Tip: Spacing even intervals with rubber hose.

Problem: How to lay out a repeating element (stairs, railing balusters, etc) over a length.
Dividing the span by the number of spaces and then measuring it out is tedious, and errors can creep in as you measure along, resulting in being an inch or more out when you get to the end (my experience, anyway)
While rebuilding my deck last year, I found an easier way. A length of 1/4" natural rubber tubing. I used a felt-tip pen to mark it at 3.5" intervals. Then, I clamped one end to the end of a rail and stretched it until the spacing between marks was just under 4" and a mark landed on the last baluster position. A quick adjustment of the opposite end to align it's mark, then just trasnfer the marks along it's length.
All the spaces the same, nothing "left over" at the end, and no endless splitting 16th's along the rail. It also works for spacing stairs, with a larger initial interval (Use the same tubing, mark with a different color.)
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They used to make, and still may for all I know, elastic rules for evenly spacing rivets and the like. As you say, they work great!
Erik
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