Making A Box Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

MBK Dowel Box (mod. winds) 

Making A Box Kite
Before The First Flight 

Bridl knots.
Bridl knots.

Make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head Knot. See the photo, where the Lark's Head has been left loose.

Suspend the kite from the Double Loop knot of the bridle.

Shift the Prusik knot along the bridle line until the upper bridle leg makes a right-angle (90 degrees) with the spar.

The kite should fly like this, but you can try shifting the knot rearwards a little for best results in lighter winds. That is, no more than a few centimeters or a couple of inches.

Making A Box Kite

The Dowel Box kite in flight, on a perfect day.

Firstly, this kite requires more than a 'very light' breeze to stay in the air. So if you can see barely any movement in the leaves of trees or bushes, perhaps take some other Dowel kite instead!

At the other extreme, you might snap a cross-piece if you attempt to fly in 'very windy' weather. So, a nice average moderate breeze is best.

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.

Out In The Field

Box kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

Assuming there is a fair amount of 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 cautious about letting line slip through your fingers. If a big gust hits the kite, the line could burn you! It's a good idea to wear a glove of some sort.

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.

The picture up there shows the Dowel Box on its first outing, in a gusty moderate breeze. Have fun flying, and I hope you've had fun learning how to make a Box kite.

Some Improvements: After testing the original kite, some improvements came to mind...

If the wind is too strong, the horizontal cross-piece in the upper cell will snap. So, use slightly thicker dowel for the horizontal cross-piece in both the upper and lower cells, to keep the kite balanced. 

Right now, all the cross-pieces attach quite close to the trailing edge of both cells. Try shifting them 0.1DL (12cm, 4 3/4”) away from the trailing edge. Don't forget the tape reinforcements too, so the ends of the cross-pieces don't puncture the sail. This change should reduce the amount of spar-bending that happens in fresh breezes, will still keeping the cross-pieces within easy reach during setup.

Try my Making The MBK Dowel Box Kite PDF, if you prefer to work offline or from printouts.

Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...

Ever Made This Kite?

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!

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...

Making And Flying The Dowel Box Kite 
I made a few modifications to the instructions: 1. Instead of one long piece for the cell, I pieced together alternate black and white plastic to make …

Click here to write your own.

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FREE E-Book!

I'm referring to Simplest Dowel Kites, my popular kite-making download. It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamond, delta or sled. Each kite is capable of flying hundreds of feet up for hours on end.

Could you do me just a small favor though?

Please sign up for my free monthly publication, "Tethered Flying". No other emails will be sent, and your details are safe with me. You need to be at least 16 years old. There's...

  • A huge "photo of the month" (via a link)
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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

What's New!

  1. MBK Rokkaku Kites

    Apr 01, 20 05:00 AM

    This previously published page links out to many illustrated flight reports on the various Rokkakus designed here at MBK...

    Read More

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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