created by Carl Sabanski
"Long Hand" Sundials
Long ago there were no calculators or computers that could be used to design sundials. Diallists used techniques that allowed them to draw a variety of sundials. So if you are ready to have some fun read on and learn how to make your own "Long Hand" Sundial. You will learn just how easy it is to draw a number of common sundials.
To make these sundials you will need to put together a "Diallist's Tool Kit". Most of you should have these tools but if you don't it won't cost a lot to get the tools you are missing. Here is your list:
All of the sundials that you will learn to make are created using the universal equatorial sundial. The equatorial sundial is an amazing sundial and its hour lines can be projected on to various surfaces to create a number of sundials. Figure 1 illustrates how one equatorial sundial can be used to draw the hour lines for horizontal, vertical direct south and polar sundials. The vertical direct north sundial requires another equatorial sundial to draw it.
Figure 1: Various Types of Sundials (CAD)
Note that the style or shadow casting edge is common to all 5 dials and that it points directly to the celestial pole. If you study Figure 2 you can see the relationship between the style and the various sundials.
Figure 2: Five Sundials and Their Style (CAD)
If you have your "Tool Kit" you are ready to draw your very own horizontal, vertical or polar sundial. Have fun!
There are a couple of other graphical techniques that can be used to draw a sundial. These have an advantage over the the first method that you tried. Can you figure out what this is? The following pages will show you these methods and how you can use them to draw a horizontal sundial. They can also be used to draw a vertical sundial and if you are interested you can easily figure that out.