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About this blog

Bringing my kite builds up to date with a bit of history on each kite.

Entries in this blog

 

Mesh #6 Video

@Bill Clay was nice enough today to fly my mesh while I got a bit of video..Thank You Bill..  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds in the Sky

First Flight at the  Rogallo Festival, Nags Head NC for Touch of Blue, Scrapestry and Purple Fade... Winds less than 5MPH

riffclown

riffclown

 

FS#9 Purple Time

So I ended up downsizing the purple to a 72" LE due to a pucker in the fabric I couldn't overcome. I'm calling this FS#9 considering the Stack should probably be considered FS #4,5,6,7 & 8..

riffclown

riffclown

 

Playing With Perspective

Since the new year, I've turned my attention to materials other than tails.. Nothing wrong with the tails constructions but I wanted a new perspective.. and that perspective was perspective.. Angled shapes started out as a lazy harlequin pattern in complimentary colors. Because of the pattern it became the Jester. This was my first run at edge joining materials that were not already hemmed.   The Jester followed by a vanishing point perspective in dissimilar materials.  

riffclown

riffclown

Closing the book on 2018 kites.

Closing the book on 2018 kites.

I don't have pictures of them all but 26 kites were finished in 2018. No kites from tails this year. all from either RSN or Icarex. A few meshes and a couple of very unique attempts at doing something new. I'm not counting the one I considered failures that became flags. I'm blogging it here to keep from blasting out the gallery.. You seen probably most of these pictures before.  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Wright and what's left

Looks like first flight for my new kites is going to have to be altered.. I won't be able to make the Wright festival this year after all.. Hopefully I'll get out for a few minutes to my regular flying field.. If so I'll try to  fly'em and get some footage there. Sometimes Life Happens  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds, the final cut

The Diamonds kite was finished this morning.. Final touches, bridles and framing are all done.. Ready for a test flight when conditions allow..

riffclown

riffclown

 

FS#10 Yellow

This one is a bit differently sized than my typical builds.. It is a 83.5" Leading Edge. Midway between the 1.5 and 2.0 sizes.. This will either be my new night kite or the middle kite in a future progressive stack. Temporary bridles at the moment since I've never tied bridles this size. ZERO wind but still started with a toss, followed by a ground catch..  

riffclown

riffclown

Crazy Quilt.

Crazy Quilt.

Going off of the look of the Scrapestry, I decided to use the new batch of scraps to do an all color kite.. Some of the scraps were neutral White and Charcoal but I based the placement on the size of the scraps and not the color.  Crazy Quilt has begun..

riffclown

riffclown

 

First Flight in despite no Wright

Woke up with a song in my head this morning.. "Let's Go Fly a kite! We'll see if i made them right even though the wind is light we'll keep them soaring throw launch the sail first time catching the air so fine. come, let's go.....Fly a kite..   Even though I wasn't able to make the Wright Festival today, I had to get out for a few minutes before the rain hit to get first flight in on these sails. FS #3, Mesh #6 and the Spectrum Stack have all fl

riffclown

riffclown

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

I've been asked about what I use to do particular things for kite making.  Thought it'd be a good opportunity to share a quick overview of pretty much everything I use.  Some are more obvious than others. My kite making tools.. I use a sewing machine (obviously) 2 - 6' Long Metal rulers 2 - 3' Long Metal Rulers 1 - 18" Ruler (metal) 1 - 12" Ruler (metal) A Fiskars Rotary cutter. A Paper Cutter (Office Style) The normal assortment of Scissors (Including a heavy duty pair for

riffclown

riffclown

 

Kite Quilt

While this will never actually be made (I DON'T Have the skills to replicate the pattern like this.) I have started sewing the scraps together to make anpanel I can use fer anything from a kite to a kite bag.. I decided to flip and mirror i into a 9 panel layout just to mock up what it WOULD look like.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Digging in the bag

So I came to a rude awakening yesterday.. Despite my best attempts, it's really hard to get all my framed quads in an easy configuration for travel.. Part of this is because I don't know how to leave ANYTHING behind..  Given that I've made a bunch of kites since my last outing to OBX, I decided to make a dig bag. I came up with a 11"x11"x44" pumpkin of a bag after visiting Joann's Fabrics this morning.. I picked up some Orange duck cloth and zippers that all combined with a tiedown strp I had ha

riffclown

riffclown

 

Diamonds in the dark

Diamonds in the dark Decided I wanted to take my seaming technique to a feasible limit. Using the same materials as the Midnight Royal and Yonder, I went with a diamond pattern and worked it through nearly the entire sail yielding over 450 panels. Encouraged by the mock up, I pressed forward. Once the sides were nearly done I realized how much actual area I had lost with the 1/4' overlap.. i decided to wedge  some poly at the top to give it a bit of a retro look. Ready to join the center an

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #6

The center panel is the excess material from FS#3 and the sail itself is Red White Blue, G-Kites Transition tails in the front and Skywriter tails in the back. My second kite with a proper LE and I did induce a slight curve to the LE to mimic the positive flight characteristics of Mesh #3. This one was bridled today and I expect to fly it along with FS #3 at the 2017 Wright Festival.

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh # 1

My first attempt at a homemade kite. Made with Blue and Black Gomberg Skywriter Tails. LE is the Cheap Amazon Tails fabric and the stretch strips are Gomberg strips added later. Reinforcement points are Olive Drab Duct Tape. This kite was completed Summer of 2015 and first flew at the Wright Kite Festival in July 2015 I have comfortably flown this kite in 35+ MPH winds when others were giving up on flying...  

riffclown

riffclown

 

Changing Perspective

I've decided to take all of the perspective kites (Except for The Jester) and finish the individual panels.. I'll mix and match those to make 5 or six kites (maybe even 7) and fly as a stack for a bit.. By finishing them all at once I can ensure they are identically sized and with same aspect ratios. So the panels will progress but no finished kites until I'm ready to finish them all. This was the strategy for the Spectrum Stack and it worked well for me.. Otherwise I tend to have slightly

riffclown

riffclown

 

The Pattern Emerges

Just a short <90 second clip to share how I get to see the Diamonds pattern emerge from a striped sail each time. This is when I get to truly see the stage I call the "mock up" and is the first real indicator of how the final kite will appear.. Until this point the pattern is truly just in my head.   The Layout from the initial stripes isn't a mockup. it allows me to see the color mix but not the actual placement of segments. This difference is far more prevalent whe

riffclown

riffclown

 

Mesh #2

I wanted a finer basket weave and was willing to accept the weight of the sail as a factor in performance. The Reinforcements are Canvas  strips I had handy. The Le is a strip of the Gomberg Skywriter tails.  JB had flown most of my creations to this point and said this was the best of the group so far. First Flight Feb 2017. Began the tradition of throw launching a new kite for first flight.    

riffclown

riffclown

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