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Thread: Canoe-size mold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    United States
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    45
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    1

    Default Canoe-size mold

    Hello--
    (1) Background: I have a canoe design generated in Rhino3D, with the intent to layup in pre-preg carbon fiber. To do so, I'd need a mold that that could take the heat necessary to cure the carbon fiber/resin. I would like to use a metal mold, it would last a lot longer (more canoes) and hold shape better than a composite mold. We're talking a 2 part mold, each length about 18', each depth a max of approx 10", curing heats/times are about 100 degrees C / 212 F for 6 hours.
    (2) Questions: What kind of shop would I need to approach? Would this kind of mold be routed with CNC? Any sense on estimated costs for CNC routing of a mold this size? I'm assuming Aluminium is OK.

    Thank you! I really appreciate your time. - T in Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Mackay North Qld
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    4,492

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    G,day Canoemaker,

    Welcome to the Metalwork forums. While you will get some answers to your questions, please appreciate we are a forum based in Australia with mainly Australian contributors and a good number of overseas members scattered around all points of the the globe.

    I have sent you a PM to help you navigate around the forum and get best use of it.
    Welcomme again

    Grahame

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    I think unless you are seriously wealthy you can't afford a solid mold made out of dirt let alone aluminum, but generally any big shop of which there are loads doing aircraft work in Houston and fort worth could have a bed mill with 18' travel. Unless you want to make 20,000 canoes in which case ignore me and get it done. Also aluminium might not hold up to the prolonged abuse of laying up and denouncing canoes.

    Thinking outside the box could you use not traditional cheap moulds and some kind of ceramic r other high temp coating i guess its going to come down to how many you need.

    Also i wouldn't go and ask this on practical machinist without providing a lot more detail and having a solid business case.

    Thinkin

  4. #4
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    Just as a total guesstimate I was wondering what the slug of aluminium would cost at the cheapest, scrap price is 1.5 aud per kg so let say you could buy new for double That ( it would actually be a lot more)

    If you needed something like 18' x 3' x 3' that would with about 12,700 kgs at 3 a kilo thats about 37000 australian dollars. Per mould half I think machining would take about 30 hours at a WAG at let's say 600ph for machine time so thats about 73000aud, I don't think there is any way you could actually get it done for that little money but it's a start.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
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    Some thoughts:
    For a canoe I doubt you would need the accuracy available by CNC milling. Depending on how much pressure is to be applied to ensure good forming of the pre-preg to the mould, and how the pressure is to be applied, it may well be that a hand made sheet metal mould with good edge stiffening would do the job. An custom automotive body shop might be the place to start with questions about accuracy achievable, and cost. A thin wall metal mould would also assist in achieving the temperature required with minimum time and heat.
    Cheers,
    Bill

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