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Modding Experiments in cardboard and fiberglass.

Discussion in 'Modding' started by ArcSpark, 14 Jul 2008.

  1. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Take 2, I've started my cardboard, fabric sandwich, but the middle layer needs to cure before I add the outter strips. I put this one under some weight this time so it would hold together.

    I took the cardboard only failure from last time and tried giving it a bath in some resin. I did this with a raw piece as well. It looks like they will only be strong in one direction, perpendicular to the corrugations. I used a lot less hardener so I hope the resin gets pulled into more of the fibers in the cardboard. The last test was mostly to use up the resin I had mixed for the cardboard dipping of the previous 2 tests. I applied fabric to a strip of cardboard while it was all in the resin dip. There wasn' much left and this used most of the left overs up. I put this last one under some weight to cure as well.
    Once it's all completely cured for at least 24 hours, I'll do another stress test on the three pieces I bathed in resin. I'm going to try and go easy because I want to add another layer of fabric to the fabric one, and see about using the two raw pieces I dipped to make another fabric sandwich with them. I still need to complete the non dipped cardboard fabric sandwich as a comparison.

    If I need to dip all the cardboard, I'm doing to need to find something bigger than 9x18 (but not too much), and I'm concerned about using the right resin for something that large. The bondo stuff I'm using now was cheap, readily available, and only to give me an idea of how it would react to the cardboard. I'm not sure if there is something better. If there is, then I need to see if it's cost effective.
     
  2. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Well, seems like I'm doing all the posting, so I guess this an experiment log now.

    The two dipped, plain pieces are just about cured, they are done enough to make some initial judgments. I think a lot of resin made it in between the corrugations in the cardboard and ran out as the resin hardened. Each looked like they were sitting in puddle that was still close, but a puddle nonetheless (I wish I would have taken a pic, I trimmed the pieces before realizing the significance of it.) The edges are pretty firm, but the middle is soft and these are strips only about two and a half inches wide. I'm hoping as they finish curing this area will harden, but I suspect all the material there has run to the outside. I may give the idea one more go, but tightly wrap the pieces in aluminum foil (since it may eat plastic wrap). For giggles, I'm applying another coat of resin to one, and I'll apply cloth to the other later.

    The two pieces under pressure are still a bit tacky. The one that is the sandwich got one more piece of cloth and is back under the weight. The single sheet with cloth and under pressure experiment got some more resin, cloth on the other side, and is back under it's weight. I think the slowed curing time along with the pressure and cloth helping to keep the resin in placed has resulted in more resin in the cardboard. Again, I'll have to cut it open when it's done to see.

    The final thought I had was that fiberglass rarely is just one layer of fabric, it's multiple layers. So now I need to try one where the cardboard provides some backing for multiple layers of cloth applied in one go, then a few more after curing.
     
  3. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    I am reading all your posts. Is there any chance of getting some pics up so we can see where your at? I sort of understand what your doing but pictures would make it easier. I can tell that you are committed to this and I would love to see your prototypes.
     
  4. Xer0-

    Xer0- Waste of space

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    Are you using fiberglass cloth, or mat?
    The cloth resembles carbon fiber and is quite a bit thinner and weaker than the mat.

    I doubt a single layer of fiber will make much difference in strength, opposed to resinated (is that a word ) corrugated cardboard.

    But test on, some are reading this.
     
  5. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Here are the images of the experiments.
    I'm not using any fiberglass in this, I've been trying to see what I can get away with :) The cloth is cut form an old cotton knit t-shirt. I got the idea poking around the old sections of Bit-tech ().
    Originally, I had hoped I could get away with just the cardboard, but I picked up a 32oz can of bondo. The next size down was 8oz as part of a kit. I figured 8oz wouldn't be enough for more than a few tests.
    So here are the images. I'm just going to throw them up here.
    I cut all the pieces to show the cross section. I had to use a saw in many cases, so the edge is a bit rough.

