Author Topic: dang metric!  (Read 8760 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1273
dang metric!
« on: June 14, 2009, 06:16 PM »
Uncle Bob was kind enough to forward along the Parallel Guide Set (after I was kind enough to give him my CC #).  It was short a part, it was missing one of the brass adjustment screws and matching nuts but Bob is sending this out although it appears they aren't really that necessary as it is pretty square anyway.  As a old U.S. imperial measurement guy from way back, this metric thing is driving me nuts.  For example, I am building a shop cart using a set of Lee Valley plans that uses U.S. measurements.  For me to make the narrow strips the plans call for, I had to take their measurement, divide the fractional part to get it into a decimal form, add the number of inches (2 3/4 being 2.75 for example) and multiply by 25.4 to come up with an approximate metric measurement.  Then you have to set the stops the approximate the metric equivalent and hope it's close enough.  I see what Brice was talking about in re: the gap between the edge of the tape to the edge of the rail.  You do have try to look closely.  One would think the US market in large enough to warrant manufacturing a U.S. inch scale so we don't have to do so much math and introduce the possibility of error.  I found myself multiplying once by 24.5 instead of 25.4 so a couple of pieces are slightly off.  Am I being too much of a U.S. homer?  I like the simplicity of metric and if the plans came in metric measurements, it would be no problem.  Just venting a bit.  Like the unit a lot, a bit of a pain to get used to but it delivers as advertised.  Keep your calculator handy, though...
Howard H
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Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 07:24 PM »
 As a old U.S. imperial measurement guy from way back, this metric thing is driving me nuts.  For example, I am building a shop cart using a set of Lee Valley plans that uses U.S. measurements.  For me to make the narrow strips the plans call for, I had to take their measurement, divide the fractional part to get it into a decimal form, add the number of inches (2 3/4 being 2.75 for example) and multiply by 25.4 to come up with an approximate metric measurement.  Then you have to set the stops the approximate the metric equivalent and hope it's close enough.  I see what Brice was talking about in re: the gap between the edge of the tape to the edge of the rail.  You do have try to look closely.  One would think the US market in large enough to warrant manufacturing a U.S. inch scale so we don't have to do so much math and introduce the possibility of error.  I found myself multiplying once by 24.5 instead of 25.4 so a couple of pieces are slightly off.  Am I being too much of a U.S. homer?  I like the simplicity of metric and if the plans came in metric measurements, it would be no problem.  Just venting a bit.  Like the unit a lot, a bit of a pain to get used to but it delivers as advertised.  Keep your calculator handy, though...

Some time the US will catch up with the rest of the world  :o and then things will be easier.  ???

But until then why not print from http://www.metric-conversions.org/cgi-bin/util/conversion-chart.cgi?type=2&from=16&to=6 that one is from 0.1 up to 1000 inches or http://www.metric-conversions.org/conversion-charts/length/millimeters-to-inches-conversion-chart.pdf
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 07:35 PM by JeromeM »
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline rwdawson

  • Posts: 134
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 08:11 PM »
Howard,

You are experiencing the most difficult part of going metric -- mixing metric and imperial measurements.  And, to make it more frustrating, a Canadian company is trying to make it easier for Americans by catering to our perceived needs.  If they stuck with metric, like the rest of Canada, you wouldn't be ranting.

The conversion chart is a good idea.  Another one is to get a tape measure that reads both imperial and metric.  Fastcap has one, as do several other manufacturers.  The Wixey digital calipers measure imperial and metric.  Sometimes I set mine to the desired imperial reading, then press the mm button to go metric.  Of course, you can also measure things with it, but you are limited to the six inches or so capacity of the device.

HTH,

Richard

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1273
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 08:14 PM »
I have a conversion chart on the wall in my garage/shop but it is still easier to get a more precise conversion by using a calculator.  If it comes out to some decimal of a mm, then that's usually close enough.  I can't see that close.  I suppose I could take all the plan measurements and put the metric equivalent next to them or design my own plans from scratch using metric but I'm not quite that good yet.  I'll get there eventually.  I still have a hard time visualizing how long something is when it is stated in MM.  Tell me 12", no problem!  Say 305mm and I'll be going "huh"?  I bought the Festool tape to help me along.  It works pretty well but the graduations are a bit hard to read.  I have a similar digital gauge. I'm trying to go metric but they don't make it easy!  BTW, the plans showed the plywood in both metric and U.S. units.  It called for 6mm, 12mm and 16mm ply.  I took my calipers with me to Lowes so I could make sure I was buying the right thing.  Metric ply is very difficult to find down here. 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 08:18 PM by HowardH »
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

