Fresh Winds Dowel Box Kite

by Jim Millisky
(Philadelphia, PA, USA )

Box kite heading up

Box kite heading up

I finished making your fresh wind Dowel Box kite. I used 1/4" dowels for a little extra strength.

The kite was flying in 16-20 mph winds. Gusts were about 25 mph. The kite flew perfectly, but it sure did pull! I thought the string might break when the wind would gust!

Like your flight report, it flew at about a 75 degree angle, and was very exciting to fly. I could only take the kite to 100' or so, because I was in a small city park in Philadelphia. Looking forward to taking it to the beach!

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Spars
by: Jim

Hi Tim,
I was wondering if the wood spars here in the states are of a lighter wood than in Australia? The 3/16 seemed flimsy to me, but maybe I just had a few lighter than normal spars. Your idea of thicker cross pieces is a good one! I am planning to use the 3/16 on the traditional box kite, as per your plan. 45 mph winds- WOW, that kite must have pulled like a truck!!
Take Care,
Jim

(T.P. - Most dowels over here are of Tasmanian Oak, also we get dowels from Indonesia - unsure what type that is, having not made any inquiries. Hardness seems similar, and these are supposed to be 'hardwood' dowels. Eeerm ... 45KPH not mph ;-) = around 25 - 30 mph)

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Spars
by: Tim Parish

Sounds like you had a good first outing with this kite! The 3/16" dowels do look a little spindly, but I have had this design in the air while winds gusted to 45kph. Enough to knock the wind meter over on its little tripod!

Under those conditions, 3/16" cross pieces might snap - as mine did that day, but the main spars can take it. The bonus of course, is that the kite will fly at lower wind speeds than otherwise.

These days I always use or design cross-pieces that are thicker than the main spars. The horizontal cross-pieces for the new 2.4 meter (8 feet) long Multi-Dowel Box kite are 12.5mm compared to 9.5mm for the main spars.

A short bridle loop also helps to reduce stresses on a Box kite. So the towing point is not far below the kite in flight.

PS - I think I recognize your name as being one of my e-book customers. Well of course you are - this kite design doesn't appear on this website!

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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