Progress step by step to design and make a new sundial

Design concept for a vertical polar sundial

Sketch drawing with accurate geometry for the vertical polar sundial, and a working concept for the design.

Sundials are as old as civilisation, and the ancient designs often stimulate new ideas. We work on sundial designs all the time. To design and make a new one is exciting. There is a lot to consider, which we like to work out step by step.

The principles of the sundial were already well understood and written down by the seventeenth century. Today, computer tools can calculate sundial geometry and get it exactly right. An excellent example is the sundial software Shadows Pro by Fran├žois Blateyron.

In our own approach, keeping to the correct geometry for a sundial is important. We make it our first step. Even at this early stage there are different types of sundial to choose from.

We have just started to design a new sundial as a vertical polar type, shown in the sketch drawing. We were inspired by a feature found on many of the 18th century stone sundials in Scotland, and by an intriguing 19th century instrument from France. 

The sketch is a working concept. It is the outcome of considerable creative effort over a period of time, but it is not the final step. Although the sketch is drawn with correct geometry and to exact scale, the concept for how the detailed parts, materials, and costs will work out is at a trial stage. In our experience big steps lie ahead, we will keep you posted.