OK, here's a question to anyone that knows.
In countries that strictly use metrics, how big is a sheet of plywood?
Does it still measure 4x8 feet (but in metric)? Do they still space
studs 16 or 24 inches (but in metric)?
That's what I dont understand.
If not, what are the sizes they use?
I also don't think people realize that there are actually advantages to
the english system. for example, what if you had to find the center of
a window opening that was 32 5/8" you can come up with 16 5/16 in a
flash. try it in metric without a calculator. Also, there is the
issue of precision. at various times, you might need precision within
a 32nd, 16th, 1/8th, and so on. with metric you have mm, cm, and
It's also not true that the whole world has managed. I have a friend
in Chile who tells me they have converted to metric, but not in
First of all, they would have specified that window opening as 84 cm not
83.625 cm, so halving it is pretty easy. The decimal system is a cinch to
work with. As far as precision is concerned, try microns or nanometers!
You know the "Foot" began as exactly what it sounds like. Apparently
the guy that created the foot as a measurement had a 12 inch foot in
his shoes. This is true.
Now, lets guess that back then, the people were being attacked by wild
animals and had a lot of accidents with no medical care available.
That means that most people only had 8 fingers or toes. That must be
where they came up with the inch and divisions of 4. (just kiddin
about this part).
| >>>I also don't think people realize that there are actually advantages to
| >>>the english system. for example, what if you had to find the center of
| >>>a window opening that was 32 5/8" you can come up with 16 5/16 in a
| >>>flash. try it in metric without a calculator.
| >> First of all, they would have specified that window opening as 84 cm not
| >> 83.625 cm, so halving it is pretty easy. The decimal system is a cinch to
| >> work with. As far as precision is concerned, try microns or nanometers!
| >Anyone has 8 fingers? 16 toes?. LOL!
| >Real logical numbering is binary.
| You know the "Foot" began as exactly what it sounds like. Apparently
| the guy that created the foot as a measurement had a 12 inch foot in
| his shoes. This is true.
| Now, lets guess that back then, the people were being attacked by wild
| animals and had a lot of accidents with no medical care available.
| That means that most people only had 8 fingers or toes. That must be
| where they came up with the inch and divisions of 4. (just kiddin
| about this part).
The inch is "the distance from the tip of the King's thumb to the first knuckle.
Good thing the king in question was normally equipped.
Make that king's bodies - there were many standards for foot and not all of them
were the same. Ditto inch. Every country in the old world had its own version
each unit and some had several competing versions within a country.
You can find properties in Canada with titles in acres and the one adjacent
is in arpents. Those would be over 250 years old, of course. The most modern
ones would be hectares.
I wonder what that part might be......
Want to impress a woman...
The average penis is 6 inches. That means it's 15.24 centimeters.
Just tell some woman that yours is a 15 (dont say 15 what)...
I guess this is one of the advantages of metric
Hee hee !!!
first of all, I'm talking carpentry. maybe you do, but i don't know
any carpenter out there measuring in 1/64ths, yards (except when
ordering carpet or concrete), miles, nanometers, or microns. my point
is that the english system works well for carpentry. no, i don't think
nasa should be using the english system.
I used the example of finding a midpoint because we do that a lot. the
house i'm building now has a lot of rough openings of 36 1/4. why the
quarter? no idea, but i doubt that if we were in the metric system,
manufacturers would mend their ways and start sizing things in even
numbers to make it a speck easier for us poor brain dead carpenters.
i didn't say that the english system was more precise. I meant that
the kind of precision that is required in building a house is easily
obtained with fractions. sometimes 1/32 precision is required,
sometimes 1/16, sometimes 1/8, etc. Of course i don't think that the
english system is more precise. there are more precision options.
i am in fact quite familiar with the metric system. I been to college,
took physics and chemistry. passed even. give me a metric tape and a
pile of metric materials, and i'd get used to it. probably find some
things easier, but i bet you there'd be other things that aren't
easier. so don't tell me that metric is always in all ways better. I
don't buy it.
Convenient that you chose an even number easily divided by two. How
about dividing 33 cm by three? That's just as equally arbitrary and
How is that a difference? Making a semi-unit conversion is certainly
not easier than moving a decimal point. To add this string of numbers
3/16" + 1' 5/8" + 37 yards 31/32" you have to find the greatest common
denominator and convert all of the others, so you have to doing
multiplication above and below the line, plus you have to convert yards
by that not very convenient 3. In metric, adding this string of
numbers 33 cm + 112mm + 42 m only requires you to add the requisite
number of zeroes to the greater-unit numbers.
You're also ignoring the obvious fact that you are _already_ using the
decimal system. Say you need precision greater than 32nds or 64ths,
what do you do? You move to the bastard metric system and start using
hundreths and thousandths. Now the two systems converge - where
greater accuracy and precision is required, they both resort to just
moving the decimal point. No conversions necessary.
You mentioned thousandths....
Is that thousandths of an inch or something else?
Lets say my sparkplug gap is 45 thou....
does that mean the gap is 45 over 1000 of an inch, or what?
I always thought those drill bits with solid numbers (like 30) rather
than fractions (like 1/8") were metric?
OK, so you measure that same window with a metric tape measure and discover
that it's 829 mm wide -- do you really think that a calculator is necessary to
find that the midpoint is 414.5 mm?
Try a more realistic example: What's half of, say, 33 5/16 inches? That's just
a hair over 846 mm. Which is easier to divide by two in your head?
What if you need to divide by three, or five?
And your point is...?
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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