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 (25% off)...

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parachute kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

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. Rokkaku Kite

    Aug 16, 17 06:00 AM

    This previously published page is full of general info on this type of kite, including some history. With a video clip and a good photo, it's worth checking out...

    Read More





Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...



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E-books


Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

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Testimonials
(unedited)

"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."

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"I decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."

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Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."

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 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"

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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