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Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---.hsd1.in.comcast.net)
Date: February 06, 2019 09:23PM

I am gearing up to try my hand at carbon fiber grips. I have RM Volume 10 Issue 6 which stoked me further. I've watched Capt Mikes and of course Tom's video's and found them very helpful and searched this forum for info.
- in the video I watched, Mike seals the foam core prior to sleeving and that makes total sense to me but what is he using to seal it? Is it the same epoxy that he wets the sleeve with?
- what are some favorite epoxy's to use? There are lots out there and to a noob its confusing. Its easy to find the popular places to purchase just not sure what to purchase.
- when finishing to a final smooth finish do you still use a urethane like permagloss?
Thanks in advance
Mark

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 06, 2019 09:56PM

I don't pre-seal the urethane core, but do apply epoxy to it and then again on top of the sleeve to fully wet it out. I use West Systems 105 resin with either the 205 or 206 hardener based on working temp and how fast or slow you need it to set up.

For final top-coat finishing, my video outlines that in full. PermaGloss isn't the only product you can use, but I've found it to be about the best thing going for that purpose.

.............

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: February 07, 2019 02:10PM

Mark S.,
Tom is certainly correct. Allow me to add that while coating the foam core just prior to installing the sleeve will insure the laminating epoxy gets down into the pores of the foam as well as assist wetting-out the CF sleeve from the inside, it will also make sliding and positioning the sleeve on the core much more difficult. From your description, that may be why the other gentleman “seals” the core first (I can only assume with laminating epoxy) and allows it to cure.
When building a structural composite sandwich of foam skinned with fabric such as CF, FG or Aramid, it is imperative the surface pores of the foam are saturated for a complete bond to the fabric to insure full overall strength, including the skins peel-strength of the laminate. While still important, it is not as critical with a rod handle. May I suggest you consider carefully positioning (aligning the weave of) the CF sleeve directly on the foam core and wetting it out thoroughly. While you may not completely fill all the surface pores of the foam (depending on your laminating skills), the sleeve will be adhered more than sufficiently. This method will be quicker, easier, less messy, lighter than “sealing” the core first, all while insuring the weave pattern is straight.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: herb canter (---.atmc.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 02:19PM

Mark D Schulte Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

Follow Tom's video below , the correct way .


[www.youtube.com]

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: February 07, 2019 02:57PM

Mark S.,
West System laminating epoxy is probably the most popular generic, go-to epoxy and readily available at many outlets. Others include Mas and System One. All are good, low viscosity epoxies but with somewhat limited pot life. Soller Composites carries their own “820” epoxy which I consider superior to the above three and can be ordered with a 1 hour pot life hardener. But the best I have found, and the only one I use, is PTM&W Aeropoxy PR2032 with pot life hardeners of 30 minutes to 4 hours. I typically use the 2 hour on most projects so I am not rushed and the viscosity stays thinner longer to assist full penetration. They custom/tailor make epoxies for the aerospace, wind energy and other high tech industries so they really know everything related to epoxies.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: February 07, 2019 03:06PM

Mark S.,
Herb is correct for finishing the grip after it is actually built.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 07, 2019 05:21PM

I've only built one carbon fiber grip, and it turned out very well. I'd even say beautiful. I used the CFX kit from Mud Hole. I don't know what brand the epoxy is, but after I shaped the foam core, I coated it with the same epoxy I used to do the wet lay up. I let it dry two days before proceeding with the rest of the process. My thinking was that once I coated the core, I would be able to position and straighten the weave more easily if need be. I put on a very heavy coat of the laminating epoxy before sliding the sleeve on and then worked it with my had. The epoxy will squeeze out through the weave and I just kept working it with my hand to fully wet the sleeve. Once I had it pretty much oozing epoxy, I cinched down the ends. I ended using wire ties instead of the collapsible c clamps because I had problems closing the clamps and not snagging the sleeve as I did.

This is a link to a photo of the handle I made. [www.rodbuilding.org]

As far as turning down the foam cores if their OD is larger than you want, I used .050" for the skin thickness. If I wanted the final OD of the grip to be 1.06" (seemingly pretty standard for trim rings n such that I've measured) I turned the grip down to .906. The OD's matched up almost perfectly. As you can see in the picture, I didn't top coat that particular grip, but I did top coat some stock CFX grips. I used 2 light coats of the laminating epoxy, then sanded it smooth before putting on 2 coats of Permagloss. I really love the looks of them looking all slick and shiny. But they are not slippery to handle, even when wet. But they are slippery if you have fish slime, or some other oily substance on your hands.

