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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question Question from the UK

Could someone explain to me what you chaps mean by 8/4 board or 4/4 board or eight quarter board or 4 quarter board etc? seen this many times on US sites but I am at a loss as to what it means, obviously very simple but then so am I.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 01:36 PM
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Hi Andy

8/4 board is a board that is 2" thick the norm, a 4/4 board is 1" thick board, a 5/4 board is 1 1/4" thick and so on.

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Could someone explain to me what you chaps mean by 8/4 board or 4/4 board or eight quarter board or 4 quarter board etc? seen this many times on US sites but I am at a loss as to what it means, obviously very simple but then so am I.



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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 01:56 PM
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Hi Andy: It's pretty simple and dates back to inches. When dealing with hard woods
oak, poplar, etc they use the terms in quarters of an inch. 4/4, 8/4 or spelled out
it is the same quarter inch, 4/4 would be 1 inch, 8/4 would be 2 inches. If the wood is
plaaned down it would measure approx. 3/4 inch for the 4/4 and about 1 1/2 inches for the 8/4 boards. Hope this helps. woodnut65
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 08:25 AM
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Well I'll be damned, and you guys reckon the metric system is complicated! One day someone will find a way to add a virus to the metric system so that it quickly spreads to the backward countries! (now ducking for cover)

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:00 AM
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one day someone will find a way to add a virus to the metric system so that it quickly spreads to the backward countries! (now ducking for cover)
pmsl!
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:48 AM
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pmsl!
It's no joke Titus, I've been trying for over three years to convince our American friends that the metric system has a great deal to offer, don't you agree?

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:10 AM
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Hi Harry

I think we will use it as the default system when we drive on the wrong side of the road also.

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It's no joke Titus, I've been trying for over three years to convince our American friends that the metric system has a great deal to offer, don't you agree?



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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:00 AM
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Thank you BJ, I was always puzzled by those numbers.
Now all I have to do is remember them!
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-06-2010, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'll be damned, and you guys reckon the metric system is complicated! One day someone will find a way to add a virus to the metric system so that it quickly spreads to the backward countries! (now ducking for cover)
I agree, Metric is good, use millimetres only and nothing else when woodworking and it gets very easy and more accurate, hence 1059mm is one thousand and fiftynine millimetres or one metre and fiftynine millimetres and so on, in fact if you use millimetres only, there is no need to write 'mm' after the measurement so a drawing stays very uncluttered, so two metres six hundred and forty seven millimetres reads as 2647, simples, there are no decimal places, no halfs, quarters eigths etc. to complicate matters. I think the mistake people make is to try and convert everything back to inches, if you use metric, use metric and do not convert, it gets very easy very quickly.

Thanks for the information on the 4/4 etc
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-06-2010, 08:21 PM
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Hi Andy:

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Originally Posted by andersonec View Post
I agree, Metric is good, ...
Actually, metric or imperial has nothing to do with it. In the early days of house construction a person would use the materials at hand in the sizes easily produced and managed. Eventually, it was found that a board 2" thick and 4" wide was an ideal size for house construction. Some years later, governments started examining how houses were built and why they burned quickly. It was found that rough cut lumber caught fire much quicker than planed lumber. So government mandated the use of "planed" lumber. There were several other decisions that led to the use of kiln-dried lumber.

However, they also standardized materials at that time. It was found that a large sawmill would use a circular saw with a 1/4" wide tooth whereas a small operation would use a much thinner band saw. Government mandated that a 2x4 would measure 1.5"x3.5" to allow for drying shrinkage, sawing, and planing. Then other materials, (i.e. gyproc) were produced to augment a stud wall in some way. They took the 3.5" thickness of a wall, add a vapour barrier and finally the gyproc to produce a 4" thick insulated wall, plus exterior cladding.

When Canada switched over to metric it was found that converting building materials were so ingrained into imperial measure that it was found to be too costly to covert the industry to metric.

Any attempts to convert the industry since then have been met with a confusion of machinery and standards all based on imperial measure. Canada examined carefully changing it's national building codes to metric but shortly into the project it was found that there were so many dependencies that it was impossible to engineer a migration path at that time. Perhaps sometime in the future. Perhaps Harry or some of the other metric proponents could save the world's governments billions of dollars and provide that "perfect" migration path.

To give you an idea of how pervasive imperial measure is, I bought 200 concrete retaining wall blocks. They were expressed in "approximated metric units" which turned out to be converted and rounded imperial measurements. It seems that the molds and machinery used to produce the blocks were made many years ago in imperial and are still in use. That's another source of problems for metrification. Who's going to pay to upgrade machinery that is 50 years old and still working economically and efficiently.

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