Adventures in Kite Building (Butterfly Kite & Rokkaku Kite) with “Bob the Builder” Hartig!

Adventures in Kite Building (Butterfly Kite & Rokkaku Kite) with “Bob the Builder” Hartig!

Here are my observations on kite building:

The Butterfly:

This is a good kite for on-site building. There is some excellent information about decorating the kite. I skipped to step one without reading about decorating. After completing the kite, I read the decorating directions which stated that it’s best to decorate the kite before building. Note to self…Read ALL of the directions first. All of the directions were very meticulous and clear. You just need to read it carefully and scrutinize the diagrams thoroughly.

As a result, I spray painted some butterflyish designs on the finished kite. This is definitely a kite that will look better from a distance! A little smog may help too. And, a whole lot more distance. Like, Stratosphere distant...

The Rokkaku

I decorated this kite before assembly, as stated in the previous direction sheet. I cut out a stencil on my cnc router, and used it to paint our Beacon of Hope mascot on the kite. This design looks better up close than “up in the stratosphere”. I studied the directions carefully before decorating to be sure that the picture was right side up.

This one is best to build in a nice quiet room. It is an easy kite to build, but you need to really look closely at the diagrams. There are notches and slits that have to be identified so that the kite is properly built. These are also the most polite directions I’ve ever seen. For example, after the kite is assembled, the next step is “Let’s attach the bridle.”

There was some terminology that was confusing. Some steps referred to the bark side of the bamboo. I had to assume that this meant the outside, and the outside of my bamboo fishing poles is the smooth side.

The biggest challenge is to carefully unravel the different skeins of string used in construction. There is probably a logical easy way to do this. I have not found it. It’s amazing how many knots can be tied if you pull the wrong string at the right time!

It is also helpful to have a metric ruler.

Bowing the kite frame is an important step, but it was not stressed as much as needed for those who have not made many kites before.

There were some pieces included, that aren’t in the directions. It may be a tail, or decorative banners for the sides of the kite. I’ll see how it flies, and add parts as needed.

Pictures of both kites are attached.

Now, if I could only get that darn song out of my head…


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