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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  1. Flight Report:
    KAP Mystery Solved

    Aug 25, 14 03:57 AM

    Last week I came home from a KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) session down at Brighton beach, here in Adelaide, South Australia. The photos were a disaster, being totally washed out. Over-exposed, to be a little more technical. At the time I thought the problem was purely the position of the sun, relative to the direction of the camera...

    Well guess what. Down at the same beach today, the photos had the same problem - and this time it definitely wasn't the sun. Camera damage seemed a small possibility since the rig had hit the sand at some speed last time, during a white-knuckle experience with the kite in rough air! Which turned out OK, but that's another story.

    Anyway, once back home today, I did a little investigating with the camera, taking some test pictures from the back yard. It was a great relief to find the explanation for the bad images...

    It seems that setting a fixed ISO is not a good idea for this camera in very bright lighting conditions. It can cause the camera to run out of adjustment room for other parameters, like shutter speed or aperture. When the camera was allowed to set ISO automatically, the exposure problem disappeared. Whew!

    The Tyvek-sailed Carbon Diamond performed wonderfully today. It was, for the first time, hoisting the KAP rig into the air. Never has the rig been so steady for so long. Sway was almost non-existent. But whenever I handled the line the camera twisted back and forth due to the rather steep line angle from the rig to the kite. Without enough horizontal separation, the suspension lines do not provide the maximum resistance to twisting. It might be an idea to separate the attachment points even further, on the flying line.

    The 2 meter (7 ft) Diamond was struggling to lift the camera in the fairly light winds coming off the ocean. At times, people on the beach had to duck under the line from me to the camera! The camera was behaving as a sort of aerial tether point, with the kite flying at a steep line angle from there.

    Measured at shoulder height, the on-shore breeze was about 4.5kph gusting to just under 7kph. More of a day for the Multi-Dowel Sled really, which hardly feels a 280g weight on the line!

    "Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe what's on offer in that message series!

    Read More








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