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Author Topic: a beginner making first link lines  (Read 1314 times)
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dayhiker
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« on: December 28, 2012, 05:37 PM »

The first time I saw stunt kites was 32 years ago.  I was at The Pavilion at Myrtle Beach.  One of the Kligman brothers, Klig's Kites, was flying a six stack of red Trlby kites on the beach at night.  There was a strong off shore wind, with a flood light illuminating them & man they were pulling.  That was impressive.  Later I bought a stunt kite from Kitty Hawk Kites.  My first flights were in 25 plus winds, wow!  Years past, flew rarely but finally decided to get more serious.  Bought several kites this year spending a total of 28 days at the beach.  I live in the mountains of western Virginia.  When I got home after Thanksgiving my collection had grown to eleven kites & one was a blue Nexus.  I had no intention of flying it as a single.  I was going to make my own stack.  Did not want to buy assembled ones.  Looked at buying link lines, four sets $52.  Thought I would just make my own & knew it would be fun.  I had some old Skybond Kevlar Dacron I bought back in the 80's.  Read the forums, someone said 37" between Nexus kites stacked.  It was close to the 75% of the leading edge length formula so I have gone with that.  No one says much about tying their own lines so I just started tying pigtails like I had made for my Rev handles except they shorter of course.  Each kite needs five pig tails, one at each bridle attachment point.  I marked the line at 13".  I then cut it a little past the mark & flame shortened it back to the line.  Kevlar does not really burn but the Dacron sleeving made a little ring around the line.  I then tied two carefully formed half hitches.  One was right at the end with 1/8" excess & the second was 1/2" further up the line.  I also tested a figure eight knot & decided it was kind of bulky.  Next I made my long link lines.  I had been equalizing my numerous flight lines so I had some experience with long loops.  Cut line to 51", marked both ends at eleven inches & tied loops again using two half hitches.  First one was right handed & then I would tie the second in the opposite direction.  They were butted together as close as I could force them.  I had some experience with rope work from my vertical caving days & knew that knots needed to be shaped carefully to keep them from shifting.  I kept the lines moving parallel through the knots.  After making my first set I decided to buy something more like bridle line.  Looked in some industrial supply sites & bought some .060" braided polyester cord, 190# test.  Much nicer to work with & should be strong enough.  By the time I was on the third set I got a little better at fabrication.  When you are tying the loops move the end about an eighth of an inch past the mark, tie the first knot & work it toward the mark.  You want the end of the line to line up with the mark on the line.  When you have the knot where you want it pull it tight & the loose end will move a bit lining up with your mark.  Pull on the loop to pull the knot down the line & spread the loop to move the knot in the other direction if needed.  Be persistent & you will be rewarded with nearly identical line lengths.  I told my family members to gift me with blue Nexus kites for Christmas & a few came through.  Bought a couple more & now have five.  I call my stack "The Blue Meanies".  I will post later about my attaching the lines to the kites.
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jeepersjoey
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 04:24 PM »

Dude...take a breath. Four posts today that are each "War & Peace" size.

Give the forum time to read all your posts and respond.

BTW...I have the Nexus stack.  Fun for 10 minutes a year when the wind is right.  Otherwise...stays in the garage.

Hang in there!
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dayhiker
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 07:07 PM »

Sorry about that, looked for all this information & found little.  Thought it might be useful to someone else doing it themselves...did fly them today.
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chilese
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 07:29 PM »

More of us need your enthusiasm.

 Smiley
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John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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mikenchico
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 08:05 AM »

Yep useful info, and sounds like you're on the right track to me. That old Skybond line would've been fine unless it was very heavy, that line did have the least stretch of any line made at one time, maybe still, due to the straight kevlar fibers. I've used my old roll for many a bridle. But the kevlar working itself out of the braided sheath looks a bit funky.

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dayhiker
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 03:51 PM »

When I bought my first stunt kite for $79.95 the lines were a surprising cost to add.  My kite is a Premier Aero Sport 6700, a 3/4 sail rated to fly in 9 to 22 mph wind.  I still have the kite & winder instructions.  I also bought a Sky Claw stunt handles & winder loaded with Skybond.  I scratched the price off the cost label because I did not want my wife to see the dollars spent.  I was making $5 an hour in those days, building my own house & working part time at the local Yamaha shop.  The line set is 150' long & has never needed adjustment.  I still fly them when I want a big window.  I bought an extra spool of line because I was thinking I would break lines, didn't happen.  The Shanti Skybond I have is rated 200  pounds.  Flew the set up at Myrtle Beach this summer with a tear in my eye...
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Wayner
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 04:22 PM »

I still have my lines from 20 years ago to fly my flexfoils and TOTL kites in heavy winds. Junked the skyclaw and other handles for newer wrist straps.

I also enjoy the trip down memory lane, but I don't stay long. Upgraded to new line sets and kites for trick flying.  Grin
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