# Changing Building Materials to Metric

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Our share of the global economy is rapidly diminishing. It is just a matter of time when the rest of the world decides that dealing with English measurement to accomodate us is just too much trouble.
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wrote:

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?
Mark
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wrote in message

I have asked several people from metric countries if eggs were sold by ten or by dozens.
An interesting experiment. We leave it for the student . . .
Charlie
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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 meters.
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 building materials.
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marson wrote:

Hmmm, You mean Imperial system is more accurate than Metric? I am afraid not!
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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!
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PanHandler wrote:

Hmmm, Anyone has 8 fingers? 16 toes?. LOL! Real logical numbering is binary.
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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).
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| >> | >>>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! | >> | >> | >Hmmm, | >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.
-- PDQ
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PDQ wrote:

They seem to have used just about every part of the king's body except one. Not long enough?
Harry K
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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 of 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.
Mike
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wrote:

<ROTFL> 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 !!!
Mark
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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.
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That's 92.075 centimeters. Given that these are *rough* openings, you'd probably go with 92 centimeters in decimal, which is easily divisible by 2.
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marson wrote:

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 meaningless example.

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.
R
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wrote:

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?
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wrote:

Yes: 0.045 inches.

Nope. That's something altogether different. Google "numbered drill sizes", for example http://www.patchn.com/drillsizesnumbered.htm
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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It's not. It's 45 mils, or 25 mikes,
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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?

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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So find the center of an opening 31 5/8" in a flash. Or devide a space 20 feet, 2 5/8" into 3 even spaces.
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