As some of the readers of Amateur Mechanics may desire to build a box kite, a simple method of constructing one of the modern type is given in detail as follows: The sticks should be made of straight grained wood, which may be either spruce, basswood or white pine. The longitudinal corner spines, A A, should be 3/8 in. square by 42 in. long, and the four diagonal struts, B, should be 1/4 in. by 1/2 in., and about 26 in. long. Two cloth bands should be made to the exact dimensions given in the sketch and fastened to the four longitudinal sticks with 1 oz. tacks. It is well to mark the positions of the sticks on the cloth bands, either with a soft lead-pencil or crayon, in order to have the four sides of each band exactly equal. The ends of the bands should be lapped over at least 1/2 in. and sewed double to give extra strength, and the edges should be carefully hemmed, making the width, when finished, exactly 12 in. Probably the best cloth for this purpose is nainsook, although lonsdale cambric or lightweight percaline will answer nearly as well.
The diagonal struts, B, should be cut a little too long, so that they will be slightly bowed when put in position, thus holding the cloth out taut and flat. They should be tied together at the points of intersection and the ends should be wound with coarse harness maker's thread, as shown at C, to prevent splitting. The small guards, D, are nailed or glued to the longitudinal sticks to prevent the struts slipping out of position. Of course the ends of the struts could be fastened to the longitudinal strips if desired, but if made as described the kite may be readily taken apart and rolled up for convenience in carrying.
The bridle knots, E, are shown in detail at H and J. H is a square knot, which may be easily loosened and shifted to a different position on the bridle, thus adjusting the lengths of F and G. A bowline knot should be tied at J, as shown, to prevent slipping. If the kite is used in a light wind, loosen the square knot and shift nearer to G, thus shortening G and lengthening F, and if a strong wind is blowing, shift toward F, thereby lengthening G and making F shorter. In a very strong wind do not use the bridle, but fasten a string securely to the stick at K. --Contributed by Edw. E. Harbert, Chicago.
Detail of Box Kite
This kite reel is constructed from two old pulleys and a few pipe fittings. The large pulley is about 14 in. in diameter, on the face of which are riveted flat strips of iron with extending arms. These arms are reinforced by riveting smaller pieces from one to the other, which connects all arms together on both sides of the wheel. Mounted on the shaft with the pulleys is a guide for the kite wire or string. The photograph shows that this guide permits of being moved entirely over the top of the reel. The smaller pulley is attached to the shaft and used as a brake. The brake is used only when running out the wire or string, first removing the crank.
Illustration: Old Pulleys and Pipe Fittings
Kite flyers will find it to their advantage to place rubber bands of suitable size in the balancing strings to the kite, as shown in the illustration. This will prevent a "break-away" and also make the right pull, if only two bands are put in the lower strings. --Contributed by Thos. DeLoof, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Illustration: Bands in String
The frame of a 3-ft. kite is made of two sticks, each 3 ft. long. These are tied together so that the cross stick will be at a distance of 15 per cent of the full length of the upright stick, from its end, or in this case 5.4 in. The sticks may be made of straight grained pine, 3/8 in. square, for small kites, and larger hardwood sticks, for larger kites.
The cross stick is bent into a bow by tying a strong cord across from end to end. The center of the bend should be 4-1/2 in. above the ends. The bend is shown in the sketch. Connect all four ends or points with a cord, being careful not to pull the bend of the cross stick down, but seeing that it remains straight across the kite. When this is done the frame is ready for the cover.
Plan and Dimensions for Kite
The cover will require 2-1/2 sheets of tissue paper, 20 by 30 in., which should be pasted together as the sketch indicates. Cut out the paper, allowing 2 in. margin for lapping over the cord on the frame. Place the frame on the cover with the convex side toward the paper and paste the margin over the cord, allowing the paper to bag a little to form pockets for the air to lift the kite. The corners should be reinforced with circular pieces of paper pasted over the ends of the sticks.
The flying cord is attached to the points A and B of the frame. There is no cross cord. The kite will fly at right angles to the flying cord. It is easily started flying from the ground by laying it with the head toward the operator and pulling it up into the wind. --Contributed by Chas. B. Damik, Cooperstown, N. Y.