »
I wish there was a project forum here in HTT, but will post it in here instead.
I enjoyed Max’s air cleaner post and I decided that it was time to make a front cover for mine.
I made this air cleaner several years ago and as you can see it needs to be polished and is open.



I know a lot of guys run open cleaners with no problems but if I get caught in the rain my bike starts acting up, in a really hard rain or if I run through any deep water I can be sitting on the side of the road, so time for a little front protection to keep the water out.
I like Max’s solution but my medium of choice it carbon fiber. Yea sounds exotic but if you have ever done any fiberglass work you can do CF.
First let’s talk about Carbon Fiber (CF,) and how it is molded. There are several types of CF and the two main ways that you can use it. We have all see video of CF going into the oven or autoclave to set the CF, yes this is one way to do it, that CF has the resin impregnated into it (Prepreg), so you lay the CF up inside your mold, wrap inside a vacuum bag and the pressure and heat inside the autoclave activates the epoxy. The advantages it that the part is extremely thin and very light weight. The disadvantages well the average guy cannot afford this for a one off part.
The second way is to use epoxy and non prepreg CF, it is the same CF just does not have the pre-impregnated heat set epoxy in it.
I use the West system epoxy, you get the 105 epoxy then use a hardener to suit the weather or how long a working time you want.
I am going to use the 205 hardener, it is a fairly fast set up time and for such a small part and cold weather will give about twenty min set up.
The CF that I am using is 2x2 twill, it has the traditional herring bone look, two over two under with the pattern offset by one.



It also matches my bags.



I picked up one yard on eBay for about thirty bucks, I won’t use even half of it.
When we usually think of fiberglass or carbon fiber we think of using a mold, this is great for production run where every part needs to be the same and you factor in time.
You make a prototype and make a mold from the part. For a one off part I am not making a prototype, I am going to use my air cleaner as a plug/pattern and make my part over it.
So the first thing I want to do is tape off my cleaner and make a small air passage so that the air can still get to the front, side and bottom of the filter. I have had this shipping foam sitting in my cabinet for several years just for something like this.





I want a small area on the sides for air passage.





Cut it.



I want to bevel the edges so that the carbon fiber is not bent at a 90 degree angle.



Sand it smooth



And  it is ready to go on.


I don’t know the photo limit so I will stop here and need to get more done.
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Offline masstch

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 12:54:25 PM »
Thanks for posting this! Just the kind of stuff I can get into.
Rhetorical questions, who still does those?

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 03:34:22 PM »
Masstch, thanks, glad you are enjoying it, I got a little more done and had time to write some so, going forward we cover the air cleaner with duct tape.



Cover that with double side tape.





Then stick on your foam and cover everything with paper tape.





Put a coat of wax on the tape to work as a releasing agent, (sorry no photo for that my battery on my gopro died.)
Now we are ready for carbon fiber.
Mix up your epoxy, the west system uses a pump so one pump for epoxy one for harder.



Start painting your plug.



For the low spots I am using a thicken filler, this is 406 Colloidal Silica, used a lot of time for surf boards.





Then your carbon fiber





Gently push it into the epoxy.



Carbon fiber is much easier to work than fiberglass, pulling stretches it, squeezing it shrinks it, here I am pulling it around the corner.



Then give it a top coat gently pushing it into the plug.



Then let it set up, cure and trim any wild hairs.



Now you are ready for the second layer, more when I get farther along
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 03:39:01 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline harleytuner

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 03:45:24 PM »
Awesome work.  Thanks for taking the time. I'm looking forward to the rest
Enjoying the hell out of my "hotted" up twincam

Offline Breeze

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 03:47:55 PM »
Steve; I'm happy to be able to follow along on another project of yours.
I think I'll just stay home today, it looks too peoplely out there.

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 06:05:22 PM »
Harley Tuner, Breeze, thanks.
 I am a day behind on my writing, got it popped off and more done will post more when I have time. I just wanted to show what my hands look like after working all day with epoxy with black dye.
I am almost out of acetone, (best for cleaning off epoxy) and have been saving it for my brush instead of my hands.

At least it is just my fingers not the whole hand, thanks fingerless gloves.
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 02:50:28 PM »
I got a little more done, and even caught up on my writing, got the second layer on.
For the second layer you want to coat your part with epoxy, this bonds the second to the first and helps with wetting in, it is going down farther in the front so coat that also.



