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Thread: Carbon Fiber

  1. #1

    Carbon Fiber

    I want custom fitted fendered carbon fiber side guards, I went and bought a pair from TiLite and am not happy with them (I expected a lot more for 500+ dollars). So I was browsing the web and it turns out you can make your own carbon fiber stuff, and it really doesn't look that hard. There are a bunch of youtube videos on how to do it, there are kits and supplies readily available. It all looks doable except for one crucial step. Making the mold. Has anyone attempted this and if so how successful was it? Any ideas on how to make carve out a foam mold that looks professional?

  2. #2
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Doesn't making carbon fiber require baking resins at very high temperatures for long peroids of time?

    What are these youtube videos you've been watching?

  3. #3
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    Doesn't making carbon fiber require baking resins at very high temperatures for long peroids of time?

    What are these youtube videos you've been watching?
    no, CF can be can worked just like fiberglass. If a person does a lot of CF work, they would get a vacuum for molding CF.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-q91...layer_embedded

  4. #4
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    I want custom fitted fendered carbon fiber side guards, I went and bought a pair from TiLite and am not happy with them (I expected a lot more for 500+ dollars). So I was browsing the web and it turns out you can make your own carbon fiber stuff, and it really doesn't look that hard. There are a bunch of youtube videos on how to do it, there are kits and supplies readily available. It all looks doable except for one crucial step. Making the mold. Has anyone attempted this and if so how successful was it? Any ideas on how to make carve out a foam mold that looks professional?
    It seems to me from what I've seen, carbon fiber is pretty difficult to work with for the very reason you mentioned - the moldmaking. A fellow on PBS tried to build an airplane in 30 days. At one point he decided on carbon fiber and everything seemed easy until he hit the moldmaking process and it took up 80% of his time and nearly made him crazy. I think once you have the mold it must be fairly easy though I would think you would still need a vacuum bag. I haven't done CF fabricating but most fabricating I have done has been much harder than it looked. I worked with acrylic sheeting for a home airconditioner project and when the folks at TAP plastic asked me if I wanted them to cut the openings I said, "Naw, I can do it at home."

    I will never cut my own acrylic again. It wore out expensive bits and took bloody forver and I couldn't do nearly as good a job as they do. Would have been easier, cheaper and better if I'd left it to the professionals. What I'm trying to say is CF may be easy to work with or it could be much much harder than it seems. I'd keep talking with people who have actually done it or try perhaps try modifying what someone else has already made.

    Good luck :-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member fromnwmont's Avatar
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    T8; Vacuum molding is the way to go but also be VERY careful when cutting carbon dust from cutting can get into your lungs and they cannot eliminate it I am not trying to dis-wade you from trying it can be fun making your own stuff just wear a good mask, just cutting arrow shafts can give off harmful amounts....

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    I want custom fitted fendered carbon fiber side guards, I went and bought a pair from TiLite and am not happy with them (I expected a lot more for 500+ dollars). So I was browsing the web and it turns out you can make your own carbon fiber stuff, and it really doesn't look that hard. There are a bunch of youtube videos on how to do it, there are kits and supplies readily available. It all looks doable except for one crucial step. Making the mold. Has anyone attempted this and if so how successful was it? Any ideas on how to make carve out a foam mold that looks professional?

    forget it

  7. #7
    To hell with carbon fiber.

    Aluminum is cheap, durable, easy to work with and readily available.

    The sooner you learn to hate carbon fiber, the happier you will be with your wheelchair projects.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    Not sure if the folks that swiped Jeff Adam's old company from him, Rogue, at Marvel still sell his CF fenders? I've had a set for years and really like them. They are a drop in add-on to existing side guards. I swap them from chair to chair, as needed. They weigh only a few ounces.

    I have an intrinsic enjoyment of CF bits and baubles. May not be perfectly ultimate in functionality (what I call 'the 1st kind of cool') but I really like it, personally (the '2nd kind of cool'...simple enjoyment of its form and substance for no functional reason.)

    I wonder if there would be an easy(ish) way for me to make a mold of these Rogue fenders?
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  9. #9
    To be clear… Carbon fiber is cool if you are paying someone to get it right. It is the worst possible material if you are a DIY type.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by radio_buddha View Post
    To be clear… Carbon fiber is cool if you are paying someone to get it right. It is the worst possible material if you are a DIY type.
    Okay, are you saying that even if I manage to make a mold that dont believe the the youtube vids, making the part is painful?

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