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Old 12-10-2005, 12:03 PM   #16
I <3 Twins
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I too would love a carbon hanger, and be able to say "I made that with my own 2 hands!"
I would drop everything to come out to you and learn for a day. I'm in! Just name the time and place.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:57 PM   #17
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Well, I found some time this morning and got started on the project in ernest by making the splash mold of the underside.

Because this tank is going on a race bike and we don't need to preserve the stock mounting system, and because it'll be simpler to make the tank and add the mounting tabs later, I used a cut-off wheel and removed the stock front and rear mounting points. It was easier to cut out the entire section of the rear mount. But first, here's what I started with...

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:01 PM   #18
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After removing the foam sound deadening and mounting points, I simply taped over the opening. No problem as the fiberglass will lay up just fine over the tape and I can always 'fix' any ripples, etc. when I make parts using the splash mold. Here's the underside ready to be waxed and PVA'd...

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:03 PM   #19
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Now I have to apply a special wax as an important step in ensuring the fiberglass doesn't bond to the tank. I use Partall - available at TAP Plastics.
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:04 PM   #20
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Sorry, HERE's the Partall

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:11 PM   #21
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You wax the part just like you were waxing your bike/car. Wax on, Wax off. I usually apply at least two coats of wax. Be sure to completely buff off the wax between coats.

Once the part is waxed, it's time to apply the PVA which is a 'mold release'. It's a liquid that you can apply with a cloth or spray on. I just use a clean paper shop towel (those blue ones you can get at Kragen or OSH, etc.) and rub on a layer.

You need to move quickly so that you don't rub it once it starts to set up as that will spoil the surface you are trying to create. Essentially, the PVA dries to a very thin layer (you can't even tell it's there) that prevents the composite from actually touching the part - making it easier to remove the part from the mold. Hence 'mold release'.

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:12 PM   #22
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Note the oh-so-high-tech Honey Bear PVA dispenser...gotta have a little comic relief every now and then...
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:14 PM   #23
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Once the underside is set to go, I protect the top of the tank with a big trash bag.

Not pictured is all the fiberglass that's cut and ready to apply.

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:21 PM   #24
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I use a pretty light weight glass for the first few layers at it drapes better and is easier to work into the tighter corners. Then I finish it off with layers of heavier glass to provide a bit of rigidity.

Occasionally, I'll even glass in a piece of metal or other stiffener, if needed. As I said earlier in this thread, there really are no rules - I use what makes sense to me.

I'm using the West Systems epoxies. I can get away with the 'fast' hardner for these simple layups.

And here's the end result: The underside splash mold all layed up and curing. I'll probably leave it in here for a couple days, especially because it's a bit cold in the garage.

Time invested so far, including all the cutting, cleaning, preping and layup = about 4.5 hours.

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Old 12-11-2005, 01:30 PM   #25
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Way cool.
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:45 PM   #26
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:36 AM   #27
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when i used to work on custom car audio installs we used either speaker box carpet or cotton fabric<t-shirt like material> for splash mold material, since it doesn't need the strength of fibreglass, and because its cheaper..easier to sand..and most importantly it doesn't make you itch
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:55 AM   #28
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Originally posted by Friggin Chi
when i used to work on custom car audio installs we used either speaker box carpet or cotton fabric<t-shirt like material> for splash mold material, since it doesn't need the strength of fibreglass, and because its cheaper..easier to sand..and most importantly it doesn't make you itch
Interesting, thanks for the info and idea - I may try that on a future project.

Hey, that gives me an idea - maybe I should use material as the outer layer (or part of the outer layer) of the final production part.

Hey, Zoran, how about a carbon tank with knee cutouts made from my old plaid flannel pajamas?
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:06 PM   #29
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:10 PM   #30
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Looks great so far. You make it damn tempting to order some stuff and get cracking!
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