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Author Topic: Vortex, my first kite build!  (Read 15212 times)
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mdilucca
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« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2011, 09:42 AM »

Thank you so much MrBill for posting this information.  I'm building a Vortex along following your well documented steps and I found them very useful indeed!!!!  Smiley

Cheers
Mario
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Cheers
Mario

AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2011, 10:04 AM »

Thank you so much MrBill for posting this information.  I'm building a Vortex along following your well documented steps and I found them very useful indeed!!!!  Smiley

Cheers
Mario
Wow, I'm impressed! Being a beginner at kite building, I figured this thread was going to be a reference of what mistakes to avoid.   Cheesy

I'm really glad you find it helpful. May I suggest you also reference Sugarbakers's "B'zar 2011" build at the same time. I left out some of the fine details he has already documented because I didn't want to duplicate his information too much.

My next post will have some really good tips in it for marking out and cutting the LE. I'm hoping to have it up this evening as I doing the work right now.
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AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2011, 08:32 PM »

I got a lot done today, but only have time to cover a small portion of it. Besides, I just spent an hour creating a nice post, then clicked the wrong "x" and it all went by-by.

To open the leading edge to allow the spars to pass through, I switched from the chisel tip to my pointed tip on the hot cutter.


I made marks where I wanted the cuts to go and then made the radius cuts first with a washer. I only cut 90 degrees to make a nice rounded corner.


Once the LE's were completed, I set them aside to insert the Leach line.
I don't have a proper Bodkin, so I made one out of the ground wire I removed from a piece of Romex.


Insert the line from wing tip to tail, then from tail back to the other wing tip. Leave enough line at the tail to make a tension adjustment knot later.


Once the line is in place, it needs to be secured at both wing tips.
I used a combination of a Button Hole foot and a "Needle Position" feature on my machine to accomplish this.
The Button Hole foot has a nice set of tunnels in it that work perfectly for keeping the Leach Line straight while stitching.


Notice that the tunnels are not centered. this is where the needle position feature comes in handy. It allows me to swing the needle off center.

I then can run a straight stitch right down the center of the line.

I can also straddle the line with a zig-zag.


The end result is quite nice.


OK, more on this build tomorrow.

Here is a little restful image for your viewing pleasure.
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thief
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« Reply #63 on: November 15, 2011, 03:34 AM »

What are you using in the leach line?
Is it common that the leach line is sewn to the wing tips nowadays?
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AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #64 on: November 15, 2011, 07:37 AM »

What are you using in the leach line?
Is it common that the leach line is sewn to the wing tips nowadays?

I am using what I had on hand. It is actually 100Lb Bridle line. I purchased a 100 yd. spool of it and figured it "should be fine".  Undecided
It has a Dacron sheath around a Spectra core. I will be using it for my Bridle as well, so you will see it again.

Honestly, whether is is common to sew the line into the sail or not, I can not say. I literally did it because I saw it done here http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=5165.45. I know I have seen it elsewhere too, but do not have documentation to show it and I can not say definitively if it is done on my BMK Exile or not. I believe it is, but Ken does an awesome job of detailed work and you just can't tell.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #65 on: November 15, 2011, 07:42 AM »

Yes BMK's use a sewn in leach line, it provides a much cleaner wingtip. It could make replacement difficult but when is the last time you broke a leach line that didn't happen at the loop over the wingtip nock anyway?

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AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #66 on: November 15, 2011, 08:41 AM »

Now that I've had some sleep and spent some quality time with my wife, I'll pick up where I left off, attaching the LE sleeves.

After hot cutting the openings for the spreader fittings, I folded and creased the LE strips lengthwise. By folding and holding the cloth about every 10-12cm, I rubbed it across a hard edge of cutting table. To see pictures, refer to reply #38 on this thread http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=5165.30. Care MUST be taken around the areas of the cutouts! There is only 1/8" of Dacron holding the edges together. (And, no, I didn't damage mine, it's just a warning.)
After creasing the strips, I applied strips of seam tape to the strips to hold them to the sail. The strips were approximately 8-10cm long. They get applied about 3mm from the crease to the side that will be on the back of the sail. I also placed a strip on each of the flaps created by cutting the openings for the spreaders. In this picture, you can see how this looks. Just ignore the last strip on the far end that would have attached to the front of the sail. I pealed it off later after realizing  it might be a bad idea if I taped the sleeve shut where the spar needed to be  :'(.


