Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?
October 19, 2010 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Make your own customized paper sundial. This website creates a PDF based on your location so that you can easily print out and make a paper sundial.
posted by exogenous (16 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
This is great. I started to think about a formula for making a clock / calendar that would go by the sun spot on the floor of a yurt and it made my brain hurt. Then I thought I could always just go in reverse, mark the floor as the sun passes over it once an hour, and note the bands as the months go by.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:05 AM on October 19, 2010

I'm so excited about trying this! Thanks!
posted by robstercraw at 10:19 AM on October 19, 2010

Outstanding! This chrono-obsessed fellow is going to make one this instant. I suppose one could also use the printout as a template for one in brass/copper sheet, and/or even wood.

posted by SteelyDuran at 10:42 AM on October 19, 2010

Heh, several divisions by zero when requesting a sundial for the north pole.
posted by rlk at 11:40 AM on October 19, 2010

Awesome! Thanks, exogenous.
posted by carter at 12:10 PM on October 19, 2010

I found a pretty neat book on sundials at a local bookstore:
Sundials: Their Construction and Use
R. Newton Mayall and Margaret W. Mayall
Dover Publishing, 2000; ISBN 0-486-41146-X
It's a reprint of the 3rd edition of the book from Sky Publishing, and was originally published in 1938. More accurately, it's a reproduction, as it keeps the original type and illustrations. It's listed as a reference in the Wikipedia article on the history of sundials.

Smithsonian magazine had an interesting article on sundials back in January 2007.

There's also a really cool sundial bridge outside of Redding, California. The museum and park there are well worth the stop if you're travelling I-5.

I like sundials. And museums. And bridges. And books.
posted by foonly at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2010

I could so totally make one of these out of rebar.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:16 PM on October 19, 2010

Yay thank you this is wonderful.
posted by effluvia at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2010

A minor nitpick is that the accuracy will vary throughout the year, it would be 100% accurate if they took the Analemma into account.
posted by cyndigo at 1:46 PM on October 19, 2010

Interesting, cyndigo. I found this applet to make a sundial with correction for analemma by moving the shadow-casting gnomon depending on the date.
posted by exogenous at 2:20 PM on October 19, 2010

I so totally love this. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Sublimity at 4:56 PM on October 19, 2010

I tried it at my house when I went home for lunch...and it worked nicely! Totally want to try this in something more permanent than printer paper.
posted by epersonae at 5:04 PM on October 19, 2010

Such a classic Metafilter style post! I wish we had more like this.
posted by caddis at 6:07 PM on October 19, 2010

Thanks! My daugther will love this. It will be great to do on a rainy...never mind.
posted by shothotbot at 7:14 PM on October 19, 2010

I just came to this thread because I really like the word "gnomon."
posted by Earthtopus at 9:07 PM on October 19, 2010

The Mayall book on sundials is nice, but I prefer:

Sundials: Their Theory and Construction
A. E. Waugh
ISBN 0-486-22947-5

Much more complete
posted by Nyrath at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2010

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