See earlier pictures on: Page One
Our attempt at making the mould from carbon wasn't a great success; the gel coat did not work as prescribed, and we were left with a pretty awful finish on the
mould. So, since time is getting very short now, we cleaned up the plug again and sent it off to have polyester moulds made. We also had some other problems
with the freezer breaking (meaning we lost a load of pre-preg carbon fibre), and the vacuum pump packing up..... But, after rectifying these things, and getting the
nice new polyester moulds made, we were back in business!
We are using 200 gram/square metre pre-preg carbon and 5mm honeycomb for this bike. In the bottom we have 3 layers on the outside, and two on the inside,
sandwiching the honeycomb. The nose and tail don't have the honeycomb.
This is the bottom of the bike with the honeycomb installed, before the inside layers were applied. There are foam
strips around the honeycomb - this is to make sure we have a nice top edge to mate the top of the fairing to, and
gives a taper where the honeycomb goes down to single skin at the nose and tail, which helps get an even vacuum
(and thus a good outside finish) despite the change in thickness.
Adding the inside layers to the bottom of the bike:
This is the top half of the mould prior to laying up. The white
'blanket' allows the air to circulate during the vacuum bagging.
Miles cut an aluminium 'screen', to the same shape and
thickness as the lexan we will use, and this was screwed into the
mould to give the hole required in the final moulding.
The top half all bagged up and vacuumed down, ready for cooking!
It took quite some effort to extract the final mouldings from the moulds, due to the polyester shrinking more than the carbon after cooking. But we got there
eventually (after four hours for the top!). The bottom is nice and stiff, weighing in at 6lbs. The top has slightly less carbon, and so despite being bigger, also
weighs 6lbs. The surface finish hasn't come out as well as we would have liked, so we will have to paint it to get the smooth finish we want - gives Miles an
excuse to make it Kingcycle yellow though!
Isn't she little! So now we just need to make the bits to go inside! Nice to finally see what it looks like though. I've had a sit inside too, actually fairly roomy
(relatively.....), we'll see if I still say that when I have to pedal in there too!
We must come up with a name soon too..... More to come as we get there - hopefully have the something rolling in a couple of weeks time.
See the complete bike on the next page: Page Three