Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Ok, well I have deduced that catalyzed urethane clear and 2 part urethane molding material definitely do not mix!
I was thinking it would be convenient to make the mold from D-shore urethane over the plug but the heat generated by the curing was damaging to the clear coat on the plug... (sigh). So, time to refinish the plug and try making a mold from standard epoxy and fiberglass.....Like I should have from the start! Live and learn. I suppose I have it pretty good though, There is a plethora of information on these sorts of processes on the internet so who am I to complain.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Plug making

Well, the carbon fiber and resin arrived on time from AVT and I'm about half done with making the plug so I need to get that done STAT! Tonight I'll be doing that and making test coupons of various combinations of fiber reinforcements.
Speaking of AVT, My first order from them went very well, they are helpful, well mannered and do what they say.. Also very knowledgeable about composites. I was apprehensive about ordering from a smaller shop but they have given me no reason to complain. It's half way across the country but worth it to get good service.
Last night I got to talking with a friend of mine in the scooter industry and we were throwing around different ideas and boy, I'm really excited about the possibilities I have in front of me! so many ideas, so little time....
I heard a quote last night that I'm fond of, "If you are working for a living, then why kill yourself working". True enough, but to me there might be a deeper meaning, as in "If you're working towards happiness, Then why not work at doing what makes you happy?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Step 1

The Carbon fiber and resin are on the way, should be here by the end of the week. I ordered some of the best quality resins and reinforcements I could find that are commonly available to mere mortals... TETA catalyst is something that ships ground only due to it's hazardous nature but you know what they say right? "good things come to those who wait" heh.
In addition to carbon fiber, I am going to make a few parts using a relatively new material to this industry but certainly not new to any self-respecting Geologist, Basalt! Basalt fibers woven into an interesting textile to be exact. claimed properties are to exceed that of aerospace s-glass at a lower cost with much higher heat tolerance. The appearance is quite interesting as well, imagine "woven magnesium" if there were such a thing.
I'll be adding a few pictures to these posts soon as well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Carbon Fiber and the Indy Dealer Expo

So I've been given the opportunity to once again attend the Indy Dealer Expo. If that doesn't sound familiar, don't feel bad. It's a convention for the manufacturers, dealers and retailers of all things scooter,motorcycle and "power sports" related. Last year I went to help my friend Steve scout products for his blog The Scooter Scoop. I'll be going again for the same reason this year but I've decided it's an excellent opportunity to put some of my product ideas in front of the heavy-hitters in the scooter industry. So to that end, I've chosen to focus on carbon fiber parts for Vespa P-series scooters, initially a light weight replacement for the shifter box cover. My task entails ordering the materials, making a mold and producing a small number of samples before the show which is in(gulp) FIVE WEEKS!.. Fine if you have a full time gig making these kinds of parts but I don't have that luxury, I'll really have to bust my but to get some made and I'll have to do it at night after work but I'm committed to this so here we go...
The engineering on these parts is non-existent since it's just a cover and a non-critical component. Making a mold should be fairly straight forward and I already have the tools for vacuum bagging parts. Now all I need is to order the carbon, s-glass and the resins, start making the mold while waiting for the materials and start thinking about flight and hotels. If anything, the critical feature of these parts is that they look really good.
I sat down the other day and did a cost analysis on a small run of parts and even at 40 pcs. I'll be doing well so that's a nice little bonus there..If I happen to sell them of course! And there is already a company in Germany selling the same thing so there is an established demand for such things. My main advantage in this market is that I can make a much better quality part, cheaper and the customer won't have to order them from Germany.
I'm excited about this, It will be my first attempt at conquering the whole enchilada on my own, concept, prototype, production and marketing..

Monday, January 5, 2009


First order of business today: Create a blog space...