Start attaching the LE to the sail at the wing tip. Work your way toward the nose. Apply one section at a time, making sure the sail sat right up against the crease.

I found a technique that worked well. Carefully fold the sail back enough to remove the tape's cover strip. While still holding the sail up with my left hand in the area of the next strip to be peeled, I hold the sail down with my right hand in the section I just completed. This prevents the adhesive from grabbing the sail before it is positioned. I then use my left hand to position the sail against the seam and press it down on the backing on the next strip of tape. The backing provides just enough of a gap that the adhesive still doesn't grab.
In this picture I'm holding the sail down with my last three fingers and the camera trigger with my thumb and index finger. Normally my index finger is on the sail.

Once the sail is positioned correctly, I slide my index finger onto the section being attached while still holding the last section securly down. This allows you to smoothly attach the sail to the freshly exposed adhesive while the sail is held in place securely. (Note that in this image I was holding the camera trigger, so I had to use my middle finger to attach the sail.)


Once every strip has bee attached, I fold the LE sleeve over and "remind" the crease how it is supposed to fold. I then used "Fabri-Tac" to secure the front side of the sleeve to the sail. It is important to use a small bead as too much glue would be messy! The last step before  after the glue has dried, is to remove the backing on the tape applied to the flaps for the LE connectors and attach the flaps to the sail.

Now, there is only one more item that must be made unless you are  going to tension your LE the way Sugarbaker does in his threads. You need to make loops to attach the tensioning cords.

I cut two 5" long 3/8' wide strips out of my 1" wide Dacron. I then folded each in half to form two 3/16" wide strips. I then ran a straight stitch down each to keep them folded. I now folded them in half to make the loops. Now just hold them in place on the wing tips with about 1/4' of the closed end past the LE at the wing tip. Sew them right into the LE as you sew the LE onto the sail. PLEASE NOTE:
If you make your build the way I have, when sewing in the tensioning loops, you will be sewing through 10 layers of Dacron and a layer of sail cloth. Pay close attention to what you are doing! If all goes well, it should turn out like this, or better!


OK, that's it for the LE. I'm cutting this post off here and will be writing up the nose section right after I refill my coffe cup and grab a quick bite.

OK, I'll give you some Candy!


 
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AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2011, 10:09 AM »

This post will be covering the Tail Strap and the Nose Pocket. Also, please refer to replies #68 and #74 on this thread for additional details http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=5165.60.

I had built the Tail Strap earlier and am now ready to attach it to the sail.
The first step is to locate where the strap should go. It is centered on the spine re-enforcement strip, that easy. But where on the strip is what I needed to figure out. I built a mock-up spine and inserted into the spine tunnel then folded the strap shut. I then slid the strap until the leach lines, when wrapped back up toward the center T would have a slight curve just as it made contact with the strap.

At this point I marked the spine strip to indicate the location. You can just see these marks in this picture. They are the little silver marks right near the spine at the top of the strap.

I then began stitching the strap on, starting at the tip of the tail. Make sure you don't sew the leach line during this step. See the thread by Sugarbaker for more details.
The key to successfully attaching the strap is to stop and turn across the top exactly where the tunnel ends and the small tab extends past the tunnel. You can see in this image that I lucked out and bulls-eyed the spot.

Here is how it should turn out. The Hemostats are there as evidence that the tunnel is still open.


Now, on to the "nose bag".
Again, details are found in the above referenced thread. In his thread, he mentioned being lazy about making the first stitches pristine. Well, I was just as lazy and just ran forward and backward to create this stitch.

That being said, I did take my time and spin the sail 180 degrees to stitch off the ends of the LE sleeves, as can be seen here.

BTW, I did this twice, making three passes.

OK, here is where I took a little creative license and came up with my modified version of an "anti-snag strip to close off the outer edge of the nose bag. When I Mentor my robotics team, I always encourage my students to design things so that one item can serve multiple purposes. In this case, I needed to stitch the outer edge of the cut webbing and I wanted to cover the little snag tab that always exists when you cut the webbing. Sugarbaker does a similar thing in his thread, but in a slightly different way.
I took a 5" strip of 1" wide Dacron and split it into two 3/16" wide strips. I then creased them and glued them to the LE, wrapping the nose webbing and bridging the snag point. I clamped them down and led the glue set. In this image you can see the second strip sitting patiently by the sail, waiting it's turn to be glued on.


