# dividing measurments

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 9:30 pm

Cool tool! But, it's just as easy and costs nothing to use an old drafting trick. Get a measuring device, scale, yardstick, tape, etc. Find x number of equal units of measure, inch, foot, centimeter, etc, and count off the number of divisions you need. The total number of units of measure must exceed the right angle distance of the space you are dividing.
For example, let say you want to divide 10" wide distance into 12 equal measurments. Easy. Take a 12" ruler and lay it from one side of the 10" distance to the other side AT AN ANGLE so the 12" distance lays across the 10" without extending beyond being short of the 10" right angle distance. Mark off the 12 one inch increments at one point and do it again at another point. Connect the marks with a straight edge. Voila! A 10" board, tile, whatever, divided into 12 equal lines.
nb

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 11:57 pm
notbob wrote:

Yes, old school. I remember learning that in drafting school and hadn't thought of it until now. Thanks!
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 7:40 pm

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http://common.csnstores.com/Gatco-Accordion-Wall-Mirror-in-Chrome~img~GAT~GAT1158_l.jpg
BUT what you are talking about will only provide equal spacing between "points". If you mount your balusters at those points you will have narrower spaces on the out sides of the first and last baluster.
The divider does not take into consideration the width of the objects/balusters.

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 7:48 pm
Leon wrote:

It would be very easy to adjust the starting and stopping points.
You would hold each end further apart, at a spot equal to half a baluster.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 7:54 pm

But you left that out, he wanted to center objects in a given width.

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 8:00 pm
Leon wrote:

I didn't realize he wanted someone to come over and do it for him. :-)
I though something like that pantograph (that's the word I was looking for) devise would take the math out of the process.
Don't you agree that anyone with a moderate amount of experience could use it to do similar tasks to what the OP was asking?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 8:30 pm

No, I do not agree. sorry, I have run across this time and time again using drawing programs where you can tell the CAD program to equally divide a line and then center dividers with width greater than "zero" on those points. You get unequal spacing on the outer spaces.
I find the easiest way is to multiply the number of dividers by their width and subtract that amount from the given area that they should be equally space in. then divide that number by the number of dividers +1.
And moving the outer points 1/2' the width of the spacer exaggerates the error.

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 4:42 am
Leon wrote:

I think we're getting lost in the words. Since a picture is worth a thousand of them, I made a diagram explaining how that accordion pantograph thingy would work easily.
I have two blue blocks spaced apart. I have six yellow blocks I want to space evenly between the blue blocks. I spread out the divider tool and put each end into the blue block a distance equal to half the width of a yellow block. This gives me centerlines for the yellow blocks that result in even spacing.
http://www.mikedrums.com/dividers.png
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 4:51 am

Probably so!

I believe you have it. IMHO it would be easier to simply "so the math" and cut a spacer to the required space width.

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 5:20 am
Leon wrote:

Yeah. I think it has a lot to do with being right or left brained. They say you're one or the other, but I find I go back and forth depending on what I'm doing.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 6:57 am
On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:51:59 -0500, "Leon"

...right, cut a stick. Sticks rule...pardon the intentional pun.
cg

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 11:17 am

I found the problem with using a spacer stick is that if it is off by a tiny amount the errors accumulate. 1/32" error X 16 baluster and you are off by 1/2" at the end. It helps by starting at the midpoint and working both way, that way you would only have 1/4" at either end and your eye is less likely to pick it up. As for marking the centers for baluster, could you not simply extend the tape beyond the starting point by 1/2 the baluster width and the same for the end.

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 2:08 pm
I found the problem with using a spacer stick is that if it is off by a tiny amount the errors accumulate. 1/32" error X 16 baluster and you are off by 1/2" at the end. It helps by starting at the midpoint and working both way, that way you would only have 1/4" at either end and your eye is less likely to pick it up. As for marking the centers for baluster, could you not simply extend the tape beyond the starting point by 1/2 the baluster width and the same for the end.
That is a good tip!
How in the world do you determine the midpoint?
;~)

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 2:26 pm

Midpoint? Simple. It is usually somewhere around two quarters of the total distnace between the two endpoints from the left and 3/6th from the right. If you want to get really accurate, you can use 7/14th's. Sky's the limit *S*

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 2:55 pm

Midpoint? Simple. It is usually somewhere around two quarters of the total distnace between the two endpoints from the left and 3/6th from the right. If you want to get really accurate, you can use 7/14th's. Sky's the limit *S*
Same as 1/tooth, right?

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 2:36 pm
Leon wrote:

Fold it in half and crease the fold. When you straighten it out again, the crease will be at the midpoint.
:o)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 2:54 pm

Half would make 2 pieces?

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 3:04 pm
Leon wrote:

Umm - if you broke it, just smear the ends with bondo and re-assemble.
Try to not break the next one. ;-)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar

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• posted on April 21, 2009, 3:01 pm
Leon wrote:

You know the classic centering trick with a combination square. Measure from each side of the stock and pick your point in the middle of the two lines is there is a discrepancy. I am suspicious of tape measure measurements. They can be deceptive and often wrong for no apparent reason. I find this to be true more and more as I get older and my eyesight is not as good as it used to be.
Sooooo.... if I needed to be absolutely sure of a midpoint, I would come up with a stick that is a little longer than midpoint. Mark from both sides. Then go to the middle of that. It is hard to screw this method up. It is easy to screw up with a mesuring tape.
And measuring twice does not always catch mistakes either. I am finding by using the stick method, I make less mistakes and waste less wood.
--

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• posted on April 20, 2009, 8:18 pm

Well actually that is incorrect also. if I understand what you are saying.
Given a 40" wide area that you want to divide with 2" wide spacers so that you have 3 equal length spaces between the spacer, if you divide 40" by 3 you end up with equally divided points every 13.34 inches. If you center the dividers on the 2 equally spaced marks and then move the spacers further apart half their width or 1", as I believe you are indicating, the outer spaces end up being narrower than the center. In this example 2" narrower.