My CF tank journey. carbonfiber tank. - SuperHawk Forum


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Old 11-03-2016, 11:27 AM   #1
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My CF tank journey. carbonfiber tank.

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.

Materials:
Mold release: Wax any wax that you can build up in layers.
Resin. cheap is fine
Fiberglass mat.
Masking tape
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.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:13 AM   #2
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Careful with the hairspray if you don't want to end up a Darwin Award winner

Hair spray and 3D printer led to Lincoln magic shop death blast - BBC News

Hair spray and 3D printer led to Lincoln magic shop death blast

Quote:
A fire which killed a 17-year-old was caused by hair spray being used with a 3D printer, an inquest has found.

Tom Taylor died when a spark ignited a cloud of propane created by the spray at his family's magic shop on De Wint Avenue, Lincoln, on 21 December.

Eye-witnesses described seeing a "great big ball of flame".

The inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre concluded his death was accidental with senior coroner Stuart Fisher calling it "tragic".
Could you have made something a tad smaller to experiment with i.e seat cowl - as you're going to need a big vacuum bag for that! Plus is your mould as is going to be rigid enough? and your flanges look a bit rough and inconsistent.

What are you going to use as a base for the tank? If two halves how are you going to join them? and fit the fuel tap into and then secure on the bike?

PS your linked thread is pictureless - presume you have to be logged in to see images.

Last edited by Wicky; 11-04-2016 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:27 AM   #3
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On the hairspray I think they had to have a lot of it as I have done plenty of eh.. experiments with it and fire when I was about fourteen. sounds more like a suicide.
I don't suggest hairspray as it releases like SH... I found another dent in my tank today from beating it loose.

The mold should not be too rigid. That is a mistake I have seen. You want it to flex a bit.

The layup is not important on the mold. It is important to make sure the shape is copied and its smooth. Also important is that it is strong enough to support the shape.

Im going to vacuum bag the whole thing. I will join the two halves at the seam for the regular tank. I will have a small aluminum insert for the pepcock but the mounting will be via the regular bolt holes on the front and two dzeus fasteners on the rear.

Also you dont need to be logged in. I found it via google.

Last edited by RedStormJ; 11-07-2016 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:11 PM   #4
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Rob, read that book I gave you a link to (remember, it was free). I'm not asking you to read the entire book, just the chapters to help you figure this project out. I and many other people who visit this site want to see you succeed with this project. I'll quote one of my favorite musicians, "Upgrade your grey matter, 'cause one day it may matter". Read the book. It will save you a lot of frustration!

Due to the shape of our tank, you will need to make the mold of the tank in three pieces, not two.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:12 PM   #5
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I honestly stopped at the enter my cc info part. I have an old card i can type in but for me maybe because its japan the site comes up in Japanese. I cant read it too good. As from my other posts you may know I had to flush my entire system out due to my grey matter not functioning well enough to think that -35 on the bottle containing blue stuff may be window washer...


But Crux.. Why do I need to make it in three pieces. It is not the first time I have seen it done in three pieces but I dont know why. Ive seen similar shapes pull out fine. With lots of wax and a good flange. Im not saying your wrong but tell me your honest opinion of why it would not work. Plus if its that bad I am willing th cut the mold to free the part once its formed. I may have failed to mention that I am going to build up a flange at the edge of the tank to put the bag on to.
To be honest my mold is in the attic at the moment. I cant work on it until next month as my engine going plus winning a new engine on auction set me back pretty good.

For materials all I have at the moment is this:
Bagging film
Breather cloth
wax
carbonfiber.
I still need:
vaccum pump, good resin, tube, good tape. clay just in case I have a leak. and the bottom half of the tank. Ill try to find that book elsewhere or have my wife enter in my old card. its not expired so it should be fine.
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStormJ View Post
I honestly stopped at the enter my cc info part. I have an old card i can type in but for me maybe because its japan the site comes up in Japanese. I cant read it too good. As from my other posts you may know I had to flush my entire system out due to my grey matter not functioning well enough to think that -35 on the bottle containing blue stuff may be window washer...


But Crux.. Why do I need to make it in three pieces. It is not the first time I have seen it done in three pieces but I dont know why. Ive seen similar shapes pull out fine. With lots of wax and a good flange. Im not saying your wrong but tell me your honest opinion of why it would not work. Plus if its that bad I am willing th cut the mold to free the part once its formed. I may have failed to mention that I am going to build up a flange at the edge of the tank to put the bag on to.
To be honest my mold is in the attic at the moment. I cant work on it until next month as my engine going plus winning a new engine on auction set me back pretty good.

For materials all I have at the moment is this:
Bagging film
Breather cloth
wax
carbonfiber.
I still need:
vaccum pump, good resin, tube, good tape. clay just in case I have a leak. and the bottom half of the tank. Ill try to find that book elsewhere or have my wife enter in my old card. its not expired so it should be fine.
Sorry about the link to the book. Didn't know you needed a credit card. I'd still recommend buying the book. It's a fantastic resource.

Regarding the mold being done in three pieces, this is because of the design of the stock tank. In simple terms, with your current mold, once you lay it out inside the mold, how are you getting it out? You will wreck your mold releasing it. Unless that is your plan?

