These plans assume that you have the knowledge to do a neat job, use the right knots and keep the weight down!
Tips and Hints
- For the dimensions in the plan, use 5 mm (3/16 in.) diameter hardwood
dowel for the spars and cross-pieces. For added strength in flight, you can use 6mm dowel for the long cross-pieces. Any light plastic sheet will do
for the sail.
- Use a single long strip of clear sticky tape along each long edge of both pieces of sail plastic. Besides to reinforcing the edge, this also attaches the spars to the plastic.
- Close the box using clear sticky tape along the short edges of the plastic. Also fold a short length of tape around the leading edge and trailing edge of both joins, to reinforce.
- Reinforce the sail at each tip of each main spar, with small squares
of packing tape. These caps, folded onto both sides of the sail, will
prevent the spars from slipping through the edging tape.
- Cut off two short and two longer dowel cross-pieces, using wood glue and spare dowel to make the tips as shown above.
- Tie a length of shoelace to the middle of both short cross-pieces.
Each pair of cross-pieces can then be secured together at the
crossing point, for extra strength and stiffness during flight.
- Insert and secure the cross-pieces as indicated on the plan. You can
glue them in place if you want. Otherwise, glue small dowel lugs onto
the main spars so the cross-pieces cannot slip along the dowel. Bend
each cross-piece a little to remove it when packing away the kite.
- Try a bridle line about 1.5 DL (180 cm, 72 in.) in length.
- With the upper bridle leg attached and angled as shown, the kite
should be trimmed nicely. Feel free to experiment with sliding the
flying-line attachment point fore and aft a little from this position.
Secure both bridle attachment knots with a small dob of glue, so they
don't slide along the dowel.
- This design is lightly built for light-to-moderate winds only! It's a fantastic flyer in those conditions, and will respond to thermals.
- No tail should be necessary.
The MBK Dowel Box kite in flight:
Out in the Field
Box-kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!
They're illustrated with photos and videos, of course.
I hope you've had fun using these box-kite plans. Did it fly well? Great!