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Author Topic: Link to making a small efficient rokkaku?  (Read 6826 times)
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Dolittle
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« on: October 27, 2016, 07:28 AM »

Hi, all, 

First time kite sewer although I have some experience with sewing garments, machine quilting, etc.  I'm ready to sew a rokkaku--and I'd like it to be small and fly in light winds.  Eventually I want to make three of them in different colors and train them.  Nothing fancy to start.

I've looked on the internet for patterns and directions and found lots of them, but they all seem to be large-ish roks.  Does anyone have a link to up to date instructions and/or a rok pattern that is smaller and will economize on fabric and spars--that is, high quality materials but not a lot of waste?  I just want a small one color kite but with lightweight spars and fabric.

I'm thinking of a kite constructed something like the LL Rok by Skyburner (which I have never seen in person but have seen on you-tube, etc.).

Thx for any recommendations.  Judy

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thief
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 09:10 AM »

Roks are typical a 3-4-5 ratio.   So you can take a plan and scale it down. Gary has a great bit of info here: https://sites.google.com/site/kites4all/home/rokkaku-plans

Quote
Size matters: Probably the first thing to discuss is what size and shape to make the kite. The word 'rokkaku' means 6 sided, or 6 cornered, kite. So the shape is essentially an elongated hexagon. Just how much elongated may depend on whoever is giving the dimensions at any given moment. Tradition says that most rokkaku are made to ratios of 3,4,5 or 4,5,6. In these ratios, the first number is the height of the main body, the second number is the width of the kite, and the last number is the total height of the kite. So, a 6 foot tall rokkaku, made to 4,5,6 dimensions, is 6 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and the middle is 4 feet tall. That makes each 'end triangle' 1 foot tall, and 2-1/2 feet wide.

Then framing and material come into play.....try a skin out of tyvek first if you want to see how it looks, then you can do it again out of icky or some such....
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Dolittle
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 11:15 AM »

Thx for the Engvall link. He has really very good information on his site. 

I did find the dimensions of the LL Rok on the Kites and Fun Things site.  They say 'polycarbonate' for the sail.  I guess that is Icarex but there doesn't seem to be a domestic source for Icarex (except for ebay).  Is a light weight rip stop a good replacement?

Specifications:
P.D.S.U.L.
Sail    Polycarbonate
Frame    125 Pultruded
Wing Span    32"
Height    40"
Weight    2 oz.
Wind Range    1-12 mph.
Bridle    Dacron

So that's a nice smallish size to start out with.  Thx.  J.



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thief
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 12:46 PM »

Icarex is a ployester material.....you can find some over at Fly Market: http://www.flymarketkites.com/ripstop-polyester/
for really light weight you could try getting some Cuben Fibre or Orcon too...super light weight.
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Fly Market
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 02:42 PM »

Hey Thief, thanks for the plug... put the only polyester I sell is the rainbow variety. The US distributor of PC31 is Kites & Fun Things (Jon Trennepohl) in Michigan, and by a gentleman's agreement with Jon I'm staying out of it. But I've got plenty of ripstop nylon available... which is what Dolittle just purchased! Thanks for that, Dolittle.

I've got plans for a nice little rok that was originally a Ron Gibian/Scott Spencer design. The plans were in KITING a couple years ago. I've got your e-mail, so I'll send those to you. And I'll try to get them up on the Plans page of the Fly Market website soon.


« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 03:22 AM by Fly Market » Logged
thief
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 03:16 PM »

hey, poly is poly...i know that Chilese loves that rainbow stuff Tongue
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Dolittle
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 08:22 AM »

Yes, thanks much for sending the nice Gibian small rok plan, Phil.  The plan has very explicit directions which I like.  And a really good starter kite plan to feature on the Fly Market site.

Yes, bought the Mirai ripstop from Fly Market.  Much of it was on a nice mark down sale so that makes me a little less fearful of making nasty mistakes that I can't re-do.  I did not see the Icarex on Jon Tennenpohl's site although I looked there too.

I saw the rainbow polyester but I couldn't envision it for my rok scheme.  Maybe I could do some small light wind deltas for my neighbor-boys (7 of the cutest little boys you ever wanted to see) with it.  We have some space in our front yard to fly kites and they love it.

