OK then, here's a few snippets from a couple of mails I got from Kenton Williams, who has finally finished his first BDub and is already looking forward to his second.
In his own words, then...
A few notes about my
When making the templates for hot cutting the sail, I added a 1/4 inch hem and added 1/8 inch to the edges that would be overlapping (taped). After cutting, I carefully laid the tape down on the fabric, taking care to put
the same color on top on both left and right seams, then placed the other panels in place very carefully. It's pretty time consuming, but looks great, and I'm sure I will speed up with practice. The taped seams were
sewn with a three step "walking" zig-zag, just like Prism does. I hemmed the trailing edge with a normal zig-zag. The leading edges were sewn with the three step zig-zag as well. The rest of the kite is mostly sewn with zig-zags and a few straight stitches. I like zig-zags because they're very strong and don't show bad sewing technique as much as a straight seam.
For framing, I used 4mm tubes for the upper spreader and leading edges, 5mm tubes for the lower spreaders and spine, all graphite. At the wingtips and tail of the spine I used machined end caps instead of arrow nocks.
At the spine, I used a velcro tunnel system instead of line and holes. At the wingtips I also skipped melting holes in the dacron. Instead, I hot cut the ends of the dacron off to the appropriate place, carefully separated all the fabric again, and sewed in loops made of nylon tape, making sure to not cover the hem. I've had melted holes tear through on one TIM kite, so I modified my construction techniques.
One other modification I made is a technique I borrowed from PBSK kites - enclosing the back side of the sail/standoff connectors. First I hot cut the dacron, then melt a hole in the proper place on one side only, attach the fitting to the dacron, and then sew the assembly onto the sail in its proper place. No snags of any kind and the fittings don't get popped off by the tangled line.
Well, I got to fly the BDub this afternoon. Seems like the wind is all or nothing. The wind was up around 10 mph and the wings were bending a bit, but flying near the edge of the window I could keep things safe. I did
get a couple of double axels, a flic-flac or two, a nice low lazy susan, and a few solid fades off. This kite grabs so much wind it was hard to get it to go flat in the higher wind I was flying in. My kite rustles a bit in the heavier wind - not from the trailing edge - from the upper sail. I imagine it's partly due to the heavier wind, but
is this fairly normal or should I cut the upper spreader a tiny bit longer?
I'm embarrassed to say, but yes, that bridle line is the stuff you hate. I don't have any of the lighter stuff to use right now, so I used what I had. I did actually assemble a bridle of spectra 80 lb. line, but everything slid around despite sleeving the sections that connect at point B and C. Not good. I think I'll try getting some spectra blend line, which is part dacron, part spectra, and try that.
I insist that you definitely do NOT change your kite's name to anything related to a Prism kite name. BDub works fine I think!
I decided a kite with a colorful past such as this deserves a colorful bag to live in. I went to the fabric store and bought some of that really cheap stuff that they can't sell unless they price it for next to nothing. I made a really cool bag for it out of a Halloween print fabric that's purple with orange moons that have black bats flying on them. Really gives it some personality!
And blow me if therre isn't a second one already made and flying!
Now, I realise that purple and
green are quite nice colours, but... :O)