Even though vikings were great at navigating the sea, even they got lost trying to find North while at sea. When they did, they made a compass using just a block of wood, a nail, a pencil, and the sun! You too can channel your inner viking, by making a Sun Compass! The compass will only last for a few days, since the earth is constantly moving around the sun, and changing its position, causing the shadow to now be in a new orientation. By using a bigger piece of wood, you can create a compass that works everyday, by marking it weekly.

Step 1: Material Gathering

To make this properly, you will need the following:

A 1X5 piece of wood (it should be a decent thickness)
The sun
A ruler/tape measure
A hammer
A nail
A pencil
2 large planks of wood
A wall anchor
And a saw horse
<p>Does this require a whole day's sun? The other trick is to put a stick in the ground, mark the shadow of the tip now and 15 to 30 minutes later. By drawing a line back THROUGH the stick FROM the points, it will point north.</p><p>I'm kind of confused...the orientation of the board has to remain fixed for the compass to work, right? If you mark the shortest distance then move the board's orientation, it does not seem it would work. If a ship were &quot;spinning&quot; at sea, would this still work without recreating the whole arc? (These are intended to be good natured questions, so please take them in the spirit they are meant...)</p><p>Paulie</p>
Looks familiar... <br> <br>;-) <br>
I bet it does. I chose to make one for my Physics and Engineering class! We had to find an Instructable of what we wanted to build, and then make our own! We also read your tip guide on how to write an Instructablem, which was really helpful! :D
How do you ensure that the gnomon is vertical when you point the sun? If it tilts, the measure could send you to other part of the world, not where you want go.
No big deal. The shortest shadow of everything indicate the true North. Better than compass.

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