All my life I have always had plenty of ideas. Some of them I ignored and some of them I tried to pursue, and I have failed many more times than I have succeeded. This was a project that seemed so easy. Make a mandrel for a tapered head tube, lay down a couple of layers of carbon fiber, let it cure, and slide it off. If you only could've seen me trying to get the peel ply and breather cloth off of this thing you would've thought, "At this point he's failing again." When I finally did get all the cloth and peel ply off and got a look at the cured carbon on the tube, I quitely said to myself, " There is no way this is coming off the mandrel. Wasted time, wasted money, blah this, blah that...., when are you gonna learn Dimitri?"
Gotta love it when a plan comes together. I can't believe I ever doubted myself. It was coming off the mandrel and I didn't even know it. I thought the mandrel was spinning on the threaded rod, that the threads inside somehow got stripped. The whole time the tube was spinning on it. Big sigh!
"Is it perfect?" Not exactly, but the bearing cups did pop right in just as I hoped. Only problem is that I believe I wrapped it too tight and you can see some wrinkles in it. Its not near as smooth as when i was laying it up. Oh well, its just the first one.
Here is a look at the wall thickness. This is five layers of cloth, 3 fiberglass, the uni, and the carbon sleeve layer. Personally I think its thick enough. I tried to squeeze it together with my hand and it didn't budge. When the cups are bonded in then it will be even more solid. If I wanted to be extra safe I could put another layer of sleeving on. Actually I may do that anyway to try and smooth it out a bit and make it look better. I can honestly say that I would feel comfortable building myself a frame out of this head tube and riding it. I wouldn't go as far as to sell it to someone without testing it but we're real close here.
This pic is a little blurry but it shows the bottom 1 1/2" bearing cup in place.
Top bearing cup.
Outside its 20 degrees, ice all over the place, and looking miserable but inside the MEECH shop its all been fuzzy and warm. Lets do another one. Thanks for stopping by.