The Sun

Before I started the frame, the first thing I made was the sun as it was a relatively simple and small thing to do, and was a project all on its own. Having unsuccessfully scoured the internet for a suitable sun looking something like the original, I ended up at a local garden centre. I took along a photo of the original and asked an assistant if they had a metal garden ornament anything like that in the photo (shown to the right). Expectantly, she marched me off down the store and showed me what they had. I couldn’t believe my eyes – exactly what I wanted: the right size, similar rays although curving the other way (who cares!), colourful with a nice smiling face. A bit pricy but worth it - an instant sale.

To the right is a picture I took of it in the shop on 1st May.

The diagram below is an early sketch I made of the proposed construction. The sun’s face is seen from the rear. The idea was to carefully cut around the face to separate the face from the rays. Then attach a metal disc to cover the hole in the rays to make it solid again. I bought a metal dog food bowl (the bowl was metal not the dog) which would form a rear cover over the face. A small 2 rpm geared motor was then attached inside the bowl with its shaft sticking through a hole in the centre of the back. Having attached the wiring and fed it down a tubular support attached to the side of the bowl, the bowl was screwed to a number of bolts I had soldered to the rear of the face. Finally, the rays disc was attached to the threaded motor shaft with a couple of nuts. Any gaps in the casing were filled with Araldite to make it as waterproof as possible. A rain deflector was added over the hole where the shaft exits to try to stop rain running down the back and into the hole.

The sun on the original clock.

Garden ornament in garden centre.

Early sketch of proposed construction.

All bare metal had been sprayed with primer and I sprayed the dog bowl with a red metallic paint that seemed very close to the red of the sun’s rays. I connected it to 12 volts and hey presto – it worked perfectly. Job done. To the right is a video I took of it rotating. Time to send some pictures and videos to Jess at Guinness as promised!

Video of finished sun.

Looking at the images on the Introduction page, you can see that the sun is attached to the right of the main tower by a number of poles. I have used three 20mm white plastic electrical conduit tubes to form a tripod arrangement to attach the sun to the side. The three poles slot onto fixed connectors attached to the side and top. The three poles converge near the sun and are all connected together by a 3D-printed coupling that my son Alex made from a CAD file produced to my specification by a colleague at work. It is shown here.

3D-printed coupler.

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