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Old 01-03-2013, 04:42 PM   #111 (permalink)
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you buy timber in metric here

eg
http://harpertimber.com.au/resources...mber-sizes.php

many people still use names like fourbetwo to mean either 90x45 or even 90x35.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #112 (permalink)
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...as Americans, we're not good with changing.
I noticed this general reluctance to change... it is ingrained pretty deep.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:06 PM   #113 (permalink)
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I noticed this general reluctance to change... it is ingrained pretty deep.
To be fair, I found it has its advantages and so tended to adopt that attitude while I was there. It meant I didn't have to carry as many pairs of undies.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #114 (permalink)
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The politics are broken down into roughly two groups. Those who believe and insist that their way is the only way and governments need to control it and those who believe they are absolutely correct in saying we don't need to change, we have been fine with out change.
Yeah, imagine that, living in a nanny state where the government has so much say in your life it even tells you where you can cross the road.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:28 PM   #115 (permalink)
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When visiting Canada I made a effort to not convert to english in my head while I was there. LIke you say, "pretty close" or "kinda hot" is all the resolution I needed, I didn't need precise conversions anyways. That made life easier.

In the car things got along a lot easier once I realized I didn't need to convert km/h to miles/hr and km to miles to figure out how long it would take to get there, some direct division got me to (imperial) hours directly. Obvious I know, but sometimes it takes me a while to figure things out even when it's obvious.
To get comfortable with metrics, the best thing to do is to just use it and stop converting or trying to convert. I only think in metric units in healthcare because that's all I've ever used.

As another example, I think that most of us American Triumph riders have no trouble visualizing M4, M6, M10 bolts, 140mm tires, and such, because we work with them on our bikes. We spend no time or effort converting them in our heads, they just are what they are.

Teaching children the metric system by making them convert measurements to and from familiar units pretty much guarantees failure. Conversion should be incidental and secondary to the actual use of the units.

No system is superior per se, but it's in our own interest to use the same system that the rest of the world already uses.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:29 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Back in the days when most towns had their own sawmill (unless they were located on the treeless prairies), when you wished to build a balloon-frame structure, you cut down some of the trees on your own property (or paid to cut them down on someone else's), sawed them into appropriate lengths (most farm wagons took an 8' load), and took them to the local steam- or water-powered sawmill, and had them sawed into boards. The sawyer cut them into standard sizes, like 2" x 4" or 1" x 6", using a jig.

The boards were rough-cut, which was great for most uses. But if you were prosperous, and wanted a fine house, you might pay someone (or do it yourself if you had the skill) to plain them smooth by hand, so the walls of your house would smooth and even. That way, splinters and irregularities in the boards would not catch on your clothes or your curtains. Hand-finishing the boards for a house or building was a slow, tedious process that added greatly to the cost and building time of the structure.

Also, you didn't want to build your fine, finished house of green lumber. You had to let it dry for a while. otherwise, it would warp in place as it dried. But the drying process shrinks the wood even more

Having a "finished" house was a sign of wealth. The progression was (1) log cabin, (2) rough-cut board house, often built onto the log cabin, and (3) finished house. Abe Lincoln's house in Salem, IL, would have been considered a very fine house even before he added the second story because it was made of finished lumber.

When milling lumber became an industry, the mills kept the jigs and used the 2x4, 1x6 and other standard sizes people were used to, but they added planing machines which greatly reduced the cost and time to get milled lumber. They also kiln-dried the lumber, saving several months of waiting. The mills could then load the milled and dried lumber onto the railroad and send it out all over the country through the railway net. By that time, much of the local forests had been cut away in the more settled parts of the country. Carpenters still used the old standard sizes, but the milling process on the rough boards reduced them, as we see today.

Today, the machines that cut lumber into boards use band saws with very narrow, strong blades that can cut lumber very accurately and smoothly with very little wastage in the kerf (the gap created by the width of a saw blade). Most lumber leaves the machines without needing further planing for ordinary construction.

By then the sizes of boards has been standardized, based on results attainable by the old steam-powered mills, which used immense circular blades, much thicker than those used today.

Here is a good site showing the steps for milling boards in a small sawmilling operation:
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_bas...from_logs.html
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:23 PM   #117 (permalink)
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I noticed this general reluctance to change... it is ingrained pretty deep.

You did??

Out of interest, in the time you spent over here, just how many people did you ask to change to the metric system...you were here for a year or so, I imagine you can recount numerous incidents, perhaps dozens of them???
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #118 (permalink)
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well actually... having travelled in the US with him for 2 months I can say there were a number of occasions where he did bring that very topic up Mr D.

Amongst several others but that one was was fairly regularly discussed.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #119 (permalink)
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You did??

Out of interest, in the time you spent over here, just how many people did you ask to change to the metric system...you were here for a year or so, I imagine you can recount numerous incidents, perhaps dozens of them???

Well, there probably 40-50 times I thought of hitting him in the head with a 90x45 because of his insistence that all right minded folk should use the French system.

I will say he wasn't forceful, just constant.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Hahahahaha!!
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