Well, it seems I have some decision making to do. In twenty minutes it will be Golden Girls, Chicago Hope or Best of Tough Man. Before I grab the Cheddar Corn, Pepsi and settle down in front of the Devils eyeball for an evening of mind numbing pop entertainment, let's take a look at that kite buddy!
Neat. The project looks more like a kite than ever! The spine and bow have been united with the sail and the whole thing has been set free from the working surface. Outstandin'. Only four things left to do now. Complete installation of the bow, balance, bridle and (this is the best part) fly. Could be a few little nik naks here and there but that is really about it.
At this stage I like to cut the holes for the upper bridle legs. The reason the bow is only hanging on by it's tips is in part to accommodate this operation. The rule of thumb for distance between upper bridle legs is 1/10th total width of the kite. Its a rule of thumb not a law etched in granite. (Experiment)
To accurately distance the holes, set a straight edge of appropriate half width on the back of the kite. Set it along side the spine, under the bow. Place a reference mark on the sail up to and touching the straight edge opposite the spine and under the bow. Place a clear tape over the reference mark. The tape is to protect the hole from tears via the bridle. The tape should be larger than the eventual diameter of the hole. Repeat on other side. I bought a set of hole punches at a used tool store. They work great for the way I cut holes because they have part of the shaft milled out. This allows me to peek down through the inside of the punch and see the reference mark. The results are very accurate. Then I send the punch home with a mallet, the working surface is switched for a thick TEFLON sheet to accommodate whacking. I slide a piece of paper beneath the sail where being punched. Delivers clean cuts that way. Holes can also be burned through synthetic sail material with a hot paper clip. If you do this take care not to apply heat to the carbon fiber bow. Man, when bridle holes are well centered I get a warm fuzzy feeling. Almost as good as.... Well, you get the picture.
Now let's seal the deal on the bow. Lay the kite back side up. Place an object between sail and bow. This (bow jack) will keep the bow from touching the sail until the time is right. Spread contact rubber cement on the sail seam and bow between the the wingtips and shoulder. An inch wide swath of cement is ok here because when the seam is folded over the bow it will need a cemented surface to adhere to. Don't sweat a little extra cement, it comes off later. Let dry...
Beautiful, now let us begin meditation on ripples. Get your plastic pallet knife ready and remove the temporary bow jack. If the bow does not contact the sail where you want, tease them apart with the knife and support the bow by hand. The basic move here is to hand brush any ripples on the sail in a direction under the bow. At this time let the bow and sail make contact. Do the other side. The kite should now lay flat with the sail and bow making slight contact. If it is necessary to tug a little here and there to pull out remaining ripples, take care to not try and manipulate bow position or compress. OK, you know the drill. Slip the knife under the seam and gently stroke along the bow from shoulders to wingtips. Slowly increase angle of the knife and roll the seam over the bow. Try and do this in stages, both sides.
I like to get the seams on both sides folded half way over and then burnish them down good and tight. Looking swell, ya' still got'cher contact rubber cement booger? Roll it over remaining and visible cement to clean. With any luck the inside end of the seams are in close proximity to the shoulders. Take short lengths of tape and reinforce these areas front of sail to back over the bow. Measure them and apply them symmetrically or Mad Mary will hack up a hair ball. Cut two 1" inch tapes. Apply them to the back of the sail, over the bow, between the shoulders and the bridle holes. This secret of the pyramides keeps the nose section of the leading edge nice and tight aiding speed, control and off wind work. Tell them you got it from the fat kid.
If you have already determined the exact position of the lower bridal point, stick a small hunk of tape over spine and sail on there. If you are not sure of the position of the lower bridal point. Stick a three inch long piece of tape along the spine and sail somewhere between center of balance and the tail. Keep it tidy.
I don't know about you but Mad Mary, Collette and I are jumping up and down positively squealing with pre-pubescent delight at the site of what you have accomplished. Do you want to balance, and bridle this sweet machine on your own? If you like I'de be happy to show you how his Royal fatness does it. Right after I roll up this here bomber and do a last minute assessment of preview guide. Dig it. The History Channel. Oh dude! Did you know these like bonded and licensed grave robbers with ivy league degrees like rooted n' looted up a bunch a really cool caucasoid and mongol skeletal remains in North America datin' back to umm, uhh like the ice age n' junk 'bout 15,000 years ago. Heavy man, whoh...