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Author Topic: Sail fabric reinforcement at standoff connectors  (Read 683 times)
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Makalu1
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« on: September 09, 2011, 11:32 AM »

I'm still pretty new to this and crash and burn quite regularly.  The kites end up in their backs and tend to get dragged around some in that position.  I've recently noticed a bit of wear showing on the sail fabric where the standoffs connect to the sail on my Ocius (and a couple of other kites that don't have that plastic clip like you find on other kites like my E3). 

Jon Trennepohl's out of town at the moment, so I thought I'd just throw it out there and see what other folks have done to reinforce key points of contact like these and other parts of the leading edge.  I'm guessing it's just putting on a layer or 2 of clear tape, but if anyone's got good ideas I'd like to hear them.  Would the type of sail fabric affect the choice of reinforcement matierial?  Of course weight and aesthetics are an issue as well. 

Thanks!

Scott Madsen
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Scott Madsen
mikenchico
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 11:54 AM »

Many people have used what we affectionately refer to as "Moonie Tape" Ken McNeill of Blue Moon Kites I guess was the first to use it or the first to get the word out on it. Steve sells it here http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=255  It's clear and good for flat surfaces but won't conform to odd shapes easily.

Others have used Gaffers Tape, a cloth backed black tape used in the entertainment industry for stage setup, I have seen it available at hardware stores to, a bit pricey but it has a pretty aggressive adhesive which holds well and lasts a pretty long time before needing replacement. Better for uneven surfaces since it has some flexibility and will conform better.

One member swore by Plasti-Dip which is used to give a rubber like coating to tool handles and is also available at hardware stores. He treated the nose of every kite he had with it. As I recall he started using it after wearing through a nose and doing a repair which he then covered with the Plasti-dip to make it less obvious and found it added good protection, it is pretty tough. Probably best for surfaces like the nose with its compound curves, lumps and bumps. Don't dip, just paint it on, you may need to add an appropriate solvent to thin it so it will work into the fabric.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 11:56 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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fidelio
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 12:12 PM »

+1 for gaffers tape.

sadly not all gaffers tape is created equal. i fell in love with the old permacel brand when i worked in the industry so when i went looking for a roll for use on kites it looked like they'd been bought by shurline who picked up the production. so i hunted down a roll of the 2" shurline tape and have been pretty disappointed in it. the glue is not nearly as strong as on the permacel and it leaves sticky residue when you remove it which the permacel didn't. it's not nearly as matte as the permacel, and it's not actually 2" wide, it's 1/8th" shy.

i've been too long out of the industry to indicate which is best these days but i've heard/read good things about nashua gaffers tape.

as for applying it in areas for kite reinforcement, my suggestion would be to take a strip and stick it to some release paper of your choice and use scissors to cut it to the size/shape you need. rounding off the corners will keep them from peeling up, and will stay stuck far longer.
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Fdeli
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 08:20 PM »

+1 on the Plasti-dip.

I got the idea here on the forum, but have put it on almost all my kites.  Makes the noses almost bulletproof, as long as you don't nose plant (or especially drag) on gravel or pavement too often. 

The only downside is that a can is at least $10, so be sure to have a bunch of kites ready for treatment.  The stuff doesn't last long once you open the can. 
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