Sundial From Scrap Wood

Introduction: Sundial From Scrap Wood

About: Maker from USA. Follow me to stay up to date on my projects and possible kickstarters! Business email:

How to make a sundial from two pieces of wood found in a trash can

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Get Wood

Get a sturdy piece of Plywood. I found mine in a nearby trash can

Step 2: Cut Out a Circle

Cut a circle out of the wood. Mine is about 8 inches but you can make it any size you want.

Step 3: Glue to Stand

With another piece of wood, cut it at the angle of your latitude. For example my latitude of my location was 34, so i cut the stand at 34 degrees.To find your latitude just look up Latitude Longitude calculator. (use the latitude part though)

The reason you need your latitude is so it will be parallel to earths axis. If you use any random number, your sundial will be off time.

Step 4: Add Gnomon

Glue a straight sturdy object to the center of your circle this will be the Gnomon of the sundial

A Gnomon is the piece of a sundial that when the sun hits it, it projects a shadow onto the sundial

Step 5: Add Time Lines

Now look up and print out a Equitorial Sundial guide. Use this to draw the guide line onto your sundial.

Here is an example of a equatorial sundial guide, Used by permission of The University of Texas McDonald Observatory.

Step 6: Stain

Stain the Wood

Step 7: Paint

Retrace the lines and Paint numbers onto your sundial. From left to right go 6,5,4,3,2,1,12,11,10,9,8,7,6 and now your done!

Step 8: Place Sundial

Place the sundial with the Gnomon facing TRUE north, not magnetic north.

Step 9: How to Use

If you placed the Gnomon facing true north, when the sun hits the gnomon it will cast a shadow on the numbers on the sundial. The numbers correspond with the time.

Gardening & Homesteading Contest

Participated in the
Gardening & Homesteading Contest

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Magnets Challenge

    Magnets Challenge
  • Snow Challenge

    Snow Challenge
  • Wearables Contest

    Wearables Contest

3 Discussions


5 years ago

Really cool. Thank you for posting this sundial project.