Can't find the original so replying here.
Why would one need a calculator to half a metric measurement? It is
simpler than the Enlish (actually American now) system. Or do you mean
to convert from 32 5/8" to metric then halve it? If so, why the hell
would you want to do that? If the naysayers would just forget about
converting back and forth they would realize their objections are
For another exampe, try 37 11/16, quick what's the 1/2 point? In
metric it is just as simple no matter what the size.
You're missing the beauty of the whole system. Right now you're doing
conversions when you need more accuracy, and more complicated
conversions. If you are measuring a big distance you speak of miles,
and think 5280 feet, if it's a room sized distance you talk of feet,
and think 12 inches, if it's the width of a board, you think inches.
If you need to be more precise you have to switch to fractions
(remember the fun you had learning fractions as a kid?).
Now compare that to the metric system where to increase or decrease the
unit of measurement you just change the name of the unit, and think 10
- either multiply or divide. There are no decimal points necessary to
deal with as you just change the unit of measurement. The unit of
measurement is the decimal point. If you want to stick with a
particular unit, you'll have to use a decimal point, but the conversion
is still less complex than dividing by 12, 5280, 16 or whatever.
Now, about your point about plywood - I'm glad you brought that up -
how thick is 1/2" plywood? It's 7/16", not a full 1/2", and that works
out to .4375". Do you ask for .4375" plywood, or even 7/16" plywood?
Of course not. It's rounded off as a convention. Everyone learns that
the first time they use a building material. Whether it's a 2"x4" not
being either 2" or 4", plywood, or whatever. You've already learned to
make that mental conversion and don't even think about it. The only
time you need to think about it, say when you're building up members or
sheets, you remember it and make the mental adjustment. Metric plywood
doesn't work that way. The number designation for the thickness of
metric plywood indicates the actual thickness - no conversion
A lot of the older houses I work on have studs that are close to the
full 2" thickness for lumber, and the actual height for the old
materials is also greater than the current materials you buy. You know
it, and you just deal with it.
Maybe they'd change the size of the box, or maybe you'd just ask for it
by a rounded off number designation. They could call it a B series
box. It really doesn't matter.
That article I linked to goes into that. Right now I have to shim out,
or cut down to make current materials match up with the old stuff. How
would the situation be any different. I'm not that old of a guy, and
I've seen the nominal lumber and plywood sized drop significantly.
When I started out a 2x was 1 5/8" thick, then they dropped to 1 9/16",
now I'm seeing 1 1/2". This is before shrinkage! It's like the
"improvements" that candy bar makers make when they make the bar
smaller and the packaging larger. You know, annoying!
Wouldn't have to.
That's another idiotic thing about the measurement system we use. We
use 16d nails, the d stands for penny, and we ask for a 16 penny nail,
even though the letter designation is the wrong letter and the penny
hasn't had anything to do with the size of the nail for over a century.
A 16d nail is ~3.5" long, which is 8.89 centimeters, you'd just ask
for a 9 cm nail. Since the 16d nail doesn't relate to anything about
the nail _anyway_, they might keep the name and it wouldn't matter.
You'd still know it was roughly the right size.
Getting your mind around an idea, particularly one that seems to
represent a major shift in thinking, can be problematic. Switching to
the metric system would be one of those situations where the thought
and apprehension beforehand would be worse than dealing with the
different dimensions once the conversion to the new system had been
Yes, i know it means penny, which you'd think would be "P" not "D",
but the guy was probably a real bad speller.
However, WHAT DOES penny have to do with a nail? Is that what they
used to charge per nail? (Which would be very expensive even today),
so I am going to take a wild guess that was the price per some
quantity of them.
It's funny, we learn all these things and never question them until
one day it slaps you in the face, like this just slapped me....
The above are purely arbitrary naming conventions, they don't
have any direct relationship to specific measurement systems.
And how long is a 16d nail anyway? First, you need to know what
_kind_ of nail it is. Back when they were really measured that
way, you also had to know the inflation rate.
And just how big is a barrel? It depends on what you put in
it. There are dozens of different size "standard" barrels
in the US alone.
SAE/Imperial grew by accretion by a whole host of arbitrary
"measures" which weren't measures of the relevant things.
I mean, indicating nail length by how much a 100 of the things
cost more than a century ago? Is that silly or what?
The value of metric is that all of the measures (length, weight,
volume etc) are directly related by simple rules. And secondly,
things specified by metric are actually based on _measurements_
other than bizarre centuries old irrelevancies.
Wouldn't it be nice to know how big a #36 or "A" drillbit is
without having to resort to a book?
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
I ran into the other side of that problem some time ago.
We bought a teak shelf system that was made in Denmark. I wanted to screw
the vertical standards into studs because this was a fairly heavy item even
before the shelves had stuff on them. The horizontal spacing of the
standards was determined by the shelf size as the shelves were keyed to the
The whole thing was metric. If I centered a standard on a stud, then the
standard on either side just barely lined up with a stud. The fourth
standard missed a stud completely and I had to resort to toggle bolts for
All was well until we moved. For three of the standards there were just
small holes where wood screws had gone in, but for the last standard I had
some ugly holes to patch. Since this was a living room location the patches
had to be well done and not slap dash.
What am I missing? They were toggle bolts so why would you be left
with big holes?. All that should be there wouild be a hole the size of
the screw. I just remove the screw and let the toggle fall into the
On 11-Mar-2006, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:
40cm, 60cm. Pretty difficult, huh?
2.4 by 1.2 m. Thickness? One inch is 25mm. A two by four is 50 by
100mm nominal. No need to be more accurate. Construction accuracy
is 1/8 inch in imperial units and some dimensions (like wood dimensions)
are nominal anyway. If you are concerned with accuracy, you have to know
the difference between nominal sizes and finished sizes.
Canada switched to metric for construction in the 70's and the construction
industry didn't fall over and die. Arguments against switching to metric are
based on fear of change, not logic.
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