Copyrighted 2000 - All Rights Reserved - JEFF MacINNIS


   " Hey Fat Kid, how you do dat'? "

   " What? "

   " Make kites without wrinkles on the wingtips. "

   Wrinkles drove me nuts.   Hated them.   When I made a kite with pockets for the bow there was not much noticeable wrinkling.   The road to a lighter kite took a detour through a tensioning challenge.

   Stopped making pockets and began to fold and glue a seam around the bow.   I also wanted to center the bow on the sail dead nuts.   To do that I put the bow in a jig to hold it to the same curve it has when loaded onto the sail.   It turns out that the wrinkles appeared after the sail material had been secured and the jig was released from the bow.   Pretty ugly.   Bad enough on paper kites or kites that had low reflective sails.   On glossy mylar, wrinkles hallered at me from across the park.   The reason for the ugly wrinkles is the bow changing shape slightly due to releasing the jig changing the point of tension.

   The remedy for wrinkles using my bow loading technique is this.   When loading the bow onto the sail, the first folds of sail material need to support the bow at the same point of tension as the position of the jig on the bow.   My finished kites kites as seen from the back have a skinny triangle of sail folded over the bowtips like an Indian kite.   But I don't fold the whole triangle of sail over the bowtips when first loading the bow.   I tack the bow into position and then make a small slice from the bow to the edge of the sail.    The slice is on the leading edge just a half an inch from the trailing edge.   After the small tab is folded and glued I remove the jig.   At that point the kite is loosened from the building surface.   When the jig is removed, the transition of tension point from the jig to the sail is less.   The tab is enough to temporarily support the bow until the rest of the leading edge seam can folded and glued.   When doing this take care not to force the bow around.   Let the bow define the position of the seam.

the fat kid