Forums DIY and Mods Is carbon fiber difficult to drill/cut? I have cobalt drill bits.
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  • #788259
    Mr_Orange
    76 Posts

    This is for binding mod i’m doing.

    Recently had a bad tough time trying to drill through stainless steel for the first time so i thought I’d do some preparation before dealing with carbon fiber.

    So it’s not actually pure carbon fiber. I’m actually drying to cut and drill into Dragonplate’s carbon fiber birch laminate: http://dragonplate.com/ecart/categories.asp?cID=3
    I know some of you here have used it.

    What i need to do is nothing too crazy. The largest hole size is 3/8″.
    Will cobalt bits work? I have this set right here: http://www.lowes.com/pd_689767-70-DWA1240___?productId=50413714&pl=1&Ntt=colbalt+dewalt

    Are there any cutting lubircants that need to be used?

    The cuts I’m doing are just straight cuts. I’m probably going to find a nearby car shop with a band saw or table saw. Are there certain precautions (like a minimum blade tpi…?) I need to take for this?

    Also, can you do some shallow boring on carbon fiber with a regular forstner bit like this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C73e76KHrCg/VE0PZohgu6I/AAAAAAAABd0/MKl4PvuXusU/s1600/IMG_2194.jpg

    #788348
    Scooby2
    607 Posts

    Thick carbon is difficult to drill without specific and expensive bits. Wood laminated with a little carbon is not hard. For a less expensive option try brad point bits with light pressure, and higher speed, they will dull pretty quick.
    You want the sharp corner of the bit to slice through the resin and carbon without grabbing a big chunk of it and tearing or flaking out the composite. either way for something you are just designing and experimenting with, use a multi (5 or 6 I think) blade countersink to smooth out any broken areas and then brush with epoxy to clean it up if you flake out the fabric around a hole.

    Forstners will also work well, but can be a little wild after the circle is cut out from the outer edge of the bit once the flat blade dives into the fiber. you might take the time to learn how to sharpen them by hand if you do it a lot.

    Also, you can start a hole with a forstner, cut the circle clean with the outer vertical blade then drill out with a regular bit. you’ll figure out the best recipe after a few, but you don’t need the 100-200 dollar bits if you aren’t making airplanes, rockets, etc.

    Also don’t drill all the way through, once you get the hole started with a brad point or forstner, grab a 1/16 bit and drill that all the way through. use that little hole on the flip side to orient the drill through the composite layer from the other side.

    You can cut it real easy, almost any way, hand saw, circular saw, jig saw. fast sharp blade, light pressure. I’d cut a bit away from your finish line first and use a small belt sander or sandpaper and a block to go right to the line if you want a real clean finish.

    #788358
    Mr_Orange
    76 Posts

    Ya, im just dealing with 1/8″ carbon birch laminate so hopefully that should be fine with my cobalts bits.

    I’m trying to mount my bomber splitboard sidewinder bindings on a non splitboard. Thought it’ll be interesting to try with the much lower stack height.

    I even thought about just direct mounting those things right to the board but not sure if there’s enough rigidity between the toe and heel bail pieces.

    I’m still going to t-nut them to the board but with the carbon fiber birch platform underneath for extra stiffness.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Like i said, i originally wanted to do this with stainless steel and it was such a pain. From asking around most people said stainless steel is uniquely hard to drill through and i won’t have as much trouble with CF.

    #788378
    Scooby2
    607 Posts

    If you wanted to use metal, aluminum would be the way to go, real easy to drill and cut and reasonably light. Old school hard boot bindings had completely separate toe and heel bails, but the boards commonly had alu plates in the core in the binding area for screw retention.

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