How To Make a Wooden Sundial

A sundial is used to know the time using the sun. This served as a clock for people in early times. Though people use clocks today for checking the time, sundials are still very popular projects at school and are also made as designs in the garden. There are different types of sundial like horizontal, analemmatic and wall sundial. This can also be made of different materials like cardboard or wood. The gnomon is the part of sundial that produces a shadow when the sun’s light crosses it. The shadow is used to determine the time. A stick was used in earlier times as the gnomon. You can create your own wooden sundial to display in your garden.

  • Prepare your materials in making your wooden sundial which includes ¾” and ¼” plywood to serve as your base and gnomon, saw for cutting the plywood, wood glue to stick the plywood, pencil for marking, sand paper to make the edges smooth and markers or paint to color your wooden sundial.
  • Get the ¾’’ plywood and using a pencil, draw a circle which is about 12” in diameter. This will serve as your guide. Cut the circle using the saw making sure you follow your guide carefully.
  • Use a sand paper to smoothen the edges of the circle. If you want to add color to your sundial, you can paint or add design to it using your markers or paint.
  • Get your ¼” plywood and draw a line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. The slant line will give you two triangles. Set aside the other triangle because you will only be using one triangle for your sundial. Make sure to keep it though, so that you will have a triangle that you can use in case you decide to make another sundial. Use the sandpaper to smoothen the edges of the triangle plywood.
  • The triangle plywood will serve as the gnomon of your wooden sundial. Place it on top of the round plywood in a way wherein its point is in the center of the round plywood and the 90 degrees angle is placed on the perimeter of the circle. Stick the triangle permanently onto the circle plywood using glue. Let the glue dry.
  • Place the sundial where it will receive the full brightness of the sun. To make sure you put the number of the hours in the correct position, observe where the shadow casts on the wooden sundial. You can use your marker, paint, stickers or any materials that you can use to indicate the hours on the sundial.

You can now use your homemade wooden sundial as a decoration in your garden. You may want to use it every now and then in checking the time if you feel like going back to earlier times. If there are kids around your house, you can also do this project with them so they can have a glimpse of history or how it was like living in early times.


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