Flap Floblem

Long Island Kiters? I'm new.

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Has anyone ever used dowels?  Yes, many people. There are all kinds of kite designs that can use any available rod, including dowels, bamboo, even straight sticks and twigs for their structure.  Many inexpensive hobby-store and generic retail kites use wooden dowels for their cross bar.

If you are searching for kite designs online, you can find kite plans that call for thin wooden dowels (or for bamboo sticks that tend to be lighter). 

Most professional grade kites these days use carbon fiber rods for their light weight, high strength, and extreme flexibility which helps them survive crash impacts. A few professional grade kites use fiberglass.

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I lost the upper spreader for my Prism 4D several years ago when I had no spare tubes or rods for any of my few kites.  It was a bad feeling thinking I would not be flying my little superlight kite until I could order a replacement part.  No kite shops anywhere in my area & I did not know at that time that hobby stores stocked small diameter light carbon fiber rods for RC control rod use on the little planes.  So after a bit of useless anguish, I used my Swiss Army knife to whittle a replacement twig into the guessed length.

Later I thought I would make something without bark.  At home I went into the shop & found an eighth inch wooden dowel to make a prettier one.  I just tapered the ends a bit to make the fit a little better.  The kite flew just fine.  But still I wanted the proper part.  Thinking about the afternoon I lost the part I remembered hearing a distinct "ting" noise as I loaded the kites into my truck.  On a hopeful thought I went back to where I parked that day & there was my carbon fiber spreader laying in the gravel.  These days I have spare parts, spare kites & still keep my little dowel too.  I also know most dualies will fly without upper spreaders & I have flown them without any spreaders just to see if they would do it.  SHBKF

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On ‎11‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:02 AM, frob said:

Has anyone ever used dowels?  Yes, many people. There are all kinds of kite designs that can use any available rod, including dowels, bamboo, even straight sticks and twigs for their structure.  Many inexpensive hobby-store and generic retail kites use wooden dowels for their cross bar.

If you are searching for kite designs online, you can find kite plans that call for thin wooden dowels (or for bamboo sticks that tend to be lighter). 

Most professional grade kites these days use carbon fiber rods for their light weight, high strength, and extreme flexibility which helps them survive crash impacts. A few professional grade kites use fiberglass.

Thanks so much, frob!   That's an interesting name...does it have an explanation?

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16 hours ago, SHBKF said:

I lost the upper spreader for my Prism 4D several years ago when I had no spare tubes or rods for any of my few kites.  It was a bad feeling thinking I would not be flying my little superlight kite until I could order a replacement part.  No kite shops anywhere in my area & I did not know at that time that hobby stores stocked small diameter light carbon fiber rods for RC control rod use on the little planes.  So after a bit of useless anguish, I used my Swiss Army knife to whittle a replacement twig into the guessed length.

Later I thought I would make something without bark.  At home I went into the shop & found an eighth inch wooden dowel to make a prettier one.  I just tapered the ends a bit to make the fit a little better.  The kite flew just fine.  But still I wanted the proper part.  Thinking about the afternoon I lost the part I remembered hearing a distinct "ting" noise as I loaded the kites into my truck.  On a hopeful thought I went back to where I parked that day & there was my carbon fiber spreader laying in the gravel.  These days I have spare parts, spare kites & still keep my little dowel too.  I also know most dualies will fly without upper spreaders & I have flown them without any spreaders just to see if they would do it.  SHBKF

Hello SHBKF:

Thanks for responding.  That was a nice story that you found your piece.  Your terminology is very new for me, as I am a real newby.  Nice to hear that you were clever to make your own rod.  I am inclined to do things myself.  

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22 hours ago, Flap Floblem said:

 I am inclined to do things myself.  

Then you will love kiting.They break and parts are lost. Sometimes when I break something I have to let it sit a day or 2. Other times I'll repair right away.Repairs while frustrated are not fun.The WORST thing is waiting for parts. The get extra advice is no joke. Learned early on to enjoy the process of fly it, break it, fix it and fly it, repeat. It was either that or quit LOL. The knowledge that people share here is astounding. They will guide you thru every aspect of kiting. Even building your own. There is a fella(RobB) in your area that if you get to fly with him will make me pretty jealous. His videos are great and his kite collection is one to admire.

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OOPs again. Dang I should look around a bit more before I post. Anyhow do check out Robs videos. His flying is the schnizzle.

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Okay I didn't know it had a meaning. Thought it was made up. UHH Frob no joke, I got a wizard tattooed on my chest 😂.

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7 hours ago, Breezin said:

Then you will love kiting.They break and parts are lost. Sometimes when I break something I have to let it sit a day or 2. Other times I'll repair right away.Repairs while frustrated are not fun.The WORST thing is waiting for parts. The get extra advice is no joke. Learned early on to enjoy the process of fly it, break it, fix it and fly it, repeat. It was either that or quit LOL. The knowledge that people share here is astounding. They will guide you thru every aspect of kiting. Even building your own. There is a fella(RobB) in your area that if you get to fly with him will make me pretty jealous. His videos are great and his kite collection is one to admire.

