Folding frames can be made for most kites. Large tailless kites have either a removable spine or bow, the square box-kite has braces that spring into shallow notches, and the triangular box and house kite combination can be rolled by having a removable cross-stick. It is a great advantage to have folding kites.
Symmetry is so necessary in the making of a good kite, that the stringing becomes an important factor; for if two opposite sides are made unequal, there will be more pressure on one side of center than the other, the kite will be pulling off to one side or darting down and perhaps will refuse to fly at all. A small hard twisted cotton cord is good for stringing as it does not stretch.
Figs. 9, 10.
On kites where the string passes around the entire frame, Fig. 8, it is best to fasten at the end of one stick only, as at a, then pass in the notches of the ends of the other sticks at b, c, d, and tie again at a. We must assume that the horizontal stick in Fig. 8 has been measured accurately for center as that is a part of the framing process. The sticks can be notched with a knife, Fig. 9, or a saw-cut can be made in the end, Fig. 10. The latter is less liable to split out, but the first is more convenient, for every boy is likely to have a knife or can borrow one.
After the string is secured around the entire figure, adjustment between points is made. If a tailless kite is being strung up, the two upper portions are shifted until the right and left sides are equal. The ends are then wound with another cord, Fig. 11, to prevent slipping. The two lower sides are then spaced and the lower end of the spine is secured in the same way. Some may think it a waste of time to measure the lower strings after the upper ones have been adjusted, but very often there is quite a little difference, due to a springing of the spine. A six pointed star kite would have six, instead of four spaces to even up. Some stringing is used for inside designs, and some is used for strengthening frame. Covering. Probably more tissue paper is used in covering kites than any other material. There are a number of kinds of tissue papers, but the cheapest, because it is the cheapest, is used most. These cheap tissue papers are now found in all shades and tints of colors.
The French tissues arc more durable, and as a rule, more brilliant in color. A kite covered with this paper can be used from time to time without being disabled.
The Chinese tissue paper is the strongest of all tissues in one direction, and should be used so as to bring the length way of the paper in the direction of greatest strain. This paper only comes in a cream color, but is very satisfactory where strength and hand color work are desired. In Los Angeles we get two sheets for five cents, and the size is 22"x23". There are some wrapping papers that are pliable and strong enough to be used, especially on box-kites, but only a few of these are of much service on plain surface kites. The tight covering on a box kite is an advantage. Some boys use a paper that is commonly known as a butter paper, and others find orange wrapping paper serviceable.
Of the cloth coverings, cambric is the most popular. The sizing is sufficient to keep the covering in shape during construction, it is light in weight, comes in variety of good colors and is cheap. When cloth is used on plain surface kites, care must be observed that the goods are not used on the bias, as the unequal stretching would unbalance the poise of the kite. Silk is excellent, but-------! ! it isn't used much by boys.
Most coverings are turned over the outer strings, and arc pasted or sewn down. In representative figure kites, the edge of the paper is sometimes left free, while the string is made fast by extra strips of paper pasted fast over the string and to the back of the cover, Fig. 12, thus leaving the edges to flutter in the breeze. Some large kites can be covered with paper, if a network of string is used at the back to give support to the covering.
Tailless, and some other kites require loose coverings, this looseness should be planned for in a systematic manner. If the cover of a 3-foot kite is placed on a table or the floor with the frame laid on top, the edge of the cover may be cut one inch or one and one-half inches to the outside of the string. Instead of turning in this whole amount, only turn in one-half inch of the outer edge. This leaves plenty of looseness for bagging of cover, and is regular.