    I put some foil around the parts so they wouldn't stich to the stuff I was using to weight them down. The foil peels off, but it was wrinkled, and some stuck. I'm too lazy to remove it.

    Sorry if the quality isn't that great, the dcamera fought me, lighting was an issue, and I didn't realize it, but photobucket auto down scales the images :(



    First up, the 2 ply that delaminated because I did not weight them down:
    I just spread the resin on top with the fiberglass 'spatula'.
    [​IMG]

    Next up, this is one I just applied the resin, then decided to put it through a resin dip later to see what would happen.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the piece from the top showing the 'flashing' I was talking about earlier.
    [​IMG]

    Here is one I dipped, applied cloth while wet, then applied another layer of cloth after it cured.
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, this was the last piece to get dipped and I don't think I got quite enough rein on it., the fabric wasn't stiff, and it delaminated.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the raw cardboard that was dipped. The resin didn't really penetrate into the paper, but it did fill the voids along the edges. That excess on the sides os what found it's way into the voids of the corrugation. I had trimmed back the excess to the cardboard when I first was judging test.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is an at angle, and you should be able to see the edge of the cardboard. This is to show the resin filling the void.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, we have the nutty, a lot of cloth all at once experiment. That much resin in place at once is very exothermic, it got really hot. But it is rock hard now, and it took a real effort to cut through it. But nore that the cardboard still doesn't have any resin in the center :) It became a base to put the cloth and resin on which is where the strength come from for this test.
    [​IMG]

    I'm still working on the sandwich. I didn't get a chance to do any more work on it today.

    I'll try some fiberglass mat and cloth next since I'll have enough resin to keep playing. I just hope both are fairly cheap.
     
  6. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    I'm going to have to build a mock up I cna put all the pieces into as a test of airflow. Right now, the HSF I have on the CPU is rather tall, and I'm concerned about the northbridge getting enough air. So I need a way to see abut airflow, get a feell for the proportions, and maybe see about noise :) I was hoping I cold use that mockup as the base for the full thing after the test since I don't have enough power tools at the moment to make the case from MDF. The crazy idea was 'can I just coat the mockup in resin, sand it, paint it, and be done with it?' I have learned that is not the case, but I am finding the process to be fairly simple. I think I can do this using fiberglass and have it look pretty good.
     
  7. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    If the cloth is providing the strength maybe you could just use a thinner piece of card to base the cloth on. The fibreglass mat sounds like it would work quite well.
     
  8. Fophillips

    Fophillips What's a Dremel?

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    Works great for me:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    The experiments are giving me a chance to practice and put things together that will be useful if I decide I'm going to go this route instead of MDF. I've learned aluminum foil isn't so great for isolating the work piece from the pieces I'm using to weight things down. I am going to try out some automotive wax that I have on hand to see if that helps in release. The resin doesn't stick all that well to the metal things I've been using to compress the layers, I've been able to use a blade to easilly separate them. Wax might make it even easier.

    I like how thin the 8 layers around the cardboard core are for it's thickness. For kicks, I did a 'hammer vs experiments' test. Everything except the layered fabric pieces failed miserably. I wish I had some way to measure the force I used, bu I used about what it would take to drive pretty big nail. I had to actually put some effort into hitting the multi layered one before I got a piece to chip off. The center punch also works nicely on it. It saws nicely, and I'll try a drill tomorrow. I still need to see if I have the skill to make a large sheet and have it be uniform. These test pieces are small, and I fear the test may seem stringer than it is. If it really is that strong, at only 3/8th thick, it may be better than MDF. If I can use fewer layers for the same strength, then this stuff is defiantly awesome.

    I'll be interested to see how proper fiberglass manages versus old t-shirt.
     
  10. Xer0-

    Xer0- Waste of space

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    the mat and cloth are pretty cheap and should be found at any auto parts store.
     
