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bionic
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Thinking about making a kite, few questions!

Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:44 pm

Hey guys I am relatively new to the hobby, been flying since last summer.

I realised if I'm going to be flying kites for a while I'd like to start making them myself. I am fairly handy and love the idea of creating my own kites.

Is it cost effective to do this in the UK? Which shops do people use to purchase supplies, fabric and spars? Does anyone have any examples of kites they have made themselves?

Would love to have any tips, things you might have had to learn the hard way! A great side to the hobby I have only recently considered... When contemplating how much fun I could have and money that could be saved in the long run.
 
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Ian Newham
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Re: Thinking about making a kite, few questions!

Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:10 pm

You dont really save a massive amount by making your own - if you make it with wrapped rods and Icarex it still gets expensive, if you make a kite with cheap ripstop and pultrude rods you end up with a cheap kite that flys like something you could buy in Decathlon

However I would recommend starting with cheap materials because mistakes will be cheaper. Forget about what you save and enjoy the fun of making your own

Try the Highwaymen for materials.

Try kiteplanbase.org for plans
 
bionic
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Re: Thinking about making a kite, few questions!

Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:11 pm

Thanks, Yeh I realose I don't actually save a whole lot after pricing stuff up. But custom designs is appealing! And learning how they are made.
 
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Ian Newham
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Re: Thinking about making a kite, few questions!

Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:29 pm

In that case first thing you will want is a half decent machine set up for sewing ripstop - get some scrap ripstop, practice and get the tension set correctly so the stitch sits correctly in the fabric (google will bring up lots of how to pages).

If you dont have a machine yet look for old ones with metal gears rather than modern ones with cheap plastic gears. I use a vintage Bernina which is very nice and kite makers swear by Pfaffs but both are pretty expensive. You can make a kite with just a straight stitch but a serpentine or 3 stitch zig-zag is handy when you do taped overlap seams. Otherwise you wont use any fancy stitches.

Sew yourself a Rokaku out of cheap ripstop to get the hang of it. It will be a challenge to get your first one to fly straight :)
Get accustomed to sewing fast - your seams will be straighter if sewn fast than stop/start

Then look for plans for a kite called Orange by Simo Sivonen http://www.kiteplans.org/planos/orange/orange_e.html which has step by step pictures

Hans Raue also did a nice step by step build of one of my kites here http://buildsomethinganything.blogspot. ... -page.html

Theres a few construction tips on my site http://www.iannewham.com/kitemaking/construction.html but not really how to get started stuff

(Oh and correct url for kite plan base is http://www.kiteplans.org )