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Offline polarsea1

  • Posts: 294
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 11:32 PM »
I bought several of the Fastcap metric tapes and they've been a great help. I ballpark things in imperial then use metric to build.  ::)

Offline VSM_4

  • Posts: 457
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 06:58 AM »
I have been wanting a standard mesuring strip for my TS55 depth gauge.  I know that it uses mm, but for some reason I just think of them as numbers. If I want to cut 3/4" ply  put it on #27, not 27mm (in my head)     
Vinny

Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 1010
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 10:58 AM »
I haven't done it yet myself but I'm wondering if there is any reason why the metric tapes couldn't be replaced with and imperial peel and sticks.  And when replacing go ahead and get the edge of the tape closer to the stop.
The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3171
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2020, 04:52 AM »
Hey Alexa...... convert 3/8” to metric. “3/8” is 9.525mm
Birdhunter

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1749
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2020, 06:32 AM »
"One would think the US market in large enough to warrant manufacturing a U.S. inch scale so we don't have to do so much math and introduce the possibility of error."

Like everyone else in the US I was brought up with the imperial system of measurement, but we were also taught the metric system and told "someday soon everything will be metric so you'd better learn to like the metric system" or words to that affect. That was 50+ years ago for me, and the powers that be have resisted making the change for decades, which has led to some disasterous results. So we are left in a place that is worse than we were before the tried to move us to the metric system, and that is a mix of both systems.

Most of that resistance I would guess (myassumption, no proof) is that manufacturers are the ones behind the move to block adoption of the metric system here, at least in the beginning. I base that on they would have incurred the greatest expense in making the change. Since this all happened beofre computers ruled the World imagine how difficult it would have been to change all your documentation and machinery over to metric, not to mention the growing pains of a workforce that while exposed to the metric system does not fully embrace it nor are they comfortable enough working with it to be second nature.

Never mind that the metric system is much easier to calculate, everyone still thinks in feet, inches, and fractions. And I am one of those. When I look at something and guesstimate its length I don't think to myself that's 35 mm long, I think that looks to be about 1-3/8", not even 1.375, but one and three eights inches. I bet most of us do the same if you're here in the US. That mental picture of length or volume that we carry around is what holds us back as individuals I would suspect. I can't think in terms of milliliters or millimeters and pressure is even worse. How many PSI is one Pascal or one Bar, I don't have a clue.

I can look it up, use an app on my phone, or ask Alexa, but those all take time and subconsciously probably make people feel inferior that they have to seek outside help so they go with what they know anad stick to Imperial measurements.

The auto manufacturers and other industries that manufactuer and sell on a global scale have seen the light and changed over long ago. And though many government agencies use the metric system that spark has not been enough to generate a following and move us to catch up with the rest of the World. Just another part of our isolationist mentality I guess. The argument will be why do I have ot change just because everyone else has or metric is not better just different or one of a dozen other lame reasons for holding back.

I didn't read though this just providing it for your reference. It's almost comical how we have resisted the change, but someday, maybe in my grandkids lifetime, we will convert.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_the_United_States
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Offline jcrowe1950

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    • Woodcraft Chattanooga, TN
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2020, 08:25 AM »
Howdy Folks,

For me, the conversion to metric is not a big deal for construction of cabinets etc. If using LR 32, for instance, it all makes sense. My challenge, when I lived in Sweden, was kilometers as in driving speeds. 110 kph seems really fast until you do the conversions...68 mph and change. 8)
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline casper

  • Posts: 22
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2020, 08:47 AM »
If I have to convert from metric to imperial I use a digital vernier caliper, set it to the imperial scale and press the button for the imperial equivelant. 

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 410
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 09:56 AM »
Hey Alexa...... convert 3/8” to metric. “3/8” is 9.525mm

I’ve Alexa in the shop but since I’ve mostly metric rules I’m usually asking her to add/subtract ... works great!

