dividing measurments

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Somebody wrote:

The first and last baluster space will be in error by 1/2 ballluster thickness if you attempt to layout centerlines.
Lew
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Ahhh the voice of experience!
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"Leon" wrote:

Naw, just to many years on the design board slinging lead.
Lew
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LOL, well I was going to add mechanical drawing whether on paper or on the computer. CAD spells this out in a hurry and is easy to fix. Doing it on a drawing board, you try not to make that mistake a second time.
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"Leon" wrote:

That's why all my layouts were done lightly with 6H lead and an electric eraser at my side.
Lew
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http://www.virginiarailingandgates.com/calculations_picketspace.asp
R
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mark wrote:

This is a spreadsheet I devised a few years ago to keep from having to rebuild the wheel every time I layout spindles/slats between legs, rails, posts, etc when doing A&C/Mission furniture:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/files/SlatCalculation.xls
CAVEAT: It has been posted a few times in the past five years and manages to start an argument every time. It works _perfectly_ for me and others who have used it for the purpose for which it was intended. NOTE:I have no intention engaging in argument of any type regarding the formula, if it doesn't work for someone, they can either roll their own by tweaking the formula for their specific purpose, or kiss my ass, whichever suits the time and place...
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At least it wasn't done in SU, so it should work.....<g,d&r>
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Robatoy wrote:

Hmmm ... come to think of it, SU Pro uses spreadsheet formulas for dynamic component creation.
... stand by. ;)
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Oh noes!! What have I done????
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On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:04:56 -0700, mark wrote:

Measure the distance. Subtract the total width of the balusters. Divide by the # of balusters + 1. Cut a spacer from scrap to that width.
That's how I did my porch.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Works for me, Larry.
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This is also where metric shines..... and pretty much the only time I use metric.
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On Mon, 20 Apr 2009 18:01:46 -0500, Larry Blanchard

As I did the railings around my deck, and ...
I think the confusion is coming in because someone brought centerlines into the discussion. You can do it with centerlines, you just have to account for the fact that the measurement to the first centerline from the edge of the opening is NOT a centerline to centerline measurement.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Put your balusters together, measure (Call this "A"). Then measure the total distance the balusters go in (Call this "B"). B minus A = "C" & divide "C" by the number of spaces (probably one more than the number of balusters). Ta da!!!
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On Thu, 23 Apr 2009 23:02:53 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Remember that dimension, call it "D", is the width of the opening between the balusters, not the distance between centerlines. Call the width of the baluster "W".
From the edge of the opening measure D. From that point measure W. Those points mark the edges of the baluster. Then repeat the measurements D & W from the edge of each baluster until you've marked all the baluster locations.
OR: mark the edge of the first baluster with the dimension "D", then repeat from that point with the dimension D+W. That locates only one edge of each baluster, but that's all that's really needed.
OR, and the way I do it is: Cut a couple of spacers with length D and use them to locate top and bottom of each baluster from the edge of the opening or from the last baluster installed. Tolerance stackup can cause perceptible mislocation of the last few balusters installed. Especially if you work from one end toward the other. Instead, I'll locate the center baluster(s) and work toward each end from there. If there are an odd number of balusters, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. the centerline of the center baluster will be at the midpoint of the opening. If there are an even number of balusters, the center of a space between balusters will be at the midpoint of the opening. Position and install the center baluster(s) and work from there with the spacer. That cuts the tolerance buildup and baluster mislocation in half.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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...sticks are great! If I'm following myself (and who doesn't like that?!) I'll use sticks to layout *and* position the posts. If I have this luxury, then it follows to use said longer sticks as layout markers for the balusters, then, using the aformentioned smaller sticks for nailing/screwing helpers becomes really simple...plus you'll always know where you stand as far as creep goes, there shouldn't much! If the bay sizes vary, choices have to be made...the main choice is 'do you want to vary the spaces between balusters from bay to bay, or keep those spaces the same for the entire job?' Here, I usually opt for door #2 and keep those spaces the same; letting the end measurements vary *evenly* side-to-side. This allows me to keep using the same longer sticks as layout guides, indexing from center points.
cg
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On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:34:06 -0700, Charlie Groh

Agree!
Variation in spacing from bay to bay is more visually objectionable than a smaller spacing at the ends of bays. The visual flow is already broken by the boundary of the bay (post, wall, etc.), so there's where the "odd sized" spaces should be.
Since the maximum baluster spacing is often set by code (don't want children to get there heads caught between balusters), that makes a good start point for laying out the pattern.
1. Choose the spacing you want, "D", less than or equal to the code required maximum.
2. Let the width of a baluster be "W" - assuming all the balusters are the same width.
3. Calculate the number of balusters in the bay, "N", where the length of bay = "B": Since the number of spaces is 1 more than the number of balusters, B = W x N + D x (N+1) and solve for N = (B-D)/(W+D).
4. Since that calculation rarely gives a whole number for "N", round it up to the next whole number, and you have the number of balusters for that bay. Round up instead of down so that the end spaces are smaller than "D" instead of larger than "D".
5. If N is an odd number, the centerline of the center baluster coincides with the midpoint of the bay. If N is an even number, the space between the two center balusters is centered on the midpoint of the bay.
6. Layout the baluster positions from the centered baluster(s), with "D" separation, using whatever method pleases you - spacers, story stick, tape measure, whatever.
Really simple - One decision (width of baluster spacing, D), two measurements (width of bay, B, and width of baluster, W), and one simple calculation and the entire bay of balusters is fully defined.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Sample:
We have a bay 6' 4" long that we want to fill with 1 3/8" balusters with 3 1/2" open space between balusters.
D = 3.5" B = 6' 4" = 76" W = 1.375"
N = (B-D)/(W+D) = (76-3.5)/(1.375+3.5) = 14.871 Rounding N up to the next whole number, N 
Since the number of balusters, 15, is odd, the centerline of the center baluster is centered on the bay (38" from either end), the clear space between each baluster is 3 1/2", and the clear space between the end balusters and the end of the bay is 3 3/16". Calculating the end spacing, 3 3/16", isn't necessary and is left as an exercise for the reader, if so inclined.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Tom Veatch wrote:

I don't know where you live but before you proceed to far you may wish to check the building codes. Some have very specific ideas about how far balusters should be apart. I believe the basic is that a small child's head should not be able to get his head through the spaces.
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