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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 12-27-2009, 02:58 PM
10es& 10es& is offline
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Using Carbon Fiber

I learned my lesson today!
So- after reading many post about using carbon fiber on this forum both good and bad I decided to give it a try?

I have experience laying-up carbon with both the ?infused? method and using ?pre-preg? and have even had to machine it at work, overall I have never felt it was that difficult to work with???Until today!

Grinding and sanding that crap is a whole new ball game! It gets everywhere and on everything and in everything. I don?t see ever wanting to use it for a handle again unless someone was really willing to PAY for it. It?s just not worth the mess and or ?itchiness?.

IMO, if you have never used it don?t, there are plenty of other options for handles that are just as cool (but I have to admit I really like the look of it).

If you do use it or decide to give it a try WEAR A RESPORATOR, not a dust mask, a respirator!
Also I would highly recommend this source for carbon fiber www.blacksitecf.com
I purchased some carbon from this guy and it is top notch quality and very reasonably priced.
Be leery of purchasing carbon from places like Ebay, some sellers use fillers like fiberglass of even wood to cut down on their cost and it is almost always priced higher than blacksitecf.
Brett
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2009, 03:48 PM
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Personally I use a dust collector, shop filter, AND a respirator when sanding anything - even wood. My lungs are simply too precious to gamble with.

That said, if you have all of the above, carbon fiber and other laminates are just fine - at least in my opinion. There are woods that irritate my skin more than them.


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  #3  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:28 AM
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I've found carbon fiber to be the easiest material to grind. It's almost too easy. While it's very hard on drills, mills, and saw blades, it doesn't seem to be abrasion resistant at all.

The respirator is a necessity. So is making sure you don't have the dust in your shop where you can kick it up later. If you're itching a lot, you're getting too much of the CF dust on you. Try wearing long sleeves and latex gloves. When I grind CF I run it wet. The pictures show my Square Wheel with a wet sponge mounted to run on the silicon carbide belts. The cup is to keep it wet. This keeps the dust under control. Yes, it's messy! Lots of black sludge in the grinder covers and a mess on the floor. The results are worth it.

I haven't tried Black Site. The CF on the knife in the pic came from Alpha Knife Supply. It's from the Boeing 787.

David
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File Type: jpg WarpSpeedRaptor11.jpg (142.3 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg WarpSpeedSHF11.jpg (132.8 KB, 80 views)


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Old 12-28-2009, 06:09 PM
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David that handle is absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seeing that knife of yours and hearing your sponge idea makes me want to give it one more try.
Wiping up a soupy mess of carbon is much more appealing to me than having itchy forearms all day.

Would you be willing to tell me how you got that finish with the carbon? I have seen a picture on this forum of a carbon handle that was finished with CA glue and a buffing wheel and it looked pretty good to me. Is there any other ways to get a nice finish on carbon?
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:33 PM
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David Broadwell David Broadwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10es& View Post
David that handle is absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seeing that knife of yours and hearing your sponge idea makes me want to give it one more try.
Wiping up a soupy mess of carbon is much more appealing to me than having itchy forearms all day.

Would you be willing to tell me how you got that finish with the carbon? I have seen a picture on this forum of a carbon handle that was finished with CA glue and a buffing wheel and it looked pretty good to me. Is there any other ways to get a nice finish on carbon?
Good Lord, knifemakers and their super glue! They probably hose their wives, kids, pets, furniture, cars, and lawnmowers with the stuff! IT'S AN ADHESIVE, NOT A FINISH!!! Okay, I feel a little better now. ;-)

I appreciate the compliment. I've played around with finishing CF. I tried sanding that handle to 600 grit and giving it a buff like I would ironwood or a stabilized burl, but it really looked awful. The shine wasn't clean and even, and it was muddy looking. I re-sanded it to 400 grit with wet/dry paper, then carefully "scrubbed" it with red Scotchbrite. I've found that this type of soft satin finish lets the layers of CF cloth show through in a chatoyant fashion like some wood. It also gives it a very smooth feel, different from other materials with the same finish. It's also easy to maintain and touch up if necessary. I do not wax it. It seems that coatings and buffings don't agree with CF.

I've attached another couple of pictures. The speckled folder has the same CF as the fixed blade, from the 787 airplane. The smaller folder is one I made around 3 years ago with CF from Halpern. It was 1/8" sheet. It's weave is finer than the 787. Both were finished the same way and have similar appearances.

Wet grinding is nasty, especially this time of the year. You will get wet. If you get a lot of the black sludge on your clothes you should consider stripping down to your skivvies before going inside. Working it wet does make it much safer for you since you're keeping the grindings and dust wet and all in a small space that can be cleaned up. CF is probably one of the most hazardous materials we can work with, but if you keep the dust out of your lungs (and off your skin) you should be just fine.

Carbon fiber certainly is a different animal, but it makes a cool knife.

David
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File Type: jpg TacFoldSpotted2.jpg (119.7 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg SuesFolder2.jpg (137.5 KB, 44 views)


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  #6  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:01 PM
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Thanks again David,
I will try out the red scotchbrite finish and save the glue it intended purpose, filling lacerations
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:41 AM
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Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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David, I sure hope the 747 wasn't structually damaged by the removal of that CF.

You might get into trouble saying that. But I won't tell anyone.

By the way, I love your folders.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:12 PM
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Thanks, Don! I'm an innocent third party. Ask Bybee how he gets the 787 CF.

And Brett, CA makes a nice field suture for an open wound.

David


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