How to cut carbon fiber sheets

Written by kimberly johnson
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Carbon fibre, also called carbon fibre veneer or carbon laminate, is a rigid, durable sheeting material that is made of tightly woven carbon threads. The carbon threads are typically encased in a hard, plastic covering, such as epoxy resin. Carbon fibre is a very strong material used in a variety of ways, including aerospace, military equipment and sports equipment. Because of its strength, cutting carbon fibre sheets can be tricky.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Long sleeves and trousers
  • Hand-held power saw with cutting disc wheel
  • Table clamps
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Clear paint, Super Glue or clear nail polish
  • Damp cloth
  • Soap
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Lay the carbon fibre sheet on a flat surface and use a ruler and a pencil to mark the locations where you want to cut it.

  2. 2

    Put on safety glasses, a dust mask, gloves and long sleeves and trousers. When you cut into the carbon fibre sheet, tiny carbon fibres are released into the air which can get into your eyes, on the skin and in your lungs.

  3. 3

    Install a cutting wheel disc onto a hand-held power saw and plug the saw into an electrical socket. If the carbon sheet is large, move the part that you want to cut so it hangs over the edge of the table and. Clamp the sheet to the table using table clamps.

  4. 4

    Turn on the saw and place the cutting disc at one edge of the marked cut lines. Move the cutter disc slowly and smoothly along the line until you reach the end. Repeat to cut any additional lines on the carbon fibre sheet.

  5. 5

    Sand down the cut edge of the carbon fibre sheet with a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 100, until it is smooth to the touch.

  6. 6

    Cover the cut edge with a thin layer of clear paint, super glue or clear nail polish to seal it.

  7. 7

    Wipe down all work surfaces and the carbon fibre sheet with a damp cloth to remove the carbon-fibre dust. You should also immediately wash all exposed skin areas well with soap and water.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are cutting a complex shape, draw the shape onto a piece of paper. Cut it out with scissors and lay the paper on top of the carbon-fibre sheet to draw the cut lines.
  • You can cut carbon fibre sheets that are less than 3mm thick with a pair of scissors.
  • Wash all clothing items immediately after cutting to remove carbon fibres that are harmful if inhaled.

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