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Thread: Kites!

  1. #1
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    Default Kites!

    Well. Kite month.
    Still having too much cold to epoxy in my unheated shop, so the boat work waits.

    Besides, I got kites to make!

    These are our little fighters. The sticks are 16"(?). Half are marked in the center, and the other half are marked about 1/4 of the way down.

    Let's call it 1/4+ of the way down. Just one more little tick.

    I do have real stuff to do, too, but we need kites!

    They need to be tied and strung and glued, then I'll take another picture.
    Then they can be papered with tissue, sealed, bent, bridled, and flown. Tailed if we need it. Some do, some don't.

    Peace,
    Robert

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kites!

    I read a short story once about kite fighting in the Argentine. IIRC they coated the line near the kite with airplane dope and sprinkled ground glass onto it. They would maneuver their kite athwart someone else's string then saw away madly on their line, trying to sever the other kite fighter out of the sky.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    RESIST. FIGHT THE POWER.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    I read a short story once about kite fighting in the Argentine. IIRC they coated the line near the kite with airplane dope and sprinkled ground glass onto it. They would maneuver their kite athwart someone else's string then saw away madly on their line, trying to sever the other kite fighter out of the sky.
    Oh, yes. Ground glass is common. So are little knives, like cock fighting spurs. There are some amazing kite flying and fighting cultures around the world.

    We use a little "fuse" of light fishing line at the kite. The idea is the same. Lots of ridiculous sawing motion occurs, both from the attempts to drive, and the attempts to cut the line.

    Peace,
    Robert

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kites!


    If you want, you can tie together an entire boat pretty much just like this. This is some cotton thread soaked in white glue, which would not be my first choice for lashing a boat. Nor my last.

    Now I just need some constrictors on all the limb ends, to key the string. Then I can string it and glue the constrictors and string loops at the same time.

    The string defines the edges of the kite, and the paper will be glued around the string, for those what know not of the kites...

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kites!


    Isn't it cute? Put one on each leg. Next comes the string around the edge then glue.

    Peace,
    Robert

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kites!


    This really was the easiest way to show the kite's structure all at once. The little flaps will be folded over and glued around the barely visible string looped around the perimeter.
    The spine sticks will be glued to the paper as well.

    Peace,
    Robert

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Okay. This is hilarious.

    My neighbor came over to jibber jabber, as is our wont. We have been known to have large gams in the road, four or five of us blocking what traffic may accidentally wander down the road and not know us.

    Anywho, he was over checking out my kites, and I'll be darned if he didn't drop a cigarette ash on the last green kite body. No more green paper, and he holes it!

    So, the green one will have a few white patches, now...

    And, a white one is almost ready to go, too.

    I will have the kites done and kiting in the next few days. Lots of waiting for things to dry doing kites. It's like making bread... it takes forever, but it's mostly waiting.

    Peace,
    Robert

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Kites!


    Guess whose back?



    Okay, I'll be up front with you.

    Don't smoke over the craft table, yo!

    I'll put some cool patches over the burn holes.
    Then I'll size and seal it, then put on the "bridle", which is a simple string tie around the junction of the sticks with a loop at the free end.

    Peace,
    Robert

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Kites!


    Okay. Well, I found a small piece of yellow tissue, so, yellow patches!

    The paper is a bit baggy on purpose.

    Next comes a bridle string and a bowing string, then I'll test fly it!

    Peace,
    Robert

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Robert, I haven't said anything, but I am following this. Carry on.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Brought back some memories already shared here, but always worth retelling!

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    Before we left Jaipur I went for a walk from the hotel on a mission to buy a bundle of the small tissue paper and bamboo kites, and a couple of reels of string (3500 yards each) for the nephews.

    It was at that point of the day just before dusk when the light begins to soften and the air cool. The endless tide of people, animals and vehicles begins to intensify just enough to notice a change. All the smells of the street condense after a day of floating about and increasing in quantity, before being dulled off by the cooler night air. It becomes a strange and infinitely complex aroma that blends from one scene to the next as you move down the street. It's best to walk as light as possible... To have no camera to focus through: Just to take the experience in and etch it onto your memory. Don't carry a bag, just move with purpose and blend in with the tide.

    Stepping over sh!t, mud, blood, into dust, then onto concrete and then marble. Watch the traffic and make eye contact with the motorcyclists, tuk-tuk drivers. Use your hand, waving downward on the outstretched arm to get them to slow down. Step over the person sleeping, around the cow sitting next to the Mercedes Compressor. Through the wall of incense smoke, between the street hawkers and past the beggars.

