TOY-MAKING

Box Kite. For steadiness and ability to fly in even a light breeze there is nothing to beat the cellular or box form of kite. It has two boxes, each with four faces, the length of a face being 1 ½ times the depth. The two boxes are separated by a space equal to their own depth.

As seen from above, the box is of diamond shape , and about twice as large one way as the other. In fact, its shape is tliat of two equilateral triangles placed base to base. The flying cord is attached to a stick at one of the largest angles, so that the late flies cornerwise, with its larger dimensions across the wind, and all its surfaces exposed to the wind.

The perspective view shows the positions of the four corner rods and of the four stretchers which expand the boxes and keep them taut.

Whatever the size of a kite may be, ite proportions will be the same. A large kite will of course require stouter corner rods and stretchers than a small one.

For a kite 45 inches high will be needed: 92 inches run of lawn 30 inches wide; 4 circular rods – inch thick and 45 inches long (for corners); 2 rods of same thickness and 48 inches long (for long stretchers); 2 rods 18 inches long (for short stretchers); 15 yards of linen tape –inch wide (for binding).

Making and fixing the boxes

The lawn is slit down the middle and the raw edges of the long sides are then turned in and covered with tape, and machine-stitched with two rows of stitches. The ends of a piece are overlapped 2 inches, and stitched, care being taken to unite the ends of the tapes very strongly.

The boxes are now laid flat on the floor and two rods pushed through them. A rod should project ½ inch at each end beyond a box to protect it from damage if the kite strikes the ground.

The sticks having been pulled till the fabric is taut, the lawn is tacked to them with short brass tacks, each provided, if possible, with a tiny washer, to prevent tearing. The sticks are next brought over one another and held while the other sticks are inserted and made fast in the same manner.

The stretchers

The two short stretchers have their ends hollowed with a round rasp to fit the corner sticks, and are bound with carpet thread or fine brass wire, to prevent splitting. Wire nails are then driven into their ends and cut off so as to project inch .

The projecting points fit into holes made in the front and back corner rods, half-way up the boxes. Holes are bored through the stretchers near the ends for pieces of string which pass through the fabric and are tied round the rods on the outside.

The long stretchers are notched at the ends. Make holes in the fabric near the two other corner rods, for them to pass through. Loops of string passing round the corner rods fit well into the notches. The box is made rigid by pulling on the loop at one end of the stretcher until it is very tight and then tying its ends.

It is advisable to tie the long stretcher to its shorter fellow (which will of course have been placed in position already) at the crossing point, to prevent the first bending, and perhaps breaking under a heavy strain.

The first two of these support the top edges of the rear surfaces of the upper box, and make them hold the wind better.

Tape C prevents the kite sagging under the strain of flying. It runs from the top of what will be the first stick to the bottom of the back stick.

Flying the Kite

Before launching the kite make sure that all stretcher strings are well secured; the loosening of any one may bring the kite down.

The lower box then acts merely as a tail. If a bridle is used – that is, a loop fastened to both to grip. A similar piece near a V, and projecting in the opposite direction, makes a winding handle.

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