I also have tape measures or rules with both imperial/metric. I recommend SS Starrett rules which have both ... I have 4 different lengths going up to about 3’. The metric Woodpecker tools align with the Starretts. NOTE: not all rules have equal spacing and are different so make sure if you use different ones during a project that they’re all laid out the same. I have a Stanley metric/imperial tape measure which is exactly the same as Starrett but the repeating numbering of 1-9 after each 100cm caused me to have errors so I’ve now a True32 tape measure which is slightly off from my Starretts but is in mm and is close enough ... 0.5mm off over 1M.  Metric may seem hard at first but you’ll quickly remember 25.4, moving the decimal one place, 3/4” is 19mm, 4x8’ sheets are 1220x2440mm, and you start getting a general sense of things as you make projects. See my thread about I keep cutting things short for some helpful ideas to not make these mistakes when using metric.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 10:06 AM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2020, 10:10 AM »
Hey Alexa...... convert 3/8” to metric. “3/8” is 9.525mm

There you go...bringing back a necro-thread specifically to make us buy another "tool" for the shop. I guess Amazon gets some more of my money. LOL

Seriously, that's a great idea...I work mostly in metric now for the last two years and love it, but have some clients that require Imperial. When I must make a conversion, I've been using the browser on my CNC computer or my "shop Mac". It sounds like (literally...sound) that an Alexa or Siri based assistant might be a great alternative.
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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2066
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2020, 10:40 AM »
Snip. 110 kph seems really fast until you do the conversions...68 mph and change. 8)[/color][/size][/font]

When I drive in the States, I keep doing math in my head to be sure I won't get tailgated on the highway. I have to constantly do the multiplication of 1.5 (faster than doing the 1.6 operation) on the road. If I have a GPS in the car, I can save the calculations and slow down when I hear the voice alarm.

Online Just Bill

  • Posts: 26
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2020, 10:33 PM »
Gosh, it would never even occur to me to try and convert imperial to metric so I could use the rules to set the distance of the parallel guides to cut strips of plywood. I would simply measure and pencil mark the distance I needed on both ends of the plywood with an imperial tape, set my guide rail on the plywood so the marks are split in half by the cutting strip of the guide rail, and then set the parallel guides in place so that it was repeatable for the next cut. Done.
Maybe I am missing something?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7756
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2020, 10:56 PM »
If I have a GPS in the car, I can save the calculations and slow down when I hear the voice alarm.

In the states...we all employ the voice alarm.  [big grin]  It's what enables us to retain our drivers license.  [smile]

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 410
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2020, 11:13 PM »
Gosh, it would never even occur to me to try and convert imperial to metric so I could use the rules to set the distance of the parallel guides to cut strips of plywood. I would simply measure and pencil mark the distance I needed on both ends of the plywood with an imperial tape, set my guide rail on the plywood so the marks are split in half by the cutting strip of the guide rail, and then set the parallel guides in place so that it was repeatable for the next cut. Done.
Maybe I am missing something?
The level of precision desired varies person to person.  I bought the Incra fence for my table saw so I can have the highest level of precision possible.  I dislike inaccuracy so much that I only use the guide rail to rough cut items to size and then run panels through the table saw to ensure panels are parallel.  I wish I wasn’t so up tight about it as it’s extra effort but I know I cannot be precise with pencil lines, tape measure hooks flexing, guide rails not being exact, etc.

I’m currently working on adding a threaded rod into my Incra parallel guides so they work like the Incra fence. If I can get it working like the Incra table saw fence, I’ll be able to trust ripping to final size with the  TS55, have repeatable width cuts, etc.

Or maybe this level of precision is overkill for woodworking and being off by 0.5 to 1mm only matters to a few crazy people like me!!


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Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2020, 01:13 AM »

Most of that resistance I would guess (myassumption, no proof) is that manufacturers are the ones behind the move to block adoption of the metric system here, at least in the beginning. I base that on they would have incurred the greatest expense in making the change. Since this all happened beofre computers ruled the World imagine how difficult it would have been to change all your documentation and machinery over to metric, not to mention the growing pains of a workforce that while exposed to the metric system does not fully embrace it nor are they comfortable enough working with it to be second nature.

Incorrect assumption, and trying to fit the case to the guess.
Having lived and worked through a conversion to metric the reason is much more likely to be the fact that when it was tried in the US it was pushed too hard too fast. In the U.K. the process took decades to complete.

