Anybody got good ideas on DIY kite and gear repairs.
Just completed repairs on a kite I bought for next to nothing whose trailing edge was overworked big time. I bought a couple.of meterers of sticky back Dacron at about $20 per meter (1.5m wide), cut pieces out at about 180mm wide and the length the same as the width of.each panel. Used masking tape.to regidize the frail.material and carefully stuck each panel.down check.for creases and rinkle. Then used tent seam sealing glue toglue down corner etc.
... nothing tight @ss about it, nice work!
Hey that's cool, could you help out with where'd you get all the tape and glue?
The glue I got from BCF, it is glue used to seal tent seams, rain coats etc.
The Dacron sticky back cloth can be bought I would of thought from yacht sail repair places/manufacturers as they use it for race numbers etc, the weight I bought was 135gsm (I think). I bought 2m of 1.5m wide material at $20/m but could have just bought 1m. I estimate I added about 150g to the kite.
I cut strips 180mm wide as it was the best compromise for the trailing edge damage to the kite and then cut each one the length of a panel otherwise you would distor the shape of the canopy (one long p[iece would have wrinkles allover the place to compensate for the curve)
Used masking tape to position and flatten out the canopy and stiffen it, and then applied the stickyback dacron to it keeping the canopy fairly taught.
Tucked the excess dacron under folded seams etc to make it look a bit smarter by lifting up the seam (see trailing edge in pics)
It is not a 5 minute job but sitting in front of the TV doing a couple of panels a night is good therapy for off season and a sh!t day at work.
Have not tried the kite yet , so I do not know if it is successful or not but there is no reason why it should not work.
it will definitly work, you may find it flys alot better as kites suffer alot of drag from the trailing edge curling from stretch. the damage is caused by flogging, the flogging can be very small that you would have no idea.
you may have added a small amount of weight but its worth the benifits.
all my kite repairs include sticky back spiniker cloth for canopy, dacron for struts/leading edge or anywhere hardwaring, and a sewing machine. and a headache attempting bladders.
if your happy with your repair i would suggest getting it stitched by a sail repairer, should cost near to nothing, that way the repair is permanent and no worries about the material pealing.
I was hoping gluing the edges were the pieces overlap would suffice rather than stitch.
I will give the kite a go and see how well it holds up, then try my hand at sowing either by hand or machine as I think the stitch is just there from preventing the edges lifting.
Its could be an opportunity tomorrow to try the kite out. Woohoo.
Sorry mate I didn't read the glue part, should do the job, but there is always the chance of the glue failing. If you prepped the kite beforehand correctly it should last forever.
If your going to stitch it don't hand stitch there's no way of getting the correct tension without creatingnproblems. Take it to a sailmaker, it will be so cheap and a proper job.
I do all my own sewing on a standard machine which is not ideal, but works with the right needle. But nothing turns out factory looking because of the poor stitching.
Thanks for the tips here RichSwing, awesome.
hey Troy I'm with you on that one.
I have some taped up slashes on my Jekyll that are holding well but sand is creeping in them and they really should be redone and definitely stitched.
Could you name the needle and thread types you use mate?
i got desperate, found an old tube of shoegoo.. stuck the rips together with gib/plaster tape (fibreglass one) the just spread shoegoo on. lasted until kite died.
... lent my kite once and got it back with a tear 3 inch long on the leading edge. I hadn't noticed til I was about to launch the kite and I could see the bladder!! I threw a patch of the sticky back cloth on and a year later its still going. I'd been meaning to get it done properly but its still going good.
I figured a good key to successful repairs with sticky back is that its nice and dry before you stick the stuff on the kite. Same as richswing, I used some glue around the edges when ever I do Leading edge repairs.
Mind you, big holes is another story and when repairing old kites seems be hard to get the sticky back cloth to stay on even after washed in fresh water and dried well!
I always clean sails and kites with acetone or atleast metho first and make sure I wipe it off.
As for needle and thread, use a size 90-100 apolstry needle and a UV treated thread from a sail maker or boat shop.
Best stitch is a 3point zig-zag, so it sews through 3times and then changes direction. Same as what most kites are done.
not much you can't fix with Kitefix and a sailmakers sewing kit from Whitworths Marine
I use isopropyl alcohol, spray it on and wipe down before sticking patch on.
Iso alc. Doesn't damage plastic whereas acetone and thinners could.
All good! In the future probably advise using sticky backed ripstop on the trailing edge instead of Dacron on old kites.. will find the kite will tear along the dacron edge..eventually.
In the meantime..all good!
Totally agree, all I did was move the wear point further up but could not find sticky back rip stop wide enough.
At the same time buying the Dacron, I bought a couple of meters of rip stop and thought if it doesn't work I will try my hand at making templates of the panels and stitch some new ones up - but that would be a last rsort . With the rigidity of the canopy now I may just make the templates at least.
A couple of years ago a was given a Xbow with a panel ripped from TE to LE, repaired with a cheap sowing machine ( the stitching sucked) but it flew again. Gave it to a mate that flew it over east and then sold it.
I bought some nylon from a crowd in North Freo called Frasers sails, its crinckly, the squars are slightly smaller and it feels kinda waxy in a way - it is no.wear like parachute rip stop that soft and doesn't crinckle. There is another crowd in around Bibra lake that does alot of pole dancer sales and there rip stop felt the closes to kite material but I can't remember the name and where.
The Fraser's rip stop seemed quite tough - it felt similar to my NEW kite, who say they use Tejin.
Speak to the guy at Fraser's, he seemed like a helpful bloke and may tell you the name or point.you in.the right direction.
Tells us what you find.