How To Build A Diamond Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 3

The MBK 2-Skewer Diamond





How To Build A Diamond Kite
Making Spars 

The 2-Skewer Diamond - all 8 pieces of skewer
The 2-Skewer Diamond - skewers glued and supported

For this Diamond, you need four 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers. Also, you need to cut off 4 short 0.15SL (4.4cm, 1 3/4") lengths of skewer. The photos show how these are all glued together.

One pair of skewers has the pointed ends raised up off the table, forming the horizontal spar.

The other pair are just lined up straight, flat against the table top, with a point at each end. This is the vertical spar. To make sure there is no kink at the join, get your head down low and look along the skewers. Shift one a little, if necessary, before the glue dries!





How To Build A Diamond Kite
Attaching Spars

The 2-Skewer Diamond - close-up of tip cap
  • Snip off one point from the straight pair of skewers.
  • Line this end up with the top corner of the kite sail, with the skewers resting along the fold line of the plastic.
  • Attach the bamboo to the plastic with insulation tape, as in the photo over there.
The 2-Skewer Diamond - spars taped to sail.
  • At the bottom corner of the sail, snip the skewer to length and attach the tip to the plastic in the same way. This is the vertical spar.
  • Now lay down the other pair of skewers across the left and right corners of the sail, so the middle join sits on the vertical spar skewer.
  • Snip off the points of the skewers so the tips line up with the left and right corners of the sail. Take your time - you don't want to snip off too much bamboo...
  • Tape the tips to the sail corners. This is the horizontal spar.
  • Finally, put a drop of glue above and below the crossing point of the spars, to attach them together. The photo shows the kite at this point.





How To Build A Diamond Kite
Bridle

Try this Kite Winder from Amazon, if you are not sure where to get suitable flying line. The 20 pound strength is ample for all the Skewer Series kites.

All the construction details for the bridle are contained in the large photo below. Look and read carefully, and you can't go wrong on this rather important bit! Just use 20 or 30 pound flying line for the bridle pieces.

KNOTS:

If you are new to this, you might need instructions on how to tie the following knots...

Loop Knot
Double Wrap Slip Knot
Prusik Knot

TIP: Secure the slip knots onto the bamboo of the vertical spar with a tiny blob of wood glue, so they can't loosen.

The 2-Skewer Diamond - all details of the bridle

ADJUSTMENT:

Once your kite + bridle looks like the photo up there...

Hold the short bridle line up so all the bridle lines are straight, with the kite laying flat on the table or floor.

Referring to the diagram below, shift the Prusik knot to the shown position. It's not necessarily the perfect position for your individual kite, but it should at least fly on the first attempt! Later, you can experiment with shifting the position away from the nose a little at a time to improve how high your kite flies.

The 2-Skewer Diamond - bridle adjustment diagram




How To Build A Diamond Kite
Tail

Cut out a long rectangular piece of dark plastic for the tail. Black garbage bag plastic works well. Make it about 0.3SL (8.7cm, 3 1/2") wide and 8SL (230cm, 90") long.

The 2-Skewer Diamond - close-up of tail attachment

Tie one end around the vertical spar, as close as possible to the bottom tip. See the photo on the right. A single Half Hitch will do, since there are very low forces on the tail in flight.

You can see the full length of the tail in the 'Flying' photo further down...


The 2-Skewer Diamond - how the flying line attaches to the bridle.

At this point, you've finished making the 2-Skewer Diamond!

To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short bridle line as in the photo.



Continue to page 3

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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!

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
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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