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Cutting carbon fork, and risk of Health involved.

Old 04-30-15, 06:58 AM
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Cutting carbon fork, and risk of Health involved.

Hey folks me again, with another question that may be interesting for future noobs like me .

I bough some days ago a carbon frameset I now would need to cut the carbon fork because it came stock to long. On the English website I couldn´t find much about it, but on the German side I could read a lot of advice from people warning others that carbon dust and resine is EXTREMELY cancerigene , and some other really really nasty stuff. Some forums were recommending the user attempting to cut itself that he literally wears a full painter uniform (Mask, clothes, glasses).
Now I do know in my side i´m a bit maniac for this kind of stuff, i´m myself some one subject to cancer, its on my family genes.

To make it simple I will number my questions:

1: is really that Dangerous to cut carbon fork alone at home in my cellar ? or is more on a the European side extra care?

2: I looked at some bike shops, (was searching some fine hex blade). And on the go I asked if they would do it to me, they told me the could but for 30Euros, he explained that he would than have to trow the blade away due to the powder and have to take extra measures to keep every employee far from the workshop for at least 30m the time he is sure everything is safe.
Question: Is that worth to just pay 30 bucks let the guy do it and done ? (No risk of breathing or touching + he will apply some resin on the end to make it nice. On the - side he will use a heavy Hex saw with 24 tpi, and I´m not sure they ever saw carbon fork in their lifes...), I hate bike shops I do know they have nasty methods and do often do more damage and refuse to pay, on the other hand a painter mask with full face protection would as well cost me 30Euros and I can keep it later :/, and I´m sure to do it proper and absolutely take my time,

3: Now about the blade. I read on internet I should use at least a 30 tpi Hex blade, I´m absolutely struggling to find it, the finest I can is 24tpi and that's already pretty slim but Im scare to brake this 150 euros fork... (The bike shop above would aswell do with a 24tpi, BUT they say the apply resin at the end.

Thanks everybody for any answer, and sorry for my English.
Best regards see U
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Old 04-30-15, 07:16 AM
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There is no health risk. If you're concerned, work outside. There is more risk of cutting yourself on the sharp edge of the cut tube. Use some fine sandpaper to smooth the edges. Be sure to use a fine tooth saw and some kind of guide to ensure you get a clean, straight cut.
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Old 04-30-15, 07:18 AM
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I have never heard of any shop taking such precautions. Sure we use very fine toothed blades (the best is an abrasive blade) and take care not to ingest any powder. But I've never used a dust mask or gloves even. Craig Calfee has said that some workers can get sensitized to the resins but simple protective gloves solve that and it doesn't happen to every worker every time. Andy,
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Old 04-30-15, 07:32 AM
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hum ok guys, I was reading on the CDC about Carbon black, (thinks is really this one on the Bike frame) they talking about using a APF filter of 5 to 10. for finding this fine blade it has been a nightmare, I just cant find it, for guide I´m using one hose clamp. I will maybe buy this 3M particle mask but thinking giving i´m broken... Its recommended by 3m and by CDC.

Edit: I will maybe just drop it for the mask and all I do it outside and wont breath on the process...
Now for the blade is it worth to pay 10euros and get one 32TPI ??? or a 24TPI will do more than fine ? i can only get locally the 24TPI 32 only online with high delivery costs.

Thanks again.

Last edited by pepslight; 04-30-15 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 04-30-15, 07:52 AM
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you can nearly remove all chance of dust inhalation if you use a cutting fluid while you work. Using a cutting guide is a great idea, else you'll have to finish the edge. Put some water in a spray bottle, and use moderate to low downward pressure while you cut. Keep the cut wet, it'll keep the dust down and make a smoother cut. It can take a few minutes, but the finished edge will be machine smooth.
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Old 04-30-15, 07:58 AM
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Carbon black is completely different than cured carbon fiber. Carbon black is much finer than you would ever get sawing a fork.
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Old 04-30-15, 07:58 AM
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Super thank you very much, I will do it. I will as well buy a proper Hex blade with 32TPi 24 its really a barbar job, i will just cut it under a unused kitchen sink and constantly let it flow, thanks again for all your patience and answer

Edit: I took as well a proper guide for cutting my carbon frame I will use a gasket holder to fix it under a water sink and pray for the best.

Last edited by pepslight; 04-30-15 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pepslight View Post
Super thank you very much, I will do it. I will as well buy a proper Hex blade with 32TPi 24 its really a barbar job, i will just cut it under a unused kitchen sink and constantly let it flow, thanks again for all your patience and answer

Edit: I took as well a proper guide for cutting my carbon frame I will use a gasket holder to fix it under a water sink and pray for the best.
You are wasting your time. Cut it with a fine tooth hacksaw and be done with it. A wrap of masking tape around the cut line will prevent splintering of the carbon but that's all you need. Look up the MSDS for carbon composites and you will see there is no indication of carcinogenic problems.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
You are wasting your time. Cut it with a fine tooth hacksaw and be done with it. A wrap of masking tape around the cut line will prevent splintering of the carbon but that's all you need. Look up the MSDS for carbon composites and you will see there is no indication of carcinogenic problems.
^ This.

