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

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Welcome to:
"The Sundial Primer"


The Sundial Primer - Get "Hooked on Gnomonics"!


Get "Hooked on Gnomonics"!

GNOMONICS: the science of sundialling.

The Sundial Primer on CD

Over 1400 bonus charts and images available only on the CD!

Anyone can design and make a sundial! Designing and making your own sundial can be a lot of fun. It is a great thrill to create a timepiece that will actually work. In the following pages you will be introduced to a number of different sundials. You will also be provided with the resources to design and construct the majority of these sundials.  Developing a set of sundial plans is not difficult and before you know it you will have an accurate sundial in your garden. Because you will be building a sundial that will actually work, build a simple model and test your design before doing the final construction. And when you are done constructing your sundial why not send us a couple of pictures and a written description. Your sundial will be included in the pages of "Sundials of the World" and it will inspire others to create their own.

There are number of illustrations in the following pages used in the description of particular concepts. They were generated in a number of different ways. The figures tagged as "ZW2000/CAD" were created by first using the freeware package "ZW2000" to draw the hour lines and create a drawing exchange file (dxf). The dxf file was then imported into a computer aided design (CAD) software package to complete the drawing and create a jpeg file. The figures tagged "SONNE/CAD" were created in a similar way but using the freeware package "SONNE". The figures tagged as "SHADOWS" used the freeware package "Shadows" to draw the sundials.  There are some figures that were generated using a program called "The Dialist's Companion", which is shareware. It is important to note this as these illustrations will show you some design methods that you too can use when designing your sundial.

I have made available some spreadsheets that I put together to help in the design of some of the sundials. You can download these if you wish. They are not locked in any way so you can make changes to any part of the spreadsheet. I have tried to check them for accuracy but should you find any errors please let me know and I will correct them.

Some of the pages contain 3-dimensional (3-D) images of sundials. These were drawn and rendered using CAD software. There are also 3-dimensional sundial images that use an artificial sun to cast a shadow on the sundial's face. Check them out!

The definitions used here are obtained from the British Sundial Society Sundial Glossary.

There are many useful links available at the web site of the North American Sundial Society (NASS). The links are categorized by topic and will take you to many interesting places. Additional information about all the topics discussed here can be found by searching the NASS "Links" page. Links to the sites where you can find the latest version of all the software mentioned above are also available. The link to the NASS site can be found at "The Sundial Primer".

There is a great section for kids and anyone else who wants to learn an easy way to make your own simple sundial. At "Sunny Day U" you will find sundial kits that are easy to put together. You can also learn graphical techniques that are easy to use for making a number of your own sundials. There are also a number of sundial generators that will design a sundial that you can make. You can have a lot of fun too!

So, if you want to learn how to make a sundial, come on in and check out "The Sundial Primer". Then you will be ready to construct your very own sundial. Have fun and happy dialling!

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 "The Sundial Primer"

If you would like to share a sundial that you have built or one that you will build in the future, you can have it displayed in the pages of "Sundials of the World". All you have to do is send some photographs and a written description and your sundial will be on the internet for all to enjoy. Who knows, you may even inspire someone to design and build their own sundial.  You have nothing to loose and it is free. So, if you are interested please contact us and share your creation with the sundial community.

When you finish checking out "The Sundial Primer" visit these other interesting sections of the site:

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Should you have any questions or comments please send us an email.