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I am making my 69 Mach into 5.0 restomod, but there are very few parts available. I would prefer brushed aluminum, but that would be hard to fabricate. I do see carbon fiber kits available with the sheets and resin. If anyone has tried this please let me know. I want to cover all my woodgrain.
 

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no experince with carbon fiber but it is the same process as fiberglass and that is easy enough to use, i did read an article in car craft once where they made some carbon stuff for one their project cars (cheap street chevelle i think) and they said a really good trick for making flat parts is to lay it down on a flat piece of window glass or something and it makes a really flat part. personally i'm going to get rid of the wodgrain trim too but i'm going to use a reall wood veneer on mine, found some nice walnut veneer at the home improvement store
 

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I was under the impression that carbon fiber parts needed to be produced in a vacuum chamber. :: Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

- Gord
 

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too bad someone didn't know where to find some made into sheets that can be trimmed to fit. The woodgrain can be heated (within reason) and will make it able to be molded to the metal. Not sure if the "real" woodgrain or wood can be treated the same but if so it would be an easy conversion. I would like to put a different finish on my walnut woodgrain also but haven't found anything in sheets that i could try. anyone???
 

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Responding to my own response:
Found this information on the 'American Sportbike' site...

The first and easiest way of producing carbon is called the hand-lay-up method. This might be familiar to you. It is used on surfboards, boats, cars and more. It starts with a piece of cloth like fiberglass which is laid over a mold. Next, a resin like an epoxy or polyester based liquid is brushed or sprayed over the cloth. The next step is to work all the resins into the material to get proper cloth saturation while removing those pesky little air bubbles trapped within the layers of the cloth. This can be done with squeegees or rollers. Disruption of the weave is common which can result in "pinholes" in the part.. Curing is done at ambient room temperatures.

The second way of producing composite layups is called the Vacuum Bagging method. It resembles the hand lay up method, but it covers the laid up parts with a non-stick nylon sheet called a peel-ply. It is sealed at the edges and a fitting is hooked up to a vacuum pump. The vacuum allows atmospheric pressure to squeeze the nylon peel-ply closer to the part, and the peel-ply wicks excess resin out of the carbon fiber/resin layup and eliminates most air bubbles. This makes for better resin saturation into the cloth. Once cured, the peel ply is removed from the part, taking a lot of the excess resin with it, and leaving only enough resin in the composite structure to hold the shape of the cloth. This makes lighter, stronger and less brittle parts than the hand-lay-up method.

The third method, called Autoclave Molding, is what we use. This process yields the strongest, lightest parts possible and is the very same technology used to build exotic Formula 1 cars and high-tech military aircraft. This process along with specific proprietary knowledge allows us to manufacture some of the most beautiful parts in the industry. This method starts with a material that's called pre-preg. The textile manufacturer works the resins mixed with catalyst directly into the weave of the material in a controlled factory process, and then freezes it in what is known as the "B-Stage" semi-cured condition. The cold prevents the pre-preg from fully curing at this time. Each layer of CF cloth for a part is cut on a CNC cutter for exacting standards before nesting into the mold. A peel ply is applied, and the entire part put into a vacuum bag. The vacuum bagged part is then baked using heat & pressure in an autoclave (basically a large pressure cooker), which wicks even more excess resin out of the layup, producing a lighter, stronger, void free part. Normally most shops do not achieve this high quality due to complexity and cost of production.
- Gord
 

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on the wood veneer you usually have to steam it a bit to mold it, but that's not too hard if you cheat a bit. wet the veneer slightly and use a heat gun and then mold away. some stuff wont need to be done like this though as the veneer is fairly flexible to begin with. the stuff i found was at Sutherland's home improvement but i'm sure you can it other places like home depot or lowes as well. once i get mine done i'll be sure to post some pics.
 

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The first and easiest way of producing carbon is called the hand-lay-up method. This might be familiar to you. It is used on surfboards, boats, cars and more. It starts with a piece of cloth like fiberglass which is laid over a mold. Next, a resin like an epoxy or polyester based liquid is brushed or sprayed over the cloth. The next step is to work all the resins into the material to get proper cloth saturation while removing those pesky little air bubbles trapped within the layers of the cloth. This can be done with squeegees or rollers. Disruption of the weave is common which can result in "pinholes" in the part.. Curing is done at ambient room temperatures.

Ok, done this with R/C aircraft before. Carbon fiber IS more difficult to work with than fiberglass. Especially if your part you are working on has tight curves. Unless you have a lot of experience with making fiberglass parts, it probably wouldn't be worth your time.

