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Large-caliber Sundial Answered

I was wandering the web, looking for information for a future Instructable, when I got ever-so-slightly side-tracked.

I came across this blog entry about a bunch of people who made their own, rather unique, sundial:

Our friends in the village are building a garden from scratch, to go with their new house. A key part of garden planning is to get the major design "features" sorted out ahead of the planting. One of the things that the boys wanted was a sundial, so work has started there. The plan follows the traditional method of sundial construction, as you will see from the pictures:

1. Buy a World War II anti-aircraft gun (preferable the portable kind)
2. Put it in the garden.
3. Make sure the safety catch is on.
4. Invite some like-minded nutters round for a barbecue and get them working the elevation controls.
5. Set the barrel to exactly 52 and a bit degrees elevation (to match the latitude of the garden).
6. Do some nifty work with a calculator and a compass to figure out where the hour markers go for precise "Northmoor Time".
7. Unilaterally declare independence - and if anyone argues....:lol:

Link to Blog


Where does one shop for an anti-aircraft gun? And when you find one, how do you go about procuring it, legally? Don't you folks have some rather restrictive policies regarding private ownership of weapons over there?

My dad nearly bought an out of comission tank at least three times... he also came very close to buying a spitfire until he flew it...

Not rich but would have made the utlimate 'ibler... He traded a homebuilt oil tanker for refueling planes for his plane....

Former Soviet republics are a good place to start. Apparently it's fairly easy to get a low-mileage T-72 with only one previous owner for under $100,000.


10 years ago

Hey Eric - do any of the guns at the Control Tower point North? :-)

I think I already see how to do the majority of this, thankfully the calibration isn't complicated, the gun should have a pretty accurate protractor built in for the barrel elevation... As for the rest, knock it off under the the elevator piece, mount the base into the garden, surroud with concrete dial circle, add markings... Chlak out and test first then make final marks with a chisel of add nice brass/steel/copper numbers...