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Carbon Fibre Covered Neck

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Aaaaahhhhhhhh, I just can't keep it to myself anymore. I'VE JUST ORDERED SOME CARBON FIBRE :D

As some of you know I've been playing with a cheapass SG copy. I reshapped the neck and initially I was a bit worried about the strength of it (I could tell I was very close to the truss rod cavity), so I'm carbon fibreing the back of the nack and the guitar top. I've been to see my mum for some advise (she's very handy with glass fibre is my mother) and she thinks it's more than possible.

Still got to order the resin and I'm not using a female mold, so this really is an experiment. If I had more money to spend, I'd take a cast of the neck and use that as the mold. However, I think I'll just make myself a roller instead.

I was going to keep the schtum until it was finsihed, but I've never played with carbon fibre before (well not like this) so I'm really looking forward to it.

Kept me awake last night thinking about doing a scoustic where the neck, back and sides are one continuous piece of carbon fibre. That'll have to wait though.

Wish me luck. :D

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Gonna be making my own cavity covers from it too (for this axe and my Eggle). Also gonna make the truss rod covers from it too. If I have some left over, I'll post it up :D

Oh, found out that I nearly ended up living near Elgin (well the other side of the firth). And my folks will be cycling through it in about 6 months (from Felixstow :D )

Edited by ToneMonkey
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For the flat pieces you'll be casting, tape some waxed paper to a rigid board. Then put down a layer of resin, then your cf, then finish making sure your cf isn't starved for resin. Once it's dry, peel off the waxed paper. This is a good recipe for a quick, nearly flawless finish in the absence of a vacuum bagging setup.

As for the neck. You'd get optimal results with some perforated film and some bleeder felt inside of a vac bag, but I've also heard of some people(particularly hobbyist bike builders) who wrap the cf covered surface in electrical tap, poke holes in it with a needle and wipe off the resin that bleeds out by hand. I can't attest to how well this works, but if you overlap your tape enough, I'd imagine it'd work with relative success.



Edited by thegarehanman
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Carbon fiber is tricky but very doable if you do your homework. I only know about carbon fiber because we use it to make prosthetics at work

1. make sure you neck have a roughed texture to it. the resin will stick better. 120 grit is the highest i would go.

2."brush" on the resin but its more dabbing than anythign to try and pusht he resin into the fibers

3. when ever we do a lam in the lab that we can vaccoom bag we use a sheet of wet PVA plastic and stretch it over what we a lamming to. make sure you have no wrinkles. they can be a pain in the butt to sand out. and you can see air pockets too. for a neck its prolly going tp take a few people to do it

4. use a slick shoe string or parachute cord to drag the resin around underneath the PVA.

5. tape off and seal up anything you dont want resin on. we use plain old masking tape with good success.

I dont know bout the whole tape and poking holes thing could work but sounds very messy.

how are you going to do the sides of the neck?? it is goign to wrap up beside the fret board??? stop and have a lip or sand it till it tapers in??? just curious

i have been wanting to make a neck and body out of carbon fiber but do to the cost and time i cant right now.

Good luck.

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Suhweet! youd realy do that? Tell them just to pop in to halfords on the way, and just ask for graeme at the bikehut desk :D i'll pay ya for what you dont use, seems fair... Oh yes, my RG is gona look great!

You say a vacuum bag would be the best thing to use? I have one at my old school along with almost every other tool used for casting and forming. Do you know any good sites off hand that would be of help?

Edited by Marzocchi705
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I would also love to get some more info on the vacuum baggin process, etc, as I am fully planning to build a very very custom CF case for my new axe (after the guitar is done, of course). I'm not going to discolose any details, but it's going to have some sweeeeet features you've never seen before, but the carbon and glass work is daunting to me since I've never done any.

Websites, tips, etc?

Thanks all you knowledgeable peoples.


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Im at work. and all my carbon fiber link stuff is at home on my computer there. but googling carbon fiber is all i did to find them but i will post up some of my sites i use when i get home tonight.

one very big thing I forgot to mention was always always always wear the proper safe equipment for working with this. Bad stuff to get in your lungs.

Edited by au3078
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DIY carbon bikes



motorcycle bits with molds and lost foam


"tube socks"


At big aerospace companies, we mostly use pre-preg (resin pre-impregnated woven fabric and tape). Dry fibers and liquid resins are used mainly for repairs. Pre-pregs don't require all the squeegeeing to wet out the fibers and then work out bubbles and remove excess resin. Pre-pregs require compaction with vacuum bags to squeeze out trapped air. Pre-pregs are more expensive and require refrigeration.

One of the tricks the repair guys use is to "make pre-preg" for repairs. They take a sheet of plastic film and stack the cut layers of fabric on it. They measure the correct amount of resin and pour it in the center of the stack. They take another sheet of plastic, put it on top, and then use a scraper like spatula to distribute the resin from the center, out to the edges. Once they've got it evenly distributed, they peel off one sheet of plastic film and stick the exposed surface to the part they're repairing or in a mold or on a mandrel. They peel off the out sheet of plastic film and then stick on a breather ply (that allows excess resin to squeeze out and to allow volatile products of the cure to escape. The whole thing gets vacuum bagged and then either cured in an autoclave/oven (if it's small enough) or under a thermal blanket. Resins will cure at room temperature, but, for structural composites the strength improves with elevated temperature (250°F or 350°F) cures.

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Nice to see the interest in this guys and believe me, I could do with all the help and advise that I can get. I'm going to be shaping a few scraps of wood soon and have an experiment. However, how I've initially been thinking (and I haven't red the links yet so this may change) is:

I'm intending on getting a smalll bath that I can put the resin in. I was then going to give it a damn good going over with the roller, trying to get the resin in and the air out. Place it over the already resined neck and give it another damn good rollering. taking off some of the excess resin. This however is only the initial thought, maybe a vacuum bag will be the way.

thegarehanman - not a bad idea. I was thinking of doing it with some form of plastic sheet, overhead projector film or something. I was goingto leave a bit with the film on and a bit with it off and see how it worked. Your idea sounds better though. I've got a big roll of greaseproof paper at home, I cover all my clamping cowls with it (or clingfilm). Cheers for the tape aqvise, sounds like a good idea.

au3078 - cheers for the advise, I'll look into that method. As for the finishing, I'm looking at stopping it just short of the fretboard edges and blending it in with filler and sanding. The edges are going to be a sunburst in black to hide it a bit. As for safety wear, don't worry. Rubber gloves (pinched from work), mask with A1 organic filters (pinched from mates work) and a well ventilated room (well OK a small window and no door, so it tends to vent into the rest of my house. Have to do it when the missus is out and the wind is blowing in the right direction :D ).

davee - yup, I've been looking at doing that too, as far as I know, if you do it in a mold then you can get very good results. I really want to mold a guitar and give it a bash, it's keeping me awake at night thinking about it. So far, I've got "in my designs" for an electric and an acoustic, the acoustic is going to have a 1 piece back, sides and neck. mmmmm B)

tirapop - good info dude, not had chance to look at the links yet (busy morning at work, it's taken an hour to write this post). I'll certainly look at this. Obviously an oven isn't going to be practical and I can't afford to dish out for a thermal blanket. However, I think the strength that I can get from the CF should be adequate.

Cheers guys, keep feeling free to chime in, I could do with all the help I can get.

Kaj :D

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