How To Make A Sode Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 4 

The MBK Dowel Sode

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 pretty similar!

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 steady 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. 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
Sail

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.

Sail template for the Dowel Sode kite.

The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

The Dowel Sode - template shape marked onto plastic bag.
  • Firstly, take a large bag that you want to use for the sail, and lay it flat on the floor.
  • Mark 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 sail.
  • 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.


The Dowel Sode - complete outline marked onto plastic.
  • Flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler.
  • Cut 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.

The Dowel Sode - sail cut and edged with sticky tape
  • 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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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

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Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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