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Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Sun, Feb 11 2007, 10:26 PM
by Babbman
Well, I don't know what I was thinking but I wanted a big rotor... so this is big... A little bigger than I thought...

This is from the plans posted over on Kitebuilder ... sc&start=0

I used 1.5oz ripstop as I had the colors I wanted and the size I needed in that weight... supposedly, this rotor doesn't have much pull so the weight is probably overkill... but it is pretty stiff and easy to work with.

My fabric was 60" wide so I cut rectangles approximately 15" wide (that included seam allowance) of all the colors I needed

I then took the rectangles, squared them up (all the fabric I have is pretty wrinkled and difficult to cut square) and cut them down to about 56" wide. I then cut them diagonally to get my panels

I spent awhile trying to determine the best way for me to connect all these together and decided to just do a fell seam... a double fold was just too much work and I don't think it's needed... Thanks goes to Chris for agreeing with me. In the end, everything is hemmed... How to do it was... thought provoking to say the least... doing it all at once, while it would have looked better, just wasn't an option... So, I basically hemmed the short end of all the triangles 1st. Then I joined sets of 2 panels with a fell seam and sewed them out to the end. This leaves me with one final sew for the inside hem which I will do later.. Here's some of the seams..

Here's all the panels seamed together in sets of 2.

Here's the color combination of 1/2 of the rotor just laid out on the floor... my kitchen isn't wide enough to do the entire thing...

And here's 1/4 of the rotor sewn/seamed and hemmed...

I'll be sewing this up for the rest of the week and bridling it probably next friday night... I'll post more pictures as I go and just edit them into this post.

Wish me luck!

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Sun, Feb 11 2007, 10:35 PM
by Chris
Looking good, Babbman :up: I made another pocket kite tonight for my niece for her birthday. I need to make another one for her brother, or I'll never hear the end of it! :rotfl

I think I may have to give the rotor a shot....I was really undecided on what to make next, but seeing that HUGE rotor laid out on the floor... :twisted: :twisted:

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Sun, Feb 11 2007, 11:05 PM
by Frodos Majik
Coming along nicely Babbman. :up: That thing looks like its going to be a MONSTER when done. :shock: I like the look of the one mike found with the clown in the middle, with the color combo you got going maybe a flag could be tossed in there?

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Mon, Feb 12 2007, 07:05 AM
by Mike
This is going to be awesome!
We'll have to make sure that you have plenty of space reserved at Naperville for all your stuff.

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Thu, Feb 15 2007, 10:21 PM
by Babbman
Well, I've been sewing a few hours each night to get thing together so I can fly this thing on Sunday... I'm pretty much on schedule...

At this point, I have 1/2 of the ring completely sewn and hemmed... I was a bit fearful of sewing the inside ring but found that it was easier to sew than anything else... I sure hope it holds up...

Here's a pic with me in the center for some scale..


I still have to join 2 quarters (about an hour of folding and sewing and hemming)... then I get to join the 2 halves together which will be about 2 hrs of sewing and hemming... I figure that by midnight tomorrow, all my sewing will be finished.

On Saturday, I'll start bridling this monster up...

I got my 300# swivels from Gomberg today so I am all ready to get this thing out... Sunday will be 20 with 15mph winds forecast... a good day to Rok out and lift this enormously big ring...

I'm gonna have to take a day off before I start on my next project... I was thinking of a 20' or maybe I should just make a complimentary arch to go with Chris's... :o

Of course, I also have all the spars necessary to make up another Rok....

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Thu, Feb 15 2007, 10:30 PM
by Babbman
Frodos Majik wrote:Coming along nicely Babbman. :up: That thing looks like its going to be a MONSTER when done. :shock: I like the look of the one mike found with the clown in the middle, with the color combo you got going maybe a flag could be tossed in there?

You know Ken, that is a GREAT Idea... a flag in the middle would look pretty cool on the 4th of July!

Actually, I would like to make an IKE Flag at some point...

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Thu, Feb 15 2007, 10:39 PM
by Frodos Majik
:shock: OMG!!!! :shock: That thing is going to be HUGE!!!!!!!!! :shock:

Where might you be going out at on sunday, I will be spending the night in Tinley Park on saturday, maybe we could hook up? Not sure what shape or time just yet, attending a Mardi Gras party.
:mrgreen: :mrviolet: :-D
Could call you on sunday?

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Fri, Feb 16 2007, 10:20 PM
by Babbman
Alrighty then...

I have everything FINALLY sewn together... this was a real marathon... 3 rolls of thread and about 6 bobbins... only had one run out on me in the middle of sewing... :o

Anyway, It is now REALLY too big for my kitchen but here's a crumpled shot anyway..


And here's a couple of all the hems involved... front and back


On to bridling... I'm just going to hot cut the holes at the point and on the inner ring. According to the guys on Kitebuilder forums, this really doesn't have a lot of pull so I'm not going to get too fancy... If I have problems, then I put eyelets in... I think I'm gonna larks head some pigtails on it for the bridle connection points also..

Here's hoping that I can get it bridled tomorrow!

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Sun, Feb 18 2007, 04:23 PM
by Babbman
Well, I'm done with the 24 panel rotor...

I need to rethink doing projects that are larger than I have space to lay it out in... this took longer than I wanted simply because of that.. As for building it, it was really pretty simple... fell seams, single folded hems, etc...

