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Author Topic: New to Kite Making Stunts and Single Lines. Which Books are Best?  (Read 2089 times)
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Magpiesfooty
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« on: March 03, 2013, 07:43 AM »

I would like to say that this area is a great place to get tips and hints in kite building.  Please recommend a favorite book or two on the basics, tips and techniques. I am not necessarily needing plans at this point but if they are included that would be fine. (Machine recommendations, threads, material weights, marking, measuring, cutting, folding, prepping, joining panels, seams, sewing, finishing, etc...

Thanks,

Magpiesfooty.
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thief
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 02:31 PM »

Have you read up on Gary's site yet?
https://sites.google.com/site/kites4all/
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 02:45 PM by thief » Logged

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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 03:23 PM »

I recently acquired a Bernina 950 Industrial sewing machine and table, for this task and I am getting very excited about using it soon. Maybe I will be able to make my own Waldof Superstar!!  LOL!!    Cheesy

Magpiesfooty
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thief
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 03:40 PM »

nice.....
what do you want to start with? there are a LOT of choices out there!!!!!!!
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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 07:57 PM »

I really need to start simple, that is why I am inquiring on the techniques as are there sewing feet that work with ripstop, better than others? Do hemming feet work well as seam joiners and stitchers?  I remember an old friend that used to cut ripstop with a "hot knife" that looked like a soldering gun and I believe that he did it on a glass surface,(seems to me that the glass would break under the stress of the heat...) can this be done on a thin sheet of granite like used for counter tops?  etc...

Since the plans from Mark Cotterell have been released, I would really like to make a larger version of my Lite Flite Heavy.

Thanks Thief for all of your help.  I still check your site periodically.

Take care!!
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Wayner
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 08:12 PM »

I really need to start simple, that is why I am inquiring on the techniques as are there sewing feet that work with ripstop, better than others? Do hemming feet work well as seam joiners and stitchers?  I remember an old friend that used to cut ripstop with a "hot knife" that looked like a soldering gun and I believe that he did it on a glass surface,(seems to me that the glass would break under the stress of the heat...) can this be done on a thin sheet of granite like used for counter tops?  etc...

Since the plans from Mark Cotterell have been released, I would really like to make a larger version of my Lite Flite Heavy.

Thanks Thief for all of your help.  I still check your site periodically.

Take care!!

Ripstop is a difficult material to sew. Many methods are used to keep the fabric from moving why you are sewing.

A "walking foot" is the best foot to use IMHO. You would need to check to see if one is available for your sewing machine.

Hot cutting on glass works well, glass will take a lot more heat than a soldering gun puts out. Used my granite counter tops as well.  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 04:41 AM »

oh that is not mu site..that is Gary Engvall's....a great teacher....

I make do quite well without a walking foot....I use a Singer Touch-n-Sew that is 60 years old now...and it does just fine...
when sewing take your time...that is the biggest tip i can provide...slow....go at the speed that is comfortable for you, your machine and your project...straight lines you can sew pretty hard and fast but anything else...well...

If you are working with poly materials they are going to slide around quite a bit....double sided tape works wonderful....as does "hot tacking" (every 1" or so just touch the tip of the soldering iron to the materials stacked on top of each other correctly- this will melt a tiny bit of the materials together to hold them in place)....even a common glue stick works great...and is washable afterward too...

I do not hot cut very much any more either...if the seams are on the back of a kite they will be fine most of the time and not fray much...

i would check around on line to see if the kite clubs around you have any building workshops coming up...or maybe someone would like to teach one but not certain how to start.....

