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Another Composite Dealer

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Another Composite Dealer

Old 08-18-09, 09:57 AM
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Another Composite Dealer

Jamestown Distributors looks like a good option for Carbon Fiber / epoxy / etc. I know a lot of you guys go to Aircraft Spruce for supplies but check out JD. I get their catalog as I've built a few little boats and ordered from them. Don't know enough about CF to tell if the prices are any better for the same thing, but my experience is that anything tailored towards aircraft is more expensive.

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Old 09-04-09, 10:39 AM
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composite materials

We don't build bikes, we build aircraft so we buy carbon by the roll and epoxy in 15 gallon kits. Nonetheless, I have compiled the cheapest sources for composite materials.

We spend $3000-$4000 a month on composite materials. We are a small shop, and Very cost sensitive. After extensive research, here are as far as I know, the cheapest places to get materials for composites construction.

Epoxy: Jgreer.com. We buy 15 gallon kits and it works out to ~$35.00/gal. This is outstanding epoxy, similar to Pro-set. Not as good as MGS, but MGS is $200.00/gal! I built a (big) unmanned helicopter with JGreer epoxy and the parts are stiff as hell, and super light.

Fiberglass and carbon cloth: We use several sources. We always check with Vince Bailey (http://www.discountcomposite.com/index.htm#carbonf) first to see if he has what we need, particularly if it's an exotic carbon. Next is Tom Haulik at Sigmatex. Sigmatex is a carbon weaver, so it's direct. They often have short rolls or out of spec or past shelf life rolls of carbon. We bought a hundred yds of carbon twill for our spar tools for $14.00/yd. damn cheap! For fiberglass tooling cloth, Mike at fiberglassSite.com has an 18 oz roving that is very soft and drapable, and wets out fantastic. It's also the cheapest cloth per pound you can get. I love this stuff! Ray Miller at Northern Fiberglass has consistent prices, and they always have their products in stock. US composites and fiberglasssupply.com are good sources for 8.8 oz fiberglass twill, which we use as a surface ply on molds.

Breather cloth: Barry Brown at the Warm Company has the standard 4 oz breather for 60 cents a yard when you buy a 100 yd roll. Save a lot on shipping and buy two rolls at the same time. Shop around for breather and you will see that is an amazing price.

Peel ply: I still haven't found a cheap source for peel ply. I'm using Airtech right now, but I would love to find a cheaper source.

Bagging film: We use Stretchlon 200 and get it from Airtech. Again I would like to find a cheaper source.

Mixing cups: Mertons.com sells a sleeve of 25 1 qt paper cups for $7.50. Yeah baby! We go through a hundred cups in a week so cheap cups are good.

Vinyl gloves (you're not using latex, right!?): There always seems to be someone different with the lowest price. I just bought two cases for $29.00 each from glovenation.com.

Other stuff like squeegees, stir sticks and brushes we get at US Composites.

Sandpaper: Onlineindustrialsupply.com sells 50 packs for about $14.00-$16.00/pack. Compare that to Home Depot that sells a 5 pack for $15.00! Do yourself a favor and buy a 50 pack of 60, 80, 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000 and 1200.

Your mileage may vary if you are buying onesies and twosies. We buy by the case.

I hope this saves some of you some money. Have fun!
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