Joining Techniques

Connect all parts from the bamboo rods according to the plan and thus assemble the kite frame. The connection techniques for these steps are very diverse. In traditional Chinese kite making, the binding technique was used very often, thus within the "Four Arts of Kite Construction", "binding" is placed first. In addition to the classic binding technique, there are also tenons, movable connectors, and stretch connectors.

1. Binding technique

Cotton thread, strips of paper, flax or other textile fibers are used as binding material. Cotton thread is used in traditional Chinese kites. In series production, flax, paper strips or silk strips are used (e.g. strips from residual material). For large and medium-sized kites, the coated textile composites are usually used for binding after the glue has been applied. These wrapped bonds are characterized by high stability. In the completeed bamboo frames, many different types of connectors or connection techniques are used simultaneously. They can be divided into three basic techniques: vertical, parallel and inclined binding methods.

(1.) The vertical tie: there is a cross tie, a blocking tie and a hanging tie.
The cross weave is simple, but of low strength. It is suitable for kite frames that consist of more than one level. For the cross-tie, the threads are normally tied crosswise.
For the blocking bond, a bamboo pole is split and fixed and blocked on another bamboo rod. The strength is lower than that of the hanging binding, but it is better suited for binding in one plane than using cross binding.
In the case of hanging ties, a rod is bent by 90 degrees, the strength is great and even better suited for level connections. You can tie the threads in parallells.

(2.) The parallel binding: can be differentiated into oblique-incision binding and hanging-incision binding. In the two rods to be connected, inclined incisions are notched against each other, then they are tied to each other. This technique is used for flat kite frames and more complicated frame constructions with many artistic elements. The length of the oblique incision should be six times the diameter of the bamboo connecting element. Only then does the connection have sufficient strength. The hang-in tie is simple and very strong, but one level of the two poles is not on the same base line.

(3.) The oblique bond: is similar to the vertical bond. But the angle is not the same, which is why you can use cross-binding, blocking binding and hanging binding instead (see Figure 6-7).

2. Mortising technique

It is the traditional TianJin kite tying method. You drill holes in the vertical frames and then pull the horizontal tenons through the holes. This binding method is very useful for the construction of kite parts of rotatable bodies, such as bird bodies, insect bodies, flower baskets, lanterns etc. (see picture 6-8).

3. Movable connectors

Movable connectors are used for the foldable kite parts. The sliding sleeve connector is most often used for traditional Chinese kites. Two rods are connected to one another by a horizontal axis. Both rods can move against each other on the axis. There are metal sleeves or metal rings at the ends of the respective rods just before the common axis. These sleeves or metal rings can be moved. If they are pushed onto the rod to be connected (second rod on the common axis), a rigid connection is created between the two rods. When the sleeve or the metal ring is pushed back again, the connection can be folded back over the common axis (see Fig. 6-9). With the help of these connectors, even large kites (parts) can be folded together to save space.

4. Stretch connectors

There are also some parts on the kite that you want to connect to be stretchable. For this purpose, telescopic-type connectors, the stretch connectors, are used. In the most frequently used method, a long sleeve is used as a casing pipe with an internal punch pipe. For small kites, reeds are used as a stamp. Bamboo cane is used for medium kites, specially processed casing is used for large kites. During the manufacture of stretch pipes one should pay attention to the frictional force and the flexural strength after stretching. The stretch pipe should be of sufficient length and not too short (see Figure 6-10).

5. Plug connectors

In order to make bulky kites dismountable, connectors are often used on Chinese kites (see Figure 6-11). This technique is often found in bird kites and insect kites, where the wide spreading wings or tail parts have to be attached to the bird or insect body before flying. Usually double sheet metal sleeves are used, which have been bent around the receiving rod. The upper part of the double socket then accepts the part to be attached (1).
To insure that the infected parts do not fall off during the flight, they must be countered. In the case of attachable wings, for example, at the opposite end of the rafter this is to be inserted into the socket, a protruding bamboo spike (2) is inserted into a counter socket or fixed to the rod with a ring that can be pushed onto the frame.



Copyright 2002 ff: Hans P. Boehme