Watch Your Knuckles

by Ron Green
(Arkansas, U.S.A.)


Grandson and I had built a few Dopero kites to fly, but the weather was either too bad or no wind. So the other day it was about 20 degrees F. with a fairly strong wind.

Wind chill was or had to be around 15 degrees or to me it felt like 5 degrees. But when you have a chance to fly what is a few degrees. LOL.

I could not find my kite winder so we used a cheap one that had 2 knobs on one end and a handle on the other, no way to stop the line, you just used the knobs to crank in the line or let line out.

The 2 skewer 22 inch, just would not let me adjust it's bridle, or the wind was just to strong, it took a good nose dive. But did not really hurt it much. So I put on a tail help it settle down a little, I think it was cold too. Then it ripped in a couple of places, but must like flying in the cold, cause it just flew great. But I put him away so he would not get hurt any more.

Then my grandson wanted to fly the big 2 skewer kite, I used 24" skewers, so that made it 4 feet tall. Ok I used 48" dowell, I cheated. I offered it to the wind and it took it for a good flight, no tail needed. I wanted to take a few pictures, so my grandson took over the kite. I told him to let out more line, well the wind gusted and took off with the kite, the 2 knobs just kept spinning around beating his knuckles, I am looking for the kite in the camera and all I heard was Help! Grampa Help!

So the moral of the story is when it is cold make sure you wear gloves, and be careful of the cheap line winders.

The end of the story is the Kites Tim makes and show how to make is great fun for the whole family.

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Dowel kites
by: Tim P.

Thanks for that Ron. You're about 7 months ahead of me, turning out Dowel Dopero kites! I don't know if you cut up the dowel and glued dihedral into the spars or not, but I'll just be putting bow into a single length of dowel, to save weight. Sounds like yours flew great anyway!

Prussik knot stuck? Try pulling the bridle line tight with the Prussik in the middle, to unlock it. Then it should be possible to get a fingernail in there and slip it along a bit. This will actually be illustrated in a new page that is going up in a few days time.

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  1. Flight Report:
    Dowel Barn Door Rides Inland Gusts

    Sep 17, 14 06:33 AM

    Well, it was the same reserve and a similar time of day. A bit closer to sun-down perhaps. Only the kite was different - the Dowel Barn Door kite this time, chosen to suit the 'gentle' strength wind gusts of between 15 and 20 kph.

    The first flight went well, with the kite soaring straight up on around 45 meters (150 feet) of line. The late afternoon sun glinting off the panels as the kite moved about at steep line angles. In the gusts and lulls, the kite had a tendency to pull to the right at times.

    As I was taking the kite down to do a bridle adjustment, the main problem became apparent. The horizontal spar had pushed through the tip-tape on the right corner of the sail, drastically reducing the sail area to the right of center. It was actually surprising how well the kite was still flying, given the gross problem with the sail!

    On a second flight, with the tip repaired, there still appeared to be a slight pull to the right. So, after taking some video footage of the Barn Door's antics, it was brought down once again. This time the bridle knot was taken across by about a centimeter (1/2"). That was better! The 1.2 meter (4 feet) span pale orange kite shot right back up, showing much less tendency to pull across when under pressure.

    After some more video was taken, with the kite soaring around almost directly overhead at times, it seemed safe enough to let out more line. It was surprising to feel the flying line touching my jeans while it was anchored under-foot! How much rising air can there be at this time of day? At the time I was concentrating on keeping the wandering kite in-frame as I took video.

    Finally, after enjoying the kite doing its thing on over 60 meters (200 feet) of line, it came time to pull the Dowel Barn Door down. When within 30 feet or so of the ground it started to float and sink face-down. Then it was an easy matter to pull in the remaining few meters of line, keeping the kite flying until the bridle lines were in hand.

    Weather stations were reporting around 10kph average wind speeds with gusts almost to 20kph.

    "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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