Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Carbon fibre Greenland paddle 1

Finally got off me backside and made the plug for 'BlackFinger' the carbon fibre version of the Formby Finger.

I shaped it from MDF [cheap] sanded it as smooth as possible, filled any rough areas with Polyfilla Fine surface filler and gave it a couple of coats of epoxy resin. The wet and dry paper came out and sanded down to 600 then I stuck it onto to a backing board which also has a coat of epoxy on, both sides to eliminate warping.
A couple of days later the wet and dry came out to smooth it even further, and after 8 coats of Honey Wax the mould popped off in a jiffy. The paddle consists of 4 blade shells each consisting of 3 layers of carbon fibre cloth [pictured] bonded together and finally joined in the middle. 
the tape stops the edges unravelling

First layup in the mould the next day..

out of the mould; a few dints to fill with epoxy
I'm trying to use the absolute minimum of resin at the layup stage and it was a swine to get the round end to conform to the mould, and eventually I had to use clamps and a former to press the cloth into place. 
When it came out of the mould it weighed 80g , but it was a bit flexible so another internal layer was added to make each part 4 layers thick, I'm aiming at a final paddle weight of around 600gms. [The original cedar Formby Finger weighs 815gm]

 Finally finished all 4 components and epoxied them together tonight.
I have tried out a method of joining them similar to a biscuit tin. It has taken me some time to perfect the method and for now I'm keeping it to myself.
Total weight so far 600gm/ materials cost £70

All glued, filled, sanded, and satin varnished..

The 'Formby Finger' and 'BlackFinger' 
Photo by Dave Jones


Stuart said...

Looking good, looking forward to see the outcome.

Andy Harpur said...

Looks a thing of beauty Mike.

- Andy

Dr Blug said...

Thanks Andy
Ian Collins had a good go with it last weekend and really rated it. There's a real difference in feel to the cedar version, I'm going to really test it hard to make sure there's no problems with the jointing method then hopefully I can start to make custom orders.