Fly on!
Judy



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Fly Market
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 01:22 PM »

It's not called Icarex anymore, it's known as PC31 these days. It's right there on the Kites & Fun Things homepage, but it looks like you can't order online, you have to call the shop.
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NWFlyer
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 01:32 PM »

At the risk of raising the ire of many of the veteran kite makers who frequent this site, I'll extend one caution to you born from my experience as a relatively new kite maker (5 yrs and counting).  And that point is that smaller isn't necessarily better when it comes to trimming and bridling kites to fly well.  I built what I thought was a very nice Rok for my Dad a while back that I put lots of time into creating a fancy bird graphic that I appliquéd.  I probably had 30 hrs in the appliqué alone.  That kite is roughly 3 ft. long and 2 ft. wide (but using standard Rok proportions).  It has proven to be tough to trim and get to fly nice and the bridle has to be adjusted frequently to match the current wind speed to get it to be behave and fly stable.  It behaves lots better hanging on the wall than it does in the air !!  If you've done some sewing, you shouldn't have much trouble working with slightly bigger pieces.  I don't want to discourage you from your plan and it may turn out just fine, but just wanted to offer my bit of experience that smaller isn't necessarily better.  Have fun with your project, and don't hesitate to ask questions - this group will respond quickly and I've found there's lots of good help to be had.
NWFlyer
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Dolittle
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2016, 05:03 PM »

Thanks,NWF, for your thoughts.  What you say makes sense when you consider the old adage that bigger kites fly more easily (or something like that).  I will make one small one and then see how it goes and perhaps graduate to a bigger size for the next one.  Judy
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Fly Market
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 03:37 AM »

I think "big" is a matter of degree. (I just re-read that. OK, you can all laugh now.)  My first sewing project was a 16' banner, because of course I needed a banner of my own. What a mistake! I didn't have any experience getting ripstop through the sewing machine, let alone 16' of it! A 3' banner would have been easier, but even an 8' banner would have been more suited to my skills at the time.

I've recently been in discussion with a new kitemaker, and she has a piece of artwork that she's dying to make into a kite. I've been talking her out of it... or at least getting her to wait a while. The art is all curvy lines and small pieces, with multiple layers of fabric. Way to difficult for her first kite. If she tries it, she's going to be disappointed with the result, and might just quit altogether. Better that she tries something easier first, builds her skills, and saves that artwork for a year or two down the road.

The point is, be honest with yourself about your skill level. Pick a project that's the right size and complexity for your skills. And when you're done, be prepared to do some self-analysis about what went right and what went wrong.
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thief
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2016, 06:10 AM »

Phil: can you share the link for the smallish rok? Would love to see it.

The first kite i made was a stack of three square kites....I just went at it. figured that a 2 stick square kite would be pretty simple.
got some cheap material (very cheap) and started working...
i decided "oh, I want a design on it"....then i cut out a template and hot cut them with a soldering iron....
then i thought, "oh, I should do three in a stack".....cut them....
then i thought, oh I should do tails they are going to need tails....i went funky on the tails....but they were not enough..."i needed more tails to actually work"...added some fuzzy tails...
everything sewn up i found some instances where i had cut something opposite to what it should be...one skin was upside down and so the applique i decided i needed to do is different than the others....bridles..stack lines....oh wait, i need a special bag for it too...bag made....

and..jeez...guess what...

it can fly....and pretty well for smaller kites....


I learned a lot during the process, and in fact did not make another kite until about 7 years later when i built up the Rolf Zimmerman Sea Star windsock (whole other story where I learned after I had finished it that it was a project for an experienced sewer, but it came out perfect).   
But this build did experience a lot of unplanned creep....I should have had a clear idea of what I wanted in the first place and that was the issue.....

I am happy I made it....i would have defied anyone who had told me it was too complex to do for a first time....
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Fly Market
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2016, 08:10 AM »

That rok plan is in the summer 2015 issue of KITING. But, since the AKA has managed to delete the online archives of back issues of KITING... anyone who wants the plan, please e-mail me and I'll send it out. I'd rather not post it online, since technically the AKA holds the copyright.   info AT flymarketkites.com
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Dolittle
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2016, 06:30 AM »

Good stories!  Thief, that is a magnificent set of kites for a first timer, or anyone really. 

The Gibian 48" Rok plans from Fly Maker look like they are very clear and step-by-step, including pics on how to do the tension bridling, etc. I am not doing any appliqué this time around.  Just a simple Rok.  The last time I did appliqué was 30 years ago for my baby's quilt.  Not the same, I know. And I'm stepping up (not everyone agrees with is this) from my six stitch singer to a new pfaff with more stitches than anyone will ever need (a gift).

Yes, I think the aka should archive the magazine so everyone (all the public) can refer to it (not behind the member wall).   There is a lot a good info and history there that might pique a new kiters interest in getting more involved.

I'll keep u posted on my progress.  J.
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