Half Pint Project

Questions and conversations related to sewing up a magnificent kite creation.
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Jeepster
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Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Wed, May 06 2009, 09:49 PM

I've seen several pictures of Harold Ames' mini-stacks that he and Paul LeMasters fly. Harold is a very prolific builder whose screen name is KiteSquid on the Kite Builder Forum. The idea of a mini-stack of Rev-like kites really captured my interest, so I've been conversing with Harold about how he built his. He has been great about helping me ... literally opened up his files and shared them with me. Unfortunately he framed his kites in 40/42" Sky Shark P2 rods which are no longer manufactured. Harold offered some out of his stash, but I decided to find a substitute. That turned into a lengthy search which culminated with the decision to use much of Harold's building technique, but use a two piece leading edge and change the dimensions to match the available rods.

Changing dimensions turned out to be more involved than anticipated. Since the rods I ended up with were a little heavier than P2s and included a ferrule, the sail area was increased slightly to compensate. After playing around with several ideas, I finally settled on a 48" leading edge with 16" vertical rods. I found a great deal on some 32" rods, thus the 16" verticals minimised waste. The sizing makes it a little bit over half the size of a 1.5 Rev ... thus the Half Pint name seems fitting.

With all new dimensions, making a trial kite before starting on the stack seemed to make sense. Had some extra nylon left over from the ROK building class ... yep, one of my ROKs is red and black. Plus, piecing together scraps allowed for more practice with the double sided 3M tape that Harold uses for his no-sew kites. All the sail panel seams are simply TAPED together. In fact, ALL seams on the kite are sealed with the 3M tape. The tape is very strong in shear, but not as secure in peeling. I reduced the leading edge tunnel height quite a bit and was nervous about the fabric angle, so the leading edge-to-sail seam was reinforced with a simple zig-zag stitch. Harold is probably muttering to himself about the new kids not having faith ... he's fanatic about weight and doesn't sew anything. Once the sewing machine was working, I also reinforced the bottom tip reinforcement patches. Otherwise, it's just tape holding the kite together.

The tape gains strength over time, thus the kite has not yet been fully tightened. The 3M tape and some other materials arrived in the mail this morning and I've been in the basement working on the kite all afternoon and evening. As soon as the kite was finished, I pulled the bungees snug, took the pictures and then quickly disassembled the kite. I'll check with Harold on how long to let the tape cure.

One change that I made was to give the leading edge a slight curve ... that makes it look like it's big brother, but curved leading edges are easier said than done.

Now I've got to figure out how to make a bridle sized to this kite.

Oh yes, at Kite Party I talked with Ben about building the mini-stack and he gave me his blessing.

Cheers,
Tom

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Last edited by Jeepster on Wed, May 06 2009, 09:50 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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DB Cooper
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby DB Cooper » Thu, May 07 2009, 07:43 PM

Very cool, not get off the internet and figure out how to make the bridal. I can't wait to try it out!!

:revspin: :revspin: :revspin:

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Jynx
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jynx » Thu, May 07 2009, 09:13 PM

DB Cooper wrote:Very cool, not get off the internet and figure out how to make the bridal. I can't wait to try it out!!

Don't be telling dad what to do! Show a little respect!

The proper response would be "Can we go flying with them real soon dad? Pleeeeeeeese?"
[align=center]"When the power of love becomes more important than the love of power, then there will be peace"[/align][align=center]-Jimi Hendrix[/align]

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Thu, May 07 2009, 10:13 PM

Okay, the bridle is finished.

Wow, I'm amazed that three pieces of string and a few knots can take so much work? I've got to learn how to make and use a bridle board! I am struggling with understanding how a bridle board works, but I'm convinced that they're better than a ruler. I Paul LeMasters put me on to using a pair of forceps ... I'd still be working on the darn thing without that trick.

I'm taking the kite to Grinnell tomorrow for it's first flight. No sense passing up a good opportunity to sink or swim in public.

Cheers,
Tom

brownssl
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby brownssl » Fri, May 08 2009, 05:44 AM

WOW THE KITE LOOKS GREAT
:up: :revspin:
:SLKani: shawn

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Sailor99
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Sailor99 » Fri, May 08 2009, 07:02 AM

Red and Black is Burger King's colours isn't it?

Nice work though Tom. Will look fab in a stack. Will you be reversing the colours in the scheme (red where black is and vica versa) on alternate kites? How many in the stack?

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DB Cooper
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby DB Cooper » Fri, May 08 2009, 11:21 AM

Sailor is on to something. A nice yellow star in the center would make it look like a Carl's Junior/Hardees.

A McKite and a Carl Junior Kite.

