Build sundial

Build sundial: time

Since time immemorial, the time is measured at the sun's position: sunrise and sunset determine the rhythm of life. Already the old ones Egyptian used extremely precise and sophisticated sundials to be able to divide the daily routine more exactly. The principle of the sundial has since (of course) changed nothing.

For the construction of a precise sundial are astrophysical and mathematical knowledge which we can not fully convey in the context of this guide.

The sundial for your garden is a so-called "equatorial sundial" and will only be able to display the approximate time, but the deviation is only a few minutes and can be overcome. It's all about the Decoration of the garden.

The name owes its name Equatorial sundial the position of its dial, which is parallel to the equatorial plane, so an imaginary cross section through the earth along the equator. The shadow thrower lies parallel to the earth's axis, ie exactly at right angles to the dial.

How to calculate the correct angle of the dial and how to build such a sundial is described in this blueprint.

Materials and tools for a sundial

  • 1 square or round solid wood board for the dial
  • 1 threaded rod M8, length corresponds to the edge length / diameter of the dial
  • two M8 nuts
  • two M8 washers
  • Cordless screwdriver with 8 mm drill
  • pencil
  • Protractor or Geodreieck
  • Paint your choice for the numbers
  • clearcoat
  • small brush
  • Brush / paint roller

Determine longitude and first drawings

Build sundial: sundial

First determine the longitude of your city: You can do this either with Google Earth or Wikipedia as well as with a simple input in a search engine. Now draw two guides from the edge of the dial over the entire surface. The lines should intersect at the very center of the surface and be at right angles to each other.

Starting from one of the guides, the markers for the time are now drawn. The offset varies by longitude and is calculated as follows: Offset = 15° - own longitude

Düsseldorf, for example, is around 6,7° eastern length, it follows:

15° - 6,7° = 8,3°

This means that the offset must be drawn at an angle of 8.3° to one of the horizontal guides.

Divide sundial dial and paint

Build sundial: dial

This first offset line later marks the time 18 or 6 o'clock. Draw from the first offset line twelve more lines in the respective angle (for Dusseldorf 8.3).

Now comes the creative part of the work: painting and varnishing. If the digits of the dial are to be arranged in a semicircle, a further semicircular auxiliary line can be marked, which crosses the offset marks. That makes it easier even distribution of numbers.

Whether you use Roman or Arabic numerals is up to your taste. Before you start to paint the plate, it should be dry and clean, to keep the paint well. For additional support and better opacity provides a primer, but this should be done better before marking the plate.

When the numbers have been painted and the paint has dried, an additional protective layer of clear lacquer can be applied with a brush or paint roller. Who one Weather resistant wood used, but can also do without it.

Align and assemble sundial

Build sundial: build

Before the sundial can be assembled, its final position must first be determined. This happens along the later shadow thrower, the so-called "Gnomon", which must point exactly to the north star to indicate the correct time.

In principle, anything that casts a shadow, as Gnomon be used. There are even sundials in which people themselves become a gnomon. We decided to use a threaded rod as a shadow projector. For the assembly, drill a hole with the cordless screwdriver into the intersection of the two initially drawn auxiliary lines.

Before the threaded rod can be mounted, first the correct angle must be determined, in which the construction comes to a standstill later. For this one needs a dark and clear night as well as the knowledge of the North star, You will surely have seen this in the sky, because it is the brightest star of the firmament and is always in the north. It is the last star of the drawbar of the little bear or small car.

Align the threaded rod with the North Star by aiming the North Star with it. It has to point like a cannon barrel right at the north star. This is the angle in which the finished mounted sundial must be.

Build sundial: sundial

Memorize the angle or measure it using a horizontal object in your garden. Slide the rod through the dial and secure it with the nuts, so that the design points exactly to the north star.

For the sundial to maintain this position, it should be provisionally fixed and installed in daylight for permanent attachment. Depending on the substrate, it would be conceivable to use metal angles, a wooden structure or a cement foundation into which the clock is inserted in a single piece. Before the clock is finally fixed, it is still turned on the right time in the summer with the brightest possible sunshine.

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Video Board: DIY CNC Sundial Build