A method to divide a line, ring or circle into equal parts

John B.

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Nov 9, 2006
Los Angeles area, California.
I started this as a new thread so as to not hijack the excellent thread of ring division that was posted by Tall Gary.
Thank you for those great templates Gary.

This is a method of dividing any length or diameter into equal parts.

This is very easy to do and will give you accurate divisions of any length of line, border, ring or circle if a little care is used.
No math required.
In my illustration I used a hypothetical baseline length of 4 5/16” and divided it into 13 parts.
This would be a tough job if one were using math alone.
I’m sure many of us learned this method in school, but we may have forgotten it.

To divide any length or diameter into parts first establish this length.
Many times the easiest way is to apply tape to the part and cut to the tape length.
Most times it is not necessary to know the actual measurement in inches or centimeters.
Apply this tape to a sheet of paper and that establishes the length of your baseline.
It may pay to enlarge it on a copier by 200-300% if it is a short length.
We will be marking this baseline for the number of divisions and larger is more accurate.
This will also make it easier to work with and we can reduce it back on a copier later.
From this baseline project a vertical line from one end at exactly 90 degrees.
Now mark a point on the other end of the baseline.
Lay a divided straight edge or ruler from this point on a diagonal to cross the vertical line.
Select any set of marks on this where it crosses the vertical line that will easily give you the number of divisions you require to divide the baseline length.
It does not matter if you are using quarter or half inch or centimeters as indicators.
Lightly draw in this diagonal line.
Carefully mark the divisions on the diagonal line.
Using a 90 degree triangle aligned with the base line and the division marks on the diagonal line project these marks down to the baseline.

This is very easy to do and will give you accurate divisions of any total length if a little care is used.
Using math alone, dividing 4 5/16 by 13 would be quite difficult but is very simple using this method.
It can be used to divide rings or circles or border lengths.
You can also use it to make repeated but different size spaces on the baseline.
I hope you find this information useful, many of you already know it I’m sure.
John B.


  • Dividing into equal parts.jpg
    Dividing into equal parts.jpg
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