Once the glue is set, I ran a simple straight stitch down the length of the anti-snag strip. I went forward and back on both ends to secure the stitch. If you are careful and hold the strip tightly against the LE, it should turn out looking like this.


If you don't hold it tight, you will only end up moving the snag point down the sail an inch or so.  Lips sealed

One more thing to note: when cutting thicker Dacron, like nose webbing, the Dacron will tend to fuse back to it's self. Thus, you may need to pull the cut sections away as you cut.

That's it for yesterday's work. Maybe I'll get the frame done today.

Here is your next installment of Eye Candy.
I like this one because I was driving, with chains on, while shooting this.  Shocked
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #68 on: November 15, 2011, 11:11 AM »

Nice job on the nose! It's hard to get that anti-snag bit to line up that well.

One note for future builds - it will be stronger if the inner stitching parallel to the LE is on the LE dacron instead of just on the sail cloth. The dacron is much stronger, so it's less likely to tear on the stitch line.
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« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2011, 11:39 AM »

Nice job on the nose! It's hard to get that anti-snag bit to line up that well.

One note for future builds - it will be stronger if the inner stitching parallel to the LE is on the LE dacron instead of just on the sail cloth. The dacron is much stronger, so it's less likely to tear on the stitch line.
Excellent input. And, it's not too late to add another pass that will be on the Dacron. Cool, that is exactly the type of input I was hoping to get.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 07:35 AM by AKA_MrBill » Logged
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« Reply #70 on: November 16, 2011, 02:22 PM »

It's time for my next installment on the progress of this build.

I started the framing process yesterday. It is almost finished, but I forgot to order some caps for the stand-offs. This is a minor issue, but I would like to get it right and they will add to the overall length of the stand-offs. So, they are ordered and hopefully will be here in the next couple of days.

I neglected to show the little saw I use to cut the spars. This little "toy" only cost $3 and it had the finest tooth count, 64/in., of all the blade available at Home Depot.


I started the framing off by adding a 1/2" long plug into the nose end of the ULE spars. I felt that the wall of the P90's looked a little fragile so this little fortification should help, even if it only makes me feel better.


The plans for the Vortex call fot both the ULE and LLE spars to be 72cm long. I marked eac spar as accurately as possible.


I then put them in my vice. Notice the old T-shirt I use to both pad and protect the surface of the spars. These spars will not be happy if you squeeze them too had. Only tighten the vice enough to prevent the spar from slipping. Also position the cut location as close to the clamping mechanism to prevent it from flexing during the cut process.


When cutting, I press a finger nail onto the waist side of the cut line, this allows a little bit of room for error. I then position the saw blade against the nail and start cutting. Do not force the cut. Let the tool do the work. If everything works, just a little sanding for accurate length and beveling the edge of the spar is all that is needed.


I then created two ferrules to hold the two spars together out of .240" carbon rod. I cut them to 10cm long. I then placed tape on them with one edge exactly at 5cm. Theses were glued into the two ULEs. The tape allowed me to position them accurately and remove any excess glue when the tape was peeled off. Here one it glued in while the other is to show what it looks like before glue up.


I then placed an end cap on the two ULLEs. I put the LLEs on the ferruled ends and slid both spar sets into their respective sleeves. I then tensioned the sail as best I could and held and marked the position of the spreaders on the spars.

To verify accuracy, I tensioned the sail again from the wing tip and verified the marks were where they were supposed to be.


Now that the LE spars were marked, I noted on them where the stoppers were to be located and removed them from the sail.
I then cut 4 stoppers from one vinyl end cap.


This is a picture of the spars just prior to being glued up. Do the gluing out of the sail. It's just not worth the risk of doing it in the sail!


The framing work will continue in the next post.

Here a little joy for today!
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« Reply #71 on: November 16, 2011, 02:46 PM »

Thank you for all the pictures and text.

Plugging and gluing the end of a spar is an excellent way to add strength. Consider an open cardboard box and how much flex it has. Then close the top flaps and tape them. The box becomes many times stronger. You are basically doing the same thing.

Capping an open shape is a standard practice in engineering. Consider tubing on a motorcycle frame. Not only cosmetically cleaner, much stronger.

