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Okay All, we are sitting around the house, I am grumpy because my Schul has been canceled because of corona virus fears. So as I grouse, I am thinking about 1 of my many undone projects. I need a phenolic spacer for it. I have looked at many, but noone seems to make what I have in mind. Fine, I can make it. So where would one purchase a 2 & 1/2 thick, 7 inch wide, 8 inch long chunk of the stuff to start with ? LSG
 

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Micarta and Garolite are brand names of phoenolic material. I’ve yet to see in in retail quantities that thickness.

MDF is an engineered wood product. It’s basically modern particle board but much more dense. Any good cabinet wood or lumber yard will have as well as big box home improvement.
 

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MDF=medium density fiber board
HDF=high density fiber board

used for cabinets, shelves, artsy fartsy furniture, subwoofer enclosures

particle board will swell with water too.
A local stereo shop may carry the HDF.
Any hardware store will carry MDF.

Could look for electrical switch gear insulation materials.
High temperature resistance and flame/fire resistant usually.

I’m no engineer ?, so I don’t know what true name of this stuff.

I have looked at the rigid conveyor belt liners, might be able to find some thick like that.

Could laminate some hardwood.
Apparently I’ve thought about this.
 

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Phenol tree sap? LOL. Seriously, its just another of dozens of hydrocarbon based plasticized materials of some sort. Got no statatistics but I would suspect an aluminium spacer works just about as well as the brown plastic. Might even be able to make something out of a carbon fiber/resin combination.

Found this definition - a usually thermosetting resin or plastic made by condensation of a phenol with an aldehyde and used especially for molding and insulating and in coatings and adhesives.
 

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I cut 1/2" single, double and four hole spacers from MDF for testing on my EFI installation. They all functioned as expected and I used one as a temporary part until my phenolic replacement came from Summit. They sell a large selection of 2" spacers.
 

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I checked Freeman Supply, a west coast pattern makers supply source that I use on occasion. They stock phenolic laminates up to 3". Unfortunately the minimum order is a 2'x4' piece. You may find a local tooling company or supplier that will sell smaller pieces.
 
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MDF will absorb fuel if you are using it under a carb. Medex is a waterproof MDF that is kind of waxy and would be a better choice of the two but I wouldn't go either route other than for testing purposes.

Lots of cool materials here. Phenolic of every type you want but yeah it's pricey for full sheets. Like mentioned check with local machine shops if you have any or ebay for off cuts.
 

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MDF, a drill press and a router table. You can turn those out all day.
 

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The reason for phenolic or wood is to insulate the heat transfer from the manifold to reduce heat soak to the carb, aluminum won’t do that.
I made one from laminated aircraft grade birch plywood soaked in epoxy resin. Worked perfectly.
 

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Have you ever tried to burn MDF? It's technically flammable but boy do you have to work hard at it. I would have zero fear of using it as a carb spacer even on an engine prone to fireballing backfires. Seriously, no concern at all.

Using it an other wood products has been common among racers for years. Not only are they cheap and relatively easy to make, you can tune the thickness to any weird size you think gives you some performance advantage.
But. The wood does tend to get fuel soaked and after a while softens the adhesive that binds the sawdust particles together. Rule of thumb among racers is to change the spacers at least once a season. Small sawdust particles can be harmlessly ingested by the engine if any are shed. Within reason. Make multiple copies. Change them when you do a tune up.
 
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Material comes from Phenolic trees - they only grow in certain areas of the Amazon Prime rain forest...

747112


If I was going to make one using a wood product I would likely do the same thing I did for my steering wheel spacer. After my rough cuts and before any sanding, I worked some JB weld into the grain of the wood. Then sanded the finished product. I painted it satin black and it turned out looking like steel. Not sure I would paint a carb spacer.
 

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Phenolic material is available up to 2" thick at McMaster Carr and in 12" x 12" squares. It is not cheap. I certainly would work out a prototype with MDF first.

You might be able to find some salvage phenolic panels as they are used for toilet partitions. They would only be about 3/4" thick. It may be a long shot as the reason they are used in that application is that they last forever. You might check with your local supplier of toilet partitions to see if they have any panels that were shipped the wrong size.
 

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I work in a cabinet shop and there are many types of MDF and 99% of what we use hates moisture and your lungs, so wear a mask. I did make some fancy planters out of a moisture resistant MDF a few years ago but anything you find at your local home improvement center will be no go.
 
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