This tutorial goes through the steps involved in cutting and laminating carbon fiber onto the top and bottom of a skateboard deck. Adding a layer of composite material can increase the strength and rigidity of an existing board. Using the Thin Air Press vacuum bag is a great way to laminate these materials with a controlled and even pressure.
Straight Edge Ruler
Sharp Utility Knife
20" x 70" Offset Thin Air Press (TAP) Vacuum Bag
TAP Hand Pump
File or Coarse Sandpaper
Carbon Fiber Cloth
2 Part Epoxy with Pump, Mixing Stick and Tray
Existing Skateboard Deck
Step 1: Cut the Carbon Fiber, Breather Ply and Release Film
It is easy to pull individual strands of carbon fiber while cutting. Here is an easy fix that will help keep your carbon fiber straight and without annoying pulls in the cloth. This tip will help the finished job look cleaner and more professional.
The material has been rolled out flat, on a clean table. You will find that the cloth can twist. Try to make the cloth square before cutting. Use a corner of a table or a builders square as a guide.
Apply masking tape to the areas where you want to cut the carbon. The cloth in the photo below has sewn kevlar on the outside edge. No need to tape over this. Make sure your cut piece of cloth is larger by a couple of inches than the length and width of the decks shape you are laminating it to.
Using a long straight edge and a very sharp utility knife. Cut along the middle of the tape. Make sure you cut all the way through the tape and cloth.
Once cut, the remaining tape holds the carbon cloth from twisting and prevents pulls in the material. Do not remove the tape while laminating.
Now cut your Breather Ply and Release Film to the same size.