This set of instructions on how to make a Rokkaku kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some
of the simple tools and materials required.
Anything you don't have is
easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something
MBK Dowel Rokkaku is a fairly large tail-less design based on the traditional
However, this Rok will still fit into nearly all road vehicles, ready to fly.
Either just in front of the rear seat, or flat in the trunk (boot).
Like the other Japanese design in this series, the Sode,
this kite is a light to moderate wind flier.
Setting up on the flying field is just a matter of attaching the
bow-line toggles to put some curvature into both the horizontal spars. Then the
flying line is attached to the bridle.
At this point you are ready to
launch! The method of attachment is illustrated further down this page.
Making The MBK Dowel Rokkaku Kite is a handy e-book of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download.
I have chosen to make '1 Dowel Length' equal to 120cm for every kite in
the Dowel series. If you are in North America, 48" of 3/16" dowel is
close enough to 120cm of 5mm dowel. This will result in a kite with
similar flying characteristics to my original.
Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...
How To Make A Rokkaku Kite
Cutting the Sail
Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Rokkaku, if you haven't already. For this kite, you will also need some cheap thin shoe-laces.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
Note: In order to fit the length of an 80 liter garden bag, I
made this design shorter than a traditional 4:5:6 Rok of the same
wing-span. You see, I'm trying to standardize on a 1.2 meter wingspan
for all the Dowel kites!
- Firstly, take a large bag that you want to use for the sail, and lay it flat on the floor.
dots on the plastic which correspond to the corners of the Template.
There is no need to use a T-square, or an extra-long ruler since any
small errors in position will be duplicated on the other side of the
- Using the marking pen, rule lines between the dots, as in
the photo. For lines longer than the ruler, just add a few extra dots
using one of the dowel spars as a ruler! Then it's easy to connect the
dots with a ruler. It's probably best not to rule the whole line with the dowel, since it bends easily.
- Flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler.
out a rectangular section of the bag containing the kite sail, open it
out and lay it flat on the floor - you can now see the complete sail outline, as in the photo.
When doing the following, most of the width of the tape should be inside
the kite's outline. Use a single length of tape for each line. Hold it
out straight, touch it down to the plastic at one end, then at the other
end, dab it down in the middle, then press down all along its length.
- Lay clear sticking tape along all the lines, letting it overlap at the corners.
- With scissors, cut along all the black lines. This will leave most of the width of the sticking tape inside the sail outline. See the photo.
Try the Making The MBK Dowel Rokkaku Kite PDF, if you prefer to work offline or from printouts. A little more convenient than working from live Web pages, you might find :-)
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