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Mike
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Mike » Sat, May 09 2009, 07:21 PM

Photos of the maiden flight please!
I'm on limited internet access and can't logon very often, so when I do, I need lotsa photos of y'all having fun.

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Sat, May 09 2009, 10:33 PM

Sailor99 wrote:Red and Black is Burger King's colours isn't it?

Nice work though Tom. Will look fab in a stack. Will you be reversing the colours in the scheme (red where black is and vica versa) on alternate kites? How many in the stack?


This one was a prototype to check dimensions and fly-ability ... I used the leftovers from my ROK. Have enough red and black left for one more test kite. I think it takes more cloth to make a bikini than it does to make this kite. The next kite will either have leading edge screening or venting. Probably will make a third test kite. Then I'll experiment with a three kite stack to play with the stacking lines. Once all of the bugs are worked out, I've got some 0.5 oz poly in hot colors to use for the stack. Was going to make them a solid color, but this one is holding together so well that I'm thinking of ordering some black poly for the center section. Then make each wing a hot color. Not sure yet ... I'm an engineer not an artist, so the missus will have to help on the color layout.

Sailor, you've made at least one small rev-like kite ... what was your experience with flying it.

The kite flew last night for the first time. Ken helped test it out ... he fed it to a kite eating tree. I flew it today in 15 to 25 mph winds ... quite exciting. Harold talks about his minis acting like a bumble bee on steroids ... sounds about right. Talked Rose, Issac and Mike S. into flying it. For the first two minutes all you could hear was each of them sucking air. The kite is approximately half the size of a 1.5 Rev, so the inputs need to be reduce by half ... that takes a little retraining for your mind. Oh, and the pull is only about 25% of what you're used to for each wind condition ... that also messes with your brain. After a couple of minutes, all of them were flying it quite well. The darn thing even backs up reasonably well without the leading edge screening. Oh, and it flic flaxs in the blink of an eye ... neat, cause I still can't do that repetitively with my 1.5 size kites.

Oh, one observation. Fly the half pint for an hour or two and then your 1.5 feels like a semi truck ... it's soooooo slooooow.

Paul took some pictures of it flying ... hopefully he'll post them when he returns from Grinnell.

Now if I could just get this silly grin off my face. I'm still amazed that it actually flew, let alone that it flew well.

Cheers,
Tom
Last edited by Jeepster on Fri, May 29 2009, 10:41 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Sailor99
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Sailor99 » Sun, May 10 2009, 01:33 AM

I did make one. It was a bit smaller than yours and it was like a chiwowoa with a red hot poker shoved ...... I ended up giving it away. BUT I never tried it on a stack and that I could see working. After all, a 1.5 stack is slow and boring (IMHO), so a 2.3 (?) stack would be just great.

Would advise against solid colours. Its a nice idea but they end up just looking like a home made kite that someone couldn't be bothered to put the work into. Just my opionion of course.

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Sun, May 10 2009, 08:21 AM

Sailor99 wrote:I did make one. It was a bit smaller than yours and it was like a chiwowoa with a red hot poker shoved ...... I ended up giving it away. BUT I never tried it on a stack and that I could see working. After all, a 1.5 stack is slow and boring (IMHO), so a 2.3 (?) stack would be just great.

Would advise against solid colours. Its a nice idea but they end up just looking like a home made kite that someone couldn't be bothered to put the work into. Just my opionion of course.


A quick graphical analysis of the Rev numerical labels versus leading edge rod lengths yields 2.7 as the size designator. Thanks, for mentioning that ... I never realized that the three rev sizes do actually graph in a straight line. Since the 1.5 rev was the last one designed, I wonder if someone consciously looked at the numbers and sized it accordingly.

Oh sailor, you have such a smooth, gentle, way of getting to the heart of the matter. I agree that the solid color kite seems to lack a certain "snap" in the visual scene. And, just stacking up six different solid color kites doesn't add much. Lynn Foster's and John Mason's kites really do draw you back to take a second - and third - look. Okay, I"m hooked, I'll try and come up with something that is not so time consuming, but has a color pattern on each kite. Wonder if that is one of the reasons that Papa Smurf doesn't fly his Rev II sized home built stack very much. Kites and sails are supposed to be bright and interesting ... yes?

Cheers,
Tom

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Pkrekel
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Pkrekel » Mon, May 11 2009, 09:36 AM

Look great flying!!!
Last edited by Pkrekel on Mon, May 11 2009, 09:41 AM, edited 1 time in total.

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Pkrekel
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Pkrekel » Mon, May 11 2009, 09:37 AM

Image
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prairierose
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby prairierose » Mon, May 11 2009, 10:42 AM

A beautiful kite, and fun to fly!

