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!
If you are new to this, you might need instructions on how to tie the following knots...
TIP: Secure the slip knots onto the dowels with enough wood glue to ensure the knots can never slip along the dowel. They won't loosen either.
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.
Make sure the Prusik knot closest to the kite is adjusted to the middle. Right over the center-line of the kite.
Referring to the diagram below, shift the other 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 towards or away from the nose, a little at a time, to improve how high your kite flies.
At this point, you've pretty much finished making the Dowel Barn Door! However, there is a short Setup procedure to go through before it will fly...
Also check that both wing tips leave the floor at the same time when you pull the kite up off the floor by the short bridle line. If one tip comes up first, adjust the Prusik knot nearest the sail until both tips come up at once.
Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale. If the wind is too strong, the spars will bend excessively and the kite will not fly very high as a result.
The Prusik knot on the bridle line can loosen off a little over time. If necessary, pull on all the lines to tighten the knot up before a flying session.
Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by taking loop after loop off the winder.
Be careful when letting line slip through your fingers. If a gust hits the kite, the line could burn you! For a kite this big, it's a good idea to wear a glove.
Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 15 meters (50 feet) of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.
Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Barn Door kite!
The e-book instructions for this kite include even more handy hints which will ensure you get the most success possible when flying this particular design. They show you how to make the kite more transportable too, so you can remove the diagonal spars and roll the kite up into a slim bundle.
Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...
You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...
If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!
P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!
Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...
A Great Date
I found this site about a month ago. My girlfriend works a job where she has to leave and be gone for a week at a time. It's a taxing job and I'm always …
LOVE the Barn Door!
My second MBK kite and another very satisfying build-and-fly experience. With one more dowel than the diamond, the barn door needs just a little more wind …
The 48 inch Dowel Barn Door Kite in Flight
This is a picture of my Barn Door kite.
Kites in Colorado
I enjoy the site very much, and we love the Dowel Barn Door! Hopefully, I will correctly post a couple of pics here and there. We live in a northwest …
Barn Door Kite - Pretty Good Not rated yet
This kite flies great. I made the Dowel Barn Door kite for a school project and it worked perfectly. (T.P. - Thanks Ian, glad it worked out for you! …
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