# Formula for spacing fence pickets??

Help!
There has got to be a simple math formula for laying out pickets on a wood fence.
Due to odd terrain, I have several 4x4 posts spaced at 96" and some spaced as small as 54".
I'm using 1x6 (5/8" x 5-3/4") treated pickets and want to space them about 3", maybe 4" apart.
In the past I've just eyeballed the spacing and made a few adjustments. This time I'd like to layout some centerlines for the pickets based upon the 4x4 spacing that varies.
Thanks!
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No math formula; it's even simpler than that: standard spacing between pickets is one picket width. Just use a picket as a spacer.
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It seems to me that if your posts are different distances apart, nothing will come out even anyway. So, I would take the length of the whole run of fence and divide it up to space the pickets evenly. You'll be able to see the posts in some cases, not in others. By painting/staining the posts in a contrasting color to the pickets, the pickets will stand out and look evenly spaced. Or, hope you get lucky.
But, do what you have to. :-)
Hank
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http://www.virginiarailingandgates.com/calculations_picketspace.asp
R
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One more thing: I believe you would want them no farther apart than the code for a porch railing, because kids can get their head caught between them. I am not sure what the code calls for, probably 4 inches.
Hank
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

A sphere 4" in diameter shall not pass through.
--
Dennis

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The 11th Commandmant?
R
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

in many places there is code which requires them to be gapped small enough that a child cannot get their head through them and get stuck.
if you have other small animals around to be concerned with keeping in or out then it also makes sense to size the gap for them.
songbird
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On Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:08:51 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

They shrink everywhere. I thought, if one was building a stockade picket fence, he was supposed to use aged pickets that have already shrunk as much as they are going to.
If not, they shrink later and people can easily look through the cracks they make between each other.
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On Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 12:34:30 PM UTC-4, SamTheBobber wrote:

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On the smooth side with no post showing install a picket on each post. Meas ure the distance from picket on post to picket on post. Multiply the number on pickets times the picket width. Subtract the total picket width from th e picket to picket distance. Divide this by the total plus one more picket and you have the exact distance between each picket. Example 43 inches and a 5.75 picket width. Five pickets times 5.75 equals 28.75. So 43 minus 28.7 5 equals 14.25. 14.25 divided by 6 equals 2.375 which is two and three eigh ts of an inch. You can use an online decimal to fraction converter and visa versa..On the side of the fence with the post showing just make sure you i nstall the pickets in the middle of the pickets that where installed on the other side. This formula worked perfect for me building my fence piece by piece. I looked online for a formula and could not find one so I figured th is one out by myself. Hope it helps you!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I just made a spacer template cutting strip out of the picket board. Start from center line between posts. Near the posts trim the board to finish. Repeat.
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Most people just use a picket to make the space. In other words the space is the same size as the pickets. If you want a bigger space, just use a wider board as a spacer. It's best to start at a gate so you dont end up with half a picket at the gate. On a corner you may have to adjust spacing or rip one to fit. It's not all that critical. You could even custom make a corner picket if the spacing is off, just make that one a little bigger or smaller. Once it's done, no one will really notice.
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On Sat, 14 Nov 2015 14:30:33 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

That's true. I have iirc 300 feet of picket fence, 36 years old, so many of the pickets and some of the rails have had to be replaced. (mostly the ones that don't get much sunlight).
Replacement is different from new construction. I can see from the shadow on the rail where the old picket was. Even if I replace a rail, I never need to replace the top and bottom rails at the same time. But still, to make it easy to position the new picket, say when the picket on either side is still there, I take as many as 4 pickets, two broken pickets and lean them on the lower rail on either side of where the new picket goes. And two new pickets, which I lay on the top rail on either side of the space. Usually this clearly defines where the new picket goes.
If I wanted closer spacing, I'd make up four pieces of wood, two short and two long.
Plus I lay a fifth picket over the tops of the nearby ones to show how high the new picket should be. They have a flat spot on top so that's not hard.
The original fence company put pickets at each end of each rail, making two pickets at every post, and it looks good. Where there is a corner, there are usually 3 pickets side-by-side wrapped around the post.
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wrote:

You could make your own pickets and make them the same size, but that's more work!
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On Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:31:55 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

I may have to make my own pickets. Styles have changed and I can no longer buy rails or pickets from the original fence company. This past summer, I made my own rails by buying 10' posts and taking them to a sawyer who split them down the middle for me.
I have about 100 used pickets, but some day they will run out. They are called peeled pickets, flat on one side and round on the other, like a parenthesis. If you take a tree about 4.5" in diameter, you can mill out of it a square about 3x3. The pieces left over, just outside the square, are what I need for pickets. Do you think I can find some treees that diameter? Or a sawyer who already has some. A 10 foot piece is 120 inches, which is 3 x 40", the length I need for most of my pickets, so a 10' piece would yield 12 pickets.
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