composites

How-To: Paper Micarta

How-To: Paper Micarta

Micarta is a genericized trademark referring to a composite material made from layers of paper or fabric impregnated with thermosetting resin. It is rigid, tough, and electrically insulating, and has many applications ranging from power distribution equipment to countertops. It is also commonly used in knife, gun, and tool handles, where its laminated construction offers decorative effects ranging from subtle wood-grain-like patterns to out-and-out gaudy riots of color.

Continue Reading
How To: Mix and Mold Glass Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)

How To: Mix and Mold Glass Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)

Concrete expert Brandon Gore on mixing and applying glass-fiber reinforced concrete.

Continue Reading
Interesting sawdust + plastic bags materials hack

Interesting sawdust + plastic bags materials hack

This “50% sawdust” project from Israel’s Kulla design involves mixing equal parts sawdust and shredded plastic bags in a mold under heat and mild pressure to produce a composite chip-board type material that, reportedly, requires no other adhesives, binders, or other components. Lots of questions left to be answered, but an interesting start. [via Dude […]

Continue Reading
How-To:  Make micarta from blue jeans

How-To: Make micarta from blue jeans

“Micarta” (Wikipedia) is a genericized trademark that refers to a rigid composite material made from laminated paper, fiberglass, cloth, or other material impregnated with a plastic resin. It is commonly used as an electrical insulator and as a tool handle, particularly for knives.

Cliff Fendley of Fendley Knives, together with fellow knifemaker Mike Carter of Carter Crafts, set out to make some “micarta” of their own using scrap denim and epoxy resin. Even better, they documented their efforts with a detailed series of photos so others can play along at home. Kudos to both makers for “open-sourcing” a method they could easily have kept under their hats as a trade secret. [Thanks, Alan Dove!]

Continue Reading
How-To:  Make rigid carbon fiber tubes

How-To: Make rigid carbon fiber tubes

Epoxyworks is a free magazine published biannually, and archived online, by Michigan’s Gougeon Brothers, Inc., who use it to promote their West System brand of epoxy resins, which I have not used and have no stake in, but it’s chock full of tutorials, tips, and techniques for working with composite materials that could probably be “de-branded” and used with whomever’s products you prefer. Shown here are photos from one article that caught my eye (PDF), by J.R. Watson, showing how to form straight and curved rigid composite tubes in carbon fiber, kevlar, fiberglass, or other braided material by laying the composite up over a mold made from split foam pipe insulation. It also covers techniques for joining the finished rigid tubing sections. [Thanks, Alan Dove!]

Continue Reading
Neal Stephenson’s Telescoping Sword

Neal Stephenson’s Telescoping Sword

As promised, here are shots of Neal’s telescoping sword. Pictured is Neal’s collaborator, Pablos, with Komposite. Nice work, guys! I suppose the world of recreational swordfighting is now a slightly safer place:)

Continue Reading