Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pinwheels and Massive Kites

Boy, today was hot.
I mean there was little wind and it was hot.
So hot I mostly stayed inside and sat around.
After I got home last night, I wasn't feeling to, well hot, so I took it easy.
So I started looking at the books on kites I got the other day.
Not a real good day to get stoked on kites for as I said, there was very little wind.
Well, in one of the books there was a diagram on how to make pinwheels.
It's been a while since I last made one so I gave it a go.
Then I started thinking, hey! I got me some aluminum sheets, why not try and make a pinwheel out of that?
Aluminum sheet:

The sheets measure around 33"x23" and are used for printing newsprint. I got my first batch used, after the printing, and they had all kinds of add copy on them. Far as I know, they are recycled after use. I "requested" another load, and I got a bunch of new sheets:

I used to make "paper" airplanes out of them, but I haven't done that in a while:

So, pinwheels.
Well, first I had to cut a square. I didn't want to go too big, this being my first attempt, so I did 15" per side.
Then you cut along the diagonal about half way to the center. I used some snips that are like little pinking shears.
Why they call them pinking shears I have no clue for they certainly aren't pink.
Here's after the cuts:

Using a nail, I punched some holes in the center and at the tips that fold down.
The holes at the tips were too close to the edge, so they failed. I had to cut the tips off and re punch:

Then I experienced pop rivet user fail, so the whole thing fell apart.
Here it is after the first attempt:

Well, I got the pop rivet to work, for a bit anyways.
The aluminum is so thin, the rivet pulled through after I started playing with it. It seems the tension of the four "ears" that fold into the middle are pretty strong.
Finally, I just pulled the rivet through the hole and crimped it with a pair of pliers:

Okay, now what?
Well, I'll give it another go tomorrow or Thursday and mount one up on a stick and put in my yard.
I'll also paint it and maybe put some patterns on it.
Or something.
So anyways, like I said, I was reading my book on Japanese kites and became interested in the giant kites they have.
I did a search and came up with this video on YouTube:

Do a search on YouTube for more ginormous kite flying!
I'll try one of the more conventional kites for my first one, then move on to box kites.
Just need a little wind and some imagination.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Danger scale:
aluminum pinwheels: 3/10
aluminum paper airplanes: 5/10 (eye)
aluminum(?) kites: 1/10
giant Japanese kites: 10/10

limom said...

Heh, how did you guess aluminum kites?
I think the danger scale on that is a bit higher, for I was thinking if it did take flight, what if it crashed?
Not good!
The airplanes don't really fly, not enough lift/weight I guess. I tried back in school throwing them off the third floor. Made nice lawn ornaments.
Giant kites: I can only wish.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Aluminum kites seemed like a natural progression. An actual danger rating for them may have to be determined experimentally.

limom said...

We shall see what comes out of The Flat Tire Skunkworks(TFTSW).