This set of instructions on how to build a box kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required. Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!
The instructions on how to build a box kite might look awfully long, but each step is quite simple to do. Just quickly work your way through, skimming over any detail that you don't need. All in all, it should be quite hard to make a mistake!
If made from 30cm (12") skewers, the MBK 2-Skewer Box Kite is not
huge at 58 cm (23") long, with cell panels measuring about 17cm x 20cm
(7" x 8"). This box design is a moderate to fresh wind flier, and
requires no tail. Unless you are flying in a storm which is not
recommended anyway! If accurately made, this kite can cope with quite
Thinking of something a little bigger? Try a similar kite in wooden dowel and plastic. See the e-book up there on the right, which is handy for nicely-formatted printouts. You don't need an Internet connection either, when working from an e-book on your lap-top or other device.
The template down there represents one cell of the kite, laid out flat. Now transfer the measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
Firstly, take a good look at the top photo. The cross pieces both go under one middle spar and over the other one. Hence the kite can be opened out into a box shape.
Another 2 cross pieces need to be fitted now, to make the kite rigid. However, due to the inexact nature of working with bamboo skewers and plastic, you need to fit each one individually. Here's how...
The bottom photo is a close-up, with my markings visible on a main spar and one of the cross-pieces. The other cross-piece had single marks instead of double, to tell them apart. Hope you get the idea!
All this is visible in the above photo. At this point, you've pretty much finished making the MBK 2-Skewer Box Kite!
Now, I had some trouble with the cross-pieces falling out while the kite flew in rough air. Hence you might like to glue the cross-pieces in place! The kite is a convenient size to put in the car, fully rigged, and won't take up much space in a shed.
Finally, make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head Knot. See the photo down there.
Assuming there is plenty of breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it.
As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by letting it slip through your fingers.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, with maybe 10 or 20 meters of line let out. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to build it easy to let more line out. That's assuming there is plenty of wind!
If the kite doesn't fly, there is only one explanation - not enough wind! If it loops around in both directions, try shifting the towing point forward a little. That is, move the shiftable knot along the bridle line towards the nose of the kite. As a last resort, you could add a small tail.
Isn't it nice to not be grounded when it's windy outside, and it's way too strong for most other MBK kites! By the way, if the kite stays quite low despite a good wind, you could try moving the towing point back a bit, towards the tail end of the kite.
Here's another picture of the MBK 2-Skewer Box Kite in the air. Plus a short video a bit further down. Air pressure on the sails is causing the main spars to bow out a little. Hope you've enjoyed learning how to build a Box kite!
The "Making Skewer Kites" e-book
has this design and many others in bamboo skewers and plastic. A handy approach is to just print out the pages for the kite you want to make next. The e-book is also handy for working off-line on a laptop or other device.
That's great value already, but "The Big MBK Book Bundle" is even better! This includes the "Making Dowel Kites" compilation e-book, plus several other handy kiting e-books.
Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...
You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...
If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!
P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
Never made a kite?
Child wants one?
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MBK Beginner E-course
Watch it fly!
A closer view
Make all the Dowel kites, including the one above...
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Are the e-books good?
Find out by trying...
'Simplest Dowel Kites'
(wait for cover page to appear)