1. Will my sundial tell the correct time?
It will tell the most correct time of any sundial you can own.
2. Doesn't that sound a bit evasive?
Not really. A sundial will never replace a stop watch. The movement of planet Earth around the sun is much more variable than the workings of a mechanical watch.
3. What are the variables?
The Earth is not only tilted on its axis, but it is also in an elliptical orbit around the sun. Your sundial and clock will probably only match 'exactly' four times a year.
4. You're kidding! Only four times?
Typically they will match on April 16, June 14, September 5, and December 25th. The rest of the time there will be some variation, either fast or slow. BUT this is still much more accurate than a generic sundial!!!
5. When were sundials first used?
The sundial is the oldest known scientific instrument. It is even mentioned twice in the Bible. (II Kings and Isaiah)
6. What about Daylight Savings Time?
This is a man made convention. During Daylight Savings Time you'll have to mentally add one hour to your sundial's reading. (Please see important example at the bottom of this page!)
7. Is it difficult to set up?
Not at all. Just make sure it is level in a sunny location and the gnomon (triangle piece on top near the XII marking) is pointing North. Celestial mechanics will take care of the rest.
8. Can I just rotate the dial to compensate for Daylight Savings Time?
No. While it sounds like a reasonable solution, you will actually be changing the direction of the gnomon and that will change the entire calibration of your sundial.
9. Can you suggest a sundial inscription?
Sure. You can choose one from the list below.
Or you can make up your own...
(Remember: 30 characters & spaces or less)
TIME BEGAN IN A GARDEN
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
MY SUN RISES ON YOU
HE CALLS THE STARS BY NAME
YOU BRIGHTEN MY LIFE
LET THERE BE LIGHT
BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON
BE LIGHT TO THE WORLD
TEMPUS FUGIT (Latin: Time Flies)
ALL THINGS HAVE A SEASON
ALL IN DUE TIME
TODAY IS A PRESENT
OUR LOVE IS TIMELESS
I LOVE MY GARDEN TIME
ONE DAY AT A TIME
HERE COMES THE SUN
CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT
SHADOWS PASS, LOVE IS ETERNAL
MY HEART WILL BE YOUR SHELTER
CAELI ENARRANT DEI GLORIAM (Latin: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God)
THE BEST IS YET TO BE
YOU ARE MY HEART'S DESIRE
NOTHING IS GREATER THAN LOVE
YOU ARE MY GREATEST JOY
LOVE COMES FROM GOD
LET US WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD
EVERY DAY I LOVE YOU MORE
DO NOT TAKE LOVE AND TIME LIGHTLY
OUR HOUSE SERVES THE LORD
10. What happens if I move?
Take your sundial with you. There are adjustments that can be made for Latitude. But no matter what, your sundial has been 'personalized' just for you, and no matter where you move, it will probably be more accurate than a generic sundial sold in stores.
11. Do you offer stands?
Not at this time, but we are working on a design that will be easy to ship and sturdy for use. In the meantime, check out stands that are being sold for bird baths and gazing balls. If you have a deck railing in a sunny location, that would also work. No matter the location make sure it is visible to the sun most of the day, and the sundial gnomon is pointing North.
12. How would I attach my sundial to a stand?
We recommend double surface foam tape. Just clean both of the the surfaces first. Soap & water or alcohol are good choices. Foam tape is both strong and durable. That's probably why auto makers use foam tape to attach the trim accents to your car.
12. How will my sundial be shipped?
Your sundial will be shipped in two pieces: the base and the gnomon. Use the provided screws to attach the gnomon to the base with the curved section of the gnomon facing the outer ring of the sundial. These directions will also be included with your shipment.
13. How do you read a sundial?
Great question! See example below...
Read a sundial by checking where the edge of the shadow crosses the hour line.
In this example the time is 3:30 PM.
However Daylight Saving Time will require adding one hour to the reading.
So the sundial would actually be indicating 4:30 PM