Advice on resin clearcoating carbon fiber - in the round

Hi everyone!

I’ve been working on a line of carbon fiber rings for the last year or so. I am continually having troubles getting the prefect ‘top coating’ on them…it always ends up getting marked up waaay faster than other carbon fiber things i have (bicycle parts and such), or they have bubbles in them, and look generally crappy

I was recommended Devcon 2 ton clear epoxy, and they make it sound pretty easy, but I’m trying to clearcoat a 3d ring, so it seems to become complicated very quickly! Do you dip it in the resin, or paint it on with a brush, for example…

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated! I bow to your superior knowledge!

James

Don’t some methods involve essentially heat-shrinking a plastic film over the fished product? I think I’ve seen that method used on a carbon fiber supressor on an airsoft pistol

You run into a similar problem with pottery, especially in plates: How the heck do you dip a whole plate into a slurry of glaze without leaving fingerprints, and without dipping twice (because that would leave a strip of double-thick glaze)?

The best solution I’ve ever seen is a pair of pliers with nails for tips. This allows you to carefully grab the plate with only the sharp nail tips and dip it, then you have full coverage with only two tiny pinholes that usually smooth out in firing.

Obviously, this won’t quite work for the carbon fiber, because the epoxy would cure around the nails and leave a nastly little bump. But, what if you used a pin or very sharp nail bent like a fish hook, and hooked it into the inside of the ring. That would allow you to evenly coat the entire outside by dipping the ring, and letting it cure. After removing the pin, there would be a tiny blemish that you would have to sand/polish out on the inside, but you wouldn’t tend to notice it much. That would at least keep you from having to sand/polish the entire outer surface :slight_smile:

Of course, the idea for carbon fiber rings isn’t really new… maybe you should ask these guys about technique:
http://www.carbonfiberbracelets.com/10101.html

Good luck.

I think you should try dip it in the resin.

what kind of lay up are you doing with the carbon fiber?

It seems to me something as small as a ring could easily be layed up and cured in an autoclave leaving a wonderful finish

there are some good 2 part epoxies for building fishing rods (coating the wraps on the guides) that have a good, tough finish. as far as getting the epoxy to set smooth, use a motor with a dowel to put your rings on. brush on the epoxy, turn on the motor and you have a perfect coat of epoxy set to touch 2-3 hours later. to get the inside you could brush on the epoxy and tape the ring to the dowel from the outside. you can buy the motors and epoxies at www.gregscustomrods.com (shameless plug for my hometown tackle shop) under finishing materials, classic rod coat is the epoxy, and the drying motor is a simple, slow rpm motor that will last forever. give greg a call, he might have a better idea.