Intro: My Carbon Frame Flop
There are great success stories on this site, It's the first place I go to get started on a project for some tips and interesting ideas. I thought why not have a failure story on here too......
A few years ago I decided to make my own Carbon bicycle frame using things around the house,
This is how it went.
Step 1: Building the Frame Jig From Old Pallets
I was very keen I collected some old pallets (hey , I can enter this into the pallet contest :) ) cut them up and nailed up a frame.
Step 2: Frame Parts
I chopped up an old aluminium frame for the important bits ( head tube,BB,stays, etc.) and positioned them on hard foam pieces, I used string to set angles and lines.
Everything seemed fine.
Step 3: Building the Foam Frame
I used foam to build the frame into the pieces I had already set in the jig.
Step 4: Strong the Joints
I started to lay up the carbon fiber cloth and paint on the resin, Then wrapped it with insulation tape I drilled holes into.
This squeezed out the excess resin, Don't forget to wrap sticky side up.
Step 5: Resin
Here you can see how the resin is pushed out by the tightly bound insulation tape.
When you remove the tape the excess resin comes with it leaving only pin points on the carbon fiber, these are easily sanded off afterwards.
Step 6: Foam Filler
I used foam filler to shape the pieces where the tubes came together,
What I didn't notice is that the head tube had moved and was now at less of an angle
Step 7: Layers of Carbon
Every night I would go remove tape and add another layer, I spent endless nights in the garage until it was done.
I put all the parts on and took it out for a test ride, because the head tube moved it changed the handling completely. If you turn the handle bars too far it will buck you over like a rodeo clown.
I removed all the parts and it now hangs in my garage as a very expensive reminder after doing only 20 m on the road.
The point is that many people are apprehensive to try things,to make things, you will fail BUT there will be far more times that your friends come over and say "Wow, that's awesome!"
To which you proudly reply " Thanks, I made it..."