Dremeling carbon fiber

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monkeyiq
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Dremeling carbon fiber

Postby monkeyiq » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:10 pm

Hi,
Sorry if this is the wrong section. I was wondering what masks and eye protection folks use when modifying carbon fiber stuff. I am planning to knock the square edges off the top of my fins but don't really want the resulting material to settle in my lungs or eyes.

In the future I might also try cutting custom fin shapes from sheets of CF, so I don't mind investing in some decent protective gear.

Space Mark
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Re: Dremeling carbon fiber

Postby Space Mark » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:49 pm

Get a high quality dust extractor for your shop so you get as little airborne particles as possible (assuming you can't cut or sand under water or coolant jets.)

3M make some very nice half face masks which take two rectangularish cartridges. They have a dust filter and active carbon filter on each side, which means you can use them for sanding, painting, epoxy, cleanup with acetone and all sorts of other things without smelling anything, or getting dust anywhere near your lungs. It costs about $50, but i'm extremely pleased with the one I have - you cant smell anything through it when dealing with chemicals and dust really doesn't have a chance.
DO NOT USE DISPOSABLE MASKS! these have a horrible seal on them. Just cut up some MDF for an hour or so if you dont believe me. A good quality half face mask will last many many times longer than a disposable mask. A good disposable mask costs $2-5 in a pack, you can use a good quality mask 50 or more times before you need to dispose of the cartidges so it works out much much cheaper.

CF is unbelievably nasty stuff. You don't want to get splinters from it either. I'd recommend using full goggles if you're likely to get dust in your face.

A jigsaw/bandsaw/scrollsaw with metal blades works well on CF sheet, and is probably the only decent option if you don't have a CNC router. Hook up the high quality dust extractor I mentioned earlier up to your saw, or hold it very close to the blade when cutting. Sand the edges with wet and dry under running water.
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