Put on your second layer.



We are going down farther in the front so add a layer there.



And then let it cure.



And we are ready to pop it off, start by trimming any extra, notice the metal between the cover and the backing plate, do not want to cut into that, especially on the front cover.



I pulled the bolts out of the cleaner and now going to pull the back plate out.
I wish the photos had sound, it was something like, AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHCOMEONYOUSOMEOFA…..POP



And the air cleaner element.
Whenever you cast any part in a mold or over a plug you always need to plan on how you are going to part the two.



To get it ready for the shaping, I re-tape my cleaner, and pop the,,,, geees don’t know what to call my cover/rain guard, I guess rain guard.
So pop your rain guard back on.





 I want to do my final shaping before giving it another layer of CF, I do not want to use Bondo, that would be sacrilegious. so I am using the epoxy with the silica thickener.
This stuff is supper light, the whole can weighs practically nothing and it gives structural strength at the same time.
You mix it up the consistency that you like, I am adding a little black dye that you use in fiberglass gel coat.
I am using black because this might be the last coat of CF, and CF has a tendency of showing the coat underneath, especially where it is stretched.





You let that cure pop it back off and start sanding





You are only trying to get it to shape and not go into the CF, I did go through the CF in one spot but it had the filler underneath so no problem.
Then you give it another finish coat, this is just to fill in the very low spots and not a buildup coat.



I trimmed off a little to much on the front of the rain cover, and cut off to much on the side so I just added some and re applied a layer of filler.



I am letting that cure now, getting close to adding the last layer. The part is super light, I would call it egg shell light and very thin. Everything you are usising is light, even the filler is feather light and you are using as little epoxy as necessary.
It has a little flex to it I would compare it to flexing like ABS plastic. I am going to try to only add one more layer, I think it will be stiff enough then and very strong.
I don’t want it to stiff since it is not going to be attached just going to pop on so it needs a little flex, and it is not a structural part so………
The weather here has been beautiful, a little cold over the weekend, so that effect the cure time, and in all honesty that takes the longest just waiting for things to cure.
Later,,,, when I have more time, and get more done, HC
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 04:27:13 PM »
The filler has dried, so here is a real quick look at the general shape of the cover.



It will be trimmed back about a half inch, a quarter moon style, I want the shape to match the streamline/teardrop style.
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Offline masstch

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 10:31:52 AM »
That looks fantastic. You're giving me ideas!
Rhetorical questions, who still does those?

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 04:17:24 PM »
masstch, thanks it is coming along nicely
I got the last layer of CF on, this time I turned the bias of the material, there are two reasons to do this first the direction of the thread decides which way is stiff, the tread does not want to bend so if it is straight then that is stiff, if it is at a 45 then it has more of a tendency to bend, so every other layer is 1/8 turned to put the thread at a 45 degree from the lower level.
Its like plywood, quarter turning the grain makes a stronger board, in the CF you 1/8 turn the material.
The other reason is that the material will pull and stretch if you pull it at the corners.
   


So on the top drawing if you pull right or left the material will not stretch same way for top to bottom. When you try to wrap that around a round surface the thread will not stretch or shrink.
On the bottom drawing when you wrap it around the round part you can shrink it in the front and on the side.
When you pull the corners the material shrinks together. So it is easer to wrap around a round surface.
Kind of like Chinese hand cuffs.



Hope that made since.
So here it turned 1/8 turned, notice the corner in the bottom.



You can see the treads shrunk together as it wraps around, ( don’t confuse the look of the pattern to the actual threads)



On the last coat you do not wet the CF in, you let it set up and get tacky and keep pressing it as it sets up, the epoxy gets sticky and just before it sets you make sure it is pressed in.
Then one last coat of epoxy to set overnight.


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Offline masstch

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 06:22:13 PM »
Can't wait to see it done.
Rhetorical questions, who still does those?

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 03:17:46 PM »
Ok got a little more done, after your epoxy and CF sets up you go ahead and trim the excess off, I use a Drimel with a cut off wheel.
Then you need to fill in all the cloth, so another coat of epoxy. Not going to show all this you have seen the pictures same technique.
Then you start to smooth out the epoxy, being careful to not sand through the CF. If you look at the picture just to the right of my sand paper at the edge you can see where I am into the cloth so it needs another coat of epoxy to bring up the low spots and re sand.



