General Information

Resin does not easily flow into the carbon fiber cloth – it needs some encouragement, usually by pressure.

  • If you are making a body tube, this is most easily done using a mandrel for the form, applying the carbon fiber and resin, wrapping with a heat shrink tape and heating.  Shadow Aero has an excellent video series for sale on how this is done, and plans for sale to make your own oven.
  • If you are making a part from a mold, this is most easily done by vacuum bagging and heating, or using an autoclave to apply both heat and pressure.  The videos below show how to make a part from a mold using a vacuum bag.  Another video shows how you can make your own pre-preg material.

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Hexcel has an excellent guide called the “Technical Fabrics Handbook” that explains the different types of fabrics available, and another on “Prepreg Technology“.

The Jarvis Illustrated Guide to Carbon Fiber Construction is an article on Rocketry Planet with a lot of good step-by-step information

West Systems has an excellent guide on Vacuum Bagging entitled “Vacuum Bagging Techniques”

“Genes L3 Project” is a series of web pages showing Gene Engelgau’s (Fruity Chutes) carbon fiber level 3 project.  Check out the instructional pages on “Building Composite Centering Rings” and “Making the composite fins”

If you really want to read up on composite construction, the Department of Defense has a five volume “Composite Materials Handbook”  Volume 1  Volume 2  Volume 3  Volume 4  Volume 5