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What Should I Build?

Posted: Sat, Mar 12 2011, 10:57 AM
by goestoeleven
So I have some "fabric store" ripstop . . . and I now know this is not the greatest material for building kites. Oops - well, at least it was 50% off . . . which is why I have several different colors in 2 yd pieces.

Even though it's not the best, I'd like to use it up anyway and I'm looking for ideas for something to build for my first kite sewing project since high school. I've looked at plans on a few different sites and I'm thinking about building a fairly good size sled and some tails. A sled looks like maybe the easiest "bigger" kite to build and would give me an incentive to make some line laundry :-). Anyone else have suggestions / alternatives that would be a good use of this less-than-ideal fabric? (First criteria - it needs to be easy . . . )

What size should I shoot for if I may want to lift line laundry later (without having to tie it off to a car)?


Edit - here's one of the possibilities: ... ed_en.html

Re: What Should I Build?

Posted: Sun, Mar 13 2011, 03:01 PM
by Mike
I think I've made a kite like that and it needed vertical spars.
Fabric store nylon can be heavy, and the material stretches more than sailcloth.
A kite with a tail and a multi-point bridle can help you stablize and adjust for uneven stretching.

For your first project how about a flat kite? It has less hemming. Like a Rokkaku or a Della Porta. You can sew a few different colors together and then trim it to the desired shape and then hem it.

You'll probably need pultruded carbon spars or fiberglass spars, but you can try wood dowels from the lumber store if the kite isn't too large.

Good luck!

Re: What Should I Build?

Posted: Sun, Mar 13 2011, 07:35 PM
by goestoeleven
The sled plan has four vertical spars, and I was thinking of getting either fiberglass or carbon spars as you suggest. I was figuring the sled plan would give more lift to raise up the heavier material, with less sewing than a foil. Your point on "less hemming" . . . . I think I did not fully appreciate that bit of your comment until the second reading of your post. You have a good point for me - speaking as someone who can count on one hand the number of times I've used a sewing machine in 20+ years.

As far as tails - I was thinking of making long tails to fly behind the sled to use up more material.

I just weighed the material, and it's right at 2oz per sq/yard if I read the conversion factor correctly for 60inch material. So, quite a bit heavier than the typical kite material. Hopefully not too heavy.

EDIT - I was just over on kitebuilder looking at a Della Porta project, and happened across a thread that had a conversion factor for ounces per yard to sailmaker's ounces. (Who knew such a thing even existed?) . . . The factor appears to be .7917, which means my 2oz / yd fabric is really about 1.58 "sailmaker's" ounces. Not far off the sailcloth ripstop sold as the heavier weight kite material. Now I know I'm really over-thinking this thing . . . when I should be working or building . . . and . . . . I also noticed Rose holding a picture of a nice looking uniquely patterned Della Porta! Nice kite, Mike & Rose!

Maybe I should make all three . . . :-) However, I have a feeling my work is going to keep me too busy to make even one for the next month or so . . . . :(

Re: What Should I Build?

Posted: Thu, Oct 27 2011, 01:31 PM
by makatakam
Build it and he will come.
Capture.PNG (22.57 KiB) Viewed 1556 times

Seriously -- build it and I'll paint it. Standard size 1.5rev frame. Sleeve the curve up to the uprights and the uprights end to end.

Re: What Should I Build?

Posted: Thu, Oct 27 2011, 02:51 PM
by Mike
It needs a tongue!

Re: What Should I Build?

Posted: Thu, Oct 27 2011, 03:54 PM
by makatakam
Mike wrote:It needs a tongue!

New and improved:
Capture 2.PNG
Capture 2.PNG (84.1 KiB) Viewed 1552 times

Either that, or long serpent-like added to kite as a "tongue tail".