How To Make A Roller Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 4

The MBK 1-Skewer Roller

This set of instructions on how to make a Roller kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required.

Learn how to make a Roller kite from skewers and plastic.
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Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!

These instructions on how to make a Roller kite might look a bit long, but each step is quite simple to do. Just steadily work your way through from top to bottom, skimming over any detail that you don't need.

At 29cm (11 1/2") wide, the MBK 1-Skewer Roller Kite is a rather small Roller, with dihedral and a simple 2-leg bridle. A moderate breeze is ideal for this design.

The video below shows the kite flying in wind just strong enough to keep it up there for a minute or so at a time...



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How To Make A Roller Kite
Sail

Now's the time to read up on the 'tools' and materials required for making a Skewer kite, if you haven't already.

Sail template for the 1-Skewer Roller kite.H
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The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

The 1-Skewer Roller - template shape marked on plastic bag.
  • Firstly, take a light plastic bag that will fit the entire Template shape within one side, and lay it flat on the floor.
  • Mark dots on the plastic, corresponding to the corners of the Template. There is no need to use a T-square, since any small error will be duplicated on the other side of the sail.
  • Using the marking pen, rule lines between the dots, as in the photo.

The 1-Skewer Roller - complete sail outline marked on plastic
  • Flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler.
  • Cut out a rectangular section of the bag containing the kite sail, open it out and lay it flat on the floor - you can now see the complete sail outline, as in the photo.
  • Cut along the black lines with scissors, to create the sail.





How To Make A Roller Kite
Vertical Spar

The vertical spar is 1.25SL (36.3cm, 14 3/8") long, so two 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers need to be glued together.

The 1-Skewer Roller - close-up of the vertical spar join
  • Snip the point off 1 skewer.
  • From another skewer, cut off 2 lengths of 0.06SL (1.7cm, 3/4") each.
  • Butt the 2 skewers end-to-end, laying the 2 short lengths beside the join as in the photo.
  • Lay down a line of wood glue on each side of the join, and leave to dry. You can be generous with the glue here, since the joint also serves to bring the balance point back towards the tail for more stability.
  • Get down low and look along the skewers to ensure they make a straight line, before the glue sets! The photo shows the join after the glue has set.


Continue to page 2

 

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Wind Speeds


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
38–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6