Carbon Fiber Wrap

I decided to wrap the cabinet with carbon fiber vinyl to give it a really awesome look.  I had never used vinyl wrap before so I was quite nervous about it.  After doing some research, I decided to go with Vvivid brand wrap.  It seemed like a high quality product and wasn’t near as expensive as the 3M stuff.

To prep the cabinet for wrapping, everything was primed and then painted with a high gloss black paint.  I figured the high gloss paint would give the vinyl a nice service to bond to.  Here you can see some of the cabinet has already been painted while some has just been primed.

The first piece I wrapped was the underside of the control panel.  I figured this was a good place to start in case I messed up because not to many people would see it on a regular basis.  If you look closely, you can see where I did end up with a couple wrinkles.  I quickly learned that it was better to start at one end and allow the material to roll onto the wood.

Here you can see a large piece of the carbon fiber vinyl unrolled over top the front of the cabinet.  I used a squeegee with a microfiber cloth wrapped around it to press the vinyl onto the wood.  Then I used a heat gun and the squeegee to help get out any small air bubbles that were trapped.

With the vinyl firmly applied, I took a razor blade and cut out the holes for the subwoofers, coin doors and cabinet opening.  Then I took my razor blade around the top and bottom edges.  The last step was to use the razor blade and cut along the channel which I had cut earlier for the T-molding.

Here is a nice picture of the finished front panel.  You can see the way the light reflects off the carbon fiber pattern in the vinyl.  This is exactly the look I was going for and in my opinion looks much better than just a painted surface.

On the left you can see the main speaker baffle after I had used the heat gun and pressed the vinyl into place.  You can see how the heat causes the vinyl to conform to the edges of the panel and around the speaker cutouts,  On the right is the finished panel after using a razor blade to cut off excess material.

Here you can see the finished carbon fiber wrap on the front and rear of the control panel.  I was surprised at how easy to work with the material was.

On the left is the trackball plate.  The material easily conformed and stuck to the metal.  I was surprised how easily it went around the curved edges and the hole.  On the right is a completed switch plate for the top panel.  Again, the material worked perfectly and looks great.

Here is a picture of the front and back of one of the cabinet doors after the vinyl had been applied.  I really like the way it reflects the light.  If I was going to build another cabinet I would definitely wrap it in carbon fiber vinyl.