How to make a sundial

The sundial has been the first one used by humans to know more accurately how much time there is left of light (apart from the traditional "this way from a bird's eye view..."). Today we will learn how to making a sundial very simple but effective.

Homemade sundial.

Al sundial we also know it in English as sun dial. It works very simply: it reveals the time according to the shadow cast by a gnomon on a surface indicating the position of the sun. The first people to use sundials were the Africans, although our current division of time into 24 hours a day dates back to ancient Egypt. As early as the 1st century, the essential elements for making a sundial were studied: geographical latitude and the obliquity of the ecliptic. After this brief historical overview, it is late. What time is it?

You will need:

- A wooden base.

- A wooden triangle.

- Paints and brush.

- Strong glue.

Making a sundial is very simple, although it requires some time to keep track of the hours. Even if we have not written it down, it is obviously the last element we will need for our time meter: SUNLIGHT!

First of all, we decorate the wood if we want to: simple drawings or coloured geometric motifs. Then we glue the "needle" (the triangular wood) vertically on the base and let it dry so that it holds well.


Now it's time to write down the times. Choose well the place where you will make the marks, because the sundial should always remain in the same place, "anchored" in that spot. Once its definitive location has been chosen, we will mark the hours at the limit of the projected shadow. We can mark all the daylight hours, although it is not necessary: two or three are enough. Then we can take the measurements between the hours marked and mark the rest.

9 thoughts on “Cómo hacer un reloj de sol”

    1. See, as the example says, it takes time.

      Place your base in a place where it always gets sunlight. (Now comes the good part), to make it faster, take an alarm clock and set it to ring at least one minute before every hour. One minute before 9am, check that the triangle is at the 9 o'clock position. One minute before 10 o'clock run and check again where the triangle gives the shadow and so on. When you have finished marking now throw a thick line from the centre (where the triangle is glued to the outside (where you left the marks, one line for each mark) and ready to decorate it as you like, put Roman numerals if you want. Good luck

  1. Andrea Coronado

    Excuse me, about this subject I have been asked to make a clock, but, using the trigonometric functions, I hope you can help me. Thank you very much.

  2. Very good, but I think you should add that the inclination given to the mast is not arbitrary, it depends on the latitude where each watch is located.

  3. Raquel Andrés Durà

    Hello, HellJanemba

    The question is to make the hour marks according to the shadow cast by the "mast". It is a bit heavy, but once we have made two or three marks, we can measure the distance and continue making the rest of the hours without the need of the sun 🙂

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