The pushback came from individuals. Industry changed when the machine lifecycle dictated because the metric machinery was less expensive. It was the same with fasteners, over time imperial went from cheaper to more expensive, industry bought the cheaper quality products, so industry changed faster than the general population.
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2217
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2020, 01:45 AM »
Having lived and worked through a conversion to metric the reason is much more likely to be the fact that when it was tried in the US it was pushed too hard too fast. In the U.K. the process took decades to complete.
UK is an outlier in terms of how long it took. In most countries conversion was much quicker. That includes Commonwealth countries, that started later and finished earlier than UK.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 01:59 AM by Svar »

Online Just Bill

  • Posts: 26
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2020, 09:51 AM »
Gosh, it would never even occur to me to try and convert imperial to metric so I could use the rules to set the distance of the parallel guides to cut strips of plywood. I would simply measure and pencil mark the distance I needed on both ends of the plywood with an imperial tape, set my guide rail on the plywood so the marks are split in half by the cutting strip of the guide rail, and then set the parallel guides in place so that it was repeatable for the next cut. Done.
Maybe I am missing something?
The level of precision desired varies person to person.  I bought the Incra fence for my table saw so I can have the highest level of precision possible.  I dislike inaccuracy so much that I only use the guide rail to rough cut items to size and then run panels through the table saw to ensure panels are parallel.  I wish I wasn’t so up tight about it as it’s extra effort but I know I cannot be precise with pencil lines, tape measure hooks flexing, guide rails not being exact, etc.

I’m currently working on adding a threaded rod into my Incra parallel guides so they work like the Incra fence. If I can get it working like the Incra table saw fence, I’ll be able to trust ripping to final size with the  TS55, have repeatable width cuts, etc.

Or maybe this level of precision is overkill for woodworking and being off by 0.5 to 1mm only matters to a few crazy people like me!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Yes, I agree with almost everything you say. But I’m not sure it helps solve the OP’s frustration with feeling the need to convert imperial to metric (“dang metric!”). Whether I am using imperial or metric measurements has no bearing on my accuracy and precision. If I use math to convert from one system to the other, I would be worried about introducing an extra step that probably only increases the chances of error (an error like the OP said he made by multiplying by 24.5 instead of 25.4). And once converted, I still have to measure at some point to see if my setup and cut was accurate. The level of accuracy comes from the type of measuring and marking: a tailor’s cloth tape and crayon vs. a metal hook tape measure and pencil vs. a Woodpecker steel rule and marking knife; etc. The accuracy I shoot for is always dependent on the project (I don’t shoot for the same level of accuracy when I am cutting a 2x4 to frame a wall as I do if I am cutting joinery for a wooden jewelry box). But in almost all projects, the repeatability of similar parts (precision) is usually crucial. Once set accurately, the parallel guides should provide the precision the OP is looking for.

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 410
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2020, 10:18 AM »
Gosh, it would never even occur to me to try and convert imperial to metric so I could use the rules to set the distance of the parallel guides to cut strips of plywood. I would simply measure and pencil mark the distance I needed on both ends of the plywood with an imperial tape, set my guide rail on the plywood so the marks are split in half by the cutting strip of the guide rail, and then set the parallel guides in place so that it was repeatable for the next cut. Done.
Maybe I am missing something?
The level of precision desired varies person to person.  I bought the Incra fence for my table saw so I can have the highest level of precision possible.  I dislike inaccuracy so much that I only use the guide rail to rough cut items to size and then run panels through the table saw to ensure panels are parallel.  I wish I wasn’t so up tight about it as it’s extra effort but I know I cannot be precise with pencil lines, tape measure hooks flexing, guide rails not being exact, etc.

I’m currently working on adding a threaded rod into my Incra parallel guides so they work like the Incra fence. If I can get it working like the Incra table saw fence, I’ll be able to trust ripping to final size with the  TS55, have repeatable width cuts, etc.

Or maybe this level of precision is overkill for woodworking and being off by 0.5 to 1mm only matters to a few crazy people like me!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Yes, I agree with almost everything you say. But I’m not sure it helps solve the OP’s frustration with feeling the need to convert imperial to metric (“dang metric!”). Whether I am using imperial or metric measurements has no bearing on my accuracy and precision. If I use math to convert from one system to the other, I would be worried about introducing an extra step that probably only increases the chances of error (an error like the OP said he made by multiplying by 24.5 instead of 25.4). And once converted, I still have to measure at some point to see if my setup and cut was accurate. The level of accuracy comes from the type of measuring and marking: a tailor’s cloth tape and crayon vs. a metal hook tape measure and pencil vs. a Woodpecker steel rule and marking knife; etc. The accuracy I shoot for is always dependent on the project (I don’t shoot for the same level of accuracy when I am cutting a 2x4 to frame a wall as I do if I am cutting joinery for a wooden jewelry box). But in almost all projects, the repeatability of similar parts (precision) is usually crucial. Once set accurately, the parallel guides should provide the precision the OP is looking for.
Agreed. Maybe an adhesive rule with metric and imperial would help to ensure the math wasn’t done wrong. I just bought this one which is accurate.


