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How to Make a Kite - Step by Step Guide

How to make a kite for kids.—Take a lath, A, B, which should be three feet long and about an inch wide.
One of the ordinary laths used by builders will be quite suitable if one of the lighter ones is selected, and if care is taken to choose a straight one.
Next take a cane or other piece of light flexible wood, and bind the centre of it tightly at the point G an inch below A.
Bend the cane into a semi-circle and connect C and D with string.
If this has been done properly the distance from C to D will be two feet.
Now connect D B C with string and the frame will be ready.

Many years ago it was possible to cover a kite with ordinary newspaper, but the paper that is used now is not strong enough, and it is better to use calico.
 Place the frame upon the calico and cut round the frame with scissors, not close to the frame, but leaving a margin of calico.
Turn this over string and cane and stitch it in position.
This may be done with a sewing machine. At E midway between H G bore a hole with a pricker, and another at F, Pg 141 which is the same distance from H as E is.
String a foot long should connect E and F, and this is kept in position by having knotted ends so that the ends cannot pass through the holes at E and F.
This string will not be tight, but will hang loosely. At C and D tassels about eight inches long may be fixed.

The tail is made by folding paper. Take a number of pieces about five inches long and four broad, and fold them as though you were making spills for the lighting of candles.
How long the tail should be is a matter for experiment.
Try it with forty and a tassel at the end, and you will see afterwards when you try to fly the kite if that is the right length and weight.
Attach your long flying line now to the string that connects E and F, about four and a half inches below E.

Choose a breezy day and ask someone to face the wind and hold the kite aloft. Keeping the line tight, run a few yards in the face of the wind to give the kite a start upon its upward journey.
Now is the time to see if the tail is too heavy or too light.
If the kite labours upwards and shows a tendency to come straight down, tail first, then it may be inferred that the tail is too heavy, and by reducing the number of “chickens” as they are called in some parts of the country, and by taking from the tassel the kite may be relieved of its too heavy burden.
If, on the other hand, the tail is not heavy enough, the kite will plunge madly from side to side and will dive downwards head foremost, demanding more “chickens” or a heavier tassel.
The kite may be flown in the dark with a Chinese lantern where the tassel is.

Excerpt from the book:
Three Hundred Things A Bright Boy Can Do

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