The kite is usually made of a framework of wood, is lashed together with cord, strung with cord according to design, and finally is covered with paper; but in each case some other material might be substituted.

The drawings in this book have the framework represented by full lines and the string by slant dotted lines. The framework must be kept light and strong. It is usually made of wood, the pieces varying in number from two in the plain tailless, to sixteen in a good box-kite, and to a great many in a large tetrahedral kite.

The soft tough woods are better than the hard, heavy woods. Spruce is considered the most satisfactory, but yellow pine, basswood, and even white cedar will do. For a three foot kite, the California redwood shake is very satisfactory. It is a kind of long shingle of uniform thickness thruout, is six inches wide and three feet long. The shake is split into strips about 7/16" or 1/2" wide, and bends sufficiently for the bow. Some box factories will rip out spruce sticks in 25c. bundles for boys at about one penny each. Some good sizes are 3/16"x3/8"x3', 1/4"x1/2"x4' and 3/8"x3/4"x5'. These should be straight grained and well seasoned.

Sticks should be uniform in weight and bending qualities. Where sticks are to be centered, careful measurements must be made, then by balancing over a knife-blade the difference in weight can be detected and the heavy end reduced by whittling off some. Some try to find center by balancing, but this is very inaccurate; a string may be used for measuring.

Aluminum tubing is used, especially for parts of model aeroplanes, but it is not available in many places. Some make frames of paper, but they are more for curiosity than utility. For large frames bamboo is excellent, but requires a different fastening of joints than sawn out material, Fig. 1. Split bamboo is excellent for curved outlines and for light framework of butterflies and bird kites, and for Japanese, Korean and Chinese kites. Wire can be used for frames of small kites.

General Kite Construction 4

Fig. 1.


When two sticks arc to be fastened together, instead of nailing with a small brad, they should be lashed. First wind diagonally around both sticks in both directions, Fig. 2; then wind between sticks around the other windings. 1 his draws all the cord up tight, Fig. 3. Coat over with glue or shellac.

Lashing 5

Fig. 2.

Lashing 6

Fig. 3.

Large box-kite frames with sawn out material should have the upright posts let into the long horizontal pieces a little, Fig. 4 . If a brace is notched at the end to fit over another piece, Fig. 5, and is liable to split out, it can be wound just back of the notch with thread, Fig. 6, and coated with shellac. All windings should be neatly done without criss-cross windings as in Fig. 7. Which do you like best Fig. 6 or Fig. 7?

Lashing 7

Fig. 4.

Lashing 8

Fig. 5.

Lashing 9

Fig. 6.

Lashing 10

Fig. 7.