Make Your Own Sundial

The downloadable sheets at the bottom of this page give the pattern and instructions to create your own card DIPTYCH sundial. DIPTYCH means "in 2 hinged parts". 

To download both the pattern and instruction sheets either:

  • Click on the thumbnail of each sheet. A very large version of the sheet will appear. Use the "File" pull down menu and select "Save As", or..... 
  • Right click on the thumbnail of each sheet then select "Save target as" option
Sundial Instructions

Once downloaded, you should print both sheets. Make sure you select the "Fit to page" option (if available) so that each sheet exactly fill it's page.

Sundial Pattern

Print the pattern sheet onto stiff card. If your printer won't accept card, try printing onto paper then gluing the paper to the stiff card. Alternately you could photocopy onto the stiff card.

Print the instruction sheet onto normal paper for reference, then follow the instructions to create your own sundial

To use the Dial:

  1. Place the DIPTYCH sundial on a horizontal surface in sunlight with the arrow on the base pointing to true North.
  2. The cotton Gnomon now points at the Pole star.
  3. The cotton Gnomon's shadow also shows the local apparent solar time on both dial faces.
  4. To obtain Grenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST) follow the instructions on the side panel of the base.

For a detailed description of how a sundial actually works, see the "Links" menu item.