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Author Topic: Bzar 2011 build thread  (Read 32353 times)
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tpatter
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2011, 11:56 AM »

Nice image!  My daughter eats them just like that with a spoon - like a mini bowl of fruit.
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2011, 01:41 AM »

Many kites on the market today have patches on the front and the back of the kite where the center T is located and where the Upper Spreader cross the spine.  These patches are created from a variety of material including dacron, velcro (usually the soft side), mylar and seatbelt webbing (and probably more).  Instead of cutting individual patches that need to be lined up front to back and be sewn, I prefer to make a 1" mylar strip that runs down the back of the seam.  For the front of the kite, I use a strip of 1" dacron that spans the entire length of the seam.  Furthermore, I make the dacron strip long enough that it can fold over the nose, toward the back, becoming a pocket for the nose end of the spine to rest in. 

This picture shows how I set up to cut a 1 inch strip of mylar.  I line a mylar sheet up with the edge of my metal table edge and tape it down.  Then, using a 1" wide aluminum straightedge (you too can own one for approximately $6 at home depot) all I have to do is line the straightedge up with the edge of the table and run the hot cutter along the other edge.  Easy 1" strip.  The mylar strip should be long enough to overlap at the nose and tail of the kite when attached (it will be cut to size after sewing). I believe I got the job done with a 36" strip, but don't take my word for it, measure for yourself by comparing to the sail or the plan.



Once the strip is cut, I use a sharpie to mark the center.  I prefer the metallic/silver color, as it tends to be less noticeable when the kite is complete.  For the purposes of this documentation, I used a black one in a few spots so it can be seen in the photos.  Marking the center helps you line the mylar strip up exactly with the spine seam. 



Remember that when I completed the seam running the length of the spine that I mentioned the straight stitch is the true center of the kite... not the serpentine strip used to reinforce the seam.  Keep that in mind when glueing the mylar to the back of the kite.  (and do make sure it is the BACK of the kite).
 


Glue the strip using the same gluestick used to attach the sail panels to one another.  Don't sew the mylar on yet.  Stay tuned for more discussion and pics of the front spine reinforcements.

oh, and are any of you wondering why I put a mark at 1 cm from the end of the nose during the last portion of this record?  This is just a reminder that it is not to be forgotten. 
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mdilucca
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2011, 09:13 PM »

Thank you so much Sugarbaker!!! your kite making explanation details and pictures are the best that I've seen so far  Smiley Smiley

Cheers and I'm looking forward for your next posting!!

Mario
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Cheers
Mario

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« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2011, 08:36 PM »

I hope you've got a cup of coffee... this is going to be a long one.

I would say with confidence that most kites utilize separate patches on the front of the sail to protect the spine portion of the sail (located at the center T and where the upper spreader rubs against the sail).  My preference is to use one long piece of dacron to protect the entire seam.  In the previous post, I shared how I protect the posterior of the spine with mylar.  The next few pictures will show how I complete this process by sewing the front and back reinforcements together at the same time.

To do this, I cut a portion of 1" dacron approximately 36 to 40" long.  (I compare to the sail and give myself 4 or 5 inches of slop at the nose and tail).  This dacron is sewn to the sail the same way as the mylar on the back of the spine.  Remember that a hole will need to be cut at the center T for the connector to pass through the sail, so 1" might not be as wide as some people would like.  I think it will work fine in the end and have a cleaner look than if I use a wider piece. 

When gluing on the front strip, I use the already glued mylar as a guide to make sure they line up.  This is important since they will be sewn on together. I also place something in the tail section to hold the curve of the spine (exaggerated while gluing, but good for keeping wrinkles to a minimum)





Ok... so I've been procrastinating with this next section due to the fact that it requires a very minor deviation from Werner's plan.  I think one of the great things about kite building is that final products are always compilations of ideas and techniques.  Leading edge pockets, leading edge tensioning/wing tip design, spine tension, standoff reinforcements, panel fortifications are all subject to the builder's preference.  If every builder had to come up with original ideas of how to do this there would never be any kites built.  In the case of this kite, I am choosing a slightly different style of nose construction than is described by Werner and Hugo on the B'zar website.  For this reason I am being very clear This portion of the build is different than the designer intended and I do not encourage anyone to sway from the plan!

