hour lines needed to made from a material that
was unique but yet had some significance to the
I went to
Winnipeg and visited a company called CANAC.
There I met Dave Price and described our project
to him. He was very interested and enthusiastic
about the project. One thing CANAC is involved in
is the recycling of used railroad track. I had
thought that it would be a unique approach to
make the hour lines for the sundial from rail.
Well, apparently so did Dave. He donated 7 rails
that were each 36 ft. in length. The rails
weighed 85 pounds per yard, 1020 pounds per rail,
7140 pounds in total. This was a totally
unexpected and generous gift. It was appreciated
very much by our entire group.
now we had to move these rails. AECL was donating
the use of a 28 ft. flatbed trailer to help move
the rails but the rails were too long. Dave
helped us out again. After determining the best
cutting lengths, 28 ft./ 8 ft., Eduardo Gara and
Jose Reis of CANAC cut all the rails and loaded
them when we arrived with the flatbed to pick
rails were moved to the machine shop where the
gnomon was constructed. There they were cut to
various lengths as required to fit the two dials.
This work was done by two volunteers, Clive
Schultz and Carl
Sabanski. There were
many angles and lengths that required
measurement. We weren't quite sure how easily the
saw would cut through the rail but it went well.
the rails were cut, all the edges were rounded
with a disc sander. Because the tops of the rails
are arched, it would not be possible to set them
level with surface of the dial plate. The sharp
cut edges would pose a hazard and sanding them
down reduces this. Once the edges were complete,
the top surface of the rails that would be
exposed were sandblasted and coated with a clear
track is a truly unique feature of the sundial.
The track was used and in fact had the year 1934
cast in its side. It must have had the steel
wheels of many trains pass over its surface as is
evident from the significant change in its
profile and the odd chip of missing steel. These
sections of track are history!