How To Build A Box Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 3

The MBK 2-Skewer Box

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!

How To Build A Box Kite - the 2-Skewer Box in flight.

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 strong wind.

Videos on the My Best Kite website are now being embedded from Facebook. 'About time' say all the visitors using phones and tablets - who couldn't see any video before! Here's the latest: 2-Skewer Box in flight...

Posted by My Best Kite on Wednesday, March 30, 2016


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How To Build A Box Kite
Main Spars

The 2-Skewer Box kite - spars.
  • Snip the point off a skewer. To 29cm for a 30cm skewer, or 11 1/2" for a 12" skewer. This will be '1 skewer length' (1.0SL) for your kite.
  • Snip the points off 7 more skewers, to exactly the same length as the first one. These 8 skewers will form 4 main 'spars'.
  • From a spare skewer, snip off 8 lengths, each just 0.1SL (2.9cm, 1 1/8") long. These are the reinforcers which will connect the spar skewers together.
  • Lay down the 8 spar skewers, together with the 8 reinforcers, and lay wood glue down the joins. See the photo.
  • Get down low and look along each spar in turn. Carefully move them as necessary to get each spar as straight as possible, before the glue dries.




How To Build A Box Kite
Cross-Pieces

The 2-Skewer Box kite - cross-pieces
  • Take 2 more skewers, and trim each one to a length of 0.98SL (28.4cm, 11 1/4"). These are 2 of the 'cross-pieces' - 2 more will be needed later, but don't make them now.
  • From a spare skewer, snip off 8 lengths, each just 0.05SL (1.5cm, 5/8") long. These will secure the cross-pieces to the main spars.
  • Arrange these to make 2 cross-pieces, as in the photo. Lay down wood glue over every join.




How To Build A Box Kite
Sail

The template down there represents one cell of the kite, laid out flat. Now transfer the measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

The 2-Skewer Box kite - marking the sail on plastic
  • Firstly, take a light, single-ply plastic bag and lay it flat on the table. I use cheap orange garden-bag plastic. The more expensive bags are usually 2 or 3-ply plastic, which is heavier and less see-through.
  • Measure and mark the rectangle outline first, with a black marking pen and ruler. Do this near the side crease of the bag, as in the top photo.
  • Now measure and mark the fold lines.
  • Flip the bag over and trace over all the lines.
  • Cut out the plastic containing the 2 rectangles and open it out, as in the bottom photo.
The 2-Skewer Box kite - sail template



The 2-Skewer Box kite - attaching the spars to the sail
  • Cut around the 2 rectangular outlines with scissors, one at a time. You'll be sorry if you attempt to cut both thicknesses of plastic at once, since the bottom one will tend to slip out of position!
  • Arrange the 4 bamboo spars over the plastic as in the photo, covering up the drawn fold-lines.
  • Tack down all 8 corners of the sails to the floor or table top with small pieces of sticky tape. This stops unintended shifting of the plastic while you are trying to...
  • Lay down 4 long lengths of clear sticky tape, securing the spars to the plastic. The tape is visible in the photo - look for where the plastic is smoother and slightly darker, near the edges.



The 2-Skewer Box kite - closing the 2 cells.
  • Remove everything from the table top, either pulling off or trimming away the small square bits of tape at the corners.
  • Fold the sails, bringing the short edges together and sticking them with tape as shown in the photo.
  • Now open the box kite out, and carefully lay down tape along the inside edges as well, to make the 2 joins even more secure. A bit tricky, take your time!


Continue to page 2




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. Flight Report:
    Some Kites Just Need The Beach

    Aug 21, 17 03:11 AM

    The local kite club bought a load of second hand gear - including kites - from interstate some months ago... With the power supposedly being cut sometime between 8am and 3pm today, it was an opportuni…

    Read More





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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