Starrett Measure Stix, SM44ME -... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025Q0KAC?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share


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Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2020, 06:08 PM »
Having lived and worked through a conversion to metric the reason is much more likely to be the fact that when it was tried in the US it was pushed too hard too fast. In the U.K. the process took decades to complete.
UK is an outlier in terms of how long it took. In most countries conversion was much quicker. That includes Commonwealth countries, that started later and finished earlier than UK.

Why stretch it out? Pulling off a band-aid is less painfull if you do it quickly.

Perhaps one of the reasons it went quicker in mainland Europe than in the UK has something to do with the fact that the French conquered a huge chunk of the continent from some time and people just keeping that system as it was more useful.

The UK never having been conquered ofc.

The Swedes even switched from driving on the left to driving on the right in 1 day. But that is something you quite obviously do not stretch out.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3171
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2020, 06:39 PM »
There is a fascinating history of standardization of metrics. Now, an inch or a meter is exactly everywhere in the world.
Birdhunter

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 921
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2020, 09:44 PM »
the US failure was they stretched it out, they didn't focus on global interaction/reality , and the biggest killer is they were all about conversions and showing people all these way to convert.  So people never thought metric, they would just use all these tools provided to convert back.  They caused people to easily avoid it.  Plus as has been mentioned, selling the benefits of something while pushing in the case of length a cm, verses using mm and m, people just didn't see a benefit over inch.  "American exceptionalism" was a huge part of the issue as well, I will leave it out of here and let people research it if they want to learn more, but it's not good discussion for here.

Anytime you give people dual dimensions, or conversion aids, you will fail.  You are telling someone to go to France, and learn french, but then allow them to use English the whole time for everything.

Just give weather forecast in C and C only, people will adapt in days.

People wanted to believe "we put an American on the moon without the metric system"  and similar comments, which of course was false, lots of metric was used.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3171
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2020, 02:02 AM »
I have adapted rather easily to a dual metric and Imperial system (Inches and fractions) and also use thousands. I find metric is the easiest to use as I don’t have to work fractional conversions. Most of my Starrett measurement tools are thousands of an inch and that’s not hard as long as I don’t have to convert to fractions.

I did luck out and found a Starrett slide dial caliper that reads in thousands and in fractions.

I have found a neat trick as I am turning rather thick bracelets, getting the wrist hole consistently the same diameter throughout the hole is tricky. I use my slide caliper to mark the circumference of the wrist hole on both sides of the bracelet. I set a snap Gaga to the desired diameter, as I gut the hole, I constantly check the diameter with the snap gage. Slick!
Birdhunter

Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2020, 10:15 AM »
Having lived and worked through a conversion to metric the reason is much more likely to be the fact that when it was tried in the US it was pushed too hard too fast. In the U.K. the process took decades to complete.
UK is an outlier in terms of how long it took. In most countries conversion was much quicker. That includes Commonwealth countries, that started later and finished earlier than UK.

Why stretch it out? Pulling off a band-aid is less painfull if you do it quickly.


The Swedes even switched from driving on the left to driving on the right in 1 day. But that is something you quite obviously do not stretch out.
Because trying to force  something in the U.K. results in very strong pushback.

All countries that switched from left to right did it overnight, impossible to do it any other way.
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline JimD

  • Posts: 494
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2020, 08:04 PM »
I am not going to convert to metric.  I avoid tools that require me to use metric but I have a domino and I like it.  I have learned to deal with it's use of metric but I still would prefer it had good old fractional inch cutters, depth scale, and fence position scale. 

There is nothing inherently better or more accurate about metric dimensions.  When I worked it was for a multi national with manufacturing in Europe, the U. S. and Japan.  Our drawings could be printed out in either system.  We had to develop rules about rounding and a few other things but it worked fine.  Parts were exchanged between facilities all the time.  Any implication that metric is somehow better is just wrong.  The choice is arbitrary. 