    I've been told where the shop is, but I've walked for a while. Stop and ask. "Patang?" Over the road? Crossing the road is even more an art form than it was in Saigon. No luck. Ask again... Back across and keep walking then first left up a lane way. Then I find the shop.

    I'm invited in and take off my shoes as I sit myself down to be visually regaled by hundreds of different kites, all done with a small cup of masala chai in hand. A slow climax to the final selection and quantity is finished with firm handshakes, exchange of goods and money and promises of eternal friendship. And back out into that air...

    A mesmerising experience. A walk I shall never forget, and that no photograph or feeble description that I can conjure up could ever convey. That line from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is set in Jaipur, sums it up beautifully: "All of life is out there."
    Jarndyce and Jarndyce

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post
    Robert, I haven't said anything, but I am following this. Carry on.
    Thanks, Brother. Dang if it ain't raining today!

    What!? I'm ready for trials!

    Heh. I'll hang it, and bend it, then get a couple pictures of the done, then unflown kite up.
    There are others in various stages of construction...

    Yes, they're all the same, except for the paper color.

    Peace,
    Robert

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    Brought back some memories already shared here, but always worth retelling!
    Ah, yes, lovely Duncan.

    I have friends who live in east asia, and I long to return. I have many south asian friends here, but I've never been.
    Too much to do, and too little time.

    Peace,
    Robert

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Kites!


    A piece of packing tape both sides reinforces the paper to help keep the thread tearing. The string winds all around the joint to provide the best support for the string.


    The front side of the finished kite, unless we need a tail. Hope we don't... The curve pulled into the kite will hopefully provide enough dihedral to act as a keel and help her fly straight. About 21% need tails, and those short.


    And, the back. You can see the bowing string, which is unstrung when not in use. The idea is the slightly baggy paper combined with the bow allow the paper to sag into the frame and form a keel.

    Fingers crossed.

    If it's dry tomorrow, I'll test fly this bugger.

    Peace,
    Charlie Brown

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kites!

    My Royal Marine/Royal Engineer/signaller grandfather would make big box kites, 6ft long and we'd fly them off Prince of Wales hill across the creek from his farm house. He had a big drum of heavy braided line bolted to a stump and he said it would go up 3000+ feet.
    I have experimented with a wing kite to tow my canoe with mixed success. A dump line is essential.

    Gran also made rockets for Guy Fawkes Day from long cardboard tubes from material rolls. They went up to 4000 ft the aviation people said.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Kites!

    My father made us a box kite when we where kids. I was always amazed at how a box could fly.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Kites!

    I do have real stuff to do, too, but we need kites!
    Now that's setting priorities - I like it.

    Thanks for the fun thread!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    My Royal Marine/Royal Engineer/signaller grandfather would make big box kites, 6ft long and we'd fly them off Prince of Wales hill across the creek from his farm house. He had a big drum of heavy braided line bolted to a stump and he said it would go up 3000+ feet.
    I have experimented with a wing kite to tow my canoe with mixed success. A dump line is essential.

    Gran also made rockets for Guy Fawkes Day from long cardboard tubes from material rolls. They went up to 4000 ft the aviation people said.
    Oh, yes, I love box kites. My buddy and I made a big 6 footer once. Whoo!

    They can also be made very tiny, and they work just as well. Box kites are critical of their dimensions, though. These dumb little things can be fudged and hacked so easily, they're just fun.
    Plus, when they wreck, because they will, it isn't as sad when they break, because they're goofy little things made to fight.

    Peace,
    Robert

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallam View Post
    My father made us a box kite when we where kids. I was always amazed at how a box could fly.
    I concur. The least aerodynamic looking object in the world? Maybe not, but a box kite looks it.

    Peace,
    Robert

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Now that's setting priorities - I like it.

    Thanks for the fun thread!
    Hey. SOMEONE has to refuse to grow up around here.

    That is not true at all. I truly live in a paradise where skipping chores to make kites is encouraged. What? The grass will still be long tomorrow...

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Kites!

    I've always said that one does have to grow older, but one does not have to grow up!

    I must say that belief has gotten me in trouble a few times...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Many years ago, I made a big four string flying kite for my 3 yo daughter. We took it out to a huge multi field football complex and it flew perfectly. I could hover a few inches off the ground or soar to almost vertical. I showed her how to control it and she did remarkably well. "Look Daddy! I'm a pilot too."

