So about a year ago, we printed out a paper sundial specifically made for our address. Then after several adventures with the lamination machine we placed it on the wall of our store:
Well that was a little over a year ago. Since then we’ve had huge thunderstorms, a hurricane, winds, a freak Halloween snowstorm and of course Philadelphia heat & humidity. So how did our little laminated sundial hold up? See for yourself:
I’d say it held up pretty darn well. The tape holding it onto the wall is a little dirty, but it is still hanging, still telling the time – at least when it isn’t in shadow. Not bad at all.
Get your own sundial here.
…oh right! We were telling folks how to get a paper sundial printed out. Well we got ours all printed out and happy. We cut it out and folded it up.
…and realized it would not last through the first drizzle. This would be a problem as summer rains happen almost daily at this point. So what to do?
Well, in our case we printed out another sundial and put it through the lamination machine! Now it was covered in plastic and protect from the elements, at least for a while. If you don’t have a lamination machine (most people don’t) then clear packing tape can help protect your sundial. Its up to you if it is easier to apply the tape before or after you cut it out. We certainly had to put the paper through the laminator before cutting it out (jammed lamination machines tend to burn).
Once we cut out the laminated sundial and taped it together we put it on the wall. Then we discovered there was a problem. Our store’s outdoor walls don’t have a lot of places where there are not other objects that case shadows on the sundial’s space. Take a look:
OK. so the big shadow you see is from the canopy of the store next to ours. During much of the day it completely covers the sundial’s shadow. But for a few hours the thing does a nice job of giving you the time. Take note that it does show time in a 24 hour clock pattern.
Hopefully you will have better luck than we did and have a non-shadowed space.
OK, we love Sundials, finicky things that they are. There is just something classic and timeless about them. But not everyone can afford to spend money on such a hobby. Of course anyone can make a sundial with a stick in the ground (calibrating is tricky, mind you). But a fun little project to do is to make a paper vertical sundial – one that you put on a wall! Thanks to the web it is very easy to do. All you need is a printer, a web connection, and some scissors. Its a fun summertime project!
First go to this website and follow the directions. It is very simple – you just find your house (or other building) on the google maps insert, then click on the wall you want to use and your sundial is ready to print!
Coming up – what happens when Spectrum tries its hand at making a paper sundial!