Archive for August, 2010

Mad August

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

We always feel a bit of a rush in August at Goodwinds – kiteflying demand for carbon, fiberglass, and line goes sky high, LARPers are making boffers and holding retreats, and industry demand for carbon fiber rods and tubes keeps up at a strong pace (carbon is awesome stuff!).  To top it off, Paul and Derrick took some well deserved vacation time in the heat of the summer.  Of course, Paul might have called his vacation “work,” inasmuch as flying to Bogota, Columbia and Dieppe, Canada within a week, returning to Goodwinds for a day or two, and then driving to Long Beach, Washington for the weekend can be called “work.”  You see, the whole time, Paul was flying kites.  And winning medals!  Check out his performace and the indoor competition of the Washington State International Kite Festival:

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Nice job, Paul! 

As we head into September, we’re looking forward to a busy month with a full crew.  That is, until we start sending them the American Kitefliers Association’s national championships in Seaside and the iHobby Expo in Chicago, both in October.  Phew!

Weekend Kitefly in Bellingham

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Recently, Leland, Paul, Hector, and Derrick met some friends in Bellingham, WA for a sunny kitefly in the park.

Derrick was, apparently, the designated kite rescuer.

Paul taught Hector the basics and he quickly surpassed all expectations.

Leland taught his friend, Katherine, how to fly. 

Three Quarter Inch Solid Carbon Rod

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Goodwinds is now fully stocked on some beautiful .750 inch diameter solid carbon rod.  This solid carbon fiber has a lustrous finish and is perfectly straight.  Strong and light (compared to, say, steel), this 3/4 inch carbon rod is ideal for reinforcing big structures.  We have it listed here, and we even put a 12-inch part number online, but, as usual, you are welcome to call us and order any length of it.  You will not be disappointed in this fantastic solid carbon fiber rod!

Bridle Line Bonanza

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

About a year and a half ago, the bridle line industry in the United States dried up.  Came to a screeching halt.  Died a sudden death.  And all the kite flyers, windsurfers, and backpack makers (bridle line is used as tensioners on backpacks, did you know?) were suddenly faced with a dearth of a crucial component of their equipment.  Bridle line is a spectra core with a dacron sleeve.  It is strong with minimal stretch and often comes in different colors.

During the past year and a half, Goodwinds has been searching for a cost-effective solution to this problem.  While we are working with a braider in the US on production of bridle line to our specifications, the process is long and fraught with difficulties.  We suspect that the bridle line we had been stocking for years was so severely underpriced that the manufacturer could not sustain production.  Regardless of our willingness to pay a bit more, the original manufacturer could not be convinced to reenter production.  We hope to see the new braider producing bridle line sometime within the next year or two, but in the meantime, we have located a German source for bridle line.

That’s right.  Bridle line is back!

In addition to stocking 150ft rolls of 100# and 170# bridle line in a few colors, we now also sell bridle line by the yard.  Visit our website or click here for the bridle line page.

Lazer Mic-ing Carbon Tubes

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Some of Goodwinds’ customers require extremely straight rods and tubes for their applications.  Perhaps their end products are precision tools used in physics labs or aeronautics.  Perhaps a super-straight rod helps their arrows fly true or the airplane stay in balance.

Getting straight pultruded carbon tubes is no mean feat.  Sure, every 48-inch length of carbon fiber tube might look straight to the naked eye, but might in fact deviate more than five hundredths of an inch over those 4 feet.  That minute deviation can be critical do the structure of a design.

We have a couple of different ways of testing our carbon tubes for straightness.  First, we can roll them along a straight, flat surface, like a slab of granite, and check for roll variance.  Though this is low-tech, it is quite effective.

Another method is to use our lazer micrometer to measure the deviation of the tube from the center.  The machine slowly spins the tube as a lazer passes over the center.  A computer interface generates a graph and, with a lot of math, a precise measurement of the deviation.  In this manner, we sort our tubes for straightness, setting aside those that deviate less than two hundredths of an inch over 48 inches in length.

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There are inherent difficulties in created straight pultruded tubes.  During the manufacturing process, the carbon fibers are oriented and drawn through a die with a binding agent (usually epoxy or vinyl ester resin).  They are then pulled to a second and a third die, each time getting closer to the goal diameter.  As this is done over several feet, gravity and other forces can pull the carbon fibers to one side or another of the tube, causing it to lose a small degree of straightness.