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.