So a couple of more sandings and coats and I am ready to trim the shape, I am using a hub cap for the arc.


And cut it with the Drimel.



Sand the edges smooth to even out the edges and we are almost ready for a clear coat.
At this point the part is eggshell thin and light and it just pops on and off, I am sure it would hold my weight but no reason to test this. I am not sure if I will run it all the time or just pop it on when it rains.
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2016, 01:01:35 PM »
I got a little farther along, the Rain guard is almost done; here is a real quick look on the filter and a little water to show the CF pattern. It also shows up any amine blush, a whitish material that if not removed will give the finished part a white splotchy color.
I also did a little more trimming and shaping with sanding.



One of the main problems with Carbon fiber it the degradation of the epoxy, both impregnated and with the non-impregnated. So it needs to be protected from UV and moisture, we do that with a clear coat.
You can use a rattle can lacquer, I am going to use urethane with a hardener, this is a regular automotive grade clear. The urethane holds up ten times longer than anything else you can use. I use it all the time, even on wood that is going outside, this stuff is tough.
I am putting it on using my old air brush to give it a good heavy coat.
A little secret about spraying urethane is to give it a tack coat and let it flash, each coat is heaver and if you let it flash between coats the dryer coat pulls the thinner out of the topcoat so that it does not run.
As soon as you spray on your next coat it thickens up almost immediately.
We put on twice as much as needed because we will color sand half of it off.



I am letting it dry now next is to color sand and rub it out it, also need to polish my aluminum.
More when I get more done.
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2016, 01:42:26 PM »
The air cleaner is almost done, only needs the clear color sanded and rubbed out, I am starting a new project and will finish both of them at the same time.
So the new project, I live in north FL, and ride a lot in hot weather. Plus I do a lot of touring in hot weather and drink a lot of water.
Nothing less rewarding than drinking warm water, and let’s face it cold water last about five minutes on your handle bars. Yea I know all about camel backs insulated cups, trust me nothing keeps water cold for more than a few miles.
So the solution, an electronic drink cooler.
I picked up this on E-bay for twenty bucks.





It is an electronic drink cooler that plugs into the USB port of your computer. It has a thermal electric cooling module. (TEC) or Peltier cooler.
Yea pretty ugly, right.
The TECs are pretty cool, yea pun. They use electricity to remove heat, or add heat depending on which way the current flows. It has a switch that either cools or heats so how about keeping your coffee hot, just flip the switch.
The TEC are not very efficient, about ten percent, compared to compressor refrigerators at around fifty, but because of their size and power source they are very convenient for small coolers, often used in computers to cool components, like chips or transformers.
They work by using two different types of metals, one with more electron orbits then the other as the electrons move from one metal to the next and go to a higher orbit it takes energy with it in the form heat. Moving heat from one side to the other.
Ok enough of the science lesson on to the photos.
Did I mention this thing is ugly, so let’s add some carbon fiber to make it cool, yea, sorry another pun;-)

Of course any good mechanic know before we can fix it we need to tear it up.



Out comes the guts, I cut one wire and the other just came off, so will re solder when installing. The wires are black and red and if reversed like I said will just be opposite cold in hot.
I don’t want it to open and I want a hole in the top so that my water bottle just sticks in, soooooo……



This is an old oscillating sander with 80 grit sanding disk, to finish it out.



And drink holder.



First I want to paint it black so a little rattle can.



Well Mrs. Cruiser just walked it and said we are going to the kids for grandkids birthdays so sorry guys more important things to do than HTT, so more later.
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2016, 06:15:01 PM »
Goodness, how did I ever get grandkids fourteen years old and they are not the oldest, gees time flies.
Anyway I wanted to paint the cooler black because there is only going to be one coat of carbon fiber, and I don’t want the red showing through.
This would be considered a wrap, yea want it to be stronger and using it to keep the door closed but still just a wrap.
Next we want to Cut the carbon fiber (CF)



Paint on your epoxy.



And wrap your CF around it.



Press it in good, and estimate how long to cut the back side, since I left it long, you want it to overlap a half inch or so.
Then just keep pressing it into the epoxy as it sets as it gets tacky it will start to grab.
This plastic appears to be PP, polypropylene or PC, Polycarbonate but cannot see any marking, plastics have their own unique problems especially when it comes to adhering things to them.
Since this is going to wrap completely around there is no chance of delamination.
If you were going just half way around then that is a different story.
On the top lip the cooler has a dip, so for that I wrap it with plastic and then some string to pull it tight. The plastic will not stick,0 this is kind of like vacuum bagging.



