Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by lizzienewell, Sep 13, 2005.
Or how about using laminated card stock soaked in CA glue to give it stiffness?
Just my 2 cents.
Carbon fiber handling
Carbon fiber is easiest to cut and trim before it is combined with resins like epoxies and polyesters.
Because you are wanting to drill these strips, they must already be resin encapsuated.
Carbon graphite fiber is harder than carbon steel so be prepared to use harder tool material. For brief hobby use, use cobalt steel and be prepared to replace or resharpen the drill every 10 to 20 holes. You can use electro-coated / electro-plated diamond but the cost is higher in exchange for longer tool life depending on how cool you can keep the tool but you can expect a 10 to 100 times longer tool life. Check the web for cobalt steel and diamond tool venders.
Run the tool at fast speed but avoid overheating the tool to preserve its temper hardness. Use water or a plastics compatible oil for lubrication and an aid in cooling. Some use a pecking technique to allow the highest rotary drill speed when contacting the drilled surface and then lifting the the tool away for the tool speed to recover and the tool itself to cool.
For trimming, one can use either a phenolic cut off disk on the end of a rotary tool or a diamond wet saw. Tool hardness is important in whatever tool you choose.
Carbon fiber is marvelous stuff but avoid inhaling dusts. Use a good quality dust mask and throw it away when you are done. Dispose of it and any carbon dust in a polyethylene bag so family members or garbage collectors are not accidentally exposed to it. Also watch out for fiber splinters on the machined surface. They are sharp and annoying.
I tried aluminum initially. I still might go back to it. At this point I've shelved working in a size that requires aluminum or carbon fiber.
The small size seems to work fine for making photographs and its way easier than going big.
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