Monday, 5 August 2013

Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrapping Raymondo Style

Well having bought a roll of Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap (CF Wrap) on eBay absolutely months ago I thought it about time that I actually use it to cover something other than my office desk.

No honestly!

Now, not being a professional in the use of this stuff I first did a little home-work on YouTube. This has got to be the funniest by Custom Spray Mods! 

A Cracking Video

As I could not get Ben away from his games console a video was out of the question! So it’s a photographic walk through of how I covered the side panels on ‘Tango'd’

First of all I needed to remove the wrap that was applied by a previous owner. The old CF Wrap was of a different pattern and not finished off as well as I wanted it to be. 

Just not in keeping, so it had to go

Then I gave the panel a wash to remove all traces of grease and dirt.

Clean and ready to cover

I like to cut the CF Wrap with sharp scissors rather than using a Stanley Knife or loose blade simply because I find it easier.

The first cut is a rough over sized shape, followed by a closer shaped cut.

First cut

If I have any straight edges that will remain on show I make sure that they are the first edge to be cut.

Second cut with straight edge

If it’s a small panel lay the CF Wrap flat on a clean bench and place the panel on top.

Here the straight edge is clearly visible 

I try to stick as much of the CF Wrap on without the use of the hair dryer as it is easier to handle whilst still in its ‘stiff’ condition. Once you apply heat, the CF Wrap becomes extremely malleable and can become difficult to handle.

Getting a good start point is important

I use a clean white cloth to smooth the CF Wrap on, or a damp piece of kitchen towel.

Difficult edges are overcome with a series of small nick’s, cut’s and folds to ensure a tidy finish.

To avoid this!

Take your time

Cut up to the edge

Fold carefully applying heat when needed

To achieve a neat finish
Slowly does it every time

As for creases and kinks in the panel that is where the application of heat from the hair dryer comes into its own.

Try to fold the CF Wrap into the creases
Without stretching over them

Remove all excess CF Wrap 
Before folding over 

One of the biggest problems I find is folding the CF Wrap over the edge of panels that have curves and ridges. My biggest mistake was applying the heat and then stretching the CF Wrap too much. This inevitably caused the CF Wrap to come away from the ridge and form an air pocket once the CF Wrap cooled down.

Almost complete

How I over came this was to release the CF Wrap and slide it into the crease without pulling it over the edge of the panel. Then after smoothing the CF Wrap into the crease I spend an extra 10 minutes reheating the over hanging CF Wrap and re-applying it over the very edge of the panel.

The finished item

At this stage the panel starts to look like the finished item. If the excess CF Wrap is out of sight i.e. bolted underneath the forks then less time and energy is wasted as its pointless no one will ever see it anyway.

Job a good'en
Even if it is the other side!

Here’s a series of before and after shots to show what can be achieved with Carbon Fibre Vinyl Wrap - and a little patience. 

From this to .....


And this ......

To this with a little TLC

Job Done!


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