Everyday Carbon Fiber

Composites are typically used as a material that is both lightweight and strong. There are many major applications composites can be used for, like marine or space technology. Even then, it is important to admire the smaller, everyday projects for which anyone can use our composites.

Meet John Kimball, our Technical & Applications Specialist. He finds joy in working with carbon fiber and likes to utilize it in his own personal projects. Ideally, he likes to create any product that benefits from not only the capabilities of carbon fiber, but its futuristic look as well. Two years ago, John started a project utilizing one of our products to create a knife, which is a perfect application for carbon fiber.

John Kimball’s Carbon Fiber Knife, Open and Closed
John Kimball’s Knife

He initially began this project with Rock West’s release of a new product, carbon fiber chip board, a few years ago. This chip board is known as “forged carbon” or “Damascus carbon,” which is short strands of carbon fiber pressed into a plate.He explains his creation process as, “I just dissembled the old knife and traced the general shape from the original handle pieces, then used sandpaper and hand grinders to finalize the profile. After the shape was finished, I used fine sandpaper to remove the scratches and then used a polishing compound to give it a nice smooth finish. Locating the screw holes was the most challenging part as all three holes need to meet a very tight tolerance.” Amazingly, even after two years have passed, he says the knife remains in great condition.Rock West is always encouraging engineers and DIYers alike to try utilizing composites outside of major projects. There are many simple items that could benefit from a material that is lightweight and strong, like pens, bows, or in this case, a knife.