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Author Topic: Framing Primer?  (Read 3987 times)
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Kitemac
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« on: October 28, 2009, 01:16 PM »

Currently I buy parts which exactly match the kite that needs to be fixed.  I would like to gain some experience using generic framing which would be cut to spec.  Could someone point to a basic primer how to handle the materials and parts to make basic framing type repairs.  Such as how to cut stock framing, types of fittings etc.
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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 02:32 PM »

  • In all cases, work in a well ventilated area, and use a mask/goggles (especially for motorized cutting methods) as carbon dust is not good for you.

  • Get pets out of the area. Carbon dust is bad for them, especially older pets... and try how you might, they won't wear a mask. (This principle applies)

  • Figure out where your cut is going to approximately be.

  • Tightly tape your spar at that location, running the tape around the circumfrence of the rod.  Painter's tape is pretty good and makes it easy to mark where you will be cutting. As an added bonus, it is easy to remove afterwards.

  • Now mark your exact cut location.  Measure twice.... more if you are feeling an pangs of OCD. (Yeah, that would be me)  Undecided

  • Some methods for cutting:
    • Cheap, but laborious: Xacto Fine Tooth Saw and Aluminum Miter Box

    • Medium Cost: Dremel with Fiber Cut-Off Wheels. Mount the dremel to a stationary base. As you are cutting turn the spar, rather than moving the dremel. The housing and the small diamter of the cut-off wheel will produce and angled cut other wise.  In some case, the Dremel right-angle attachment makes for more convenient stationary mounting.

    • High Cost: Apple Pro Arrow Saw - There are others, but if you are looking at this, skimping is kind of frivolous.  2 models: 5,000 RPM and 8,000 RPM.  You will have less grief with the latter.  There is an optional dust collector

If you are replacing the odd spar every once in a while, you can probably get by with the Xacto. 

If you  already have a Dremel, need an excuse to get one, or are expecting to replace spars on a more regular basis, go with the middle road. 

If you will be building kites on a regular basis or your basement looks like you know a majority of the staff for "This Old House"... it's only a matter of time before you start hinting to your significant other about the Apple Saw.  Give in to your inner gadget freak and save yourself some restless nights and disapointing mornings under the Christmas tree.

Hope that helps.

ATB,
Sam
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 02:37 PM by indigo_wolf » Logged
obijuankenobe
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 02:57 PM »

Sam hooked you up with that reply.  Well done. 

I would very much stress the point about taping the spar.  If you don't, you'll learn via the hard way how 'splintery' carbon rods can be.  I just use a small hack (metal) saw, and with a little care, it works well.  And added bonus is that this tool fits easily in most kite bags.  Thus, with a roll of tape, it's is handy for field work. 

Be aware that you can get crooked cuts with saws, so take care when starting the cut to make it perpendicular to the edge.  Depending on for what you are cutting the rod, a small deviation might actually not matter all that much, of course.

Another piece of advice would be to cut with less pressure and more passes of the saw than you might think.  Don't force the saw through as much as you might do with wood. 

The last bit of the cut is the part that you will most likely get splintering from (and also be tempted to push harder to finish it off...DON'T!), so when I get to the last 25%, I try to turn/roll the spar a bit (relative to the cut) so that I cut the last bit from the side, rather than from the inside of the rod outward. 

obi
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RonG
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 02:58 PM »

High Cost: Apple Pro Arrow Saw - There are others, but if you are looking at this, skimping is kind of frivolous.  2 models: 5,000 RPM and 8,000 RPM.  You will have less grief with the latter.  There is an optional dust collector

Totally unnecessary IMO unless you plan to start a high-volume kite building business, and I say that as someone who has built his share of kites.  The Dremel is as much as most of us will ever need.

And if you want a low-cost, efficient, and super-portable addition to your field repair kit, look at getting at something like this:

http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/CTGY/file-diamond

The triangle file does a bang-up job at cutting through carbon, no taping required.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 03:00 PM by RonG » Logged
indigo_wolf
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 03:02 PM »

The triangle file does a bang-up job at cutting through carbon, no taping required.

How do you cut with a triangle file without having an angled kerf?  Or is that just a matter of practice?

ATB,
Sam
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DD
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2009, 03:42 PM »

I put a fine toothed hacksaw blade in something very similar to this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92016
the spars hold against the saw and you push/pull the blade over it, works well for field repairs.
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Sine Metu!
RonG
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 04:09 PM »

How do you cut with a triangle file without having an angled kerf?  Or is that just a matter of practice?

You don't cut straight through - you work your way around the rod.  This does most of the work of beveling the edge for you, as a matter of fact.
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Kitemac
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 04:36 PM »

You don't cut straight through - you work your way around the rod.  This does most of the work of beveling the edge for you, as a matter of fact.

Does the triangle file score the rod easily?  I could see a very uneven cut until you score the rod.

What about ferrils (sp?).  How do you match up to the rods?  What type of rods are good?  What type of glue should be used?

Is this a skill that needs to be developed?  If careful I should break very few rods so I wonder if this will be more of a nuisance than just buying a precut rod.

