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Double Butterfly Kite

This pretty kite is a development of the one previously described. The framework is necessarily more elaborate, and so the instructions must be followed carefully. The kite is one of which you may be proud, both for its appearance and performance. The backbone, A, is 2 ft. 9 in. in length and is cut from 3/8 in. square stripwood, which must be straight and free from blemish. The main wing curves, B and C, are formed from 8 mm. centre cane. They are each 4 ft. 7 in. in length. It is an advantage, for the sake of lightness and fixing to split about one-third of the cane off with a sharp-pointed knife. All the cane used, prior to its being assembled, should be soaked in water for an hour or so (see Fig. 15.) Glue and tie the cane, B, to a point which is 3 in. from the top of the backbone and 1 ft. 4 in. from the top end of the cane. Bring the cane round in a curve, glue, bind round and tie again at a point which is 3 in. from the bottom of the backbone and 6f in. from the bottom end of the cane. Use fine strong string for tying the cane. The depth of that part of the curve which extends beyond the backbone is about 7 1/2 in. at its centre. Attach the cane, C, in the same way.

Mark the centre of the backbone with a pencil. Lay the ruler on the mark in a horizontal position, and make corresponding marks on the canes. The secondary curves, D and E, are formed from 8 mm. centre cane, split for preference like the canes B and C. They are 2 ft. 8 1/2 in. in length. Glue, bind round and tie D to the bottom end of the main wing cane, C. Bring the cane, D, up in a curve to a point on the backbone, which is 1 1/2 in. below the centre mark and 1 ft. 4 in. from the top end of the cane. Fasten the cane to the backbone at this point. The cane, E, is tied to the bottom of the main wing cane B, and brought up in a curve to cross over D on the backbone, to which it is securely bound. Continuing the curves on both the canes, bring them to points which are 3/8 in. below the pencil marks on the canes B and C.

The canes F and G are formed from 5 mm. centre cane. They are each 2 ft. 4 1/2 in. in length. Tie F to the top end of B, and bring it in a curve and under C, to a point which is 1 1/2 in. above the centre mark on the backbone, where it is glued, bound round and tied. G is fastened to the top end of C, and, bringing it in a curve over B, is secured at the point where F crosses the backbone. The ends of these two canes F and G are tied at points which are 3/8 in. above the pencil marks on B and C. Next, add the canes, H and I. These are cut from 5 mm. centre cane and are each 1 ft. 7 in. in length. Bind them to the top ends of D and E. Bring H in a curve, under E and over B, to the bottom joint on the backbone, and tie it at this place. Bring I, under D and C, to the same joint, and tie. All tying points are shown in Fig. 15. It is a good thing to flatten the canes slightly with a sharp knife at these tying points, so that they will hold better. Smear the binding also with thin glue to keep them in position. Before proceeding any farther, inspect the framework to make sure that all the curves match on each side of the backbone.

Butterfly Kite

The framework now has to be curved to a bow shape. This is achieved by firm but gentle pressure of the hands, and by means of bowstrings. These strings are tied to the ends of the framework (see Fig. 15). They tie underneath and clear of the backbone. The depth of the curve at the top of the wings, measuring from the centre of the bowstrings is 2 in. The smaller bowstrings are added to maintain the bow shape. Bracing strings are added as in Fig. 15. These help to distribute the strain which is imposed when the kite is in flight. Cover the framework with unbleached greaseproof paper, which is obtained in sheets measuring 20 in. x 30 in. Two sheets will be needed. Lay the framework on these and carefully mark out the required shape with a pencil. Allow a margin of 2 in. all round and cut out. Cut slits in the margin to facilitate the work of gluing it to the frame. The reader may find it easier to make the cover before the framework is bowed. Cut two bodies for the butterflies from thin cardboard, each 1 ft. 2 in. in length. Refer to Fig. 15 for the single butterfly kite, for the shape of these. Now decorate the covers, using lacquer which is sold for general painting purposes. A suggested design is shown (Fig. 15), and the colour scheme could be a medium blue background and black bodies with gold or silver spots and wavy bands.

Alternatively, the spots and bands could be cut from metal foil and glued on, so that they would reflect the light. Glue the covers to the framework, the margins overlapping the canes. Glue the bodies in position. Four pipe cleaners are fixed to the backbone to stick out above the heads. A tail about 6 ft. 6 in. in length is required, which is tied to the bottom of the backbone. The bridle is 5 ft. 6 in. in length. Use strong string and attach it to the backbone in the form of a loop, at the points marked X. Fig. 15 shows where and how the bridle is fastened in order to take advantage of the strength provided by the backbone joints. The cover is pierced in order to thread the bridle string through. Glue small thin cardboard washers to strengthen the paper, at these points. The kite line is attached to the bridle with a bowline knot and a reef knot. One last point is to fasten strips of insulating tape over the ends of the framework. These act as shock absorbers in the event of the kite being brought swiftly down to the ground.

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