The second way of producing composite layups is called the Vacuum Bagging method. It resembles the hand lay up method, but it covers the laid up parts with a non-stick nylon sheet called a peel-ply. It is sealed at the edges and a fitting is hooked up to a vacuum pump. The vacuum allows atmospheric pressure to squeeze the nylon peel-ply closer to the part, and the peel-ply wicks excess resin out of the carbon fiber/resin layup and eliminates most air bubbles. This makes for better resin saturation into the cloth. Once cured, the peel ply is removed from the part, taking a lot of the excess resin with it, and leaving only enough resin in the composite structure to hold the shape of the cloth. This makes lighter, stronger and less brittle parts than the hand-lay-up method.

Vacuum pump will cost at least $200. I think we paid at least $300 for a small vacuum pump. We were using the vacuum pump method. This probably isn't an option for you

The third method, called Autoclave Molding, is what we use. This process yields the strongest, lightest parts possible and is the very same technology used to build exotic Formula 1 cars and high-tech military aircraft. This process along with specific proprietary knowledge allows us to manufacture some of the most beautiful parts in the industry. This method starts with a material that's called pre-preg. The textile manufacturer works the resins mixed with catalyst directly into the weave of the material in a controlled factory process, and then freezes it in what is known as the "B-Stage" semi-cured condition. The cold prevents the pre-preg from fully curing at this time. Each layer of CF cloth for a part is cut on a CNC cutter for exacting standards before nesting into the mold. A peel ply is applied, and the entire part put into a vacuum bag. The vacuum bagged part is then baked using heat & pressure in an autoclave (basically a large pressure cooker), which wicks even more excess resin out of the layup, producing a lighter, stronger, void free part. Normally most shops do not achieve this high quality due to complexity and cost of production.[/i]

Well the author only gave half the story, if that. Fiber reinforced composites allow you to design your part such that it can handle different amounts of stress in different directions. This is where you get most of your weight savings on aircraft and such... I don't know that I could explain it in words....

Carbon is difficult to work with and you will end up with pinholes and all these other issues that make the trim look crappy. I wouldn't recommend trying it yourself unless you have some experience with fiberglass.


Some other options:

http://www.dashkit.com/index.html (brushed aluminum, Carbon fiber, but pricy and can't speak for their quality since I have never seen any of their peices)

http://www.mustangdepot.com/OnLineCatalog/Interior/dash-panel-inserts.htm

Good Luck,

James
 

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O.K. it's been awhile, but I've done both hand lay up and vacuum bag - both are pretty easy for simple parts.
Carbon fiber comes in differant weights - just like glass cloth. The lighter the weight, the easier it conforms to curves. To avoid bubbles, apply a light coat of expoxy to the mold surface, and hit it quickly with a heat gun or hair dryer - bubbles will exand and pop. Let the epoxy tack then lay in your cloth and more resin.
Vacuum pumps can be found much cheaper - I even know of people using a $30 Mity Vac - if your bag is sealed good with no leaks. I found a pump at a surplus store for $40, made a tank from some scrap pvc pipe - I think it was 6", and wired it into a switch that turns the pump on and off at preset values - think the switch was $40. Look into the homebuilt aircraft suppliers ( Aircraft Spruce? ) or on Aerospace Composite's website.
Oh - you can get prefab sheets of carbon fiber there too - but it would be cheaper to use the glass method above - make 1st layer carbon fiber, then back it up with some cheap fiber glass cloth - I use plexiglass or plastic ceiling light covers from Home Depot. Wax before laying up. Buy some good epoxy too - don't use polyester resin.
 

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A wet lay-up with resin and carbon fiber cloth will be very messy for you. You will probably go thru much material. I suggest practicing with fiberglass, just from a material cost standpoint.

The better method would be to find some carbon fiber "prepreg". This is carbon fiber cloth that has been impregnated with resin and frozen, slowing the cure. It will have a shelf life in the freezer, mostly important to customers with specific quality requirements. Since you don't care about that much, you might be able to find some expired prepreg for next to nothing.

You can get a vacuum generator that uses compressed air for vacuum bagging from Mcmaster-Carr. That and some hi-temp vacuum line and your kitchen oven (don't tell SWMBO) and you're in business. You can find vacuum bagging materials TMI . They might be able to help you with some expired prepreg as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone. I would like to but a kit but there no available for 69, only up to 68. If anyone has any good sources for the pre-preg that sound like my best option. Also, if anyone knows a good source for finished sheets for my flat panel, that would be appreciated as well.

I also built my own rotisseire in anyone would like pics, it works great, I'm getting ready to sandblast with "Black Beauty" media, I'll let you know how it work.

Thanks again!
 

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I think you can get ABS with a carbon fiber look. This is a thermoformable material.

You can get this at Tap Plastics.
 
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