Couple quick shots of the latest mess I've made. Its not really that bad but its a little bit difficult to get the vacuum bag to pull tight perfectly around the bottom bracket shell area. With roughly 5 tubes going in 5 different directions, several complex curvysome radial-diametrylloids, and throw in a couple of invisible squellallellagrams, its kinda hard to get the peel ply and breather cloth to lay down flat, so you can't really tell which direction the bag is gonna pull. It wasn't all bad though, it actually pulled things together it all the right places except for one. Follow me.
"Hey D, whats with all the different carbon patterns going on?" Oh, well you see, thats part of MELP. "What's MELP?" Its the MEECH Experimental Laminate Process. No seriously though, the stardard carbon weave pattern on top conforms really well to the complex shapes shown here and it lays down much better than the uni-directional carbon I have, which is really thick by the way. The carbon cloth that has the big squares is some 12K weave that I bought because I like the way it looks and I'm wanting to use it as a cosmetic layer, think back to the Scott CR1. Are you beginning to think that I'm stuck back in 2003? If only. Just kidding, I love my life now and wouldn't trade it for anything, except for maybe a time machine and a genie in a bottle. "If you have a time machine what would you need with a genie? Umm, ever see the show "I Dream of Jeannie?" You're not gonna make me explain this one are you? So anyway, at this point I was a bit frazzled with the way this layup had gone and since everything had gone awry I just threw a patch of this 12k weave on to see how it would turn out. Let me tell you, this has got to be the most difficult carbon fabric to work with known to man. It just wants to fall apart while your cutting it. Forget trying to cut an experimental piece and see how it'll lay down. The only way to work with it at all is to apply the resin while its still all together and then cut it, this way the resin kind of holds it together. It has to get better from here. Oddly enough though, the junctures around all the tubes and the bottom bracket are nice and snug, really solid. All it needs is sanding and a cosmetic layer and it'll be good to go.
This is the bad spot I spoke of earlier. See the air pocket? I honestly don't know how that happened however I'm assuming as the vacuum bag pulled tight an air-pocket formed and it cured that way. Anyone care to enlighten me more?
This Wrinkle Be Gone stuff works surprisely well. I'm gonna need to put in a good supply.
Ahh, enlightenment! A little pre-planning will go a long way. I've learned that its best not to wait until after you've layed down the wet carbon to try and start figuring out how to cut the peel ply, so I tried to cut a few pieces that sort of fit the frame and be ready. While these aren't a perfect fit (I don't think its possible) they are an improvement. Just having a bit of a plan in place is an improvement over what I just did. The more I play with this I think I'll eventually dial in the shapes. Its definitely not easy making a flat piece of cloth lay down on a squellallellagram. Its a little like cutting paper-doll clothes, which I never did by the way. I played with Evel Knievel and GI Joe with the kung-fu grip and his helicopter, which mine happened to be missing a couple of propeller blades because I climbed 30 feet up in a tree and tossed it. "Houston, we have a problem." Have you ever jumped out of tree holding a bubble-umbrella in a snow storm? Don't do it. Regardless of how much snow is on the ground the landing is not that soft. Did I ever tell you about the time I filled my Evel Knievel Sky Cycle up with gasoline and sent it flying across the ...., yeah I told you. I'm running out of stories to tell. I need to make some more. Man, if you could've seen the look on my mom's face when she drove up to find the driveway in flames. Some parents call their children a blessing, my parents used to refer to me as a nightmare with matches. The best way to describe me is to take a perfectly good bottle-rocket and break off the stick and then light the fuse. Hope I never have any kids like me. Uhh, guess what? Nightmare!