Capricorn: Dec.22-Jan.29 The Sundial Primer
created by Carl Sabanski
Capricorn: Dec.22-Jan.29

Mr. Sun The Sundial Primer Index "Sunny Day U" Index Mr. Sun


Make a Horizontal Sundial - Graphical Method 2

Horizontal Sundial: the common or garden sundial with a horizontal dial plate and polar-pointing gnomon.

Here is another graphical method that you can use to draw a horizontal sundial. Using this method it easier to obtain hour lines that are earlier than 7 a.m. and later than 5 p.m.. A number of steps are similar to the first graphical method presented and are combined.

Step 1

Step 1

  • Draw a horizontal line.

  • Draw a vertical line that passes through the horizontal line at O.

  • Select a point C on the vertical line. This point will be the centre of your horizontal sundial and eventually all the hour lines will radiate from it.

  • Draw the line CD at an angle equal to the latitude (LAT) from OC.

  • Draw the line OB from O and perpendicular to line CD. The line OB is the radius of the equatorial sundial you will be drawing next.

Step 2

Step 2

  • Place your compass point at O and draw an arc from B until it crosses the vertical line at E. This is the centre of your equatorial sundial.

  • Place your compass point at E and draw a circle starting at O. Notice that OE=OB=R. You have now drawn the face of your equatorial sundial.

Step 3

Step 3

  • Draw the equatorial sundial hour lines spaced at 15 in both directions but do not go beyond 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.. 

  • If you want smaller time intervals add more lines. Remember that 15=60 minutes so 7.5=30 minutes, 1=4 minutes. You can figure out the rest.

  • Extend all the lines to the horizontal line.

  • From C, the centre of the horizontal sundial, draw a line to each of the points on the horizontal line. You have now transferred the hour lines from the equatorial sundial to the horizontal sundial.

  • Draw the line JK from the 9 a.m. point and LM from the 3 p.m. point. These lines are parallel to line OC.

  • Draw the line OM. This line is parallel to the 9 a.m. hour line. The distance VO is equal to the distance VM. This line intersect the 1 p.m. line at point W and the 2 p.m. line at point X.

Step 4

Step 4

  • Place you compass at point V.

  • Draw an arc at point Y where the distance VY is equal to VX. Draw a line from point C through point Y and continue to the line LM. You now have the 4 p.m. hour line.

  • Draw an arc at point Z where the distance VZ is equal to VW. Draw a line from point C through point Z and continue to the line LM. You now have the 5 p.m. hour line.

  • These steps can be repeated for any additional hour lines you may want to draw that will indicate time internals of less than an hour.

Step 5

Step 5

  • Steps 3 and 4 can be repeated to draw the morning hour lines. The line OK is drawn, which is parallel to the 3 p.m. hour line, and the hour lines determined as above.

  • Another way is to use your compass to set the distance from point M to the 5 p.m. point on line LM. Move the compass to point K and mark this distance on line JK. This is the point for 7 a.m. Repeat this process for 4 p.m. to determine 8 a.m.

Step 6

Step 6

  • The remaining steps are the same as described in the first graphical method presented.

This is a very compact method of drawing a horizontal sundial and it is very easy to draw, for example, the 6:15 a.m. hour line.

Happy Dialling!