Keep us posted!!!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 05:02 AM »

rob is right Garys site is great and he also  does a kite building 101  my first kite was Garys circoflex easy kite to build with great rewards flies great and looks cool made first one then made some with patchwork used up all my scraps and made two more still flie those kites made them all with a 40 year old signature sewing machine since then i have pfaff with a walking foot and a binding attachment makes life a whole lot easier i use tape on applique but on most straight seems i just sew takes practice but you will get it kite making is alot harder than people think i used to say why do kites cost so much then i started to make kites and said i see why they cost so much its alot of work right now im makin a 525 sq ft foil alot  of sewing and i have about 60 hrs so far and im not half done just practice practice start with an easy build to get feel of ripstop and feel of your machine

                                                                       Steve
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 08:13 AM »

If you have the room to make a dedicated building table run by your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and pick up an old sliding glass door, they have laminated, tempered safety glass in them and you'll get one for $5 or a bit more, no worries on breakage. You'll also find a sheet of glass usefull when aligning fabric layers, put a light under it, I use a 4' flourescent and one of the plastic diffusers used for lighting panels in suspended ceilings. A 4' x 8' sheet of melamine coated hardboard makes a great table top too, it has a hard easily cleanable white surface that holds tape well. Cut a hole to one end in it and route it out to drop that piece of glass into keeping the surface level. Then pickup a set of the folding sawhorse brackets and a few 2' x 4" s for bracing and constructing the sawhorses. Folds away nicely then. You could splurge on some of the premade folding sawhorses from Black & Decker or the like too if you have other uses for them. Another 4 x 8 sheet of the thin Masonite to lay over that table as a large cutting surface is also useful.

We don't use a walking foot, we tape, sometimes hot tack. We just use a standard clear plastic foot on 99% of our sewing. Our current machine is a New Home we got at a yard sale for $10 along with a box of fabric, quilting & craft books and some other notions. It has sewn well over 3500' of ripstop Nylon & Poly, 3.5 oz leading edges and heavy seatbelt webbing not to mention the quilting, blankets and other gifts made with it. Never had a problem and it's worked good enough to build award winning kites, tails and banners, and we are not expert sewers by far.

Just saying - you do not have to invest fortunes in machinery and supply's to make a good kite, it's more in the planning.

As far as books, I have a few good ones, a few not so good, all are out of print now. Plans and ideas come from the web these days, Kite Plan Base is a great source of inspiration and basic plans. The forum over at KiteBuilder is another great source of info, help & plans.

Here's a great starter, it's a great flying diamond kite design, we've made a few now and plan on more. http://www.kiteplans.org/planos/soyouwant/soyouwant.html  We use .1560" graphite for the framing and the matching dihydral, 3.5 oz for pockets and edge the kite in contrasting strips of 3/4" (1.5" cut) you'll practice almost all the techniques you'll use on a Sport Kite and get a great flying little diamond for yourself or a gift.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 08:28 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 09:08 AM »

The Magnificent Book of Kites - by Maxwell Eden.  An excellent book.

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Magnificent_Book_of_Kites.html?id=buvtiiXX4lMC
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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 03:50 PM »

Great stuff guys!  Lots of info here to digest!! 

Thanks so much.

(Rob, your Windswept Kites site...)
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JimB
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 08:17 PM »

If you are not familiar with the Kite Plan Base.. you probably want to be:

http://www.kiteplans.org/

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Wayner
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 09:19 PM »

If you are not familiar with the Kite Plan Base.. you probably want to be:

http://www.kiteplans.org/




Spent a lot of time there
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mikenchico
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 09:55 PM »

That Maxwell Eden book is one of the best, I still turn to it 25 years later, I have the original hardback. If you can grab one I would.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 09:57 PM by mikenchico » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 10:42 PM »

Great stuff guys!  Lots of info here to digest!! 
It's still not too late! You can still back out and run a relatively normal life. Once you get sucked into this "kite building" thing, there is no looking back. Soon you will have 4 or 5 sewing machines, fabric laying all over the house and a dozen cones of thread in various colors. Once you build your own, you will never look at a kite in the same way.

I'd recommend a Rok as a first project. It's basically got 6 panels that lay flat together with 6 connection points for rods. Very easy as a first project.
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Todd Copeland
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