My daughter bought me this Cobra kite.  The first time I tried to fly it at the beach.  The wind was about 18mph...much too strong.  The string broke and I had to go through many creeks, but was lucky to find it.  After that I went on YouTube and found the wheel I am holding in my page photo.  I also got Kevlar twine and it is holding up find.  The wheel sometimes goes crazy fast.  I wear gloves to trey to get a hold of it and lock it.  I have attached a photo of the kite.  I would like to try and find this RobB.  If you know how to contact him, please let me know...so I can make you jealous, but not intentionally :) 

Cobra.png

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7 hours ago, Breezin said:

Okay I didn't know it had a meaning. Thought it was made up. UHH Frob no joke, I got a wizard tattooed on my chest 😂.

I have a Flap Floblem tattoo on my arm!  It is a character I created.

Tatoo.jpg

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8 hours ago, Breezin said:

OOPs again. Dang I should look around a bit more before I post. Anyhow do check out Robs videos. His flying is the schnizzle.

I will try and find Robs Schnizzle videos....I will look around here and on YouTube I guess...Thanks.

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41 minutes ago, Flap Floblem said:

Thanks for the definition of frob!  Earning a new brain cell every day.  

I had that problem for a while.. I was so confused.. The third brain cell broke the tie and I could finally make a decision.

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2 hours ago, Flap Floblem said:

 I would like to try and find this RobB.  If you know how to contact him, please let me know...so I can make you jealous, but not intentionally :) 

Cobra.png

It's as simple as tagging him and waiting for him to drop by.. Hey!!! @RobB

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RobB was found commenting on this elsewhere...  😎

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20 hours ago, riffclown said:

It's as simple as tagging him and waiting for him to drop by.. Hey!!! @RobB

You mean like this:

@RobB....this is a test to see if I get a response, as I am not very tagging sauvy...

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I found one of those little wooden stirrers today...flat piece of wood about 2/8 of an inch wide and flat...I'm wondering if I find long pieces of this type of wood, if it would work to make spines (I think they are called spines...just learning my vernacular)...they bend gently and have some strength.  Does anyone know what I'm talking about?  I'll attach an image.

Stirrer.JPG

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Comes down to purpose I guess. Small light sticks might be OK on indoor gliders and maybe single line kites (SLKs), depending on size of kite. The bigger the kite gets, it puts more force on all the frame members. Small will break. As was stated, there are better materials to fabricate a kite. Fiberglass, solid carbon rods, hollow carbon spars, etc all make a more consistent product for size and flex. Wood has inherent flaws and can break at them. 

That said - I do have an older (late 80s) SLK that uses wooden spars for both the spine and leading edges (LE). Cheap to replace,( 5/16" and a full 36 or 40" long) but subject to taking a set, depending on humidity. I've thought about replacing them with some more modern materials. 

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There's a flier called PAW. Search here(Oct.2012) and you'll find a picture of a kite made out of sticks like that. You'll come up with a bunch of stuff that will distract you but finding the kite is worth the look. That's a great start. From there reading PAW stuff and his videos will keep you entertained for at least 72 straight hours.

On 11/13/2018 at 6:49 PM, Flap Floblem said:

 

Tatoo.jpg

 That looks like something I'd throw at a charging Rhino. Then I'd run screaming like a banshee so that 🦏 horn didn't give me a Floblem. Errr problem 🤓.

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21 hours ago, Wayne Dowler said:

Comes down to purpose I guess. Small light sticks might be OK on indoor gliders and maybe single line kites (SLKs), depending on size of kite. The bigger the kite gets, it puts more force on all the frame members. Small will break. As was stated, there are better materials to fabricate a kite. Fiberglass, solid carbon rods, hollow carbon spars, etc all make a more consistent product for size and flex. Wood has inherent flaws and can break at them. 

That said - I do have an older (late 80s) SLK that uses wooden spars for both the spine and leading edges (LE). Cheap to replace,( 5/16" and a full 36 or 40" long) but subject to taking a set, depending on humidity. I've thought about replacing them with some more modern materials. 

Thank you, Wayne Dowler....I'm flying a Cobra kite at this time...it is not that big.  I'm thinking of using it as a pattern to make my own design, using nylon fabric and sewing.  I attached a photo of the cobra I have.  A single line kite for sure.

Cobra.png

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Those small stir sticks could easily be used to make a miniature 'Mad Bull' kite, like the ones in the attached post...

You could probably use a plastic bag for the skin.

 

 

Those guys made their kites from all kinds of scraps that they had, the long tails seemed to be strips of bedsheets. 

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On 11/14/2018 at 6:54 PM, Flap Floblem said:

You mean like this:

@RobB....this is a test to see if I get a response, as I am not very tagging sauvy...

 Whe you tag someone, type in the "@" and maybe the first few letters to get themenu.. @Flap Floblem doesn't tag you.. @Flap Floblem  does.. :)

 

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