Drafting the Astrolabe: 1. Planning the Project

The first step has to be making myself a protractor. I was going to create one as a proof of concept then switch to a commercial model, but I have changed my mind. If I can make a reasonably accurate tool, I can laminate it and use it; getting rid of the need to ‘cheat’.

I’m tempted to jump right into the climate plates next; but I think that they really need to be much further down the list. The construction of the climates is the most complex and confusing and I will have to lay a lot of groundwork before I am ready to start documenting that process.

My rough schedule is as follows:

  • Explain the geometric construction techniques to be used. Number them to allow me to refer to them later.
  • Draft the protractor
  • Rough out the design for the astrolabe as a whole. I can then use this rough model to transfer measurements from for the various parts.
  • The front of the mater:
    • time scale
    • interior scale
    • throne
  • The back of the mater:
    • zodiac scale
    • calendar scale
    • unequal hour scale
    • shadow scales
    • throne
  • The climate plates.
  • The rete.
  • The alidade and rule.

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