This set of instructions on how to make a Roller 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
The Dowel Roller is a large tail-less kite based on the old Pearson
Roller design. Like the original, this kite is a great light to moderate
Also like the original, this Roller has quite a distinctive and attractive appearance in the air! Certainly something different from your usual Diamonds and Deltas.
These instructions might look quite
detailed. However, your reward is a decent sized and very cheap kite that should fit in most vehicles. Of course it helps if you undo the bow-line toggles. Then, the kite can lie flat in the trunk (boot) or even rest on edge in the rear passenger section.
Setting up on the flying field
is just a matter of attaching the bow-line toggles. Or perhaps not, if you were able to leave them done up. Then, you just attach the flying line to the bridle and let the wind do the rest.
Making The MBK Dowel Roller 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 Roller Kite
Cutting the Sail
Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Roller, if you haven't already.
The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...
- 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 photos.
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 down clear sticking tape where indicated by the yellow lines in the photos. Just over half the kite is shown, so do the other side exactly the same.
- With scissors, cut along all the black lines. This will leave most of the width of the sticking tape inside the sail outline.
Try the Making The MBK Dowel Roller Kite PDF, if you prefer to work offline or from printouts. A little more convenient than working from live Web pages, you might find :-)
Continue to page 2