This set of instructions on how to make a Sode 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 Sode is a large tail-less design based on the traditional
Japanese kite. Like the other Japanese design in this series, the
Rokkaku, this kite is a light to moderate wind flier. However, it can take a little more wind strength than the Rok.
The Sode scoots around the sky in very gusty moderate
winds. In smoother and lighter winds, it is a very efficient and
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. Also, the upper bow-line is connected to the nose of the kite and the lower bow-line connects to the tail. Thus, the horizontal spars are tensioned away from each other.
Then, when the
flying line is attached to the bridle, you are ready to
launch! The method of attachment is illustrated further down this page.
Making The MBK Dowel Sode 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 Sode Kite
Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Sode, 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 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.
- Where indicated by the yellow rectangles, reinforce those 2 corners with extra sticking tape. On both sides of the plastic for extra strength!
Try the Making The MBK Dowel Sode 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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