    FUN thread.
    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by John of Phoenix View Post
    Many years ago, I made a big four string flying kite for my 3 yo daughter. We took it out to a huge multi field football complex and it flew perfectly. I could hover a few inches off the ground or soar to almost vertical. I showed her how to control it and she did remarkably well. "Look Daddy! I'm a pilot too."

    FUN thread.
    Thanks, Man. Your kite sounds awesome. I am in awe of really sophisticated kites. My kites are like most else I do. Smoke and mirrors, misdirection, and unceasing babble which wears down the nervous system and garners acquiescence and/or acceptance. Hehe.

    Interestingly enough, it is Army helicopter pilots that hamper our kiting. Hehe. They fly pretty low around here, so we have a pretty low ceiling.
    We have been warmed before, so now I make sure every kite string is short of our limit.

    We keep them small and low.

    Plus, these kites can be steered, by virtue of their single leg attachment. The kite is free to pivot around the connection point. In fact, if not balanced properly, they just clock around like mad.
    The trick to flying them is the pull. If you pull the string, the kite heads "up", so by timing the direction the kite is facing with your pulls, you can steer and drive the kite.
    And, when they break, it's not too sad.

    Peace,
    Robert

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kites!

    I was given a French military kite when I was a boy, that thing would go high, really high!

    We were so taken with it that we made a copy about 6 feet long, it would actually lift you off the ground in a good breeze. The problem as kids was that we could never afford enough rope to hang ourselves... probably a good thing.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I was given a French military kite when I was a boy, that thing would go high, really high!

    We were so taken with it that we made a copy about 6 feet long, it would actually lift you off the ground in a good breeze. The problem as kids was that we could never afford enough rope to hang ourselves... probably a good thing.
    I want to build a big kite and take a GoPro or somesuch for a ride. Antique drone.

    Peace,
    Robert

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Kites!


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Oh, pass! I'll help make the kites, but I ain't at all in it with hanging in space from a rope.
    See, us chickens know we fly poorly.

    Peace,
    Windless Dreamer...sigh
    Really. No wind to speak of, yet, today

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Kites!

    We sort of had a contest to see who could be lifted the highest before letting go!

    It took about 6 kids to hold the rope so we didn't lose everything. Eventually we gave it up as dangerous, there may have been a broken arm...

    That type of kite is very powerful

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Very cool. We made kites like these as kids.


    I read a short story once about kite fighting in the Argentine. IIRC they coated the line near the kite with airplane dope and sprinkled ground glass onto it. They would maneuver their kite athwart someone else's string then saw away madly on their line, trying to sever the other kite fighter out of the sky.

    We must have read the same book, because I remember actually doing this as a kid, grinding glass from a broken bottle with a rock and a rag and the using white glue to coat the line with the cutting grit.

    Our battles, as I recall, ended up in tangled kite lines and both coming down ( or needing to be reeled in) together with no clear winner. Of course, that was just reason to do it again.

    I also remember buying, begging and stealing more and more string on good breezy days. We sent some kites way up there and way out there.

    Kevin

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Kites!

    The Wright brothers did extensive experiments with kites when designing their flyer.

    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Kites!

    John,
    The Wrights have long been heroes of mine. I have a pretty big library of Wright stuff. I would love to stand in those dunes one day.

    Peace,
    Robert

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Kites!

    A park in some town in NE Malaysia. Can't recall the name of the town offhand... a crossroads town though.

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    A park in some town in NE Malaysia. Can't recall the name of the town offhand... a crossroads town though.

    Oh, yes. Those are the finest kind of fighting kites! Finest kind! If you have more pictures of local kites, please post them.
    The one in this picture looks fun. A big old light air kite, it looks.

    We used to do a Chinese style "butterfly" kite similar to these. I'll have to make one again...

    Peace,
    Robert

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    John,
    The Wrights have long been heroes of mine. I have a pretty big library of Wright stuff. I would love to stand in those dunes one day.

    Peace,
    Robert
    Amazing guys - but the planes we see today come more from Glenn Curtiss (flaps, etc.).
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Kites!

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    John,
    The Wrights have long been heroes of mine. I have a pretty big library of Wright stuff. I would love to stand in those dunes one day.

    Peace,
    Robert
    When I returned from Vietnam, I was assigned to the Primary Helicopter Training Center to become a flight instructor. The man who taught me to be an instructor pilot was a test pilot for the P-51 Mustang in WWII and had learned to fly from Orville Wright. Interestingly, his name was Wilbur. He said Orville was quite a character.
    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice

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