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Custom Carbon Ice Tools

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I was driving home from the Ouray Ice Fest this winter thinking about how cool all those carbon ice tools out there are. However the price tags on them are astronomical in my opinion. I though to myself, "why don't I try and build one myself?" So I set out to do that.


The design I came up with was inspired by the a mix between the Petzl Quark and Sum'tec. My First iteration turn out quite well and I got a lot of feed back from friends that a write up about how the tool was made would be interesting. This write up details the build of my second tool (more of less)


I began the process by constructing a plug. This served as a positive for the proposed tool handle (kinda like a wooden model). This was coated in a release wax so the mold wouldn't stick to it. [img:center]http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag308/homedepotpro1/IMG_20140121_212714_633_zpse4e1a85e.jpg[/img]

The mold was made two sided (think clam shell), with a hard surface made of a special epoxy to resist multiple uses. It was made by laying a gel coat and then layers of fiberglass and epoxy on to the plug.


The mold was then trimmed and holes were drilled in it so could be bolted shut. After a several coats of release wax it's ready for the part lay up.



The layup consist of three feet of carbon fiber cloth, the width of the tool length. This cloth is a twill weave but I can't quite remember the weight off the top of my head.




The cloth was wetted out with west systems epoxy, mixed by weight. I ensure the cloth is fully saturated before continuing on to the next step.



[img:center]http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag308/homedepotpro1/IMG_20140506_180114_937_zps2993ef7e.jpg[/img] [img:center]http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag308/homedepotpro1/IMG_20140506_180856_678_zpscb02c2b3.jpg[/img]


Now this next part was prepared before the epoxy was mixed, just so you know. I purchased a regular old bicycle tube. This tube is the inner bladder that forces the cloth to adhere to the mold. The tube is trimmed to length and sealed at either end with electrical tape (simple and effective).





The tube was partially filled with air and the wet carbon fiber was rolled around it. Now this is where I though a lot about how I was going to do the lay up. This technique allows me to make the entire shaft from a single piece of carbon with no seems. That means more strength, less material, a shorter process and minimal weight.




The next steps couldn't be photographed because my hands were covered in epoxy. Basically I laid the tube of wet carbon into one side of the clam shell mold. I then installed the other half of the mold and bolted the whole thing together. Once everything was together I added some duct tape (again simple and effective) to ensure the inner tube would not swell out the ends of the mold and burst.




The inner tube was inflated to ~5psi and the whole thing was placed in a heated box to speed the curing time. At the higher temperature the tool only took two hours before it could be de molded.




The excess material was trimmed off and the part was sanded. This is the core of the tool, a single piece of carbon fiber that creates the shaft.




I choose to go with the Grivel Monster X head for my tool since it would be the easiest interface for me to make. What it required was a tongue for the head to mount to. I made this from a heat treated aluminum alloy. I choose a thickness slightly greater than the stock Grivel tongue. The conbination of the high strength aluminum and increased thickness allows me to reduce weight from the Grivel design but still maintain plenty of strength.




A foam plug was pressed into the top of the shaft and the tongue was clamped in place. I then poured epoxy around the head, cementing it in place.




The end result is pending on some last finishing touches but it is looking great so far. When it is all done I will post some pictures in this thread. I hope you find this project interesting, I know I did. Please feel free to ask any questions.


(P.S. sorry for the giant post)

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Wow, that's really cool! Thanks for sharing, totally looking forward to seeing the finished product. Never would have thought to use a bike tube like that!

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Two questions: What was the final weight? You going to use a spike for the bottom end?

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