Sundial is basically a device that is used for the purpose of knowing time, as per the position of the Sun. One of the most common types of sundial is the horizontal one, in which a shadow is caste from the gnomon, onto the flat disk surface that is marked with lines. The line on which the shadow falls determines the hours of the day. With the change in the position of the sun, the shadow falls on different hour-lines on the disk. Since a sundial is based on the axis of the Earth's rotation, it should always point towards true North, if the right time is to be known. At the same time, the gnomon’s angle with horizontal surface must be equal to the geographical latitude of the sundial. It is very easy to build a sundial at home. To help you out with making a sun dial at home, we have provided a number of tips in the lines below.
How to Make a Sundial
- Drafting Compasses
- Laser Printers
- Local Newspapers
- Internet Access
- Felt-tip Pens
- Common Nails
- Disk Of Wood/ Cardboard
- First of all, you need to take wood or heavy cardboard and make a disk from it. It will serve as the base of your sundial.
- Take a pen or pencil and mark its center.
- Next, you need to select an item to serve as gnomon, or hand, of your sundial. You can use a pencil, pen or nail.
- Ascertain the latitude of your place, either with the help of a map or internet.
- Take the gnomon and insert its end into the center of the disk. While doing this, ensure that the angle of the gnomon, relative to the face of the disk, is equal to your latitude angle. Use a protractor for the purpose.
- Get a horizontal sundial face diagram, specific to your latitude, either from a shop or from internet (printout).
- Place your disk on the diagram, in a way that gnomon lines up with the radiating vertical line.
- Make sure that the center point of the disk rests at the place where the horizontal and vertical lines meet.
- With the help of a felt-tip pen, transfer lines from the diagram onto the disk. They should move outward, from the center of the disk.
- Label the lines on your disk, with the hour that each one of them represents. For the purpose, use the diagram as a guide.
- Your sundial is ready. All you need to do now is take it outside and point the gnomon towards north. Its shadow will fall along the correct hour line.