You can see there is plenty on the top, which will be trimmed down later.
On the bottom you can see I cheated a little, I pulled out the threads that run around the cooler, this way the horizontal threads will push in very easy and stick so no need for the wrapped plastic here and since it is on the bottom so who cares.
Yea except me:-)



As the epoxy sets up before it gets hard you want to cut the door out where the TEC and fan go, getly pull it apart so the knife will go in then use a sawing action.
Take your time.




Well that is about where I am at, I put on a couple of layers of epoxy, it might need one more before I start sanding, the shell is getting very stiff, much stiffer than with just the plastic.
More when I get more done, HC.
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Offline masstch

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2016, 10:34:40 AM »
So, what's it gonna cost me to get your next one?
Rhetorical questions, who still does those?

Offline GunShyKennedy

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2016, 04:19:56 PM »
You're mad.  :idea: :wink:
I like the rain cover.  :up:
No, I love the rain cover.  :up: :up:

Great work. Thanks for sharing.
Sometimes it is worth looking in the Vendors Forum.
cheers,
richo

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2016, 05:18:37 AM »
So, what's it gonna cost me to get your next one?

Masstch, I don’t write these articles to sell my projects, I write them to encourage and share how anyone can make them for themselves.
That is the nice thing about making custom parts, you have something no one else has.
If you really want one, it would look fine just painted black or later on I am going to show how it could be covered in leather that would be very easy to do.
You're mad.  :idea: :wink:
I like the rain cover.  :up:
No, I love the rain cover.  :up: :up:

Great work. Thanks for sharing.
Sometimes it is worth looking in the Vendors Forum.

Thanks, I like being a little mad in this world;-)
I got a little more done, after the part is separated you need to clean it up since there will be epoxy on the edges and the vents are covered.



These vents are very important, the cooler gives off a lot of heat, the TEC has a heat sink and a fan on the bottom (I will go into this later) and needs a lot of air circulation, you could just cut boxes but here in Florida we have a lot of bugs so I am cutting the slots and cleaning it up with a Dremel.
Put on a couple more layers of epoxy, I am not using any fillers in the epoxy so it goes on very thin that is why so many layers. And then start your sanding.



Like I stated before you want the epoxy thick enough so that when you sand you do not sand through the CF. One last coat to fill in the low spots.



And that is where we are at, I love these small project that you can work on a little at a time, that you can pittle around on I find them very relaxing and challenging, especially projects that don’t keep your bike out of commission since my bike is my daily transportation.
Going to try to get more done today, so later.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 05:21:36 AM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2016, 02:06:14 PM »
I want to show a couple of photos cleaning it up.







And it is ready for clear coat.
I am not sure where I want to put it, on the bike.
And have no idea how to mount it yet.
I think next to the windshield where it would get a updraft from below, although I would have to make sure the fan on the bottom is blowing that way.





We are going to change direction a little.
I want to do all my carbon fiber projects at once, and I want to change my grips.
I put these on about two years ago.



They are crock (caiman), yea the real thing, I like them but I live in Florida, and in all honesty leather is just not practical, especially things you can’t take off and take in the house.
And they just do not fit the style of my bike.
They cover electrical heated grips that I made about seven years ago. I made them out of a used electric blanket that I stripped the wires out of. I played around until I got the right lengths to get the temperature that I wanted, and then wrapped three rows around the grip.
The green is twine to keep the three wires even.



They work perfect, they are on a switch with a high and low setting, they are very warm. Anyway I put these on about seven years ago with a real thin faux gater, that worked great but started to look like ,,,,,.
So I replaced them with the real thing and this leather is so much thicker than the faux stuff that they just do not get hot enough. In all honesty took off the right one a year ago and been running it without anything except the wires, yes tacky.
And the leather is starting to fade so either re dye or replace so off they come, on with carbon fiber.



They were glued on with clear silicone caulk, that stuff sticks very well and makes an excellent adhesive.





For the ends I epoxied this scrap piece of CF on a flat piece of plastic so that it came off.



Then cut it the size of the ends.



Then I glue it on, I am mixing the epoxy real thick using a lot of filler. The ends will be two layers thick the rest probably just one.







Let that harden then fill in any voids using the thick stuff.





