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  #1  
Old 08-22-2008, 06:04 PM
muskrat man muskrat man is offline
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carbon fiber

have an order for a knife with carbon fiber handles, anyone know where I can pick up a couple sets? is it hard to work/finish? how does it react with pins, chip easily? any profound health hazards apart from normal grinding like on or exotic wood, micarta?
Thanks!!!


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Old 08-22-2008, 07:13 PM
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It's easy to work, but pretty pricy for anything over 1/8" thick.

I'm not aware of any special precautions.

I've never had it chip, and it'll never split with pinning and peening.

Knife Kits has some 1/4" stuff for something like $60 for a set of scales. I could be off on the price.

I picked up some 1/8" scrap slabs on ebay and still have some after a few knives. You could also double up on the 1/8 stuff. Resin impregnated scales with resin between them should match up pretty seemlessly.

DON'T USE A BAND SAW! IT'LL KILL YOUR BLADE. I use a dremel with cutting disks to rough cut then it's all grinding.


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Old 08-22-2008, 09:02 PM
muskrat man muskrat man is offline
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thanks Andrew I just snagged a couple 1/4" thick 3.5"x5.5" slabs off ebay for $4.50 a slab. pretty cheap it seems


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Old 08-23-2008, 01:48 PM
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Good score!


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Old 08-23-2008, 07:37 PM
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Make sure to use a good respirator, carbon fiber is very bad stuff to breath. The fibers form tiny hook shapes which lodge in your lungs and are very hard for your body to reject. Use a good mask, try to work the material when it is wet to avoid airborn dust, clean your work areas after every time you grind it. Google "breathing carbon fiber" and you will see a bunch of reports on the subject.

Heres what Alpha Knife Supply has to say
"The disadvantages are tooling wear and health concerns. Carbon fiber dust is VERY VERY BAD FOR YOU. Always wear a respirator when working with carbon fiber. Keep the respirator on when cleaning your work area. Do everything possible to avoid breathing the dust. The dust will make your skin itch. Every time we work with carbon fiber we spend the next few weeks digging little black splinters from our hands. I keep saying that when our current inventory is gone we will not sell it again. I truly hate working with this material. If you have a choice, use another material."

I agree with them...this is the knife material I try to avoid the most.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:33 PM
muskrat man muskrat man is offline
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yey, thanks for the confidence AUBE

LOL I'll slap some new carts in my respirator and go to town.


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Old 08-23-2008, 09:56 PM
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Just to add a couple of other points. It's horrible on tools like band saw blades and drills, at least the usual ones most of us have. However, it grinds very easily. Almost too easily! I've clamped a sponge to my Square Wheel so it would run on the belts to keep them wet, and I spray water on it often. I use water proof silicon carbide belts for CF. Working it wet will give you a nice black sludge in your machine, but your lungs well be happier.

Can't emphasize not breathing it enough. It essentially does the same thing to your lungs as coal dust, mother of pearl dust, and asbestos dust, it buries itself into the soft tissue of your lungs and can't be expelled. After you get enough of it in there it can metastasize.

David


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Old 08-23-2008, 10:08 PM
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I use a good respirator with every handle I grind, so I think little of it.

I was interested to read (a minute ago) that carbon fiber filaments are also conductive and can short out your machines (but I guess steel dust is too ehh?)

hmm...


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Old 08-24-2008, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskrat man
yey, thanks for the confidence AUBE

LOL I'll slap some new carts in my respirator and go to town.

lol wasn't trying to worry you. I just know there are a lot of people out there that aren't as cautious as they should be...I used to be one of them. Thought I would add a scary(but true) warning for anyone that might read the thread that isn't up to par on their safety precautions.

Carbon fiber is a great material and I do work it from time to time. I just want to make sure everyone is safe when working it.

One thing to watch for when buying carbon fiber on Ebay.....there are some people out there selling a carbon fiber/wood composite and marketing it as "carbon fiber sheet" Basically its a layer of lightweight wood with a sheet of carbon fiber glued overtop of it. Good for some applications but not what most makers are looking for. Another one that isn't as bad but still isn't pure carbon is where they take a sheet of fiberglass or Micarta-like material and epoxy a layer of carbon fiber over it. Much lower prices on both items but it's not pure carbon fiber.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:27 AM
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Brett Schaller Brett Schaller is offline
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Quote:
"Another one that isn't as bad but still isn't pure carbon is where they take a sheet of fiberglass or Micarta-like material and epoxy a layer of carbon fiber over it. Much lower prices on both items but it's not pure carbon fiber."
I ran into that a couple of years ago - got some CF from one of the big name knifemakers supply houses, and when I put it on a folder and tried to contour it, the pattern went away (because it was only on the top and bottom.) I had to re-handle the knife.
I suppose the stuff would be OK if you were going to keep the scales flat, but I would be up front with your customer that it isn't pure CF. (Wish the knifemakers' supply had been up front with me about it.)


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Old 09-06-2008, 09:07 PM
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Bobby Branton Bobby Branton is offline
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I just got finished turning a bunch of it on my lathe. Even with respirators and dust collectors, I had the itch all night even after a hot shower. My throat felt strange. I will never use it again.
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