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Author Topic: making kite fittings at home... anyone doing this?  (Read 1205 times)
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Fly Market
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 01:05 PM »

You're not wrong. As the kite marketplace gets smaller, so does the demand for a lot of the parts we use. Why doesn't Fly Market carry PC31? Because in America there simply isn't enough demand for more than one shop to carry it, and since I've been friends with the Trennepohls for 20 years I agreed not to carry it. Likewise, I carry things that other shops don't. We'd all love to stock plenty of APA fittings, but since the number each shop sells annually is in the hundreds, that doesn't justify Prism's expense to make tens of thousands. I suppose Prism could make smaller quantities, but then the price would have to rise significantly, and we'd sell less. Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

Similarly, look to the right at the ads of the companies that support kiteflying. I know this forum has had policies about not linking to other retailers. But those policies don't exist elsewhere. Last week there was a Facebook discussion about where a newbie could buy ripstop nylon. Lots of people recommended Fly Market and other reputable kite shops. And then someone chimed in with a link to a Chinese discounter. From the looks of the thread, that seems to be where the newbie ultimately went. Sigh. Yeah, I guess we can all go back to vinyl tubing from the Home Depot plumbing department. And I'll quietly close up shop and move on to something else.

3D printing both fascinates and terrifies me. It has amazing potential to make specialized parts -- and in kites, we've got a lot of need for those. But at the same time it could replace "standard" parts like APAs and dihedrals. As a retailer, is it a blessing or a curse? I'm really not sure yet. But I'm almost certain that if everybody's only consideration is price -- I can get that part for a nickel cheaper if I make it myself, so why bother buying it from the shop? -- then you're going to see more retailers going out of business. So, just be careful what you wish for.

All that said... if Fly Market goes into the 3D printing business (hard plastic parts only for now, nothing rubbery), what are y'all looking for? Existing parts but in different sizes? Specialty parts for specific kites? I'm thinking about it, but so far I only have a list of the stuff that I want for my own kites... which isn't exactly applicable to the rest of the world.
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REVflyer
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 04:30 AM »

hi Phil
Hard fittings?,
A).  like a "tee" fitting for the upper spreader on a Dunton/Taylor, mine are all dried out &
      break as soon as the slightest stress is applied (like assembly!)

B).  a Tee fitting to fit 125 carbon tube
C).  and one to fit a Revolution down-spar thru it and a 125 carbon tube stand-off from it at a right angle
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Oldgoat
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 08:31 AM »

Quote
Let's all go back to using rubber and plastic tubing 

Had to smile at that one.  I remember when that's about all there was.  I used to cut up various sizes of tubing, dump a handful into a coffee can, and dye them black with Rit dye.
 Smiley
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thief
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 10:53 AM »



Similarly, look to the right at the ads of the companies that support kiteflying. I know this forum has had policies about not linking to other retailers. But those policies don't exist elsewhere. Last week there was a Facebook discussion about where a newbie could buy ripstop nylon. Lots of people recommended Fly Market and other reputable kite shops. And then someone chimed in with a link to a Chinese discounter. From the looks of the thread, that seems to be where the newbie ultimately went.

Just a side note: Steve decided to lift that policy as of Christmas: http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=15673.msg129851#msg129851
Anyone can provide links or direction to stores or sites for bits or kites...
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
Will Sturdy
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 06:47 AM »

What folks said above about the printed fittings I've been working with is right on... Replacing soft fittings is not a great application, at least with the materials I'm using.

There are some other printable materials of various durometer ratings that may work, but I haven't done any experimentation there yet. I'm not optimistic that they could match the durability we've come to expect from APAs, but maybe it's worth doing up some sample LE and SO fittings with a variety of materials and we'll see where it goes.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 06:53 AM by Will Sturdy » Logged
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