Tagged: Multidial

Construct this unique instrument and you can read Solar Time simultaneously on four of the most common sundials. As an introduction to sundialling for beginners this project will develop several important concepts.

Tony Moss
March 2014



The initial inspiration for my Educational Multi-Dial arose from a diagram in ‘Sundials’ by Frank W. Cousins. My own design progressed through plywood and MDF construction in pursuit of something that could be made in schools but most were beyond the modest equipment found in the classroom.

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Multi-dial assembled

The MultiDial combines a Vertical, Polar and Horizontal dial and can be adjusted for latitudes between 50° and 57°. The templates for the design should be downloaded, printed and cut out:

J. Cut Out
Drape the exposed adhesive sheet as in the picture to avoid wrinkles:
Laying papers
Cut out using a Stanley knife or similar and a steel rule on a suitable base. e.g. hardboard.
Cut the sloped lines for latitude *before* folding and glue using e.g. PVA wood adhesive.
Clothes peg clamping

Glued up
A length of bamboo kebab skewer is included for the polestyle gnomon.
‘Score’ the chain lines before folding with e.g. a blunt knife
Use the pointed end to pierce the dial origins *before* folding.
Assemble the ‘O’ ring nodus as you incline the polestyle on assembly.
The print is inkjet so isn’t waterproof. Spray a coat of matter clear lacquer to protect if desired.

If you would like to alter the details of the design, the templates are available can be downloaded in Adobe Illustrator format for editing: