Box Kite Design
Box kites require patience for successful construction, not that it takes a long time. It is more that precision is important for the boxes to be square and uniform. For this design you will need: 2 sheets of newspaper, four 1/4-inch dowels, packing tape, 2 sheets of copier paper, a ring, and kite string (50 lb test should do it). For tools you will want to have a hack saw (or something to cut the dowels), scissors, and a pencil.
Begin by cutting 15 inches from each dowel with a hacksaw. This will give you four 33-inch spars and four 15-inch spars. Next make eight spar pockets by cutting the copier paper into 1 1/2-inch strips (lengthwise). Then fold each sheet into thirds and then in half. Staple the sides of each pocket as shown in the spar pocket drawing. These pockets must be taped about six inches from either end of the 33-inch spars. Simply wrap the packing tape around each spar and the pocket leaving the mouth open. Be sure that each pocket taped to a spar is taped facing the same direction.
Cut a sheet of newspaper in half (north/south). Tape two of the new pieces of newspaper end to end and then tape all around the edges. Do this again for the second sheet. Taping the edges will help to prevent tears when the kite is being rigged or flying. These will be your two separate box sails.
Now for the tricky part. Lay your sheets of sail out on the floor (or some other flat and clean surface). With your pencil, mark a line every 11 inches starting at one end and going to the other. There should be an inch or two of extra sail at one end. Line up the sails horizontally one above the other and space them so that the top of one sail is 33 inches from the bottom of the bottom sail. Now lay out the 33-inch dowels on top your marks beginning on one edge.
Tape the length of the dowels to the sail with strips of tape above and below each spar pocket. Be sure to face the pockets upward while doing this. Now place the 15 inch dowels facing upward in the middle spar pockets. Very carefully fold the sails so that they form a box, even while making sure that the 15-inch spars enter the opposite pockets (A to A, and B to B on diagram). Make the sail as taut as possible without putting too much pressure on the central spars or tearing the sail. Now tape the seam where the ends of the sails meet.
With your scissors poke a small hole about 1 inch from each end of one of the 33-inch spars. Cut about 5 feet of string from your spool to make the bridle. Thread through the hole and tie securely to the spar. It is best to tape this string as well. If the string has an opportunity to slide it will tear the sail. Before securing the bottom part of the bridle, be sure to tie in a bridle ring. If you tie it in the manner shown here, you will be able to adjust the string for wind conditions. Securely tie the kite string to the bridle ring.
Lastly, you will want to make a tail. Tails, for some reason seem to be a very personal aspect of kite design. You can use a string with ribbons tied to it, or construct one from paper. For our test kite we used a chain tail which can be very ea silly made from strips of newspaper cut about a foot in length and chained together. This kite very much needs a tail, and it can be secured to the base of the kite with our ubiquitous packing tape.
Check out our own test flight of the box kite design.
The Story of Richard Babley
How to Make Your Own Diamond
Us Flying a Diamond
Delta Kite Design
Delta Kite Test Flight
Box Kite Design
Box Kite Test Flight
How to Fly a Kite
KiteFlyerInfo.com was created primarily to highlight some original kite designs using basic materials such as newspapers, dowels, and packing tape. But it has also become a repository of other useful information about kite flying. Use the navigation links at the top of the page to find out about some of the many different kinds of kites. Just above are links to some of our kite designs as well as some interesting info we have gathered.