So now that the process is finally is complete i would like to share my thoughts and experiences laminating my board in carbon fiber (CF). For anyone that doesn’t know, the TL;DR to the process is a sheet of carbon fiber weave is applied to the deck and then reinforced with a couple of layers of epoxy resin.
So this will probably be a long post so strap in.
First some questions about the process i suspect will get asked:
Why did you do it? I had a Loaded Flex 2 deck and this is not very good for a single enclosure build so i wanted to stiffen it. I made a previous post about it and settled for Carbon fiber.
How much did it cost? Too much, the whole process with all the tools and material came out to about 150$.
How long did it take? Start to finish about 1.5 weeks, there is a lot of waiting for the epoxy to harden.
I used about 39g of epoxy (hardener included) PER COAT of clear resin, 3 full coats per side + 1 base coat and 1 polishing coat.
My process basically followed this video but applied it to a longboard deck. Therefore i will not write a complete guide to the process (If anyone wants it i can maybe write one) since the video says most of it. I will however share my mistakes i did so you don’t have to do them if you decide to do this
My biggest mistakes (In order):
The base coat. This is an important step. I did not buy special epoxy with color for this step but instead used some coloring i had at home (Iron oxide black pigment) and just stirred it with the epoxy. BIG MISTAKE. I realized too late that the black color did not bond well with the epoxy and was almost pointless. But i had already put some out on the board so i had to commit now.
The layup of the CF weave. This itself was not the issue, cutting it to size was. I followed the video and cut next to the edge of the deck. But this was apparently too close so some fibers were too short to cover the edge. The result of this mistake is that some of the wood can be seen on the top edge of the deck.
Not marking out holes for the truck screws. Yeah…I’m stupid. This resulted in me having to manually drill holes for the trucks and as i have not assembled the board yet i don’t know how the alignment turned out with the trucks. This can be a REALLY bad one, only time will tell.
TL:DR of the mistakes: Don’t stress too much! This will take time, i did not have enough patience to do this correctly. Remember that the more time and preparation you put in, the better the result.
Here is a picture of the final product where you can see the edges i was talking about.
Here is a picture of the messed up black pigment in the epoxy causing weird bubbles to form on the surface. The onlly reason the right side of the deck here is actually black is because i used A LOT of epoxy for this coat, way more than needed.
Some general tips and tricks i noticed.
- Get a lot of brushes, i think i used and subsequently destroyed about 8 or 9 of them.
- Use protection when sanding and cutting the CF & epoxy.
- Again, Plan and be patient!
Some closing words then. Would i recomend doing this to other people? short answer, no, unless you want to do it because you like DIY adn wat the experience. Since i probably forgot a ton of stuff, feel free to ask any question about the process.
Thanks for reading, ride safe!