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Old 02-09-2015, 05:49 AM
 
37,073 posts, read 38,367,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_gardener View Post
See, I learned something new today. I always thought it was 2 ft x 4 ft. This is why Imperial is so confusing.
Prepare for more confusion. The numbers he gave were straight conversions of 2 and 4 inches. A 2*4 is not really 2*4. The 2*4 is derived from rough cut lumber, if you handle that stuff all day long without gloves your going to have a handful of slivers especially if you have "girly" hands. Around the 30's or so they started planing them to give them a smoother finish, a standard "2*4" is actually 1.5*3.5 in.

I'm not sure what the process is now but they certainly are not removing 1/2 inch of wood from each dimension.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,652 posts, read 55,431,790 times
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Yes, I recognize that it is Wikipedia, but still think it is a pretty good discussion. And I removed the table because CD cannot render it well.
The bold statements seem contradictory, however.
Lumber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Lumber's nominal dimensions are larger than the actual standard dimensions of finished lumber. Historically, the nominal dimensions were the size of the green (not dried), rough (unfinished) boards that eventually became smaller finished lumber through drying and planing (to smooth the wood). Today, the standards specify the final finished dimensions and the mill cuts the logs to whatever size it needs to achieve those final dimensions. Typically, that rough cut is smaller than the nominal dimensions because modern technology makes it possible and it uses the logs more efficiently. For example, a "2x4" board historically started out as a green, rough board actually 2 by 4 inches (51 mm 102 mm). After drying and planing, it would be smaller, by a nonstandard amount. Today, a "2x4" board starts out as something smaller than 2 inches by 4 inches and not specified by standards, and after drying and planing is reliably 1 1⁄2 by 3 1⁄2 inches (38 mm 89 mm).


...
Early standards called for green rough lumber to be of full nominal dimension when dry. However, the dimensions have diminished over time. In 1910, a typical finished 1-inch- (25 mm) board was 13⁄16 in (21 mm). In 1928, that was reduced by 4%, and yet again by 4% in 1956. In 1961, at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Committee on Grade Simplification and Standardization agreed to what is now the current U.S. standard: in part, the dressed size of a 1 inch (nominal) board was fixed at 3⁄4 inch; while the dressed size of 2 inch (nominal) lumber was reduced from 1 5⁄8 inch to the current 1 1⁄2 inch.[9]
Dimensional lumber is available in green, unfinished state, and for that kind of lumber, the nominal dimensions are the actual dimensions."
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:55 AM
Yac
 
5,876 posts, read 6,301,096 times
As the discussion continues, remember this is the SCIENCE forum. Not POLITICS. Remember that or I will have to remind you of it and you won't like it one bit.
Carry on.
Yac.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yac View Post
As the discussion continues, remember this is the SCIENCE forum. Not POLITICS. Remember that or I will have to remind you of it and you won't like it one bit.
Carry on.
Yac.
I don't think that we can disentangle science from politics in this subject. In fact I'd argue that there is an iron triangle of science, politics and commerce/business. For the public to accept and to internalize a proposed change led from the direction of science, the political and especially the economic components have to align. Otherwise we get mired in one of the contentious debates spewed all over the news, and prompting yet another question of how the US would be such an outlier.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC, USA
2,762 posts, read 2,628,834 times
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Where is the line between industry and science ? We know that science uses the metric system. What does it mean ? I buy lumber as 2 by 4, the retailer uses 2 by 4, what about further down the line, supplier, manufacturing ? Do US lumber manufacturers use 2 by 4 or the millimeter system ?
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Sector 001
7,165 posts, read 5,971,045 times
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the road layout in many areas of the country especially flat farmland areas of the great plains is done by mile squares so it's much easier to stay with the current system... it's easy enough to look at a map and see how many miles it is based on the layout of the roads.

Also replacing all those signs would get expensive. No temperature system is really 'better' and there is no real 'need' to change to Celsius.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,671,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Most likely becsue of the material issue, everything is standard measurements.
I guess, then, tthe question is really "Why are Americans the only people in the world who lack the confidence that they can successfully deal with something that every other country has managed?"
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:40 AM
 
37,073 posts, read 38,367,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I guess, then, tthe question is really "Why are Americans the only people in the world who lack the confidence that they can successfully deal with something that every other country has managed?"
Again, you will have the need for standard sized material for practically ever unless you want to incur a lot of waste and expense. The only practical alternative here is to label standard sized materiel with metric sizes, it's still a 2*4.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Someplace Wonderful
5,170 posts, read 3,732,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpme View Post
Here is the view of an old machinist, we do not deal in inches in that crazy 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 scale most of you are used to when thinking of measurements, we figured out long ago that an inch needed to be divided in hundredths. It is an easy system to work with, 1 spin of a handwheel is .100, 1 inch is 10 turns of the wheel, its easy to count 100, 200, and 50 equals 1/4". Most of the machines in my shop are over 50 years old and still going strong and quite accurate, I cannot even imagine the cost of replacing them with newer metric machines.
I myself worked as a surface grinder in a shop that made specialty parts for THE producer of thread destined to become part of fabric for clothing, stuff like polyester blends, cotton blends etc.

The parts we made were integral to the thread manufacturing process and the tools we made were ground to a tolerance of +/- 3 mils. I wasnt there long enough to learn if there were concerns with different scales and concerns. As I said, specialty shop, and most people in America would have no reason to care.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,652 posts, read 55,431,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I guess, then, tthe question is really "Why are Americans the only people in the world who lack the confidence that they can successfully deal with something that every other country has managed?"
LOL

Why are Americans the only people in the world who really just don't give a crap how other countries handle details of their business?
That, sir, is the definition of confidence.
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