Sat May 02 2020

Center arm rest lid

In preparation for doing the composite layup, I found this can of mold release from back when I restored my little lathe.

It leaves a hazy film on the surfaces.

Some years back, I had purchased a composites starter kit at the Aircraft Spruce booth at Oshkosh. My friend, Clare Lutton, was nice enough to transport it back to our house in Columbus. RIP, Clare.

I had ordered some carbon fiber cloth a while back in preparation for making this lid. I checked with my friend, Jim who indicated that the completed layup should be basically the same thickness as the cloth. I'm shooting for around .030 thick final dimension, so I'll cut out three pieces of fabric.

I spoke with my friend, Greg, about this process. I have almost zero composites experience, and Greg is building a Sportsman 2+2, so he has a lot of composites experience. He recommended that I chop up some carbon in order to make a paste which can be used for some of the crevices, etc. So, I simply sliced up one of the scrap triangles into tiny pieces. This'll get mixed with epoxy to make a blend about the consistency of peanut butter.

I'll be using my Chineseium scale from Amazon to measure the hardner and resin. I put it in a sandwich bag to (hopefully) keep it from getting epoxy all over.

I took a few weights of the mixing cup, the chopped carbon, and the three plies of carbon fabric. On Greg's recommendation, I'm going to wait until the morning to do the mixing, prepreg, and layup. The cooler temperature should facilitate a longer working time.

I dunno if you can see it, but this visqueen plastic pictured here is what I'll be using to do the prepreg of the layers. Fingers crossed that this goes well. My comfort level is far lower than than working with aluminum.