The great thing about CF over fiberglass is how easy it is to wrap around corners it will do thing glass won’t even think about.



And that is where I am at, later.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 02:09:26 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline GunShyKennedy

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2016, 03:30:42 PM »
Never thought about CF grips.
Had lever covers and grips made from Aust Croc about 25 years ago. They too were very thick, very effective.
Made the levers nearly impossible to grab with small hands.

Now those heated grips are very cool, no pun intended.
Thanks again for sharing this stuff.

Yes, the fiddling about can be therapeutic. I seem to go through phases of developing small improvements.

cheers,
richo

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2016, 01:37:57 PM »
Kennedy, The heated grips are one of my favorite projects, but let me warn you that is one project that is best not to talk about before you do it. I got comments like “that will take a long extension cord.”
And these images were posted.



I had one guy post to be careful if they short out they can give you quite a jolt if you are wearing gloves in the rain.
Of course I felt he was ,,,,,,,,”exaggerating,” because everyone know you can’t get shocked badly with12v, so I got challenged to try it.



And of course there was nothing, not even a tingle; yea the roach clip was not fun but no shock.
Then.



It dang near put me on the floor, gosh I hate ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, well you know.
I had to give the “you were right, I was wrong speech”
Ok enough mumbling about past project, back to our current projects, I had thought about replacing the grips with more leather. Then it dawned on me that CF would be thinner and blend in better.  Also I have an easy pull clutch, and my bike has 180 miles on the original clutch. It is dragging slightly, and know that my lever is hitting the grip enough to cause a problem, so this should solve that problem also.
I feel it is important to say that I am not a fiberglass or Carbon fiber expert, just a guy who likes to try new stuff, and I am making up how I do this as I go.
So don’t take my procedures as gospel and get into any arguments using me as an expert:-)
Moving along, for the outside layer, and for the next project I need a clean flat surface to coat the CF with epoxy.
So dig out my worn out old mirror that is more of a window than mirror and give it a good cleaning with soap and a razor.



Then give it a good waxing with Johnston paste wax.



Then cut out and I am going to glue around the edges and let it get tacky.



I want it just past tacky but not stiff. The hardest part about working with CF, especially if you are using it for the pattern is keeping the lines straight and the edges ravel out really easy just by handling it, so if you cut it, expect the first two or three thread to come out.

Now the treads are locked in with the epoxy, but still flexible to cut to size.

 
A neat trick is to pull a string, and then cut on the void.



Apply the epoxy with filler.
(not sure why my photos are so bad, looks like I need a new phone.)



Then wrap your CF, and then I have wrapped it with plastic and used paper tape to hold it tight.


Let it cure then trim any loose ends and long spots.



The grips are just a little lumpy because of the heat wires, and I expected that, so it will take a little work getting them smooth.
The good part is that they are getting real hot with the grips turned on.
So that problem solved. By the way, with the grips on the epoxy cures in half the time, kind of like using an autoclave.
While I have mirror out I want to get started on the next project covers for my floor board.
For this I need flat panels that are smooth on the top, and do not want to put a clear coat on that it will get scratched.
The epoxy is much a much harder surface.
You could compare this to walking on a fiberglass boat vs walking on the hood of your car:-0



Yea the photo is sideways, you get the point.
So that is where I am at, later.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 01:42:51 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline masstch

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2016, 06:49:54 AM »
*subscribed*    I love this stuff.
Rhetorical questions, who still does those?

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2016, 07:47:02 PM »
I rode the bike to work this am, and it was a little cooler, (55) and could check out the heated grips, they work much better, the clutch also works better, was able to find neutral sitting still, so very pleased.
I am letting that sit and cure more, it was still a little sticky, I did give it a couple more coats of epoxy.
I started back on the rain guard, sanding the clear coat getting ready to color sand and buff.



It is going to need more work, I sanded through in several places, so need to clear it again.
You can't see in the photo but in one place I even got into the CF.
As you are sanding you need to watch the sanded area for any color changes. The clear looks different than the epoxy and if you start seeing a pattern you are into the CF
You have to expect this, this part would be considered a prototype, even though it is the only one that I am making.
Normally you would be using a filler to get a perfect surface; we do not have that luxury.



