Things2Make: Go Fly A Kite!
by Bob Shaw
Green gardening sticks or wooden doweling, paper or plastic, string, glue or tape.
Frame: Tie two thin wooden sticks tightly together with string to make a cross. Using a penknife or file or hacksaw carefully put two notches on the outer end of each wooden stick. The string will slot into the notches to prevent it sliding. Tie a piece of string tightly around the outside of the cross to effectively make a kite shaped frame. Ensure the string slots into the inner notch you have made. (The outer notch is reserved for the guide strings). I have shown a 'Clove hitch' knot in the animation which works well in this case.
Paper: Actually a bin liner also works very well! Place the kite frame over a large piece of paper and trace the outline. Draw in some flaps to fold over the string and cut the paper out to the correct shape. Attach the paper to the kite by folding the paper flaps over the string and gluing or taping it back onto itself.
Tail: Make a tail by cutting small rectangles out of paper, fold them in half then feed them through loops in a long piece of string. Pull the loops tight to squeeze the rectangles into little bows. Tie the tail to the bottom end of the wooden pole.
Guide Strings: Cut four small pieces of string. Tie one to each pole slotting it into the outer notch you prepared earlier. Tie all four pieces of string together in the centre of the kite so that they line up above the 'Cross' of the poles and form a nice pyramid shape. Tie the main kite string to the knot of the 4 smaller strings.
Use light materials. If the kite is unstable you need a longer tail. Adjust the four smaller guide lines to tune the angle of the kite for optimum performance. Use thin light nylon string. Never fly a kite near over head cables! Don't forget to decorate your kite with a large gruesome face.
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