Making A Box Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 3

MBK Dowel Box (mod. winds)

This set of instructions on making a Box kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite building. 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!

Making a box kite is a rewarding exercise.

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

The MBK Dowel Box kite (moderate wind version) is a 1.2 meter (4 feet) long design which is very similar to the traditional Box. This design flies best in moderate winds, but will also stay in the air in wind strengths below and slightly above this range.

The Dowel Box is designed to roll up into a slim cylindrical package like a Sled, thanks to the detachable cross-pieces. Setting up on the flying field takes a few minutes at first, but gets quicker with practice.

Also, it's handy to set up in a spot that is sheltered from the wind. Of course, if you have room, you can always leave this Box ready-to-fly.

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 an MBK Dowel kite, if you haven't already.





Making A Box Kite
Sail

Sail template for the Dowel Box kite.

The Template over there represents one cell of the kite, laid flat. That's so it can be cut from a single, large plastic bag. Now transfer the measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

  • Firstly, take a large light 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, which are more durable but somewhat heavier.
  • Measure and mark the outline of the whole cell first, with your black marking pen and ruler. If the bag isn't long enough, do the template shape in 2 halves, using 2 bags if necessary.
  • Now measure and mark the fold lines. There's my template marked out in the photo below – just 1 bag was enough.

The Dowel Box - cells marked on plastic.
  • Flip the bag(s) over and trace over all the lines.
  • Cut where necessary to open the bag(s) out flat, so it lays out as a single thickness of plastic.
  • Cut around all the rectangular outlines, one at a time. Don't attempt to cut both thicknesses of plastic at once, since the bottom one will tend to slip out of position, causing an inaccurate cut.
  • If you halved the template shape, join the halves together using clear sticky tape on both sides. Do not overlap the plastic, just butt the edges together.
  • Lay down lengths of clear sticky tape, along all the long edges of the 2 cells. See below, left. You can just see the tape on the right edge.
  • Add extra lengths of sticky tape, at the right hand end of every fold-line. See the close-up photo on the right.
The Dowel Box - edge taping and reinforcements.


Continue to page 2

 

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E-books

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

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Kite e-book: MBK Dowel Box Kite (moderate wind)

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"Making The Dowel Box"
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DIY info for the
Multi-Dowel Box kite!

Kite e-book: Making The MBK Multi-Dowel Box Kite



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