Kite building is a popular activity amongst kite fliers, especially with numerous contests being held often, which require people to bring their own hand-made kites. But unlike what you might think, kite building is actually not a difficult task. Depending on the kite plan you are following, kite building can be a very enjoyable activity.
How to start building your own Kite
Before you start building your dream kite, you need to make sure you have a few things at hand. The most important of course is the kite plan, which is picked depending on the kind of kite you want to build. Once you have a kite plan ready, you will need some basic tools that will help you build the kite easily. These include, a soldering gun, cutting panels, templates, which are ideally made of cardboard, rulers and a sewing machine.
Once you have a comfortable table to work on, you can begin the process of kite building. Now some points to keep in mind when you begin following the kite plan are, make sure you hot-cut your ripstop, with a surface, ideally a cardboard, underneath. You can always use the soldering iron to make your own iron tips, copper wire is most suited for this. Also, when you create the templates, make sure the cardboard has a minimum thickness of 2 - 3 mm.
Regarding the rulers, most often the most basic size will do, but for larger kites, rulers used for cutting carpets are ideal. The other important tool, the sewing machine, needs to be picked with care. In case you are getting yourself a new sewing machine, take your ripstop with you, and sew two layers and test it out. The stitches need to be the same size, evenly spaced and also make sure the ripstop remains down and does not slip while you are sewing.
When selecting a kite line for your kite, you once again need to know which one is ideal for your kite type. Another tip is to glue the pieces of the kite together while kite building, till you get around to sewing them together. Another option is double stick tape, which can be easily removed once the parts are fixed permanently.
Apart from these, there are many other tips and tricks available for kite building. To learn more, refer to books written on the subject, including, 'Stunt Kites to Make and Fly', by Servaas van der Horst, 'The Magnificent Book of Kites', by Maxwell Eden, 'The Tao of Kiteflying', by Harm van Veen and 'The Fighter Kite Book', by David Gomberg. The internet is also a great source for information on kite building.