  11. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    No new pictures as of now. I grabbed some cloth and mat to experiment with. I'm trying 2 layers I put on cardstock so I would have something to work on. For the mat, I tried have the layers offset by 45 degrees. The cloch seemed more random so I didn't worry about it. Both needed much less resin that the cotton t-shirt did, and it soaked through the whole thing quickly. The results seem a bit thin, but I'm going to wait and see how it does once cured.

    I did finish the cardboard sandwich, but I was able to break it bare handed and the laers I added after the resin cured did not always stick together. Sanding seems to be the crucial step I skipped due to impatience :) ). No pics of the aftermath though :(
     
  12. profqwerty

    profqwerty What's a Dremel?

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    Use clingfilm or somesort of smooth plastic (floor lino i find very good) as a barrier between resin and weights :)

    You shouldn't need cardboard if you're using GRP as it's easily strong enough. You can by barrier wax / polish to release card moulds too. It';s best to stick the next layer of cloth on whilst the first layer is still tacky - also more resin isn't always the best way forwards.
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    A fiberglassed denim case would look awesome, and stop an antitank bullet.
    +1 on what profqwerty said. Packing clingfilm is great for this stuff.
     
  14. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Yes, denim would look very unique, but I'm not sure I want to do that for this project.

    Here is my gear that I want this to fit in with.
    [​IMG]

    Originally, I wanted something that would blend with the AV gear and game consoles, and is smaller that the YY cube that's there now. (I hope I can use the case when I build my next desktop system)
    black denim, or carbon fiber might be over the top enough to work, but I'm also considering a matte black finish, or maybe even Darth Vader glossy :) I had been fond of the old 'stealth everything' mods and wanted a system that followed in that tradition.
    It would have been nice to cram all the parts into the shell of some olf AV gear, but I'm not confident I could have handled all the hardware and software needed to get the buttons and display working under Windows.

    I need to do a solid enough mock up that I can test airflow and see if I can get away with just a 140mm fan in the front, and maybe a smaller HSF on the CPU I was going o make the finished product out of MDF, but I have not picked up any power tools except for a drill since graduating college a few years ago (had been traveling for work, rising fuel costs have curbed that :)). That hatched the crakpot idea of trying to make the cardboard airflow test build a more permanent case. And that is how I got here, to the idea of a full fiberglass build.

    I need to get a project log started and do some work on that since I think I'm almost at a point where I can begin working on the fiberglass once I have everything worked out.
     
  15. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Automotive teflon spray wax and fiberglass don't get along :( I lost my mat-cloth test. The one thing I gid learn is that even though it was 5 layers (mat-cloth-mat-cloth) it was really thin, too thin to really work with. So I'm doing one that is 7 layers instead and using plastic to aid in release rather than the wax.
    This might still be too thin and I'll need to use something else to build the fiberglass off of. Wood seems to be a proven foundation, and with as thin as it needs to be, I shouldn't need any tools I don't already have. Otherwise, I may see how cardboard is on a larger scale.
    Any other recommendations? It's going to have to be able to take threads, and not warp under tension. I was already thinking I'd have to reinforce it, but I'm not sure what's best to use.

    @Cheapskate I donno how you do it, but I tore one of my favorite pairs of jeans in such a way as they can't be repaired. Somehow, you are responsible :)

    So I went ahead and cut some patches from it to see how it would turn out substituting it for fiberglass. I'll make sure to take plenty of pictures for ya.
     
  16. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    I made an 'uber sandwich' of 3 layers cloth, 4 layers mat. It's pretty !@#$ strong but still ridiculously thin. It's not too pretty either, I'll get pics up later, I was seeing if I could sand it, or do something else with it, but the plastic I had it pressed between left some wrinkles in the surface :(

    Even at 7 layers, it still too thin. The pitch of the threads on some motherboard standoffs I have is greater than the thickness of the sheet :) I'm going to see if some foam board will work like Styrofoam in fiberglass products like surf boards, but be thin and strong enough as a composite. I figure I can either drill holes and mount anchors into the finished panel, or I can try embedding nuts for the standoffs to mount to.

