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How to build a wooden wishing well

The Gap Equation

wishing well gap equation

The distance of the gap between the palings is crucial to forming a good circle. The gap, or spacing between the palings (a) should be the thickness of the wall board divided by 2.6.

For example: The thickness of the palings in this project is 25mm (1").

Therefore: 25mm (1") divided by 2.6 = 9.6mm or near enough to 10mm (3/8"). Hence the gap or spacings between the palings in this project will be 10mm (3/8").

Note: The width of the wall paling has no bearing on the size of the gap. Whether the palings are 100mm x 25mm (1x4) or 200x25 (1x8), the gap will be the same. Only the thickness and the total number of palings matter. 14 palings (a) and 2 extended palings (b) make 16 palings in all. Each paling is at a 22.5 degree angle to the next, and 22.5 degrees times 16 is 360 degrees, which is a circle. Get it? Yep!

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Note: The above formula will only work if the corners of the boards are square. If the corners are rounded the equation will not work.

right and wrong wishing well palings
Cross-section of the palings.

But, there is a way you can use lumber with rounded corners, as explained on the next page.