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Okay....I won a bolt of Texlon at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival and now I want to start building some kites.... So...my question is...what do you use to cut the fabric? I am looking at some sort of wood burning knife or such and was wondering what is generally used for cutting/sealing the material? Also...what do you use to cut on?? Glass?? :ninja:

Okay....so scratch the link I was looking at... it seems there are dozens of different hot cutters out there and as many different prices. Weller makes a nice cheap soldering pencil that apparently works well....as does Engel hot cutters :devil: ....but the price bites! :blue-cool:

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Hi Aiyana!

I don't know if I should tell you.

I had lots of tickets in for the fabric, and didn't win a roll. :blue-cool:

The Texlon nylon (I think it was all nylon) is pretty stable. As long as you cut it with something sharp, it shouldn't fray.

You can cut with a snap-blade razor knife, rotary cutter, box cutter, or a sharp pair of scissors.

Dacron and especially seat belt webbing for sport kite noses really call for a melted edge though. There's lots of ways you could do the little stuff on the cheap. A butter knife heated on a stove burner comes to mind.

For the record though, I cut my sails with a snap blade knife on an $8.00 piece of masonite from the hardware store. When it gets to looking ragged, I get another piece and the old one becomes template material. I cut my Dacron and webbing with a hot cutter on and old tempered glass shelf.

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But some fabrics need to be hot cut....I guess what I want to know is what is a good hot cutter and what tips would I need for both straight cuts and appliques?

I've looked at the Engel hot cutter but am not sure I need all that just yet....Some thoughts on it??? :blue-cool:

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My AfterBurner was largely made from Texlon fabric. Most of the cutting was done with razor blades, cutting against self-healing cutting tables. But I had to hand-trim some of the edges as I sewed the kite, so I simply used a pair of Fiskar-type scissors for those cuts.

Now, ALL of my hems are rolled edges, but all of the seams are simple lap seams, with about 3/8 overlap of one color over the other.

It hasn't started falling apart yet. :blue-cool:

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I go for the cheapest and easiest....don't care for a lot of attachments, instructions or complicated gadgets...

I got a simple wood burning tool at the hardware store. I think it was Home Depot.

I took a picture, last night at the Shoppe, now will see if I can add it here. I generally use the one tip only, and don't bother switching to any of the others it came with. I cut on glass (the glass doesn't show in the picture, but it's under the ruler and the fabric)

I use an aluminum ruler to 'burn' against. Just practice...and you'll get the feel of how fast or slow you need to 'cut'.

Good luck! And have fun! What are you going to make?

Theresa

post-23-1096644992.jpg

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I have looked at soldering irons, wood burners and hot cutters till I'm :sq-smile: !! I think...(key word here is think) I'm going to settle on an Unger/Weller soldering pencil with interchangable tips it's not too expensive and heavy duty enough to hot cut and seal the edges on webbing too.... :devil: It will also do hot tacking with one additional attachment... here's the link.... http://www.goodwindskites.com/goodwindskit...tools.hotknifes At least this way I can buy it piecemeal and it won't kill me right off the bat!

Now...as to what I'm going to build... hmmm... I do need one more RevII to complete my stack of 6. It is nice and flat so the sewing part shouldn't be too awfully hard (I hope). It's not like I don't have enough of them to take a pattern from! LOL!

That brings me to my next question... I was looking at dacron tape (for leading edges and such). Which do I get? There is a 2" one that is already folded to 1" or do I need more like say 3"?? If so...does it come folded or do I want that? And lastly...that mesh stuff....what is it called and where do I get it?? By the way...thank you all for your inputs... :D

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Aiyana,

If you decided to get the tool that you linked above, from Kathy, she also has the leading edge dacron avaiable. Just ask her what she's got. She usually has a variety of colors, widths, and with or without the fold. I have some in stock too....but Kathy has the best selection! :sq-smile:

Theresa

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:D Okay first of all, you are supposed to use a name that I can spell without having to go back an look so that I make sure I spell it right .... Aiyanaleigh ... WOW! Did I get that right? :) Next, I get the idea that you are a lot like myself, you want everything hot cut so that nothing can fray. The Codys I build are all hot cut and then the edges are all covered with strips that are also hot cut. People will tell you that by doing all this you are waisting your time, hot cut edges that are then covered with fabric? What is the point to all that work? I don't know why I do it but I know that there are kites of mine that have been flying for better than 14 years and they are still going strong. :D One of the wood burning tools you mentioned is made by Weller and that is the one I use, forget about all the attachments they give you, after using the tool for several hours you wont be able to remove the one you are using anyhow. Use the chisel point attachment, after you put it on the handle take a heavy file and shape it like a kife blade but at about a 30 degree angle leading edge to trailing edge, not only does this give you a good cutting edge along the kife edge but by turning the blade you have a pencil point that you can use for hot tacking. Also throw away the little wire stand that they give you for storing the hot cutter when you are not using it, insted go out and find yourself one of those red bricks with the 3 holes in it, stand the brick on end and put your hot cutter in the top or middle hole, this will keep the tool from getting knocked off onto your material :) Give it a try, I think you will like it, talk to you again soon Liegh :)
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:unsure: Hi Rick...

Thank you for the invaluable advice! As soon as I get my soldering iron, the brick will appear almost simultaneously! What an awesome idea! :w00t: As for to "hot cut" or not...I'm with you there...why take the chance? I will also have a rotary cutter and self healing mat (I think... ;) ) but that remains to be seen right now. Again...thanks so much!

Oh...if it's easier just call me Aiyana (eye-yana) :)

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;) Ayiana, I am glad to hear you like the ideas. Also keep in mind that if you are cutting any curved edges stay away from the rotory cutter because it will try and run up onto the pattern piece. Have fun and let me know if you need any more ideas, feel free to send me an e-mail just make sure to put something about kites in the subject box so I don't delete your message before reading it. :blue-sleepy:
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G'day.

I use jars for my hot cutter and hot tacker. I find them to be a good solution.

And I too prefer to Hot Cut everything. Even the stuff the ends up getting edge binding put on. Or a rolled hem. I don't know why. I guess like CodyKiteguy, I just do.

P.

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