A Box Kite! (that's almost bigger than my wife!)

Picture of A Box Kite! (that's almost bigger than my wife!)
My wife had a sad little kite, a super grover kite, and she needed a new one. So, I made her a new one. (obviously).
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Things you need:

Scissors (or hot-cutter)
Needle and Thread

8 1/4"x36" Wood Dowel rods
4 1/4"x18" Wood Dowel rods
2 yards .075 oz Ripstop Nylon
3/8" Plastic tubing
(the ID of the tubing is a bit bigger than 1/4")
1" wide nylon webbing.

I obtained my materials from I'm sure you can get all this stuff at a hobby store or kite building shop.

Step 2: Prepare the Dowels!

Picture of Prepare the Dowels!
I ordered four 48" dowel rods so that I could saw them and have eight that are exactly 18", because if I used the 36" ones, they would have been 18" minus the kerf of my saw blade. Little did I know that I needed them a bit shorter than 18". So, if you can help it, don't get rods bigger than you need.

So you should have eight 17 and 3/8" dowel rods.

Step 3: Prepare the Connections!

Picture of Prepare the Connections!
The connections will be made of 3/8" plastic tubing. Cut it into 1.5" pieces, and then make another cut halfway through each piece in the middle. Careful not to cut all the way through them, because they will be used as elbow connectors for the frame.

Step 4: Prepare the Sails!

Picture of Prepare the Sails!
Unroll the ripstop nylon, and then cut it into four panels, each being 12"x41".

Put the first panel on top of the second panel, and sew them together at the ends, 1/4" in from the edge. Then hem the top and bottom edge 1/4" in from the edge. Do this on the third and fourth panels as well.

After the sewing and hemming, you should have 2 loops, and when laid flat they should each measure 11"x40.5".

These will be the top and bottom sails of the kite.
does it fly?
this kind of box kite will fly with a single bridle point. Your instructions on this seemed a bit confusing to me. could you clarify how you attatched and trimmed your bridle? I love box kites! thanks for sharing.
marcward86 (author)  stringstretcher3 years ago
ok, sure. I had two pieces of string, and I attached it at the top (looking at the kite from the wide side) of the top sail and at the top of the bottom sail. I just used a needle and thread to sew it to one of the little black things that holds the frame to the sail. So one longer string, one shorter string, and then pull them out as far as they'll reach and you can see the angle the kite will fly at. Tie the two ends together, and attach your kite string there. I used a fishing lure device that allows for quick lure changes, don't know what its called. You could use a key ring, or something like that. Hope this helps!
gmyers21123 years ago
wow, major over engineering. 4 long sticks. 2 X's (one top, one bottom). Newspaper skin. Tie on the string and go have fun. I built one like that when I was 9. The thing you're doing is heavy and a lot of work for the payoff. AND when you lose it in the wind from a broken string you've lost 10 hours of work. Lighten up. Fly a kite.
marcward86 (author)  gmyers21123 years ago
Well, yeah, it could have been simple. Sometimes that's not the point. Since it was a gift for my wife (she's an artist, btw), it meant a lot to her that I did put so much work into it. You may have noticed her happy face in the pictures! And yes, it could have been super simple, but...I had fun making it and we both had lots of fun flying it.

And, in heavy winds, it does make this awesome resonating sound that travels down the string. A newspaper kite won't do that.

I still need to dig out some old pics of the kite in action.
pyrocop14 years ago
Reference the rip stop nylon for the sail, is there a certain weight or thickness of material that is needed?
marcward86 (author)  pyrocop13 years ago
Yeah, its 0.075 oz.
sciencefun4 years ago
I'm using this kite plan  for a school project!!!  :D
My wife's bigger than your kite.
Kiteman8 years ago
If you change the length of the cross-spars to make a more lozenge-shape cross-section (make the vertical ones shorter and the horizontal spars longer), you will achieve significantly more lift from the kite. If you have stability problems, make the longerons (the end-to-end spars) about 20% longer (any more, and you'll need thicker spars to prevent bending).
evilution8 years ago
Nice looking wife.
barnes8 years ago
Great job! I might take a break from my power kite obesssion to try buuilding one of these! How much do you think the parts cost you?
marcward86 (author)  barnes8 years ago
about $10, then $7 for shipping.
Ohm8 years ago
Nice work, well documented too. I thought that kite looked familiar, then you mentioned the book which I have also, good book with lots of cool kites.