Barn Door Kite Plans

For All The MBK Barn Doors

These Barn Door kite plans and hints are aimed at summarizing the more in-depth instructions to be found in the How To Make A Kite section of this website.

Take a look at this Dowel Barn Door in flight...



NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.


For each of the Barn Door plans below, there are also a pair of plan view photos. The one on the left is of the front surface. That is, the side of the kite which faces the flier. The other photo is of the back surface, which exposes the spars.

For all 3 designs, attach flying line to the bridle with a shiftable knot, for later trimming. Also, all 3 designs work well with light single-ply plastic for sail material. Many large plastic bags are suitable.

This Stake Line Winder from Amazon doesn't have any equivalent in your local supermarket. It's great stuff for kites and the strength is a good compromise for all the designs on this page.




Dowel Barn Door Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

Dowel Barn Door from the front.Front
Dowel Barn Door from the back.Back
Dowel Barn Door kite plans.


Tips And Hints

  1. For a dowel length of 120cm (48"), 5mm (3/16") dowel works well.
  2. Reinforce the sail edges by adding nearly the full width of clear sticking tape inside the outline, then trimming back to the outline.
  3. Secure the sail to each spar end using 2 short lengths of electrical insulation tape. One length goes over and around the tip, the other at 90 degrees to the first tape, with corners folded back under the sail.
  4. For the upper bridle loop and lower bridle lines, try lengths about 1.5 times the length of the horizontal spar.
  5. At the bridle attachment points, a Single-wrap Slip Knot should be sufficient, secured with a spot of glue. For this design, they also serve to lash the spars together.
  6. No tail is required for this kite.


The photo below shows our very first Dowel Barn Door, which was later improved in several ways. However, both versions looked very similar from a distance since the sail shape was unchanged.

The original Dowel Barn Door kite in flightA rather versatile and reliable kite when trimmed correctly





2-Skewer Barn Door Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

2-Skewer Barn Door from the front.Front
2-Skewer Barn Door from the back.Back
Plans for the MBK 2-Skewer Barn Door.

Tips And Hints

Out In The Field

Barn Door kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

  1. Reinforce the join in the middle of each diagonal spar with a length of skewer, 0.25SL (7.3cm, 2 7/8") long, glued to one side of the join as in the plan.
  2. Reinforce the join in the middle of the horizontal spar with 2 lengths of skewer, 0.15SL (4.4cm, 1 3/4") long, glued to each side of the join as in the plan. The short pieces of bamboo stay flat on the table.
  3. Reinforce the sail edges by adding clear sticking tape over the outlines, then trimming back to the outlines.
  4. Secure the sail to the spar ends using short lengths of electrical insulation tape.
  5. Try a length of bridle line about 2.0SL (58cm, 23") long, to tie between the 2 upper attachment points - in each case use a single-wrap slip knot, secured with a spot of glue.
  6. Use another a length of bridle line about 2.0SL (58cm, 23"), to tie between the upper bridle loop and the lower attachment point.
  7. For a start, try making a single tail about 12SL (350cm, 140") long, with each end tied to the bottom end of a diagonal spar, forming a loop.

The photo below shows this latest 2-Skewer Barn Door, with its loop tail of black garbage bag plastic.

The 2-Skewer Barn Door kite in flight.A looped tail is compact but does the job really well




1-Skewer Barn Door Kite Plans

Plan View Photos

1-Skewer Barn Door from the front.Front
1-Skewer Barn Door from the back.Back
Plans for the 1-Skewer Barn Door kite.


Tips And Hints

  1. 30 cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers work well as spars. I work with 1SL = 29cm (11 1/2")
  2. Secure the sail to the spar ends using short lengths of clear sticky tape.
  3. After cracking the bamboo to get the dihedral angle, use a generous drop of wood glue to hold the dihedral angle firmly.
  4. Use drops of wood glue to secure the skewers where they cross each other.
  5. Try a length of bridle line about the length of one skewer, tied to the middle of the horizontal spar. Let half hang out the front of the sail, and the other half out the back. Secure with a small drop of glue. The kite can now be easily included in a kite train.
  6. For a start, try making a single tail about 6 times as long as a skewer, with each end tied to the bottom end of a diagonal spar, forming a loop
  7. Add a couple of strips of clear sticky tape all along the trailing edge of the sail. The extra weight here makes the kite more stable.
The 1-Skewer Barn Door kite in flightLittle Barn Doors need plenty of dihedral




I hope one of these Barn Door kite plans is just right for you!

As mentioned earlier, this Stake Line Winder from Amazon is a good compromise, in terms of line strength, for all the designs on this page.




E-book special of the month...


The
Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.



What's New!

  1. The Eddy Kite

    Sep 28, 16 07:00 AM

    A previously published page covering the historical Eddy design - a large tail-less Diamond. Illustrated with our own Dowel Diamond, also tail-less, which is based on the Eddy concept...

    Read More





Comments

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!



More E-books...





Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7