Alright, there.  I said it.  I swayed from the plan.  The rebel in me couldn't help it. Explanation is needed.  Werner's plans indicate that when completing the stitching for the nose, the spine pocket should be stitched 1 cm from the end... preventing the spar from sliding all the way to the tip of the nose.  The reason for this, as stated on the B'zar 2011 web site is so that"both Leading Edges can come a little closer together".  My preference, and the means in which I'm deviating from the plan, is to cut off the top 1cm of the nose entirely and letting the spine slide all the way to the end.  This results in roughly the same idea that the leading edges will curve closer together, but it will create a more rounded nose rather than a pointy one.  Because I have not completed my build (let alone 2 kites to compare) I cannot tell you how this will affect it's flight behavior.  My feeling is that it will be a very minimal impact on the way the kite performs.  If it is important to you to have exactly what Werner intended, do not do the things I have done!

Whhew! Glad that's off my chest. Hopefully "Parent Mode Positivo" will allow me a small amount of grace and artistic freedom.  Did I mention that I don't condone swaying from the plan? (I should also note that if you dare to follow me outside the lines, you may need to adjust your frame dimensions... but we will get to that and it will be a minimal change... millimeters at most).

OK, so "why all that explanation now", you might be thinking... and if you're still with me and not completely sick of my writings, you'll see why in the next picture.  One of the tricks I've adapted by using a single long strip of dacron for my spine reinforcement is that I wrap it over the nose which also creates the first layer of the nose pocket...  because of this I needed to cut the nose to shape at this step rather than later on.  I cut it exactly 1 cm from the tip so the pocket will be the same length as if I had sewn the 1 cm stitch as the plans indicate. And this is why I made the 1cm mark on the sail during the previous nose fortification steps. I'm also very careful when cutting the nose off that I don't cut the dacron strip with it... a smart builder would cut the nose before gluing the 1 inch dacron to the front of the sail. 




in the last picture (just above this text), you'll see the now flattened nose is approximately 3 inches wide.  You'll also see that the straight edge is placed at 1 and 1/2 inches away from the nose (measurements on are marked on the cutting matte; every square is an inch).  This is where I trim the dacron.  In the next picture, you can see that I fold and tape the remaining dacron tab down to the posterior of the kite.  I cut a piece of tape narrow enough that it will not be stitched to the kite when sewing the spine seam fortifications in place. The tab I just taped down should not have any glue on it, as this will be the inner most portion of the nose pocket for the spine



OK, so everything is glued up, taped up, ready to sew.  I start at the nose using a straight stitch (it will be reinforced later when I sew on the heavier nose material).  Then when I reach the end of the nose pocket, I switch to a 2x2 zig zag stitch for the rest of the seam.  I then sew the other side securing everything in place. I'm particularly careful when sewing this portion, especially with white thread on black material.  Any mistakes in sewing will be quite obvious when observing the kite up close. (using black thread helps to hide imperfections but is harder to photograph for this reference).



ok, are you still with me? do you forgive me for swaying from the plan? I hope so.  Next post will be shorter and show how I stitch the velcro strap for the tail end of the spine... then I'll move on to the trailing edge. 

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chilese
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« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2011, 08:42 PM »

The more I read this thread, the more I realize I should never again attempt a kite build.

Photo of my Mojo UL kit build made into a motivational poster by Paul Shirey.
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John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2011, 08:47 PM »

The more I read this thread, the more I realize I should never again attempt a kite build.


I feel the same way about flying a kite when I watch video of most of the fliers on the forum! 
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« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2011, 04:03 PM »

Here are some things I want to show before I move on to describing how I attach trailing edges, leading edges etc.  Before I do anything else, I lay the kite out on the plan and make marks with a silver sharpie that indicate attachment points on the completed kite.  All the points I mark are: Center T connection, Leading edge connectors (upper and lower), Yo-Yo stopper placement, and standoff connections at the sail. I do this now so that it is easier to locate these spots when the sail is complete.  Make sure your marks are long enough to extend past any fabric you may sew over them (if you choose to do this). The pics show some examples.




The other thing I realize I forgot to mention is that the tail end of the center seam reinforcement needs to be trimmed to fit the profile of the sail itself.  I use a straight edge and a hot cutter.  very basic, but be careful not to alter the shape of the sail.




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sugarbaker
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2011, 04:24 PM »

Another step (or set of steps) that can be taken prior to sewing the trailing edge is putting together the tail strap.  There are a number of ways this can be done.  Many people/designers build strap that is incorporated into the spine fortification/center T reinforcement.  If this is the way you prefer, then your tail strap is technically attached to the front of the kite, wraps around the bottom of the tail and attaches to a separate piece of velcro that is connected to the posterior of the sail. 

