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


Cross Sundial Kit

Cross Sundial (or cruciform or crucifix dial): a dial in the form of a cross, usually of stone, with the "front" surface of the cross parallel to the equatorial plane, and the top pointing south. The side surfaces of the cross can each form a dial plane, with its gnomon being a corresponding edge of the cross itself. Usually found as churchyard memorials. Rare. Portable cross dials have a long arm parallel to the polar axis and the short arm E-W. 

The cross sundial is a universal sundial and can be used anywhere in the world. All you have to do is position it correctly and it will tell you the time. The cross sundial actually consists of three sundials that include:

  • A polar sundial.

  • A vertical direct east sundial.

  • A vertical direct west sundial.

Figure 1 shows the Kit that you will use to make your own cross sundial. This Kit is a little more complex to assemble but with care and patience it can be done without too much difficulty. Just follow the instructions.

Figure 1: Cross Sundial Kit

Figure 1: Cross Sundial Kit (CAD)

We have made up two kits so that you can build a cross sundial for the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. All you need are scissors, cardboard, glue and tape. If you would like to download a PDF file of the "Cross Sundial Kit" just open the door that works for you. 

Cross Sundial Kit - Northern Hemisphere Cross Sundial Kit - Southern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere Southern Hemisphere

When you have completed the sundial all you have to do is set up and it will tell you solar time. Figure 2 shows you just how easy this is. All you have to do is point the gnomon to the north or south celestial pole. Now where is the gnomon? There are actually 6 separate styles or shadow casting edges. Can you find them? Each one will cast a shadow for a three hour period and only one will cast a shadow at any given time.

Figure 2: Cross Sundial

Figure 2: Cross Sundial (CAD)

Here's what the sundial will look like once you have finished making it. This one is located in the Northern Hemisphere and positioned for a latitude of 50.

Cross Sundial - Northern Hemisphere - June - 11:30 A.M.

Northern Hemisphere - June - 11:30 A.M.

Cross Sundial - Northern Hemisphere - July - 7:00 P.M.

Northern Hemisphere - July - 7:00 P.M.

Happy Dialling!