How to Build a Sundial Clock


In this article we will try to see together, how we can create with their own hands, a sundial. If we like to decorate our interior with elegant and original things, we can create a sundial and place it in the garden, on the patio or anywhere that suggests our fancy. This watch has the function not only decorative but also practical, because it measures the time so more accurate than a digital clock, and to build it we don’t need nor a specific mechanical knowledge nor much less to own expensive pieces. Ready to start?

Please see the detailed instruction offered by

Be sure to have on hand:

  • a piece of cardboard, ceramics, wood
  • a stick or nail
  • a pencil
  • a compass
  • a row
  • a protractor

The first thing we must do is to find a suitable material. The solar clock contains two parts: the Dial and second hand. For the second hand, we can use a wooden stick or a large nail. To find a dial with supplies any, important that is resistant to rain, such as the cover of an old pot, a round piece of glass or ceramic. There is no limit, we can run the clock even from a sheet of paper, but in this case we will protect from rain ingress.

We choose the day when the sun shines strong and high in the sky. The next job is executed before noon. We have to put the needle directly into the center of the dial. We mark with a pencil the point where it falls the shadow of the pointer. With a compass we make the circle from the center where we kept the hand, trying to pass the point that we have marked with a pencil.

We look closely at the shadow of hand, that first he has to shorten, and then at some point must again start to grow. Also we mark this point with a pencil. We combine with the help of a line, the first point with the last. We divide the line that we have thus obtained in half and draw a line from this point to the center of the circle. In this way we found the exact north-south direction, we need to create the dial.

Now we divide the circle at twenty-four equal parts of 15°. To get it precisely we use the Protractor. These twenty-four figures are the twenty-four hours to full day. Now we don’t have to do anything but fix the watch to correct. The line 12-24 must coincide with the North-South direction, which we found in the previous step. The clock must be tilted to the North at latitude of our City. To know it we look at the map of Italy or look on the website indicated, the first digit in front of a city, for example, if we live in Rome, we have to tilt the clock for 41° using the Protractor. And here our Sundial is ready for use!