Monday, 2 January 2012
Sourcing and Installing Sundials
We were delighted to receive a sundial as a gift for Christmas. We’d been keen on having for quite a while as both a tool to use for telling the time naturally and as a garden feature.
Our thinking was that a sundial would be a simple process to source and install, but not so as it turns out. We contacted Larry Varley who lives in
and makes both sundials and weathervanes (http://www.acmefluid.com.au/larry/weathervane.html) for some answers to a few questions we had. Some of the comments that follow come mainly from the conversation we had with Larry. Victoria
The two components of a sundial are the sundial itself (or base-plate) and the 'style' which is the thing that stands up from the sundial and casts the shadow.
Most sundials are made in
. These are not expensive, but the catch is that they most are made for the northern hemisphere. If these are installed in India they are useless aside from midday for telling the time. Australia
The sundial should be installed on a level surface in a place where it will be in direct sunlight for most of the day. In our case, we decided to relocate and use the old base 'milk and cream separator' base that the Causer family installed when they lived here during the period 1950-1965. We’ve positioned the base to the north of the house near the verandah. It will be a great location for it now that the large tree that used to be near the car shed has been removed. This photo shows the base with the sundial sitting on top of it.
The sundial needs to be oriented to ‘true’ (rather than magnetic) north. Here’s a few website links that give some important explanations:
1. Explanation of the difference between true and magnetic north: http://www.kxcad.net/3d_home/3D_Home_Architect_Design_Suite_Deluxe/Calculating_True_North_from_Magnetic_North.htm