After deciding to change my project from a carbon fiber table to a carbon fiber longboard, I made some good progress over break. I made a pattern of a board on a piece of large butcher paper and used a utility knife to cut out the deck shape in a foam core. I then used an orbital sander to bevel the edges and reduce the thickness of the foam. Most of this process was done by eye, but if I were to do it again or make a few decks, I’d use a router and a better pattern.
Next, I cut out two square sections so that I could press a piece of wood into the foam. These wood pieces are what the trucks will bolt to. After epoxying the wood into the foam, I cut out all of my layers of carbon. This is quite an important detail. You’ll notice that some of the cutouts are 45 degrees to one another. This is because carbon fiber is only strong if applied in the correct direction. One can add stiffness to a structure by changing the orientation of the weave. By having a few layers with different orientation, this deck should be pretty stiff.
There will be 8 layers of carbon total. There will be 3 plain weave (1 of which is offset 45 degrees) and 5 2×2 twill weave (2 of which are offset 45 degrees). After cutting out all the layers, I bonded 3 layers to the flat side (the top side). This process was done by wetting out the carbon layers and then laying the foam core on top of them. Then a peel ply fabric, release film and breather fabric layers all go on top of that. Finally, the whole lot goes into a vacuum bag attached to a pump where it cures for about 12 hours.
With this done, I have to do another layup of the other side and trim all of the excess carbon away. Then its just cleaning up the deck and applying a clear coat before drilling the holes for the trucks!