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Thread: Carbon Fiber Skinning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale
    Posts
    232

    Default Carbon Fiber Skinning

    As I am looking to eliminate all the rocker switches in lue of a remote steering wheel setup, I was thinking on how to cover up the unused holes once the switches are no longer used and at the same time give the dash a facelift.
    A new CF dash is expensive so I was looking into skimming my dash with some carbon fiber mat lots of videos on youtube about it and it looks simple enough, time consuming but cheaper than the alternative.

    One concern is if it will lay flat over the spaces where the switches were.

    Has anyone ever undertaken skimming with CF if so any pointers?
    Life Can Be Cruel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Portland Maine
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Easy to do, harder to do well, especially in clear carbon. You'll want to fill the holes flush and strong before you lay cloth over, and follow vacuum bagging instructions if you want it to look right. Nothing about this is particularly difficult, but getting it flat and smooth and with the carbon cloth running straight takes some skill.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Agreed I was not going to go the vacuum bagging route just try to lay it up as this guy did

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM7p...=ECO-LAPStudio

    I don't expect the result to be perfect but hopefully acceptable (I did research having this done by a pro and he quoted me $450 more expensive than a new one from Westerman)
    Life Can Be Cruel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    422

    Default

    IMO if you're going to be filling in the holes for the switches for the process anyway, just lay one big sheet of CF vinyl. Drastically cheaper, drastically easier and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Actually lighter too if you consider the resin etc.

    I've done by Aeroscreen in a layer of vinyl because I couldn't justify the price delta or the net weight benefit for the real thing but the look matched my carbon dash, wings, guards etc.

    Edit: Time benefit too. You could be done in a half hour, beginning to end once the holes are filled
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    309

    Default

    I went the CF vinyl route. Easy to do and it has lasted a couple of years now. I cut a new panel from .060 6061 and made sure I got all of the holes and edges exactly as perfect as I could. I cut the vinyl with the backing in place about ” over all around. I used flush head rivets to mount the aluminum and sanded the entire surface to make sure it was as flat as possible. Clean the surface with acetone install the vinyl by rolling it in place from one side to the other taking care to squeegee the air pockets out as you go. Any remaining bubbles or wrinkles can be eased to the gauge holes pretty easily. Just finish trimming the holes and edges with an exactoknife.

    I considered cutting the panel from a CF honeycomb panel but the tooling is a pain in the ass to work with and the weight savings is what, an ounce? When I get home tomorrow, I’ll post a photo.
    Last edited by papak; Yesterday at 07:33 PM.

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