Thanks,

Tom
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Steve
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 04:41 PM »

For me the easiest method for cutting rods (if I can't use my Apple arrow shaft saw) is a Razor Saw with a 52 TPI blade.  These are commonly available in hobby stores and are pretty cheap (under $10).  Speed is more important than pressure and a foam sanding block can help balance out a slightly uneven cut.

Some other things you should have are:
Low stick (blue) masking tape.  This is really handy for making stops to ensure that you insert ferrules to their exact depth.

A light colored ink pen (silver, gold or white).  I use these to mark the spots for cutting and also handy for marking stock bridle positions.

Cyanoacrylate Glue (aka ca glue).  Get something that is quick setting and gap filling.  Used for ferrules, stoppers and most all your kite gluing needs.  I also have a hot glue gun as there are certain applications that you might want to be a little less permanent (i.e. stand-offs).

I also use metric measuring tapes ... personal preference but I find them more accurate and easier to use.

There are a few more useful tools the well supplied kite repair shop should have but this pretty much covers the basics.

As to figuring out the exact fittings you need ... that can be a bit tricky.  Easiest way would be to contact a knowledgeable kite shop.
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RonG
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 05:06 PM »

Does the triangle file score the rod easily?  I could see a very uneven cut until you score the rod.

Very easily.  And Sam is right - it does take a bit of practice till it becomes second nature.  That practice can easily be obtained on discards/broken rods.

The file may not be the absolute simplest and quickest, but it wins hands down for the portable toolkit in my book.  I store mine inside a ballpoint pen casing - doesn't get much more compact than that.
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ko
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2009, 05:55 PM »

great advice keep it simple. when it comes to glulng up the ferrule make sure you allow for the center T if it is a male spreader and tape the ferrule where you want it to stop in the spar the glue goes of QUICK also if i read your post correctly here is a pic of all of the parts http://prismkites.com/pdfs/kitePartNames.pdf
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 06:11 PM by ko » Logged

have fun kurt
mikenchico
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2009, 08:54 PM »

Great tips from everybody, and I have used a triangle file on a few occassions, just roll the rod and use light strokes to start your cut so you get a groove to follow. Easily portable.

Dremels are great but you can get by with some cheaper alternatives, I got a nice cordless unit with 2 batteries and all the bits for $20, there are also cheap 12 volt models to plug into your car, both make field use easier.

I dulled my Exacto razor saws so badly on the first rod I cut that they have never been used again. It actually took both saws to get through that one rod, unless they've been improved save your money.

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JimB
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2009, 09:34 PM »

I don't have a triangle file but; the edge of my leatherman diamond file works quite well.
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DWayne
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 06:46 AM »

A veneer saw makes quick clean cuts. And they're small and easy to carry.


Denny
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 10:14 AM »

For years and years I've primarily used a fine tooth hacksaw blade. Sometimes in a grip, mostly just hand held. I have a rotary tool that I haul out when I know I'm cutting a bunch of sticks, but for even the half dozen cuts needed for most frames, I just hand hold the blade.

I cut all around the stick and with most wrapped carbon it's just a few stokes at any given point. In other words, I work my way around the rod a few times and it's done. Thick pultrude like .2400 and above is a bit more labor.

Cutting trough tape might allow you to cut faster or with more force or a coarser blade, but it gums up the cutting tool and just seems like a waste of time. Back in my woodworking & hobby days this was recommended for dowels and I had the same experience.

I use a file on cut spars. I clean up the end to varying degrees depending on application. Spreaders need nice smooth ends. LEs gluing into a ferrule don't need to be as pretty. Only a few swipes is needed in most cases. I have a nice fine cut metal working file, but I've also used the file in my big swiss army knife and emory boards (sandpaper on a stick). In a pinch, any old concrete makes a good surface to smooth the end of a stick.

Enough on cutting. More framing tips:

Make sure the replacement matches the opposite stick in the frame. Wrapped sticks are notoriously variable over time. They vary in weight and/or stiffness from year to year or even batch to batch. This isn't as much of an issue with current sticks as in the past, but is certainly a concern when replacing sticks on a 10 or even 5 year old kite. If you have a scale, weigh the sticks. Do the bend test. Your hands are remarkably sensitive when comparing the flex in a pair of sticks. Especially on UL and definitely on SULs different weight distribution or flex can change the kite in mysterious ways. Sometimes a good idea to buy two replacements at the same time. If the original and replacement match, you've got a good spare. If they don't then use the two new parts and keep the original for an inexact but probably useable in a pinch spare.

Don't be afraid to ream/drill out fittings for a proper fit. Often the stock APA sizes are too big or too small. I like the APA to be tight on the spar. Tight enough that it needs to be heated or lubricated to slide into place.

Use the longest ferrules you can find at the center T. A little extra weight from 1/2" extra solid carbon on most kites is oK.

Make sure ferrules are well glued. Clean the inside of the spar first. I rough up the glue area on the spar with the edge of a file.

Upper spreader width and placement is critical on a lot of kites. Make sure you know where it was before the kite came apart. I think I've seen almost as many kites with sloppy US as with out of whack bridles.

ON the subject of bridles, if you are repairing a frame, make sure you know how to put the bridle back on the say way was. Different knots or placement can put things out of whack.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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