Make your own Sundial

Safety Warning:
Never, ever, look directly into the sun!

To make your own sundial, follow these easy steps:

  • Firstly, decide on the type of sundial you want to build.
  • Then, find the latitude and longitude of the place where you want to put your dial.
  • Next, determine "True North" for the spot where the sundial will be placed. Don't use a compass for this, since there may be a big difference between magnetic north and "true north". The magnetic deviation for Pretoria is approximately 16°
  • Now, design your dial. Make a small cardboard model first, particularly if you intend to use expensive materials for your dial.
  • If your dial is a directional dial, include the equation of time in your design.
  • If your dial is an altitude dial, include some instructions on how to use it.

Equation of Time

Cardboard Models

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© Helga Nordhoff (2001-2003)