I cant get over how light this part is, like I described earlier, like a egg shell.
I also sanded on the cooler some more, it is ready for clear coat, I will spray both at the same time.
I am not going to worry about the cooler as much as the other parts since it is up under the windshield and not seen much, and it is really not part of the bike.
At least I am saying that now, we will see.
Later
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 07:50:48 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2016, 01:51:03 PM »
I want to show what I am doing, not CF related but Mrs Cruiser picked up this water bottle for the cooler.



I want to insulate the sides some with a leather koozie.
I just want a real simple design just my name.
So lay it out on InDesign or any program with fonts.
This is cooper black.



Measure your bottle, a real quick tip, use a scrap piece of leather instead of a tape measure then measure your scrap it is more accurate.




This is a real inexpensive piece of leather, and pretty thin I think three or four ounces.
It has scars and water stains but that adds to the character of leather.
The leather will make more sense when I get a little farther along on the cooler because that is how I am going to finish off the top of it.



Cut your piece to size.




I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, and in all honesty the longer that I do leather work the better I like it kept simple.
Once you have it cut out, you wet it pretty good, then put a piece of plastic between the leather and the pattern, then trace around the pattern with a ink pen.



You can see I am not an artist.



Keeping the leather damp is real important, then depending on the pattern you start using your leather stamps, this is a background stamp. It is real small to get into tight places.
You can get these from tandy leather or ebay for seven bucks.
That or make one out of a nail or anything to just dent the leather.



Once you get your pattern done then it is time for the stitching, I am going to use a saddle stich with the leather overlaid.
So need some holes, this is a lacing hole punch but you can use nail if you don’t have one this is just easer and I have it.



You can see the leather is pretty thin by the way it waves.
Now we start the stitching, the saddle stich is a real simple but basic stich, easy to use and strong.
You start at one end go down through both then to the next hole and up, go all the way to the end and then start back the other way.
You can also use two needles to do the same thing and for this job that would have been easier.
Instead I have just left it loose so that I can get to the needle when it is inside the cover.



When you are done then just go back and pull the tread tight every other loop from one side to the other and back again.



After its tight run your thread into the inside from both directions and tie them off/trim.



And there is you water bottle koozie for your custom Harley water bottle cooler:-)



It is still wet, and it will shrink and fit better as it dries and ages. I might put some sort of finish on it not sure yet.
Not crazy about the blue , might pick up something more Harley colored, but doubt they make them in black.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 01:53:53 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: How to make carbon fiber parts
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2016, 05:22:34 PM »
The next thing I want to work on is the floor boards, I made these floor boards years ago, I love them because you can slide your feet around and get comfortable on long trips.
I did not want banana boards because everyone does that.
During the biker build off shows Paul Cox rode into the shop with leather covers on his floor boards and was so impressed that I wanted mine the same way.
I have had several different covers over the years.
    




But let’s face it leather is just not practical in Florida, yea they look good for the first year and I had planned on replacing them that often but you know how that goes.
So now it is time for the leather to go.
But before I do the CF covers for the floor boards I need a heel guard/heat shield.
Before we were using parts for plugs making prototypes and wrapping parts, for this I want to show how to use molds.
This is going to be a one off parts so I want to find something slightly larger than the exhaust, a three inch PVC pipe works perfect.
We are going to mold the part on the inside because I want the outside smooth so first we coat the pipe with wax, then a layer of PVA (poly vinyl acetate).
This is a releasing agent, that when painted on acts as a thin layer of plastic that just peels off.
I probably did not need it here since the inside of the pipe is so slick but have it so used it, it dries vey quick.
Then paint the inside with epoxy.



Then two layers of CF.



I also want some angle made of CF so using an old piece of scrap angle. Two layers of CF.
There is packing tape on the angle iron.



Let them cure and pop them out.



The heal guard will not be nearly this big but here is a look see. Notice how smooth the piece is coming out of the mold, this is the biggest advantage of using one, especially production parts.
Also notice how bad the leather looks, from the Florida rain storms.



Here are the two pieces clamped together.



A little epoxy between the two and ready for more trimming, two layers trims very easy with snips.



It still needs more trimming, I don’t want it that tall, and the ends will be rounded more, it will also have a second mount farther up in front, then the whole thing will have a couple more layers in the back to strengthen it.
Thinking maybe even some holes.
One layer is very flimsy, two is pretty stiff, three very stiff and four you can’t bend.
So need at least four maybe more at the bend on the mount.
FYI four layers is about an eighth of an inch thick.



And that is where we are at.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 06:33:48 PM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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