This set of instructions on how to make a Diamond 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 MBK Dowel Diamond Kite is a fairly large tail-less Diamond, inspired by
the famous Eddy design. However, it will still fit into nearly all road vehicles, ready to fly. Either just in front of the rear seat, or flat in the trunk (boot).
This design is a great light wind flier and can cope with fairly gusty winds.
Setting up on the flying field is just a matter of attaching the bow-line toggle to put some curve into the horizontal spar. Then the flying line is attached to the bridle. At this point you are ready to launch! The method of attachment is illustrated further down this page.
The "Making Dowel Kites" e-book
has this design and many others in hardwood dowel and plastic. Plus some giant 2.4m (8ft) bonus designs!
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, tablet or other device.
I have chosen to make '1 Dowel Length' equal to 120cm for every kite in the Dowel series. If you are in North America, 48" of 3/16" dowel is close enough to 120cm of 5mm dowel. This will result in a kite with similar flying characteristics to my original.
Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Diamond, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows... (You will notice that the photos show a slightly different shape - but stick to the Template measurements!)
When doing the following, most of the width of the tape should be inside the kite's outline.
For this Diamond, you need 2 long lengths of 5mm (3/16") wooden dowel. At least 1.0DL (120cm, 48") each. They are easily cut to the length required with a small hack saw.
Prepare 6 lengths of electrical insulation tape, each one about 4 times longer than it is wide. Stick them by a corner onto something handy like a table edge. You can remove them one at a time as needed.
Lash and glue the spars together where they cross, using a short length of flying line. Fix the knot with a drop of glue so it can never come undone.
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!
If you are new to this, you might need instructions on how to tie the following knots...
TIP: Secure the slip knots onto the dowels with enough wood glue to ensure the knots can never slip along the dowel. They won't loosen either.
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.
Make sure the Prusik knot closest to the kite is adjusted to the middle. Right over the vertical spar.
Referring to the diagram below, shift the other 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 towards or away from the nose, a little at a time, to improve how high your kite flies.
This page has plenty of photos - so their size and quality have been limited to make the page load faster. (And everyone with a slow Internet connection said Hooray!)
No such limitations are necessary for an e-book, so all the images are larger and sharper.
the rigged kite so it floats face-down towards the floor. If it tends to
drop its nose and glide forward, add weight near the
bottom corner of the sail until the gliding stops. For example, wrap some extra tape around the vertical spar near the tail end.
Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale. The picture shows the original Dowel Diamond on its first outing, hovering at around tree-top height in a dying late-evening breeze.
My collection of real-life Diamond kite stories is worth checking out!
Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
The Prusik knot on the bridle line can loosen off a little over time. If necessary, pull on all the lines to tighten the knot up before a flying session.
Assuming there is some 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 taking loop after loop off the winder. Be cautious about letting line slip through your fingers. If a big gust hits the kite, the line could burn you! For any kite this big or bigger, it's a good idea to wear a cloth glove.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 15 meters (50 feet) of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.
Have fun flying, and I
hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Diamond kite!
The e-book instructions for
this kite include even more handy hints which will ensure you get the most success possible when flying this particular design. They show you how to make the kite more transportable too, so you can remove a spar and roll the kite up into a slim bundle.
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...
Trash bag kite in the sky
I have made this type of kite for my son using your instructions. Must say these are really well-written instructions, with links to helpful knot tying …
Very Satisfying First My-Best-Kite Experience!
Just made my first MBK kite - the Dowel Diamond - and I absolutely LOVE it! Used a super light trash bag and got the kite up in almost no wind. It is …
G'day. I had a go at making this kite - and did it turn out well! Members of my family, and friends were skeptical of my kite making because often my home-made …
Winter Kite Build
First kite I've made in 50 years, my last one was made from news paper and small flat pine sticks. I have to admit this one is much better. First flight …
Quick Kite Project
I attempted to make my own kite without reading any directions and failed miserably. I made a quick and dirty version of the MBK Dowel Diamond kite …
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"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.
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Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."
years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free
kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.
Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"
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to try these books