Because I use a long strip as my sail reinforcement, my choice is to make a tail strap that attaches to the rear of the kite.  This way I can sew the entire thing off of the kite (including the small velcro tunnel for the spine).  Also, by attaching the strap to the back, it is completely hidden from the front view of the kite and I feel like this is more appealing in terms of the details regarding the trailing edge and tail end of the spine. 

To start, I cut the hook and loop pieces at approximately 2 inches each.  The hook portion tends to curl up as it is more of a plastic material, so I tape it down when I cut it so it remains flat. I know it's hard to tell from these smaller pics, but the loop material is the first pic and the hook is pictured second... To cut these, I use a hobby knife.  No need to hot cut these pieces.



I then take a 14.5" portion of 1 inch wide dacron and cut it... I chose white here, but any color can be used.  White will not show through as much as the black would in my chosen checker board type color scheme.



I then fold the dacron at two places... one fold at 1/2" from one end.  A second fold at the center of the remaining material (or 3.5" from the opposite end).


Now, using 1/4 inch tape, I place two strips that span down 1 half of the strip.  I make sure I leave an 1/8 of an inch at the edge so when I sew the fabric I am not sewing through the adhesive.  Then I fold the strip into it's final form with the 1/2 inch tab folding over the top of the exposed end.



before sewing, I stick the hook and loop to the strip.  The hook portion (harder rubber adhesive material) sticks over the folded tab of the strip to hide the edge.  The loop portion needs to be taped down to the end of the strap in a manor that the tape is not sewn through in the next step.  Also, I make sure that I leave a small amount of the tab sticking out beyond the loop material so that the tunnel for the spine is not sewn shut. 



Next, I sew the entire perimeter of the strap with a 2x2 stitch (with the exception of the end that will face the nose... this is a straight stitch, in order to leave the spine tunnel created by the loop material open).



The strap will be connected to the sail after I've attached the trailing edge.
 







« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:22 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
sugarbaker
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2011, 04:01 AM »

The trailing edge seems like a pretty straight forward thing... right.  Take some material, fold it in half and sew it in place.  Easy.  I have, as I tend to do, made it slightly more complicated for myself.  The idea remains the same, but I've chosen to try some new things for this build that may make it more difficult. 

Most kites have a nylon trailing edge with various styles of dacron reinforcement to prevent wear.  For this build, I'm opting to use dacron along the entire trailing edge so as to avoid the fate of many kites (most commonly the zephyr I believe) in which the material frays over time. This choice has it's downside too, as it very well may cause increased wear on the bridle.  It is always my preference to replace a bridle than a portion of the sail, so I am ok with this compromise. 

The second means in which I'm swaying from my normal build process (which was to use 1" nylon folded in half) is to cut the material from 1 inch down to 3/4 inch.  This will result in nothing more than a tidier look on the completed sail... and perhaps save a minuscule amount of weight that is gained from using darcon over nylon (although I believe this is a negligible difference).

To cut the 1 inch dacron down, I tape a length of it along the edge of my work table; taped in multiple places to keep it as straight as possible. Then, I tape an aluminum straightedge to the table so that it covers the portion of the dacron I want to keep.  Using a hot cutter, I remove the 1/4" of material that will be waste.



Once I've cut enough dacron to cover the entire trailing edge in one piece (with approximately 4 inches of extra material) I fold it in halve. To do this I crease about 10 cm of material at a time and run it against a sharp corner of a table or the hardboard the plan is attached to. (note that these pictures are from another build and that they show me folding nylon material... not the dacron I used for the Bzar 2011).



Now I'm ready to sew the dacron to the sail.  I find the middle of my dacron strip and make a fold across the short length of the material.  I then place the tail of the sail at this point and start sewing one half... from tail to wing tip.  I use a 2x2 stitch and I sew in a few stitches forward, then backward to secure the thread at each end.  It's important to leave enough space between the stitch and the trailing edge that the leach line will be able to thread through later in the build. 



Here you can see the wing tip.  As I stated before, I leave a length of extra material that can easily be trimmed off once the trailing edge is sewn in place.



Some people tape the trailing edge in place before sewing, or use hair clips (or other means to secure).  My choice with the smaller material of the trailing edge is to just hold it in place as I sew and go slowly, making sure the sail sits all the way into the fold of the dacron as I go.  Once I've stitched one half of the trailing edge, I secure the thread and reposition the kite so that I start at the tail again and sew the opposite half.  The tail looks like this when completed.  (note that a small portion will be cut off later to allow the leach line to come through to the back of the sail).








