Tutorial: How I make Carbon fiber parts

  1. rebel's Avatar
    rebel rebel is offline I heard you like Carbon Fiber BRO!
    How To, DIY

    How I make Carbon fiber parts

    Flat peices are easy, when you put angles or curves in it have fun
    Estimated Time
    The peices here took about 2 hours, not counting curing time
    Skills Required
    Parts Required
    Epoxy (there is special epoxy for CF)
    Carbon Fiber Cloth
    Scotch Tape
    Foam or equivalent material
    Tools Required
    Titanium Scissors (Carbon Fiber is hell on regular scissors)
    Box cutter or exacto knife
    Gonna show you guys how I found an easy way to make parts with angles in them.

    First thing I always do is draw everything out using your CAD program to make sure you will get everything right.
    Forgot to save the file when I was done so no pics sorry.

    Then I got some foam to make the shapes that I am going to make.Next I cut the foam to the Dimensions to make the part.
    Cover the intire part so none of the foam is showing, using scotch tape.
    I also use the tape to hold together several peices to get the currect dimensions needed.
    Next you cover the tape with wax. This put a layer on the tape so it doesnt bound with the CF when the epoxy is curing.
    Make sure the wax dries before you put any epoxy on the part!!!

    Cut sheets of Carbon Fiber cloth that is about ten percent larger then needed, just incase.
    When you cut the cloth put a single peice of scotch tape on the cloth, do not put a peice of tape on both sides.(for some reason that causes issues)
    You want to also have a small peice of tape on the edges, all the way arround, this helps to make sure the cloth doesnt come apart.
    You want to make sure you have your vacum bag set up before you go any further, or it will get sloppy.

    I do this part allot differant then what they say on the net.
    I bought a food vacum sealer kit at Walmart, it makes it so much easier.
    I used the big size bags to put the parts in when they are ready.

    Make sure you have gloves on before mixing epoxy.
    I set everything up on my work table, with a couple trash bags on it to keep things clean.

    Next you mix the epoxy. (You have about an hour before it will not be usable)
    Then put a thin coat on the part, dont have to put it where the CF does not touch.For the first peice of cloth you put on, the epoxy will hold the cloth in place.
    The rest of the peices I taped in place so they would not move.Once you have all the layers of cloth in place and not moving you can put more epoxy on.
    I like to slowly put the epoxy on, in layers, so I use as little as I can. (If you put to much on you need to sand it off when cured)When you get all the epoxy on that you need, you can put the part in the vacum bag.
    I like to work out as much air as I can here, and work out all the bubbles I can as well.
    Then just turn the vacum on.
    Also when it is sucking, work out all the bubbles.

    It takes about 12 hours for the peice to cure.(I usaully wait a day before handling it)

    If there any inperfections you can just sand them out with sand paper.
    You want to use the highest one you can untill you get to 2000 grit.
    When done sanding put a super small layer of epoxy on the peice, then use a swegy to get as much epoxy off as you can. Cover it with part of one of the vacum bags and wait to cure.

    First time trying to do this so if I cunfused anyone or made any mistakes sorry.

    Hope this can help anyone trying to make any CF
    Attached Files
    • IMG_0077
    • IMG_0078
    • IMG_0079
    • IMG_0080
    • IMG_0081
    • IMG_0085
    • IMG_0082
    • IMG_0083

Replies to Tutorial: How I make Carbon fiber parts
  1. Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Redondo Beach, California

    Re: How I make Carbon fiber parts

    There is a completely different method I've used it requires more work but after some effort you can mass produce very high quality parts. You make a female mold, place the carbon five inside pour over the epoxy them clamp down the mold with a c-clamp. Mold making takes time and for complex shapes you need to make them in three or more sections that come a parts. But simple molds are VERY easy. For example your carbon sticks, find some aluminum channel fill the inside with your cloth wrapped foam then place a wood stick into the c-channel and compress with weights or clamps. When you are done the carbon part will be as smooth as the inside of the aluminum channels.

    I build a number of 4 meter racing kayaks in one sided molds the the exterior of the boat when against the mold and the valium bag inside.

    So there are three ways to go
    1) you method where the bag touches all of the final part
    2) A finished mold touches one side of the final part and a bag on the other
    3) two finished molds.

    #3 is very hard for complex shaps but easy for beam and struts
    #2 is best for shapes like boat hulls, helmets and truck fenders

    Vacum works good but other methods like c-clamps are far easier, I'd only use vacuum for odd shape (like the kayak hulls and decks). You are limited by only a few PSI but I knew a buddy who used a hydraulic bottle jack in a frame and got tons of pressure on small parts. The goal is to squeeze out all the epoxy you can leaving mostly carbon. Professionally they use high pressure autoclaves.

    BTW they make MUCH better foam that is engineered for this. Look in the dumpster at the local surf board shop. Or make your own from a very thick mixture of microbaloon and epoxy. The foam core needs to handle shear force without deforming


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