Kite Spar Joining Suggestion

by Paul Elshoff
(Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Not sure if you've ever seen this used, but when I was a lad (around the time Wilbur and Orville were playing with their first kites), we used this quite often.

In kite spar joints where stability is only important in one direction, we'd cut a short length of rubber or neoprene tubing and cut away about half of the width of it in the middle of the tube. We'd slip this over the dowel that we wanted the joint to be fairly stable on and slide it to where we wanted the joint.

We would then turn the removed portion to where we wished the cross piece and slip that cross bar through between the kite spar and the tubing. Providing you chose a tube that fits your spar fairly snugly, you have a pretty decent joint that is fast as can be. Make sure you remove no more than half the width of the tube and make your cuts as smooth as possible as a nick will tend to tear.

Play with the idea a bit and see what you think. It won't replace a well lashed kite spar joint for brisk winds, but in the right place it can be one more bolt in your quiver.

Keep 'em outta the trees.

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Good tip
by: Tim Parish

Great tip actually - thanks Paul. Mind you, I have my little kite-making system all figured out in standard ways so I can be consistent across all my books, and keep things very 'minimal' for the widest possible range of potential kite-makers out there. But if I were just making kites for myself, I would certainly try your tip.

As it is, you can be sure that many single-line fliers will be saying to themselves 'hey I gotta try this!' Quick, easy and no gluing.

Funny you should mention 'keeping them out of the trees' - I lost the Dowel Barn Door just a couple of weeks ago. Was having a bad day, and it must have affected my kite-flying judgment as well. Hey, no-one tell anyone OK? ;-)

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7