How to make carbon fiber tubes

Written by brandon salo
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How to make carbon fiber tubes
Carbon is used for thousands of products and is very strong when utilised in carbon fibre form. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Carbon fibre is a very strong material and its uses are becoming more widespread. Carbon fibre has become relatively easy to work with and the materials can be purchased online or at some auto bodyworks garages. Carbon fibre tubes can be made at home and used for a variety of projects. These tubes can be used for auto repair, tent tubes and many other projects that may require a lightweight and super strong tube.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Latex gloves
  • Face mask
  • Vice
  • Metal rod
  • Mold release wax
  • Carbon fibre epoxy
  • Carbon fibre fabric
  • 2 brushes
  • 2 vice grips
  • Metal hand saw

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  1. 1

    Secure the metal rod in the vice horizontally. Leave at least three inches more than the desired length of your finished tube. If you want a 20-inch tube, you have at least 23 inches of rod extending from the vice and at least six inches of rod secured in the vice. The rod will not be holding an abundant amount of weight, nor will it be resisting pressure. You will be delicately wrapping fabric coated with epoxy around the rod, and if it were to slip, you may have to start your project over.

  2. 2

    Cover the rod with the mould release wax using one of your brushes. Let it set for 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Wrap your carbon fibre fabric around the rod. You will want at least three inches of extra tube length for removing it from the mould.

  4. 4

    Coat the fabric with a layer of epoxy before the fabric is placed over itself. Continue applying the epoxy as you continue wrapping the fabric. You will want at least six layers for a strong tube. Keep in mind that the last layer of epoxy on the tube will show, so take your time if you would like the finished tube to look well. Let the epoxy dry for 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Remove the tube and rod from the vice. Clamp your vice grip around the tube where you provided the extra length. Clamp the other grip around the rod. The vice grip around the tube should be secured well, but not enough to squeeze the tube on to the rod. Twist the grips against each other, one clockwise, and the other counter-clockwise. The mould should pop out from its secured position.

  6. 6

    Remove the tube from the rod. Because the mould release wax was on the rod, the inside of the tube should be smooth and the outside of the tube should appear just as it did when you started to let it dry.

  7. 7

    Cut the end of the tube that may have been damaged by the vice grips using the metal hand saw.

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