How to Make a Roller Kite

Step-by-StepPage 2 of 4

The MBK 1-Skewer Roller 

How to Make a Roller Kite

For this roller, you also need two 30 cm (12 in.) bamboo BBQ skewers for the horizontal spars. The photo shows all the spars laid over the sail, before being snipped to length with scissors.

The 1-Skewer Roller - skewers laid over sail.
  • Lay down the glued vertical spar over the center crease of the plastic, with the tip of the longer skewer over the top corner of the plastic as in the photo. Snip the bottom end of the spar to length, so it lines up with the bottom corner of the lower sail.
  • Lay down another skewer across the left and right corners of the upper sail, and snip to length, removing the point. Also make an easily seen mark on the skewer at the exact center point. This is the upper horizontal spar.
  • Using a sharp corner, perhaps a blade of the scissors, make an indent in the bamboo, at the center point you marked.
  • Do those last two steps again, over the widest part of the lower sail, to create the lower horizontal spar.

How to Make a Roller Kite
Attaching Sail

The 1-Skewer Roller - close-up of spar tip secured with sticky tape
  • Lay down the vertical spar over the sail, and wrap a short length of clear sticky tape around each tip, securing them to the top corner of the upper sail and the bottom corner of the lower sail. The photo shows the top tip in closeup.

The 1-Skewer Roller - attaching the leading edge of the lower sail
  • Lay down the upper horizontal spar skewer and attach its tips to the upper left-and-right corners of the sail, in the same way.
  • Lay down the lower horizontal spar skewer and attach its tips to the left and right corners of the lower sail.
  • Fold down the flaps over the lower horizontal spar, and secure with three short strips of tape on each side. In the photo, I have drawn yellow rectangles to show where the tape goes.

The 1-Skewer Roller - almost complete
  • Bend the upper horizontal spar in the middle, until it starts to crack at the indent! Carefully increase the bend until each wing tip stays at 0.06 SL (1.7 cm, 3/4 in.) off the tabletop.
  • Do the same for the lower horizontal spar. This time, the tips should be about 0.10 SL (2.9 cm, 1 1/8 in.) off the tabletop.
  • Dribble some wood glue all around where the skewers cross each other, for both horizontal spars. See the bottom photo up there. Use enough glue to make the bent part of the bamboo strong.

Be careful that the horizontal spars don't slip up or down the vertical spar while the glue is still wet.

How to Make a Roller Kite
Sail Tethers

Dacron line in 20 to 50-pound strength is suitable for all the Skewer Series kites.

The 1-Skewer Roller - sail corner tethers
  • Cut off a piece of flying line of length 0.75 SL (22 cm, 8 in.). Tape one end to a corner of the upper sail, as in the photo. See how the tape points to the tip of the lower horizontal spar. Excess tape can be trimmed with scissors or folded back on itself.
  • Pass the other end of the line around the tip of the lower horizontal spar. Pull most of the slack out and tie off with a couple of Half Hitchs. Using the Half Hitch makes them easy to unpick and retie later, if any adjustment is needed to make the kite fly straight.
  • Repeat the previous steps on the other side of the kite.
  • Snip off some of the excess line if you want to, but leave enough for adjustment purposes.

The kite should now look like the photo.



As mentioned earlier, there's more kite making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)

Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads — printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.

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