This is just the beginning and it will be at least a month before I pop out parts but I thought it would be worth my time to write up a guide on making molds. I will include a link to fireblades.org I stumbled on by accident as well.
Link: HOW TO: Make a Vacuum formed Carbon Fiber Part for $200 - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
Part 1: Making the mold.
Mold release: Wax any wax that you can build up in layers.
Resin. cheap is fine
cheap horse hair brush. follar store kind.
PRe cut the mat
Pop your tank off the bike and cover it with carnauba wax. DO
NOT: use hairspray if you want an easy release. I dented my tank because I had to hit it so hard to release it. Do not use: silicone. I combined it with wax and it cause my gelcoat to craze like a mother.
Tape up the side you are not doing and tape it to cardboard or plastic.
tape up the gas cap. just blank it off with tape.
cut up the mat into large sections that you can easily work with. do not try to fold it just cut it up. the more it has to bend the harder it is to play with. cut some odd strips and keep the scisors handy. a yard will do the whole top half of the tank
Gelcoat..... What is gelcoat. I see so many people talking about it and I have never seen a bodyman actually use it. I am pretty sure it is just poly resin.
So.. just brush some cheap resin in the mold. I spent the extra money on surfboard resin aka clear laminating resin. It cures better and its quite a bit stronger.
Dont worry to much about ratios here. just dont dump enough resin to make it gel in the cup.
lay the mat into the gelcoat. thouroughly wet it out using dabbing motions with a cheap brush.
keep adding mat and make sure you get the mat into all ridges especially the flange as it will come in handy.
Make sure you lay up a good solid flange all the way tp the egge of the board.
Cure. 70* is optimal.
Untape and hammer with a soft rubber mallet when it turns white its released. next screw the tank down to something. carefully use an air blower to blow the mold away from the part. it will either release or partially release. Sneak in a wedge. keep putting wedges in until the tank falls partially out. tap the stubborn areas with a hammer . If you waxed good it will go well. If you used hairspray method like me expect this to take an hour.... you may loose paint and end up with dents. I have three right where the seat sets on the tank. too agressive.
as you can see my flange is horrible. This is due to the fact that I ran out of resin.
This is a work in progress but it should be enough for anyone to make a cheap mold.
This guide is not finished I am just tired and need some sleep.