A ruler. Any length or type will do. All MBK kites use straight lines to make things easier and quicker. What if the ruler is too short for
a long sail edge? It's simple to stretch out a length of flying line,
weighted at each end, to mark several intermediate dots. These dots can
then be connected using the small ruler. Voila! A long straight line.
A pair of scissors. This simple kite-making tool is
mainly for cutting around the outline of the sail. It's also handy for
cutting flying line to length for constructing bridles, trimming excess
line, and snipping off lengths of electrical tape.
A small cheap hacksaw. Use this for cutting wooden dowel to length.
A cheap medium-grade wood file. Use this for rounding spar ends and
cutting notches for securing bow lines. Not everyone has kite-making
tools like saws and files just lying around the house, but these are
very widely available in shops.
A calculator. Yes, find a calculator of some sort, like on your cell phone (mobile) or the Windows one or whatever. But there's no
heavy calculating to be done; it's just handy for those using Dowel
Length units to create a kite on a different scale to my originals.
A smooth flat area to work on. It only needs to be 2 meters (7 feet) square or so. Even if you are living in a tiny apartment, it's possible to use these kite-making tools to get something impressive in the air!
If you want something slightly cheaper, you
might use nylon line instead.
Another option, if you can get it cheap enough, would be the heaviest grades of polyester thread.
Lightweight, clear sticky tape. That is, Scotch tape, Sello-tape,
sticking tape, or whatever you like to call it. Just make sure it is about
the width of your finger. The tape I use is 12 mm (1/2 in.) in width.
This is used to reinforce the edge of the sail, since it doesn't stretch and doesn't add much weight.
Large translucent (see-through) colored plastic bags for
making sails. Here in Australia, large orange garden bags are available
from supermarkets. These bags are ideal and also make the finished
kite easy to see in the air! Use the lightest single-ply bags you can find for these light-wind kites. Color-wise, you must be able to see a black marker pen line through
the plastic. The MBK construction method relies on this. Heavier
plastic will sacrifice a little light-wind performance in return for a
more durable kite. Your choice!
Wood dowels. The one pictured is 5 mm (3/16 in.) in diameter, which
needs to be cut to length for the dowel kites. MBK Dowel designs use
just a few dollars worth of dowel for each kite. After making and
testing the sled, diamond, and barn door, I figured out that the ideal
dowel was 5 mm hardwood such as the Tasmanian oak available here. Elsewhere, red oak should be OK.
North America, Chinese poplar is commonly available as dowel. This is softer than oak and other hardwoods so 1/4-inch diameter would be a more appropriate size.
Wood glue, such as the Aquadhere in the photo. For most of
the dowel kites, this is only used for securing knots. Hence only very
small amounts are needed, and it dries much quicker than expected. Even
the other uses, such as box-kite cross pieces, need relatively small
amounts. A 100 ml container will last a long time when just used for
making MBK kites. If you are in a hurry, you will need to spend
considerably more per 100 ml on a tube of fast-setting general-purpose
Shoelaces are used for securing spars to each other. We
found that cheap polyester laces designed for a child's shoes were ideal,
since they were adequately strong yet not too bulky or heavy.
As long as you have access to supermarkets and hardware stores you
should be able to get these kite-making tools and materials together!
Many of the items are probably lying around your house somewhere