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Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM
15,962 posts, read 13,411,837 times
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Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
While it's clearly superior system it's completely impractical to switch. Let's start with the construction industry and a similar existing issue, if you have a very old house it may have rough cut 2*4's which are actually a 2*4. Modern "2*4's" are nominal dimensions and are actually 1.5*3.5 in. When you are working on existing walls in a house like this you would either have to special order true 2*4's or fur out every single regular one you install. The same issue would exist if you switched to logical metric dimensions but this would apply to just about every structure in the US. Deepening on their size they would either have to be cut to size or furred out.

Even more importantly the structural component of walls, ceiling, roofs and floors are built with 16 inch centers. When you take 4*8 sheet of drywall, plywood or whatever this perfectly fits with the edges sitting on half of your structural member. When for example you go to put a roof in you can lay most of the sheets of plywood one after the other, you only need to cut the ends and some other pieces.

This of course is also done with metric sized material which is not an issue for new construction, it's the 100's of millions of structures already built using standard material that are the issue.

To switch to the metric sytem you have to make a choice.

  • Fully switch to metric using logical dimensions.This would result in a huge amount of wasted material and increased labor costs when working on existing structures.
  • Provide both sized materials. That's going to get expensive for both production, transportation, storage etc. Furthermore the contractor who has worked with standard material his/her entire life is going to walk right by the metric material to the standard material. This would just be a giant boondoggle.
  • You could label standard sized material in odd metric dimensions but that is kind of pointless, it's still a 4*8 sheet of plywood.
As you can see not a whole lot of good options, it's not just the construction industry either. There is going to be a lot of industries where such switch is going to be a huge issue.
This is a bunch of hooey.

We have international trade of large amounts of building materials right now. Sheetrock, steel, flooring, etc are all made and sold in metric equivalents that work fine here. Talk about a tempest in a teapot. No one is going to change the size of items or waste massive amounts of material. They just change the label.
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Old Today, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
They just change the label.

If you read my post you will see this is one of the options I listed.

You could label standard sized material in odd metric dimensions but that is kind of pointless, it's still a 4*8 sheet of plywood.
This ends up as 1.219m*2.438m, not sure what the point would be... The big benefit of the metric system is it's ten based and your base sizes would be logical dimensions to take full advantage of it e.g. 1.2m*2.4m or whatever is decided upon. 40cm centers for the structural material would be really close to 16 inch centers when using a logical dimension like that. With a 1.219m*2.438m, the centers would need to be 40.6cm. You would have an endless amount of really odd dimensions, see what I'm saying?

Last edited by thecoalman; Today at 07:32 AM..
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