I believe you realized this issue while struggling to get your current mold off your tank.

Also, what type of resin are you using for the final product?

Once your tank is done, how are you protecting the inside from today's types of fuel?

Are you painting the tank or are you leaving the carbon fiber show, in which case, depending on the type of resin you use, you will need a UV protectant layer, otherwise it will turn yellow and get brittle.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:27 AM   #7
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ITs ok I am sure I will find a used copy sooner than later. I actually plan on dripping some fuel in there then blowing it off with air by drilling a small hole inthe center. I didnt wax the mold enough. Since glass is flexible It should push away. Its not as simple as I am saying. Ive seen it done just never done it my self. Its close to the same method I used to pop the mold from the tank. A large flange and waste some cf making a flange on the part that way I can drive wedges between the two. Then a small hole in the glass and drip some gas in there. that will break down the wax and the air pressure will blow the mold off like a big cap. But if I have to cut the mold a bit I will.
I was sure you were talking about the under cuts no biggie. It all flexes.

I plan on using polyvynlchloride as the bonding resin. I may epoxy the inside but it isnt needed as polyvynlchloride is supposed to be resistant to fuel. I will paint the tank. its not about looks at all. I just want a smooth paint job. That I know I can do. Ive done about 20 or so cars in the past so shooting a tank is no big deal.
I think candy apple or metallic is in order for the bike.



I am after function. A lite part that I can lean on with a fuel gauge line. also it will be deused to the bike. I will wire the fasteners together so the tank dont fly off but I am tired of rubbing paint every tIme I pop the tank off.
Oh and that @#$# petcock.. I am going for a lever type I can turn on and off without a wrench. Speaking of which what do you use for that thing thats on there now?
Wow a great outline of the steps:
<- this is a great and cheap way to do it.
Butyl tape is cheap the wax is cheap the bagging material is also cheap. Many companies want you to believe cf parts are expensive its just not true these days. It works just like glass.

Last edited by RedStormJ; 11-08-2016 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Found a great video
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:43 PM   #8
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Finaly got almost all the parts in hand.

I got my vinylester quite important if you are using it for fuel.
3 big sheets of fiber. This should be enough to give me three continuous sheets with a fourth of strips to add strength. My wife donated some old work shirts perfect for soaking up excess resin. I just need some wax paper and clay!.

I am going to do a pre lay and make all my cuts tonight while I finish patching the mold. I got three months to do it so there is no rush btw the wax paper is for a breather. I have a cutter for making small holes in the paper. Theory is when the vac is on that the pressure of the bag plus some playsand whould squeeze out any excess resin. This is a cavity mold so I can use the sand as a weight that will spread uniformly. Many pros use this in the third world that dont have baggers. I am just using it in case I have a vac leak. If all goes well this will be a one off part. But if it goes really good I will have a one off with a mold just in case the tank bites it.

Just FYI you can use a plug and cavity type mold with foam for really nice results but the bag is better. I gotta go to work Ill post up pics asap.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:46 PM   #9
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Larger Not Lighter

I wanted more fuel range, I figured a gallon more was all my bladder could handle.

This is what I built...

BTW, it's for sale, even though my recent prostrate procedure (UroLift) was a relatively huge success (so far, knock on plastic), I still probably can't ride more than 170 miles with out a pit stop.

The photos of the turtle tank were taken on my way to friend's shop where we cut off the top, added a 1-1/2" horizontal band, and welded it up.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:30 AM   #10
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:56 AM   #11
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Well I went ball deep and she's curing in the living room with the lamp on it. Wife dont know enough to keep the effin door shut so it's hovering around cure temp. I dunno it got cold I cut one of the mats too small. I realise now glass is much easier to mold than fiber. I am real worried I didn't wet out enough at all a lot of resin went in but my overhangs aew soft and a bit dry... Well know tomorrow but I already see a bubble where I took pressure off before it cured. I pushed her back. Rule of thumb if its cold always add a day to cure time. I was at temp then the sun went over the mountain.... The sand works like bagging but you have to press it down. I used wet river sand wet play sand would be ideal. It looks good besides mistakes of pure negligence or beyond my control. I should have made more relief cuts and I should have left another inch of hang and I should have used more resin. Butt.... Wait there's more. My breather cloth looks full..... So why there is no resin on the sides I don't know but it is probably due to this being fiber. It probably pooled and the top will be like a teenager in a brothel.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #12
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wow I got lucky.

She looks good. Except for marks left from my diy peel ply. Softer and bigger holes would be good. But its on the inside and everything looks so far so good. I just need to let her cure over night before I go prying on it.
As Ave says the proof is in the puddin so well see It got real strong after a nice heat bath. My main problem is no shop so If you are going to do this I suggest work space!

Last edited by RedStormJ; 02-16-2017 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:05 PM   #13
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She chooched! Had to destroy the mold due to a wetout and sticking issue but look! 3 layers of good weeve! Strong and light! One bubble and there is a ton of glass I need to razorblade but I am happy. I did slice it in one spot but its repairable if I did it over more resin and bigger bleeder holes and real carnauba wax.
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