4. Apply a very thin coating of petroleum jelly to the
set screws to keep the resin from locking them in
place during curing (Figure M).
5. Use pliers to flatten the spikes found on the
T-nuts (Figure N). The slightly jagged nubs that
are left will grab into the composite later and help
M keep the T-nuts from rotating when you insert
Fig. L: Set screw insertion.
Fig. M: Lubricate inserts.
Fig. N: Nut forming.
Fig. O: Raw carbon trim.
Fig. P: Clay insertion.
Fig. Q: Epoxy spreading.
Fig. R: Clamping.
LAY UP THE COMPOSITE
1. Cut 2 equal lengths of the carbon sleeve, long
enough to allow a little extra material to hang over
each end of the mandrel (Figure O).
2. Carefully slide one length of sleeving over the
mandrel, and wiggle the fibers around the set
screws so that they lay flat against the mandrel with
the screws poking through. Screw the T-nuts onto
the set screws and pack a small amount of model-
ing clay into the top of each to prevent resin from
filling in the hole (Figure P).
3. Mix up the epoxy according to the manufacturer’s directions. Wearing latex or nitrile gloves,
apply it generously to the sleeve, working it
between the fibers with your fingers to ensure
P total wet-out.
4. Pull the second layer of sleeve over the mandrel,
and, as with the first sleeve, work the fibers around
the T-nuts so that the nuts poke through and the
fabric lays flat. Work more epoxy into this second
layer until it is also completely saturated (Figure
Q). Tug carefully on either end of the sleeves to
straighten any undulations in the fiber weave, and
R smooth it down as much as possible to ensure
clean aesthetic results.
Article about current carbon shortage due to
increased demand from aerospace and military:
Soller Composites: sollercomposites.com
5. Place the clamping blocks on either side of
the layup and mandrel with the holes in the drilled
clamping block matching the locations of the
T-nuts. Apply the C-clamps carefully and tighten
them down while trying to minimize shifting in
the fiber (Figure R). Wrap a rubber band around
the lip of the flange to pull the fiber around the
edges. Smooth away any excess resin from the
layup with your gloved fingers; this will save
surface finishing time later. Allow the layup to