Introduction: How to Assemble My Big N for Nilk at the Botanics.

About: I am a freelance design engineer and drummer. My business site is at and is often concerned with appropriate technologies, open source design and design for sustainability.

I made a big decorative N for Nilk at the Botanics, a music and arts event in Dundee on 14th September 2013. More info about the event here:

This is how to assemble the thing, which was based on the construction of a box kite, although it is not a box kite!

Another photo instructable gives a photo account of the making of this object:

Step 1: Get Prepared

In the bag you should find:

A big floppy nylon thing with longitudinal bamboos tied in.
2 short bamboo stretcher struts (loose).
a reel of string.
an eraser.

Lay the nylon out as shown in the second picture, with the white strings that form a cross clearly visible on top.

There are 3 things to do before hanging: Set the cross shaped stretchers in each side (pictured below in white), insert the short stretchers in each side (red), and set the diagonal stretcher (yellow). The longitudinal rods are shown in blue. ITS NOT AS BAD AS IT LOOKS.

Step 2: Stretch the Sides

Each side contains a large stretching cross made from two bambos loosely tied with cable ties in the middle. On each side, one stretcher is permanently attached. The other needs to be fixed at the ends to two of the longitudinal rods, as indicated by the YELLOW tape (match the yellow ends of the stretcher with the yellow band on the longitudinal rod as shown). The ends of the cross strut have been cut into a V and simply push up against the longitudinal rod.

First, place the bottom end of the stretcher strut.
Then place the top end of the stretcher strut. This will require some force as you will be stretching the nylon taut. Take care not to tear the nylon when doing this!
Repeat this process on the other side.

Step 3: Insert the Short Stretcher Struts

The two short stretcher struts are used to stretch the central sleeve that joins the two sides.

Each have Vs cut in both ends and this fit into the seams at the corners of the cavity inside each side as shown.

Step 4: Set the Diagonal Stretcher

There is one diagonal stretcher that runs through the middle of the inner sleeve (the diagonal of the N). This is already fixed at one end, so one end should be hanging out of the bottom right corner of the right hand side as shown in the first picture. The V in the end of this simply fits into the red cable tie on the longitudinal rod just inside that corner. I say simply but it is a little fiddly. This strut helps keep everything roughly square.

Step 5: Hang the Thing

Find a tree to hand the N on. You will need a branch with a clear area beneath it, and preferably about 3m up.
  1. Tie the rubber onto one end of the string. Use this as a weight to throw over the branch of the tree you would like to use.
  2. When you have the string over the branch, remove the rubber and if there is not already at least one there, tie any old knot in that end of the rope.
  3. The N has a loop of white rope in the centre of the top X for hanging from. Make a Lark's head in this as shown.
  4. Push the knotted end of the hanging rope through the lark's head and pull tight as shown.

Now the Big N is attached you can hoist the thing - remember to tie off the other end of the rope round the tree or something else heavy.

Step 6: How It Should Look in the End

Kite Contest

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