Nice work.  Smiley
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« Reply #72 on: November 16, 2011, 11:10 PM »

As I progress through this build, I'm finding that a big part of the process is creating or buying the right tools for the job. Today was no exception.
Sugarbaker mentioned in his "B'zar 2011 build thread" that he had learned a little trick from Ken at BMK that reduced the bulge in the LE sleeve when it passes over a spreader connector. Basically he just grind/sands down the outer edge of the APA connector. To do this, he just uses a kite weight as a guide. The weights I have came with my BMK Exile and work perfectly. They fit onto a .240 ferrule and the ferrule slides into a cut off section of the spar the connector is going to be used on. I saved a piece of both the P90 and P100 for this purpose.


It then is just a matter of using my bench grinder to remove the extra rubber on the back side of the fitting until it was flush with the weight.  By using the correct sized spar piece and the ferrule, the spar freely rotates on the ferrule allowing me to rotate the fitting and making a nice, smooth surface.


I then just slid the end caps, connectors and spars into the LE and smiled as the kite began to take form.


I next turned to making the spine. the first thing I needed to do was cut the hole in the sail for the T connector. Like Sugarbaker, I just used a washer as a guide and cut two tangent hole on the spine center line, centered on the to the make indicated on the plans.
The silver line is the location from the plans.

I then used the soldering iron and a straight edge to trim out the excess and make a nice oval.

Once the hole is open, I placed a Vinyl cap on the end of the spine and slid the "T" into place. I then put the spine into the nose pocket and the T into it's hole. I then place a 10cm section of ferrule into a stand-off fitting and placed that where I wanted it to be when complete in the spine tunnel in the tail strap. The by applying pressure to the end of the spine while pulling on the tail strap loop, I put the spine under tension. Next, I placed a pair of marks on the spine and ferrule rod. These marks indicate where the spine would be cut and the stopper ring would be placed on the ferrule. The stopper ring is just a 5mm long ring made from some of the left over P100.


The next piece to complete was the LE tension cords.  Let me apologize in advance for the poor quality of the images I took of this process. I didn't notice the camera had focused on my hand instead of the cords until it was all said and done.  Angry

I basically stole this idea from Ken McNeill at BMK. In fact, there is a video on the BMK site explaining/showing how to use this style tensioner.

Start with 35-40cm of cord. Fold it in half and tie an overhand knot keeping the two ends together. Now slide the folded end through the loop on the sail.


Now grab the not and pull the loose end of the cords back up and through the knock. Keep pulling, while holding the spar with your free hand, until the sail is as tight as you would like it to be. Now fold the line through the knock and hold it solidly to the spar between your thumb and forefinger. Mark the knotted end of the lines where the exit the far side of the knock and let go!
You now have marks on the line where the next knot will be placed. This image is fuzzy, but you can still see the marks.


Now tie another overhand that sits right at the point that you marked the line.


Now just slip your finger through the loop, grab the end of the spar with your other hand and tension the sail. With tension on, slip one tip of the knock through the gap between the lines just below the knot you just tied and let the cord relax. This seems difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice. Depending on the knocks you use, you might even be able to seat the knot inside the knock.


Here is the video on the BMK site. http://www.bluemoonkites.com/video/leading_edge.wmv

Time to dream of Hawaiian breezes and rolling surf.

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fidelio
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« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2011, 01:31 AM »

these build threads are super duper uber fantastic awesome stuff, seriously. the only thing better is watching mr clements build talons on jtv, and these threads are far more accessible than workshops.
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« Reply #74 on: November 17, 2011, 07:28 AM »

... I next turned to making the spine. the first thing I needed to do was cut the hole in the sail for the T connector. Like Sugarbaker, I just used a washer as a guide and cut two tangent hole on the spine center line, centered on the to the make indicated on the plans.
The silver line is the location from the plans.

I then used the soldering iron and a straight edge to trim out the excess and make a nice oval...



A quicker, cleaner way to make the Center-T cutout I learned from Ken McNiell during the BMK Muse workshop is to use a metal wall plate for outlets, a nice rectangular shape with gently curved ends that just happens to be nearly the perfect size. Look at your Exile  Smiley  I bought the first one I found, under a buck usually. I scratched a centered X on mine then you just draw a cross on your patch and line it up. Since you'll be placing it upside down the scratches will never show if you have to use it for a wall plate someday AND it keeps your fingers further away from that soldering iron then that washer does   Wink  and I can never line up dual cuts, so I always end up with a crooked hole with your method   Embarrassed



« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 07:33 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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