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How to Make a Malay Kite - Homemade Kites

The Malay tailless kite is probably the most practical kind ever invented. It will fly in a wind that the tail variety could not withstand, and it will fly in a breeze too light to carry up most other forms of kites. It is also a strong pulling kite, and can be used for sending aloft lanterns and flags. For the purpose of lifting, the pulling strength can be doubled by flying two Malays in tandem.

Fig. 17.—A Malay Tailless Kite.

How to Make a Malay.

Figure 17 shows a Malay kite in flight, Fig. 18 a detail of the completed kite, Fig. 19 the completed framework, and Figs. 20, 21, and 22 the details for preparing the frame sticks.
 Fig. 18.—Completed Malay Kite with Belly-band Attached.
Fig. 19.—Framework of Malay Kite.

The Sticks.
This kite has a vertical stick and a bow-stick, each of which should be 40 inches long, about ¾ inch wide, and 3/8 inch thick, for a kite of medium size. In the cutting of the sticks lies half the secret of making a kite that will fly successfully.

Drive a small nail or large tack into each end of the two sticks, to fasten the framing-string to (Figs. 20 and 21), and notch the side edges of the bow-stick near each end for the attachment of the bow-string (Figs. 21 and 22).
The amount to bend the bow-stick is important. For a kite with a bow 40 inches long the distance between the string and stick should be 6 inches (Fig. 21). Use a strong twine for the bow-string, and tie it securely to the notched ends.
Fig. 20.—Detail of Vertical Stick.
Fig. 21.—Detail of Bow-stick.
Fig. 22.—Detail of End of Bow-stick.

Framing the Sticks.
Fasten the bow-stick at its exact center to the vertical stick, placing it 4 inches down from the top of the vertical stick, as indicated in Fig. 19. Drive a couple of brads through the two sticks to hold them together, and then reinforce the connection by wrapping the joint with strong linen thread, crossing the thread in the manner shown.

When the two sticks have been joined, connect their ends with the framing-string. Stretch this string from stick to stick, and tie securely to the end nails. Instead of the end nails, the sticks may be notched to receive the framing-string, but the nails are more satisfactory because the string can be tied fast to them and will not slip.

Covering the Framework.
The strong light-weight brown wrapping-paper now so generally used makes an excellent covering for the framework. A few sheets can be purchased at a near-by store for the purpose. You will likely have to paste together two or more sheets to make one large enough. The paper should be placed on the outer face of the bow-stick, and should be allowed a little fullness instead of being stretched tight as on hexagonal tail kites. Lap the edges of the paper over the framing-string in the ordinary way of covering a kite.

Attach the Bridle at the intersection of the bow-stick and vertical stick, and at the lower end of the vertical stick (Fig. 18), and make it of the right length so when held over to one side it will reach to the end of the bow, as indicated in Fig. 18. Tie the flying line securely at the point A (Fig. 18); then the kite will be ready for its maiden flight.

The kind of cord which a mason uses for his plumb-lines is splendid for flying the Malay kite. If you cannot get some balls of this, be certain that what you do get can be relied upon, because it is provoking to lose a kite which you have taken a great deal of pains in making, through the breaking of the flying line.

Published, August, 1915

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