Tubes – Day 1 – Dry Run

What a weekend! Huge thanks to whole team first (Serge, Greg, Seb, Richard & Chris … and more) – because we made it! There were so many things happening both days that I decided to split it in two (still pretty chunky) posts.

We started with Serge about 2pm Saturday with forming a plan!

While not readable well, it sort of goes like this:

  1. Clear the tube
  2. Build a resin applicator
  3. Apply release film
  4. 1st carbon fiber (CF) wrap & seal ends
  5. 2nd carbon fiber (CF) wrap & seal ends
  6. 3rd layer resin protection tape
  7. Weigh CF tape + measure time for the wet-works (just a note)

While Serge started working on the resin dispenser, work progressed in parallel on clearing the tube. That’s important so resin has limited grip on it and releases the mold with ease. For this I ended up using Septone Ali Brite Aluminium Cleaner 1 Litre from Good Guys, what ended up being a wrong decision.

While this product seems being recommended all over the shop, it didn’t deliver – our aluminium tube still being scratched and dirty even after 5 minutes of polishing. Serge came straight with a better solution – bringing in a green sponge for washing dishes & dishwashing paste – and it came with an instant results. Still doing this properly took us probably 30 minutes.

Meanwhile Serge built the resin dispenser by reusing old squeegee and Loaf Pan from K-Mart.

Final picture TBA.

The next step was to apply the release film – ULTRALEASE EPX PARFILM MOULD RELEASE from Barnes, however we decided not to do it and leave this step for the wet run.

Apply the 1st CF layer next – Serge realized that ends of our CF tape needs to be taped so they keep together, also found that picking up a right angle how to apply the tape might be bit tricky.

Apply 2nd CF layer – that already went much easier together. That also came with some of our first measurements, it looks like we need ~2 meters of tape per layer.

3rd layer resin protection tape on top

We repeated whole procedure twice to be sure we are well orchestrated and all is at hand when needed. That came with few notes:

  • Use a squeegee to tighten up the first layer – it gets wrinkly when not tighten up properly
  • Applying second CF layer + protection tape took roughly 4 minutes, which should leave us enough time (assumed “pot” time at this moment was 10 -15minutes
  • Tapes! Tiny, long, narrow, fat … they need to be readied in advance and in a good quantities (it is difficult to get any when working in gloves)
  • Resin protection layer to come with 50% overlap, another office-tape layer to be considered
  • Hand-operated lever to spin the tube actually works pretty well. With the CF tape width of 10cm, it still goes pretty well and allows niche control when things go not-that-well.

That wraps it that up for Day 1, let’s get ready for Day 2!

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