I had a blast making the grip that I did, and I am sure that I will be making more if the need arises.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---.hsd1.in.comcast.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 08:16PM

Dave that turned very nice. I hope I can mimic that.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---.hsd1.in.comcast.net)
Date: February 07, 2019 08:16PM

Thank you all for the help. I appreciate it.

Mark.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: carol staiculescu (107.190.36.---)
Date: February 08, 2019 10:20AM

David Baylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've only built one carbon fiber grip, and it
> turned out very well. I'd even say beautiful. I
> used the CFX kit from Mud Hole. I don't know what
> brand the epoxy is, but after I shaped the foam
> core, I coated it with the same epoxy I used to do
> the wet lay up. I let it dry two days before
> proceeding with the rest of the process. My
> thinking was that once I coated the core, I would
> be able to position and straighten the weave more
> easily if need be. I put on a very heavy coat of
> the laminating epoxy before sliding the sleeve on
> and then worked it with my had. The epoxy will
> squeeze out through the weave and I just kept
> working it with my hand to fully wet the sleeve.
> Once I had it pretty much oozing epoxy, I cinched
> down the ends. I ended using wire ties instead of
> the collapsible c clamps because I had problems
> closing the clamps and not snagging the sleeve as
> I did.

I prefer to coat the foam core prior to putting the sleeve on as well. This provides a smooth and kind of slippery surface for the sleeve to glide on and allows you to make the necessary adjustments on more complex forms easier (without messing up the sleeve). Besides that, you kind of know that what you see is what you get in terms of getting enough resin in there and not having empty spots under the sleeve because the foam sucked in the resin. If you don't use the clamps ( I didn't because I was working straight on the blank and the clamps were not large enough) I suggest you to try tying up some rubber bands at the sleeve's ends . It is safer , easier to adjust the sleeve, and they keep equal pressure allover the circumference of the blank(mandrel) making sure you don't get any wrinkles at the end .
I will also suggest using a resin with a longer working time especially at the beginning and for complex grip shapes like I had on this project :
[www.rodbuilding.org]
[www.rodbuilding.org]

kingofbeasts custom rods



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2019 10:25AM by carol staiculescu.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: February 08, 2019 04:29PM

Thank you for the compliment Mark, I appreciate it.

Carol, that is some beautiful work. I can't imagine what it was like doing that butt. It had to be an adventure.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: February 08, 2019 05:06PM

Carol offered good points including the use of rubber bands at the ends. While I prefer the texture of the weave on the final surface, most prefer a smooth, shinny finished surface. For those of you who like the shinny finish, consider using Soller Composites shrink tubing. There may be no need to apply a second coat of epoxy to “seal” the surface prior to sanding and finishing with PG. But DO NOT use regular electrical shrink tubing as it WILL stick to the grip. Admittedly, I experienced difficulties using the shrink tubing but never gave it an honest second go.
Carol, while your CF grips are very nice, I particularly like your totally concealed reel foot, seamless cork handle. Awesome! I made a similar handle from olive wood and it was a time-consuming undertaking to say the least. It turned out very nice as well and the owner can rest assured it is unique as I will never build another.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Bryan Yates (---.townes.net)
Date: February 09, 2019 12:13PM

Aeromarine 300/21 resin/hardner. I've tried a lot, including West Systems, and the Aeromarine has a lot of very good properties. It's also the epoxy that Capt Mike sold on his old website.

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 11, 2019 11:53AM

Here is a little summary from Sollar Composires on laminating epoxies. They like the 820 epoxy series, but also sell West Systems epoxies. In addition, they sell a variety of different types of tubular sleeves that can be used in making grips.
[www.sollercomposites.com]
Norm

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Re: Epoxies for Carbon Fiber grips
Posted by: carol staiculescu (107.190.36.---)
Date: February 12, 2019 03:03PM

Thank you for your compliments guys, it is indeed quite an effort to do my handles but I found that is worth the struggle so I cannot stop doing it. I like my rods to be comfy (specially in cold weather) and nice to the touch and therefore the concealed reel foot. I'm experimenting with shrink tubing my self and, what I prefer to do is apply a layer of demolding agent (mold release spray) on the inside part of the tube. The spray I'm using is silicone free specially formulated for casting resin parts so it won't interfere with the curing of the epoxy but will allow you to peel off the shrinking tube easier. There are some electrical tubes that can be successfully use for this purpose those to be avoided being the gel type ones. And, speaking of carbon handles, did any of you guys tried to cast your own foam cores? I was thinking tho do that using the Alumilite 610 Foam, what are your thoughts about that? The reason is that I cannot find large enough diameters to turn my desired shapes out of them. For example, for the butt from above , I had to give a shape to multiple foam pieces and glue them together instead of turning and carving one piece of foam.

kingofbeasts custom rods

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