Simple Headphone Bracket Shows Off Carbon Fiber Basics

The carbon fiber look is a pretty hot design element for things these days. Even things that have no need for the strength and flexibility of carbon fiber, from phone cases to motorcycle fenders, are sporting that beautiful glossy black texture. Some of it only looks like the real stuff, though, so it’s refreshing to see actual carbon fiber used in a project, like this custom headphone rack.

True, this is one of those uses of carbon fiber that doesn’t really need it – it just looks cool. But more importantly, [quada03]’s build log takes us through the whole process, from design to mold construction to laying up the fiber mats and finishing, and shows us how specialized equipment is not needed to achieve a great result. A homemade CNC router carves the two-piece mold out of Styrofoam, which is then glued up and smoothed over with automotive body filler. The epoxy-soaked carbon fiber mats are layered into the mold with careful attention paid to the orientation of the fibers, and the mold goes into one of those clothes-packing vacuum bags for 24 hours of curing. A little trimming and sanding later and the finished bracket looks pretty snazzy.

We’ve discussed the basics of carbon fiber fabrication before, but what we like about [quada03]’s build is that it shows how approachable carbon fiber builds can be. Once you hone your skills, maybe you’ll be ready to tackle a carbon fiber violin.

[via r/DIY]

12 thoughts on “Simple Headphone Bracket Shows Off Carbon Fiber Basics

  1. Puhleeeze,,,,this “carbon fiber look” FAD is ridiculous. My company vehicle had carbon fiber look on dash. I masked off the outside areas, and spray painted flat black over the carbon fiber parts. I just don’t get what the attraction of the “look” is supposed to be. Especially on vehicles. It reminds one of the wooden panel craze from the 1970’s (where wood panels were on the outsides of station wagons and embedded in the dash). Some chumps were actually paying extra to have black carbon fiber mirrors on their cars. Looked like $hit (in my opinion), but I suppose there’s no accounting for taste.

    1. no one said it was purely for the aesthetics of the material, i use carbon on an almost daily basis, in very few instances does its use has anything to do with aesthetics, it is cheaper now than ever, easy to work with and capable of insane strength to mass ratios.

      i admit sometimes it is simply because that is what i have lying around and it is often cheaper than acrylic, aluminum or copper (the other stuff i have in fair amounts).

      1. Epoxy resins usually contain BPA, BPF or BPS though. Also, the aromatic amine hardeners are cheaper but toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic. Carbon fiber + epoxy resin has it’s place but it’s not very biocompatible.

        1. very few materials are biocompatible(capable of integrating into a body if introduced), most common of them is titanium.
          if you mean toxic to living things then sure, just as so much else is as well, use common sense and safety equipment and everything should be okay.

      2. In automotive interiors, it *is* purely for the aesthetics–the “carbon fiber” parts are ersatz, just like the “wood” exterior panels from the sixties and seventies station wagons.

    2. i for one enjoy the look of carbon fiber. don’t care if it’s a fad or not, i enjoy the way it reflects light in different orientations depending on the direction the light is coming from. yes, most woven materials have that capability, but not many materials are woven like carbon fiber, or laid in a clear resin like it.

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