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Fairing Development (Pt.1)


Fairing Development (Pt.1)

15 August 2010 / Posted by Brett Phillips

Images: Brett Phillips, Melbourne Australia. Circa 2009

For many gravity bike riders, the thought of making a full blown 3 quarter fairing is pretty daunting and not to mention out of reach for those that don't have the knowledge or access to materials and workshops. I thought that It would be helpful however to share some techniques and images of when Eddie and I create my first carbon fairing.

Part one of the development (shown in images) was making the initial plug and mould. I haven't gone into specific details in regards to the resins, materials and techniques because it might be a bit full on, but I would be happy to answer any questions as they come up in the comments. Of course, there are a thousand different ways to do this, Eddie and I were working to a deadline and before and after work every night for weeks in order to get it ready in time for Newton's Playground 2009. Part two will profile the laying of the carbon and the finishing of each final part.

Quick facts!

1. We create a split mould because of the shape of the fairing
2. We used chop strand to make the mould because it was cheap
3. I spent about 16 hours making and shaping the plug from high density foam
4. We spent about 2 hours preparing the plug (putty, sanding and waxing)
5. We spent about 60 hours making the mould
6. We spent about 1 hour making each part (three fairings in total)
7. We spent about 15 hours touching up each part (sanding and shaping edges)
8. Each part took about 8 coats of clear to achieve mirror finish
9. It took about 1.2 seconds to destroy the best fairing in my last crash!

 Images
01. Created the shape using light weight mesh
02. Created smooth contours around bars and headset
03. Transferring the shape to a solid base of high density foam
04. Happy Eddie Myte
05. Happy Brett Myte
06. Like a tiger after too much resin sniffing!
07. Glassing the forme into solid shape for refinement
08. Measuring and copying forme across to high density foam
09. High density foam is perfect for making the plug
10. Fibreglassing the plug in preparation of filling and sanding
11. The first monkeys into space
12. The plug taking shape
13. The better quality the surface of the plug the better the mould
14. Mirror finish of the plug, high hopes for a good mould
15. Making the jig to hold the mould
16. Setting the plug into place
17. A solid construction is essential, you will use it heaps!
18. Technician deep in thought
19. Waxing up the plug in preparation of gel coat
20. Applying the gel coat that will assist in removing the top part of the mould
21. Baking the gel coat at temperature
22. Hotter than ya mum
23. Applying the chop strand in order to make the part
24. Something about how many layers of chop strand here...
25. As the chop strand is wetted down??
26. Shaken not stirred
27. Baking the chop strand for 2 days non stop!
28. The part starting to harden

So after some seriously careful removal techniques, 2 pizzas and around 90 hours of work, part 1 finally comes off! Stay tuned for fairing development, part two! 

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