Best DIY carbon fiber kits?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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crimsonbadger
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:50 am

by crimsonbadger

I'm looking to extend and modify the seat mast on a frame and am in the process of making some molds that I intend to wrap with carbon fiber. It's an area of the frame that experiences relatively high loads, so I imagine I'll need to use several layers of carbon and do a thorough job purging excess resin. This is my first time doing this.

For those who have ordered carbon fiber kits in the US, what manufacturers do you recommend? Any caveats?

FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

I would suggest you contact a carbon repair shop and see if this is something they have done, or would be willing to do. You wouldn't want to risk your life on a modificiation like that. I can personally recommend KirkLee in Austin, TX, you I'm sure you could pick someone's brains at Calfee.
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by Weenie


crimsonbadger
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:50 am

by crimsonbadger

FIJIGabe wrote:I would suggest you contact a carbon repair shop and see if this is something they have done, or would be willing to do. You wouldn't want to risk your life on a modificiation like that. I can personally recommend KirkLee in Austin, TX, you I'm sure you could pick someone's brains at Calfee.


I've had Calfee repair a frame and they do excellent work. Their excellent work, however, comes with a significant price tag.

I don't plan on racing this frame; it's more of a fun project and an opportunity to work with carbon a bit. In any case, I plan on overbuilding the seat mast and building the saddle clamp hardware into the mast.

crimsonbadger
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:50 am

by crimsonbadger

That said, if consensus among those who have worked with these kits (not prepreg) is that I won't be able to achieve the strength I need, even with several layers, then I'll scrap the project.

Stefano
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:24 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

by Stefano

You should easily be able to make it strong enough, even with 3-4 layers. I'm not so sure about integrating the clamping hardware, you may want to reinforce the areas you plan on drilling with kevlar and extra layers of carbon and/or co-mould the yokes with the carbon. As far as a do it all carbon shop, fiberglast is good for the US, although a bit overpriced. It more than pays for itself with their customer service, and once you have an idea what you like you can look at more inexpensive options (there are many).

As far as reducing resin ratio, biggest thing is to just wrap really tightly. I use vacuum bag, but I have a very big pump. I have heard stories of success wrapping in electrical tape and poking holes at regular intervals to allow resin to flow out. If you do end up bagging, make sure to use a coated peel-ply or you're gonna have a fun time getting it off. If this is your first carbon project I recommend doing a few practice layups on a waxed sheet of aluminum or halfway around a metal tube or the like just to figure out how the whole process works and get comfortable with how much resin you'll actually need (a lot less than you'd think).

Best of luck and if you have any particular questions feel free to PM me

Stefano

Marin
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Check out the "show me your tuning" thread, there's a guy doing a nice DIY carbon repair on the last 2 pages - I'm sure he has some hints if you PM him.

jooo
Posts: 1504
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:48 am

by jooo

Stefano wrote:I have heard stories of success wrapping in electrical tape and poking holes at regular intervals to allow resin to flow out.

A much better option to this is using heat shrink tape:
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

So where would someone find a good repair kit to fix a cracked top tube?

Want to give this a go myself.

dogg
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:37 am

by dogg

i wouldn't bother with finding a "kit" just research exactly what you need (best weave for the repair your doing, best resin for the purpose, technique, etc) as you'll want to do that regardless, and then just find a supplier with everything you need and place an order.

here in the US i was looking at building a few things for jokes (racks, fenders, bottle cages) and 2yds of 3k cloth, a bit of carbon tubing, resin, mold release, and supplies for vacuum bagging was around 150usd + shipping. the kits i came across were close to the same cost and didn't come with half as much material....just a bunch of nonsense like gloves and brushes you probably already have at home or can run down to the store and buy for a $1 (or less..)

by Weenie


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