Joining Skewers For Kite Spars
by Chris Tock
(Hilliard, OH, USA)
I'm missing the point? And you say join the skewers. It appears you have laid them side by side? And glued them together? Wrapped them in something to strengthen the join? Can you do a close up or a video on this?
I'm a very mechanically inclined, blue-print savvy, machinery builder. Looking at your pictures from above down on the table, it just is hard to imagine what you actually did to join the skewers to make longer ones.
I'm sure everyone new to kite building would enjoy this exploded to a more visual representation of how you are doing this.
Is there already a picture/page with better views?
Firstly, thanks very much for the compliment! More than 5000 hours of work have gone into this site, so it's nice to get good feedback once in a while.
To answer your question... My standard method to make a longer kite spar is to butt the 2 lengths of skewer together end to end, then lay down either 1 or 2 short reinforcing lengths of skewer beside the join. The bits of paper that you see in some of the pictures are purely to protect the surface underneath from wood glue! The paper gets ripped / peeled off after the glue dries.
I found sufficient strength was obtained by just laying down a line of glue directly over where the pieces of skewer touch. 2 parallel lines of glue in the case of 2 reinforcers. To save time, I never bother to flip the spar join over and glue the other side. The glue tends to seep through to the other side anyway.
I don't know which kite you are looking at, but if you browse through some of the How To instructions for the 1-Skewer designs, you should find some quite close-up views of the reinforced joins. This series was re-done quite recently, so the instructions are a bit better! In fact, here's a link to the 1-Skewer Sode page, which has a close-up of the vertical spar join. The reinforcers are unusually long in this case, but that was just to shift the balance point of the kite back a bit.
Hope this helps. Sometime in the next year or 2, the entire 2-Skewer Kite Series will be re-made. I've made a note to try and make the joining detail a bit clearer, as you have suggested.
If you are working from the online instructions, feel free to contribute a story or 2 about the particular kite design you are making. Assuming all goes well and you get some great flights out of it of course! Have a read of this story by someone who made the 2-Skewer Dopero