Babbman - Tetrahedron - 10 Cell

The result of our kite making adventures
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Babbman - Tetrahedron - 10 Cell

Postby Babbman » Sun, Feb 25 2007, 06:49 AM

OK, I built another kite... I was bored, I guess... not really...

Over the last few weeks, I have been discussing various other kites I'd like to build with others... I've spent a good amount of time on the phone with Kent Kingston and several times, he suggested that I build a Tetrahedron... SO, in deference to Kent's kite chi, I indulged both him and my own love of building things...

I decided on using plans from Tetralite ( ). There are other plans out there that are probably better but I liked several things about tetralite... the main thing being that you can collapse the kite for transport... I also likes the cost per cell of under $1. Unfortunately, it cost me a little bit more, but not much.

The entire kite is built from:

1/8" wooden dowels, PVC tubing, tie-wraps and mylar wrapping paper... The tie-wraps and PVC tubing, I got for free... the other stuff, I got at Hobby Lobby/Lowes

A word of warning.... dowels from Hobby Lobby are not really the size advertised. For example, I initially got all my dowels from there and when I received the tubing that I used, I found the dowels would not fit in the tubing... When I used calipers on the dowels, even though they are marked as 1/8", I really found them to be 5/16". The dowels from Lowes were exactly 1/8"... unfortunately, they were a little more expensive but I didn't want to have to order anything for this kite.

The tubing is part# PVC-105-9... I was able to get a 25' sample from one of our distributers for free...

After getting everything together, the actual build from start to finish was under 4 hours... The time should actually be less, but I made enough parts to make up a 34 cell tetrahedron... I did the 10 cell as a learning project... I can expand it to 34 cells once I see how it works.


This is after cutting all the tubing down... pieces are 1 1/4" and 3/4". Dowels are in the background..


Here, my dowels are all cut to 1" lengths and I am beginning to assemble the connectors. This kite uses connectors that contain 3/6/9/12 connection points. The tie-wraps hold them together very well and very tight.


Here 1 complete cell without it's covering


Here's the complete structure connected together and ready for sails. The instructions recomment putting the sails on after completing the structure as the connectors are easier to route and change without them... It was good advice and not very difficult to do.


Sails all cut, taped and ready for installation. I just used a mylar wrapping paper for now... a word on the templates... make sure that when you print them, watch the print setting for "Print to fit paper" or "Print actual size"... The templates were pretty easy to use and very forgiving... just cut out the sail and then place the taping template over the top. It has notches for where the tape goes and made this really simple and easy to do.


The sails are all installed here... all I had to do was slide the dowels out of their connectors, slide them through the sail edges and re-attach them.... everything fit perfectly. Also, there is my helper who finally realized that I built a kite and not a


Here's some closeups of how the connectors look and are installed... Like I said, pretty easy to do...


Ans here's the kite folded up for transport. Folding it up is as easy as popping out the spreaders and pushing the kite down... setup will also be pretty easy as the spreaders just slide back in... no fuss, no muss...

Now, I just need the weather to test it in!

Chris (aka Babbman)

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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Re: Babbman - Tetrahedron - 10 Cell

Postby Chris » Sun, Feb 25 2007, 09:15 AM

Looks cool Babbman! :up: The 34 cell will be awesome!
It's a great satisfaction knowing that for a brief point in time you made a difference.


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Re: Babbman - Tetrahedron - 10 Cell

Postby JJ » Sun, Feb 25 2007, 12:32 PM

Nice kite Babbman.

This is the first kite that I made. I made it from RSN from Jo-Ann's. I used 1/4" dowels and it takes at least a 12 MPH wind to get it off the ground.



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Re: Babbman - Tetrahedron - 10 Cell

Postby Mike » Mon, Feb 26 2007, 09:35 AM

That's cool Babbman (and JJ).
You don't see them very often at festivals, it will be a nice addition.

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