    I haven't forgotten about you Cheapskate :) I'm cleaning up the 'backside' of the denim experiment. The material I used was originally light blue, but the resin made it darker (probably has to do with the resin being tinted yellow). I also only planned on one side being visible originally, but I think the back side will turn out just as interesting, or even more so than the front once the resin has cured on the most recent application.
     
  17. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    How thick does it end up and what thickness are you looking for, you could make two sandwiches and bolt them to some dense foam or something.
     
  18. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    IT looks like about 1/16" so, a bit over 1.5mm. It needs to be a lot thicker, close to about 4 times thicker. The sheet can flex a little bit too, so I need to add something to help stop this anyway. The coolers for lga-771 that use locking pins to hold onto the mainvoard seem to flex the board unless it is mounted to something sturdy. I think adding mount points for a bolt in cooler wouldn't be a bad idea either.
     
  19. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    Well, I intended to get a detailed, scale drawing of the MB plate done and work on the rest of the cardboard airflow test model. But all I got done was getting some materials. I've piched up some 1/4 inch square doweling. I don't think it will provide much reinforcement on it's own, but the channel shape it will give a couple layers of fiberglass applied over it should remove the flex I'm worried about. I also need to work out how to attack some nuts I piecked up so I can avoid the whole taping threads issue :) Any idea if body filler will be tough enough to cement them in after the fact, or if I need to work out how to get them attached accurately while the whole thing is uncured?

    I still need to see how to join 2 panels together. For the internal 'sled', I'm not too worried about looks so metal angle would work. But I was hoping I could do something that looked cool on it's own for that. I was thinking of trying to use denim to finish it internally from my ripped jeans so I can blame it's bad behavior on its bad jeans (OK, I admit, that was awful). Externally, I'ms still going for a clean, sharp edged look so no brackets there.

    Finally, I made a cardboard/duct tape duct to get extra airflow to my laptop's GPU. It works pretty well, not as good as the noisy fans I used before, but at least I can play without headphones. I started trying to make the duct a little more permanent with some cloth and resin. There were some high spots I sanded down and found voids (I started this before leaning all my lessons :) ) I want to get one more layer before seeing how denim works on that, but I need to get every surface perfectly smooth before the final layer. Can I fill the voids and smooth everything out with body filler and expect the final layer to adhere to that very well?
     
  20. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    I've gotten a chance to do some more work, though I'm not sure how well it will turn out.
    I did the work for a mainboard plate to olt to and do my airflow testing (still need the 140mm fan, no one local carries it
    Wow, it was a lot of resin. I took the template I made and used it to cut the fiberglass layers as well as a cardboard pan to do the work in. Originally I was just going to do a flat sheet, bit I figured I could cut the sheets a little large and do the whole thing in a 'pan' of cut and taped cardboard. I needed to cut the sheet a little bit large anyway as I'm not good enough to make something the perfect size by hand :) I figured the edges of the pan would serve to stiffen the whole thing along with the 1/4 inch square dowel rods. The pan turned out to be a good move fro the point of view of workability too, the resin would have made a real mess otherwise.

    I put dows a layer of mat, then cloth, and another layer of mat. I then set some dowel on top of that and covered that with a layer of cloth and mat. The layers on top of the dowel did not want to conform to the shape of the dowel. I ended up frantically trying to cut some cardboard strips to try and press against the dowel so I could put the whole thing under wight and hopefully have it come out not looking like total crap. But if it's strong, I'll still be pretty happy. For now, I hope the saran wrap does it';s job and doesn't mess up the surface texture to bad so my pictures will look nice :)

    If it turns out OK, then it's time to start the project log. I may do another layout though. I came up with a much tighter layout that still lets me use an add in video card. But I'm not sure there will be sufficient air flow.

    The last piece of the puzzle is sound. Right now, I'm leaning towards a USB sound card, but I learned there is an x1 connection on the board that uses a special cable. But it can't supply much power so I don't know if it's usable even if I can find the special cable.
     

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