One thing I found was that the material I used for the blue was not good at stopping rip... :shock:

Before I attached my bridle lines, I tested the blue as I was a bit apprehensive about it... I hot cut a small hole in a piece of scrap, dropped a loop through it and pulled... It pulled the material apart pretty easily... I tried an eyelet with the same result... So, in the end, I decided to make up tabs similar to what I do for the Catherine's wheels...

I am really happy that I tested the material before I ruined the entire thing. I think the tabs will hold just fine.

I also decided to larks head some pigtails to the tabs... I think it will make it easier to manage things (I hope)... it make just be another tangle point but I'm not going to worry about it... It will make a bridle line much easier to replace if it gets cut.. or easier to untangle if the bridle gets hopelessly tangled (which is a distinct possibility)...

here's a shot of the sail all bridled up and folded in quarters..

[smiley smilie=19 fontcolor=000000 shadowcolor=FFDDBB shieldshadow=1]Bridling SUCKS![/smiley]


and a shot of the sail folded and bridles daisy chained... pay no attention to the wad of spaghetti just below the sail... that's because the bridle attaches at the outer and inner ring and are of different lengths... hopefully, they will unfold without problems..


and the sail itself..


No wind to fly with today and just too many other things going on, not to mention the foot or so of snow out on the fields... I'll wait until next weekend... even though it will kill me.

I'll post a final picture when I get it lifted..

I shudder to think how I'm going to deal with this when taking it down...

Now, I have a Catherine's Wheel to get fixing on... 8)

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Sun, Feb 18 2007, 05:33 PM
by Chris
Very cool Babbman! :up: Can't wait to see this thing up close and personal. :twisted:

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Wed, Feb 21 2007, 09:12 AM
by Mike
Looks like the weather is warming up back there as I promised. Make sure to get photos of someone near it so we can get an idea of scale.

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Wed, Feb 21 2007, 09:24 AM
by Babbman
Chris & I seem to enjoy taking LOTS of pictures... you can bet that this Sunday will be one of those days as we also need to provide some perspective on something else...

at the same time, I'll also have my 64 cell Catherine's Wheel ready to go (finishing up the bridle... AGAIN)... tonight

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Wed, Feb 21 2007, 11:14 PM
by Frodos Majik
Keep me posted on when and where!! I am going STIR CRAZZZZZY!!!!!! :shock:

Re: Babbman - 4 Meter Rotor (24 Panels)

Posted: Thu, Feb 22 2007, 02:54 AM
by kiteguy
Babbman, what was the final size of your rotor? Is it larger than the one posted at

I am toying with the idea of making one from the sizes of material you used. I am wondering if the bridle line to the inner circumference is necessary. Maybe I need to try a small version to check that out.

[smiley smilie=21 fontcolor=FF0000 shadowcolor=000000 shieldshadow=1]Good idea?[/smiley]

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Thu, Feb 22 2007, 05:50 AM
by Babbman
My final dimensions should be the same as JC's, within a 1/2 inch or so... when converted to inches, the width of the rectangles I used was about 15" x 55" fudging in seam allowance..

I also used the same dimensions on the bridle as stated in the plans.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the winds or weather to take it out and see it in action, yet...

If the winds cooperate this weekend, I'll take it out and get some shots of it. I am curious how well it will inflate and how fast it will spin..

BTW, really happy to see you pop in over here.... :welcome1:

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Fri, Feb 23 2007, 09:22 PM
by Babbman
Can someone please tell me what I was thinking when I made this monster?

I finally got the chance to take this beast out and made my poor 5' Rok haul it up... The Rok performed admirably and at least picked it up.

This thing is just plain ginormous... I called Chris and he literally flew over to the field to fly with me and help me launch this... this thing....

Some of the bridle lines were tangled up but because Chris and I discussed this previously, we had decided that larksheading the bridle lines to pigtails was the way to go and thank goodness, that's what I did... untangling it was as simple (yeah... it was simple... just ask Chris!) as pulling the lines and rerouting them... I also seem to have a few bridle lines that are out of whack in terms of length but now that I know where they are, I can fix it up.

I'm also very pleased that I used tabs for the bridle connection points rather than sewing through the sail. I'm pretty sure that especially on the blue material that I used, that they would have ripped right through the material...

Once we had things tuned up a little bit (made very difficult as it was really cold out there and my hands didn't work well at pulling lines and reattaching them), we let it go...

:shock: :rotfl

There was only 2 words good enough to describe it and the first was HOLY...

This Rotor is now known as Babb's Buzzsaw... Thanks to Chris for coining the Buzzsaw term... it fits well

Besides being really large, it spins MUCH faster that I imagined it would... probably 3 or 4 times the speed of my Catherine's Wheels. And the pull was also pretty good... it was enough that it slid my caribiner up the line even with 4 wraps and under full tension from the Rok. Fortunately, I had stuck another biner in the line a little further up and it at least stopped there...

I am running this with a 300# Sampo Swivel from Gomberg but I am going to upgrade it to at least a 500# just to feel safe....

Here's some action shots of Chris and I freezing our butts off... a word on scale.... both of us are standing within a foot or so of the rotor...


I'll post a video once I have the bridle evened up and we get it a little higher off the ground...

This is going to look pretty cool once I decide on a dedicated lifter for it. After my experience with my Rok, I am leaning towards building a large Rok in matching colors and a matching large spinsock to go with it...

Re: Babbman - 4 meter rotor (24 panels)

Posted: Fri, Feb 23 2007, 09:54 PM
by Mike
Babbman, Kent told me today that he put something in the mail for you to try as a lifter.