I cut my carbon fork steerer in my basement with a fine tooth hacksaw. No issues, and I am not dead.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:39 AM
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Hahahahaha ok I will take care of it but for having a nicer cut using cuting fluids can really make it nicer.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pepslight View Post
Hahahahaha ok I will take care of it but for having a nicer cut using cuting fluids can really make it nicer.
Sure, but I gotta say, I just hacksawed mine off with a 32 TPI blade, and the cut ended up pretty smooth. A fine file removed burrs and I was good to go.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pepslight View Post
Hahahahaha ok I will take care of it but for having a nicer cut using cuting fluids can really make it nicer.
Again, a waste of time. All you will get is a wet mess but no improvement in the cut quality. This is a carbon composite you are cutting, not tool steel.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:55 AM
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hhahaha ok than thank you, I will probably not giving all my missing components are coming in one package and in the day I will be so anxious to make my first ever ride on a carbon frame that I will skip those steps
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Old 04-30-15, 09:03 AM
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US shops would not care about Employee health , the fine fibers of carbon lodge in your lungs like Asbestos , evermore to be there. an irritant, ... At best.

can you make a 100% square Cut of a round tube, freehand with a hacksaw? you are better than 99% of humanity then.
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Old 04-30-15, 09:16 AM
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The hazards (or not) of carbon aside, be VERY sure that you measure at least twice lest you cut your expensive steerer too short.
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Old 04-30-15, 09:18 AM
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Like with just about anything the dose makes the poison. If you worked in a CF factory and were cutting forks day in and day out, then there are serious health risks that need to be managed. But you're cutting only one fork, and won't be cutting another for years, so the totl exposure is insignificant. Cut the fork, drrss the end with a file or sanding block, then vacuum the dust and move on with your life.

The biggest risk in cutting carbon forks is to your head. From banging it against the wall because you measured wrong and now have a $300 ork that's too short for your bike.
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Old 04-30-15, 09:35 AM
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HAhahaahhah thank you very much guys,

Thanks fietsbob I do thrust on your thinking, I will than just see on the day what its best to do.
US shops would not care about Employee health , the fine fibers of carbon lodge in your lungs like Asbestos , evermore to be there. an irritant, ... At best.
can you make a 100% square Cut of a round tube, freehand with a hacksaw? you are better than 99% of humanity then.
Like with just about anything the dose makes the poison. If you worked in a CF factory and were cutting forks day in and day out, then there are serious health risks that need to be managed. But you're cutting only one fork, and won't be cutting another for years, so the totl exposure is insignificant. Cut the fork, drrss the end with a file or sanding block, then vacuum the dust and move on with your life.
FBinNY would you maybe have a good guide, (Ar any one else) telling me how to measure and mark where to cut the perfect way . I do have the pressure plug, does it change the technique from a star nut ???,
If I got it right the pressure plug (Expanding inside the fork) comes first, and than there should be an "empty space" from about 3-4mm from the Stem or a top spacer and the top cap closing everything and compressing the whole mechanism together. ?
The way I know is: I should assemble the whole frame put the comfortable amount of spacers and the stem for me, mark as close as possible the fork from the spacer or stem (if I won´t have any top spacers) remove the fork and from my mark use a 4mm spacers and trace another mark lower.

thanks
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Old 04-30-15, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
US shops would not care about Employee health , the fine fibers of carbon lodge in your lungs like Asbestos , evermore to be there. an irritant, ... At best.
Equating carbon composite sawdust with asbestos is absurd. The harmful properties are not at all equal.
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Old 04-30-15, 10:11 AM
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Old 04-30-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
The hazards (or not) of carbon aside, be VERY sure that you measure at least twice lest you cut your expensive steerer too short.
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The biggest risk in cutting carbon forks is to your head. From banging it against the wall because you measured wrong and now have a $300 ork that's too short for your bike.
Exactly...
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Old 04-30-15, 10:14 AM
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Disposable hazmat suits are not that much.Wouldn't want you to get cancer from cutting 1 fork....

Last edited by Booger1; 04-30-15 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 04-30-15, 10:18 AM
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I measured my carbon steerer 3 times, and then still ended up cutting it.... too long! Thankfully that was easily fixed.
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Old 04-30-15, 10:28 AM
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Are you still with us?....

My buddy used to work with carbon fiber....Grew a 3rd leg in the middle of his forehead....Couldn't see it though,the balls were in his eyes.....

Last edited by Booger1; 04-30-15 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 04-30-15, 12:00 PM
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Hahahahahah you guys made me laugh so much...

fietsbob by this are you meaning My thinking was right and its totally obvious, or simply I should try to use a magic place called GooooooGle ?

Booger1 I will do my best to avoid growing a third member in my body
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Old 04-30-15, 12:44 PM
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I recommend that you put an extra 5 mm spacer above the stem. This will allow you to place the expansion plug behind the stem for better support. Cut the stem 2 or 3 mm below the top of the upper spacer. When tightening the stem pinch bolts do not exceed 5 nm (44 inch pounds) of torque. I use 40 inch pounds.
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