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Old 04-02-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
space OP
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Location: Pasadena, CA
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Toolroll compartment for the battery box

This little project is for my HP2 Enduro, but I imagine it would work for the R12 as well, since the airbox is the same.

I got a LiFePO battery for my HP2. It's a 12 cell unit from Ballistic, which has plenty of power to crank my bike. (Disclaimer: I live in SoCal, so my coldest start has been about 45 deg F. Rough, I know.) The difference in weight is awesome, and it takes up a good bit less volume:


That leaves a perfect space for my tool roll. All I need is a compartment to hold it in place. Time to bust out the carbon fiber!

First step: I dremeled off the plastic ridges along the back of the airbox. My toolroll is a bulky 3 1/2" diameter, so I need all the space I can get.


Next, glue together some styrofoam bricks and carve a positive mold. I use a random orbit sander for taking off large areas and a handheld sanding block for finer work. Once the basic shape is done, I use modeling clay to fill in cracks and easily form smooth curves. Oh, and to correct my many screw ups where I cut off too much foam.


Before the CF goes on, I paint on at least three layers of PVA, allowing a good 30 minutes between each coat. It dries to a thin, water-soluble film that prevents the plug from sticking to the CF. I suppose this isn't critical since the plug won't get out alive, but it helps prevent the modeling clay from sticking too badly.


After a final fitment test, it's time for the fun part! I am going to start with a double layer of CF, applied in three sheets. This part doesn't need much strength, so I'm hoping two layers is enough. Besides, the tolerances in this weirdly constrained space are pretty small, so I can't afford too much thickness.

The first two sheets are long and narrow, going up a side, over the bottom, and then down the opposite side. The plug is on an impromptu mount that holds it upside-down and allows easy rotation without touching it. This should make life easier later. I hit each side with light coat of spray glue and then layered on the rough-cut CF pieces. Once they were on, I trimmed excess and folded them down. The result:


No epoxy on there yet. I'll do that tomorrow.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:53 AM   #2
JimVonBaden
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Looks cool! I wish I had the skills necessary to do this!

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Old 04-03-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Nah, it doesn't take much. This is only my third CF part, although it is the most complex in terms of weird contours. And pretty much everything I know can be gleaned from the awesome threads of inmate ebrabaek, which are way more informative than what this one:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603891 (CF panels)
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615213 (fairing !!)
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605282 (bullet-proof bash plate, literally !!!)
Inspiring stuff.

When I got to trying it myself, I started with a practice kit put together by Burt Rutan & co. and sold by Aircraft Spruce:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...racticekit.php
It's a great kit. Runs you through a couple basic projects in great detail, and then concludes by telling you: congratulations, you now know enough to build your own airplane! Scary thought.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
mudmullet
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Looks great! can't wait to see it finished!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Last night I wetted out the CF. First, I applied a liberal coat of epoxy on the layers that I'd spray-glued into place, then squeegeed off excess. I used a cheap paintbrush to spread the epoxy on and to tap it into the various nooks and crannies. Then I waited about 90 minutes for the epoxy to get tacky -- a trick I picked up from somewhere in ebrabaek's threads, linked above. That makes adding the next layer much easier. You just stick it on and push it into the corners. Once in place, I wetted it and did a final squeegee. I waited another hour to make sure it was staying in place, then hit the sack.

This morning:


Success!! This is after a little trimming to remove the excess. As the next pic makes obvious, I need to do more trimming for the seat to fit, but that will happen after sanding and removing the plug.



And it even fits in place, with the battery! I had my concerns, as space in here is really tight. It takes a little squeezing, but it fits. Perfect!

My only notable mistake was making the corners too sharp. The CF didn't quite conform to perfect 90 deg bends, causing it to pucker out a little at the edges. Next time I'll sand those edges so they're smooth curves. Ah well, not like anyone is going to notice once it's in the bike.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
JimVonBaden
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Looks great!

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Old 04-04-2013, 08:25 AM   #7
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Thanks, Jim. I think I've been talking about doing this since ... um ... I lived in Virginia?? Been a crazy past couple years!
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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That looks great. This site is bad for planting seeds. I have never worked with CF, but now you have me wondering if I need to buy a starter kit. I need to stop looking at threads like these.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Awesome job Jake. Good to see you finally get a stab at this...... I know you have been waiting so very long. Nothing in here, I would have done different..... Well perhaps except for sanding the corners..... But you saw that as well......

The box went great...... Here is a link to my you tube channel, as the vid's are in there, along with many good CF vid's as well...

https://www.youtube.com/user/ebrabaek?feature=mhee

As well as my CF facebook page.....

http://www.facebook.com/pages/High-D...6297979?ref=hl

Looking forward to see how it turns out in the end. Were surely thinking about you going through the box...
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Ravenslair -- yep, I got into CF the same way. You can get the learner kit and set yourself up for $200ish. Or skip the learner kit and just follow along with some of the threads on here for a bit less.

Erling -- thanks! Looks like a great ride!


I'm traveling now, so no pictures. But when I sanded the part, I noticed that the fabric had delaminated (that is, the layers separated) in some places where it had puckered along the edges. Hm. It was bad enough that I might just chuck this one and start over. Not a big deal, as I won't have to repeat the most time-intensive step, which is designing the thing. So goes the learning process!
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by space View Post
Ravenslair -- yep, I got into CF the same way. You can get the learner kit and set yourself up for $200ish. Or skip the learner kit and just follow along with some of the threads on here for a bit less.

