Ipe Sundial

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Project by jstevensonkenney posted 04-16-2012 01:47 PM 1463 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Base is made from 2 in. thick ipe. Roman numeral lettering is made with inlaid boarder strips. Plaque is engraved brass. “Tempus fugit” is latin for “time flies.” Gnomen (raised part that casts a shadow) is machined aluminum-bronze. Finish is teak oil.

6 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3990 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 02:52 PM

Very nice (and unique) project! It turned out really nice. Where is it going?

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3760 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 10:17 PM

Wow very nice work

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jstevensonkenney's profile


6 posts in 2435 days

#3 posted 04-20-2012 09:37 PM

I gave this one to my sister in Raleigh, NC. She put it in her garden. I’m making another one like it soon. The lettering was the hardest part. Any suggestion on how to do fine letter (~1 in.) without spending a lot of money on a CNC?

View mcoyfrog's profile


4542 posts in 3798 days

#4 posted 05-17-2012 06:31 PM


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3693 posts in 2455 days

#5 posted 07-28-2012 02:51 PM

Nice project! I also like the hourglass you posted in your projects. It seems like you are interesting in making projects “just in time”!

On the sundial, did you make it adjustable so it can be reset to/from Daylight Savings Time? I intend to make one as well and will include some feature so it can be rotated that one hour difference so it will work year ‘round. I can only hope mine comes out as nice as yours. Thanks for posting.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View jstevensonkenney's profile


6 posts in 2435 days

#6 posted 08-02-2012 03:50 AM

Thanks! If I go into business, I might use “Just in Time” for the name. But, given my speed and skill, I don’t think it would be a profitable venture.

I found that there is quite a bit of science behind sundials. To answer your question, sundials read solar time, not standard time. Solar time varies depending on where you are in a standard time zone (like EST). Obviously, it doesn’t account for daylight savings time. Lastly, it varies by the month of the year (i.e. the length of the day). My sundials are really made just for show, not accuracy. But I’ve found that they can be accurate within ~15 minutes if you rotate them once a month or so.

I recommend a few books on the subject (I bought all used):

R. Newton Mayall and Margaret W. Mayall, “Sundials,” 1973, Sky Publishing, Cambridge, MA (may be still in print by another publisher).

Rene R. J. Rohr, “Sundials: History, Theory, and Practice,” 1965, Dover Publications, New York.

Winthrop W. Dolan, “A Choice of Sundials,” 1975, Stephen Green Press, Brattleboro, VT.

There’s also the North American Sundial Society: . They tend to be highly technical, but have lots of nice photos too.

Good luck with your sundial!

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