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sugarbaker
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2011, 05:03 PM »

sorry for the delay in posts... my camera is currently being used by a friend so it may be another week or two before I have substantial progress on the B'zar as I am doing my best to photograph every step.  Feel free to PM me if anyone has any questions on steps to this point.  I'll do my best to answer as promptly as possible.
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2011, 10:47 AM »

due to the lack of posts recently, I'm going to share some photographic zen.  Please enjoy this panoramic of downtown Seattle while waiting for more B'zar 2011 documentation.


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Danno419
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2011, 11:20 AM »

i think i want a Sugarbaker build B'zar.
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« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2011, 02:31 PM »

i think i want a Sugarbaker build B'zar.

That is very nice of you to say, Thank you!  Perhaps some day I'll have the time to make kites to order, but at the moment I think I'll only be building kites for myself.  You should give kite building a go for yourself (Le Quartz is a good kite to try as a first build).

Soon, my camera will be back (and my sewing machine for that matter, as I've taken it in for it's annual inspection; free at the place I bought it).  Coming up will be documentation on threading the leech line, attaching the tail strap, and then on to the leading edges.  It really is coming I promise, it is just taking a while! 

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sugarbaker
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« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2011, 07:55 PM »

So, I've kept quiet long enough.  My sewing machine is in the shop so no new posts about the sail, but I have some pictures of what I have done with the lower spreaders.  Here it is.

First off, the biggest advice I can give about cutting a frame is to measure twice... then measure again, then make your cuts.  The other thing I do is I cut all of my frames slightly longer than spec (by about a millimeter or so) which allows for some adjustment for finish work.

Start by measuring.  Measure twice.  Have a method for measuring.  I use the same measuring tape to measure the entire frame for consistency, but I also compare measurement marks on each identical spar before I cut.  To mark where I will cut, I use my trusted metallic/silver sharpie. Here you can see that I've measured and placed a mark on one lower spreader at 765mm... I've marked it so that when the cut is made and finish work is done, the mark will have been removed.  Remember that whatever you use to cut your spars (I use a dremel tool), the width of the tool should be considered.  If you cut on the wrong side of the line, your spar will be 2 to 3 mm too short.  I mark all of my spars in this way and always pay attention to which portion of the spar will be the waste.  With Nitro rods, you can cut either end to an extent.  I know Ken McNeil cuts off the big end of his Nitro spars.  For this build, I'm going to cut off the small end for two reasons.  I am in the habit of cutting of the small end (I usually use 5pt or 3pt spars for my builds and with those spars you should only cut the small end to avoid problems with ferrules).  The other reason is that the spar will remain slightly stiffer if you cut off the small end... or be more flexible if you cut the big end.  For consistency, I'll reiterate: for this build I'm cutting the small end of my nitro spars.



Before I cut, I mark both spars (in this case, both lower spreaders.  To mark the second spar, I butt the end of the spars up against a straight edge and then use the mark on the first spar to put the mark on the second.  see pictures.




To cut my spars, I place them in a small vice on my work surface.  Please do not try this at home and come to me when you've crushed your $20 Nitro Black Diamond spar in your vice. A bench vice will easily crush your carbon spars!!! The key is to tighten down just enough to hold the spar in place... this allows you to use both hands to control your dremel tool for cutting.  (if you're going to use a hack saw to cut carbon, get the highest tooth count blade you can fine.  I've had decent luck using a 32T per inch blade). 



once I cut the spar, I have a rough edge and I can still see the mark that indicates the spar is approximately 766mm long.  then using 120 grit sand paper, I bring the spar down to the right length and taper the end so it slides easily in the APA spread and has less of a sharp edge (to keep it from snagging on the sail or my skin). Note that I sand the end of the spar until the measurement mark is removed, then I taper  the end.  This way I know that the spar is exactly the right length.  Don't hesitate to measure with a tape measure (or straight edge) to avoid sanding too far. 




Later this week I'll post some detailed photos of how I ferrule the lower spreaders on this kite.  It is a process that can be done 1 of two ways. You can use a .28" solid carbon spar for a ferrule (which will fit in the large end of the nitro spars, but require you to drill out your center T connector).  My choice is to use a .240 solid carbon spar as the ferrule, which will require a shim to fit snugly in the spreader... for a shim, I use a portion of p100 spar glued into the large end of each spreader.  Pictures coming soon.
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tpatter
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2011, 08:24 PM »

Thanks again, sir, for your high quality documentary. I hope to fly one of your kites this summer - I always seem to miss you at kite hill. 
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