Erling -- thanks! Looks like a great ride!


I'm traveling now, so no pictures. But when I sanded the part, I noticed that the fabric had delaminated (that is, the layers separated) in some places where it had puckered along the edges. Hm. It was bad enough that I might just chuck this one and start over. Not a big deal, as I won't have to repeat the most time-intensive step, which is designing the thing. So goes the learning process!
Bummer.....
Another trick of the trade, is after you lay it all up, you sometimes can use electrical tape to mechanically hold everything in shape. You have one take, as once the resin gets on the tape it will not stick. Start from the Bottom, and use 50% overlap. Not too tight, as it will move....... Just right.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:40 PM   #12
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OK, update to this slow-burning thread. I'm now on my third piece for this application ... each one a bit better than the last.

The first piece, which I made back in ... geez, back in April ... had delamination problems. So I cut it off the plug and chucked it. Next!

I sanded the plug down a bit to round out the edges. After more PVA coats, I did another layup. This time it turned out beautifully. No puckering at corners, no delamination. I'm starting to get good at this! Or at least that's what I was thinking up until I tore out the plug and tried to slide my toolroll into it ... and found that it didn't fit. Crap. Very close, but it was just too weird a shape, and metal tools don't like to bend. Next!

Then work got busy, so no progress for a couple months. Having dremeled off the normal mounting points for the battery holder, I rode around for about 1500 miles with my battery held in place with a tie-down strap. Meh, it worked.

Third (and current) try. Making a CF tube to hold the tools in place seemed like a doomed concept, so I decided to make a surface that wraps around the compartment and holds both the battery and tools in place. That's a much easier layup, and because a surface can bend it has far more forgiving tolerances to all the weird angles of the bike's frame and airbox. The result:



And on the bike:





Looks good, and best of all -- it works! You can see that battery and toolroll both fit, and the roll slides easily in and out. (And yeah, the seat fits too.) I still need to add hardware to hold the thing rigidly to the frame of the bike, but once I do I'm confident it will hold the battery in place.


I liked the look enough that I decided to do make a panel for the left side as well, to hide that ugly orange battery. Looks aside, it'll give a bit more weather and splash protection and provide a mounting point for the Powerlet-style socket that I had to relocate.

Here's the mold:



A decent amount of that foam mold is for support. One thing I've learned is to make molds that extend at least an inch beyond the final piece, so that you don't have fabric draping off right at the edge. That helps cut down on puckering.

Here's the layup, which is currently curing:

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #13
JimVonBaden
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Looks great!

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Old 07-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #14
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Thanks for the pics and how to.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:19 PM   #15
space OP
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Latest update of this slow-moving thread ....

Today I put together some mounting hardware for the panels. I purchased some 1" cushioned pipe clamps from the local hardware store, but they were a bit big for the tubes of the HP2 frame. This presented me with two options: bend them a bit to make them smaller; or remove the rubber cushioning and toss the metal bit in favor of making a carbon fiber one. Well, the metal was kind of ugly anyhow. And if you haven't figured out yet, my projects are generally not about the fastest way to get from A to B. Generally a good philosophy, I think.

I'm starting to feel a bit more competent with composites, so I decided to document every step. Bear with me, as this may end badly. Again.

Step 1: find a tube of about the right diameter. As it happened, I had a tube for JB weld putty that was just right. I wrapped packing tape around it to protect it from the epoxy. Then I added some modeling clay to square out one corner.



Step 2: Cut out a square of peel ply and wrap it around the mold.



Step 3: Lay down a layer of CF, wet it. Lay down another, wet it. I figure two layers should be plenty strong but still flexible enough to serve this purpose. (EDIT: if I were to do this again, I'd use three layers: a CF sheet on the bottom, which will become the visible outside layer, then two fiberglass sheets on top of it. Three layers would better match the thickness of the original metal strip, and fiberglass is more flexible than CF.)



Step 4: Set the mold on the fiber and press out air bubbles with a squeegee. I like the Bondo brand ones.



Also: Stone IPA. A friend recommended it, so I gave it a shot. Too hoppy. Yes, I know that's their thing, and reading the label I realize that now, but I was in a hurry at the grocery store. I enjoy a good IPA and don't shun a bitter beer, but there has to be a sense of balance. Back to our story.

Step 5: Wrap the piece around the mold. Then realize you didn't think far enough in advance ... dammit, I should know by now that layup is 95% about thinking in advance ... sooo ... grab the nearest heavy object with a 90 degree corner to keep everything in place. Hm. OK, I think that will do.




Also, I made a custom threaded insert for the left side panel. Took a T nut and bent / dremeled / otherwise abused it into the shape I wanted. This was a little tricky because the bolt must go into the panel at a bit of an angle. Once that was done, I bolted it to the panel for layup. The threads and top of the fastener are packed with grease to keep out epoxy.



(You can't tell that it's canted by 10-ish degrees, but it is. Standard ADV cliche: it's steeper than it looks.)

Then I overlaid a couple layers of CF. It's easy to push the fibers apart to make room for a small insert like this. My first couple attempts involved cutting holes in the fabric, but I always messed up the weave. Easier to just push the insert through.




More tomorrow. Not sure if any of this will work, as this is my first time doing anything quite this complex ....

space screwed with this post 07-30-2013 at 07:39 AM Reason: fixing pics ...
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