How To Build A Rokkaku Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 3

The MBK 2-Skewer Rokkaku


How To Build A Rokkaku Kite
Making Spars 

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

The 2-Skewer Rokkaku - all 15 pieces of skewer.
The 2-Skewer Rokkaku - skewers glued and supported.

Two pairs of skewers have the pointed ends raised up off the table, forming the upper and lower horizontal spars.

The remaining three skewers 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 joins, get your head down low and look along the skewers. Do a little shifting, if necessary, before the glue dries!



How To Build A Rokkaku Kite
Attaching Spars

The 2-Skewer Rokkaku - close-up of tip cap.
  • Snip off one point from the glued group of three 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.
  • 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.


The 2-Skewer Rokkaku - spars taped to sail.
  • Now lay down the other pairs of skewers across the left and right corners of the sail, so the middle joins sit 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. These are the horizontal spars.
  • Finally, use a few drops of glue to attach the skewers together at the points where they cross each other. The photo shows the kite at this point.


How To Build A Rokkaku Kite
Bridle

20 pound strength Dacron line 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 spars with a tiny blob of wood glue each, so they can't loosen.

The 2-Skewer Rokkaku - 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. The Prusik knot nearest the sail should be shifted so it is centered - right over the vertical spar.

Referring to the diagram below, shift the higher 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 Rokkaku - bridle adjustment diagram.

 

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

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

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


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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 ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
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

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