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Mon, May 11 2009, 08:07 PM

Mike S mentioned last Saturday that Isaac's vented REV II was smooth to fly ... well, at least smoother than a non-vented. So, last night I decided that the next Half Pint would be vented. There is quite a bit of futzing involved with adding venting. Had to add nylon pieces above and below the venting to help it keep it's shape. The first nylon piece that was added below the venting had the black over the lime ... opps, that leaves a step in the colors. So, off came the black piece from in front of the lime and it was replaced with a black piece behind the lime ... now the stripes look straight. Also, I added a hem all around the venting before sewing it on. That's one thing that Bazzer does to the Pro venting that I really like. The arched leading edge is still a pain to assemble ... should be an easier method than a pound of blue tape and a multitude of blue words.

Oh yes, reminder to self ... put the reinforcing pieces on the kite before doing the edge seams. I was so proud of how straight the side edge seams were until it dawned on me that the reinforcing pieces stick under the seam. At least I now know that a seam glued down with 3M seam tape can be peeled open ... not very easily, but it can be done.

I have gone back to using a pointed tip on the hot iron for cutting the nylon and dacron. The chisel tip leaves too much of ridge at the melted edge, where the pointed tip seams to cut almost as fast and leaves very little residue at the cut.

Thanks to Shawn for donating the lime scrap piece for this kite. When you see his ROK, you'll know the color of the lime in this kite.

I think it's time to start learning about bridle boards. The first bridle was interesting to make ... the second one probably will not be as entertaining.

Cheers,
Tom

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Frodos Majik
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Frodos Majik » Mon, May 11 2009, 11:16 PM

OMG you made a vented pint size?! The pint with out venting flies so soft, I can only imagine how the vented will feel. You will have to have some one walk by you every so often and remind you that YES there really is a kite at the end of the lines. :lol:

I think a stack of the pint size would be a blast to fly, cant wait to see what kind of color scheme you come up with for them. Congrates on a job well done!! Should be very proud of it!!
May Ol Ma Nature never hold her
breath on you.
-------
Ken

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Mike
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Mike » Tue, May 12 2009, 05:11 PM

Sounds like it was a success. I can't wait to try it myself.

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TeamTrejo
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby TeamTrejo » Tue, May 12 2009, 05:37 PM

That Half Pint was way cool. It took about 5 min to get used to the microscopic hand movements required to fly it. I'd like to try again with some Rev II handles.

Make mine Teal please. :up:

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Tue, May 12 2009, 09:10 PM

TeamTrejo wrote:That Half Pint was way cool. It took about 5 min to get used to the microscopic hand movements required to fly it. I'd like to try again with some Rev II handles.

Make mine Teal please. :up:

Isaac,

A couple of weeks ago, at Decatur, Mike set up his non-vented REV II with 13" handles. Several of us flew it and wondered how it would be on shorter handles. So, Mike pulled out a shorter set and we all took turns flying it. Most folks didn't like the shorter handles.

I'm guessing that it's easier to fly the smaller kites on the handles you are used to using. This is why I think that: For the Half Pint the handle movements need to be half the normal movement you make for a 1.5 sized kite. Also, your arm movements have to be down sized by one half. Thus, ALL of your inputs to the kite have to be cut in half. That's not a hard task for your brain to process. But, if you use smaller handles, then the handle movements are not reduced by one half ... however, your arm movements still need to be cut by one half. Now your brain has to handle two different input factors. That's probably not insurmountable, but certainly more difficult.

Make any sense?

Wouldn't it be fun to watch the 180GO! ... no ... the 90GO! team performing with Half Pint kites? That would be a fast routine.

Cheers,
Tom

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Jeepster
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Re: Half Pint Project

Postby Jeepster » Tue, May 12 2009, 09:19 PM

Frodos Majik wrote:OMG you made a vented pint size?! The pint with out venting flies so soft, I can only imagine how the vented will feel. You will have to have some one walk by you every so often and remind you that YES there really is a kite at the end of the lines. :lol:

I think a stack of the pint size would be a blast to fly, cant wait to see what kind of color scheme you come up with for them. Congrates on a job well done!! Should be very proud of it!!


Thanks for the support.

I flew the vented in heavy winds tonight for about 15 minutes. The relationship between the vented and the non-vent is exactly like you'd predict. The vented is almost as fast, but smoother than the non-vented. It's still quick and twitchy, but just a little less so. Even got a little trailing edge flutter noise ... only about half as noisy as my 1.5 though!! Pun intended!

I made a bridle board last night and finished the vertical bridle parts in reasonably short order. Don't know if it's a real bridle board or if I'm using it correctly, but it helps speed up the process and makes matching pairs, so I'm all for using it. Now I've got to figure out a bridle board for the horizontal part of the bridle.

Cheers,
Tom


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