It is not convenient that I need fractional inch sockets and wrenches AND metric tools but I have both so it isn't a big deal at this point.  But for wood working I work in the dimensions I like but I have steel rules with both systems and dial calipers that switch with a push of the button.  I need the metric meaureing tools when making my own domino tenons but don't often use them for anything else. 

I view the push to convert to metric the rest of the world trying to push the U. S. around.  I like the fact we haven't caved.  I also would not try and convince others that want to use metric that it is wrong to do so.  It is arbitrary.  Both systems work. 

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2217
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2020, 08:39 PM »
Any implication that metric is somehow better is just wrong. 
Metric (SI) is better because a) it has decimal scale from unit to unit, and b) physical quantities (length, mass, energy, etc.) nicely derive from each other in most cases.

People often think that metric/imperial debate is about tape measures. It's not even the tip of the iceberg.
The direct result of having imperial system is that 9 out of 10 Americans (I'm being optimistic here) can't tell you density of water in their native units, or how many gallons fit into cubic yard, etc. etc.

I view the push to convert to metric the rest of the world trying to push the U. S. around.  I like the fact we haven't caved.
I think you've identified the problem here. Routine scientific progress perceived as conspiracy or political coercion. Guess who's loss is that.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 11:56 PM by Svar »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 921
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2020, 09:30 PM »
Any implication that metric is somehow better is just wrong. 
Metric (SI) is better because a) it has decimal scale from unit to unit, and b) physical quantities (length, mass, energy, etc.) nicely derive from each other in most cases.

People often think that metric/imperial debate is about tape measures. It's not even the tip of the iceberg.
The direct result of having imperial system is that 9 out of 10 Americans (I'm being optimistic here) can't tell you density of water in their native units, or how many gallons fit into cubic yard, etc. etc.

In general, people have no sense of the dimensions they even use.   Say miles vs km,   people can't give you an accurate estimate of large dimensions (more than 20 feet even, let alone 1/4 mile),  so saying they are comfortable in miles is silly since no one gauges it well either way.  Same for weight, people are terrible at judging weight of something.  Same for temp, no one can reach their hand out and say "it's changed 2 degrees".   This is why the "comfortable/know" aspect of it means nothing.  We could change the units tomorrow and folks would adjust quickly because they only know what something is by looking at the gauge/etc anyway.    Short distances (sub a foot or so) is about the only area people really have a somewhat decent sense of things.

As you mention, it is so much bigger than just tape measures, and that's why when people say it doesn't matter it gets very infuriating.

I mentioned the space program before, many in the US continually think the US put man on moon without metric, which is completely false.  The core folks were german, the math for it all was in metric.  The computers in the craft, input/output in US customary because that's what the crew knew, the first thing it did was convert to metric.  They flew to the moon in metric.  No sane person would do that math in customary units, and you certainly would not risk lives to a lb-mass, lb-force debacle.

End of the day, having unit system that aligns with our base 10 number system is key.  Furthermore, being compatible with the other 96% of the world is what matters.  Unified units, that allow easy math, and easy understanding of things is extremely valuable.  Our lives are a mess with Horsepower, Btu/hr, Tons of ice, etc for different systems, it's all power.  Just show it in kW.

Offline vkumar

  • Posts: 525
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2020, 11:56 PM »

In general, people have no sense of the dimensions they even use.   Say miles vs km,   people can't give you an accurate estimate of large dimensions (more than 20 feet even, let alone 1/4 mile),  so saying they are comfortable in miles is silly since no one gauges it well either way.  Same for weight, people are terrible at judging weight of something.  Same for temp, no one can reach their hand out and say "it's changed 2 degrees".   This is why the "comfortable/know" aspect of it means nothing.  We could change the units tomorrow and folks would adjust quickly because they only know what something is by looking at the gauge/etc anyway.    Short distances (sub a foot or so) is about the only area people really have a somewhat decent sense of things.

As you mention, it is so much bigger than just tape measures, and that's why when people say it doesn't matter it gets very infuriating.

I mentioned the space program before, many in the US continually think the US put man on moon without metric, which is completely false.  The core folks were german, the math for it all was in metric.  The computers in the craft, input/output in US customary because that's what the crew knew, the first thing it did was convert to metric.  They flew to the moon in metric.  No sane person would do that math in customary units, and you certainly would not risk lives to a lb-mass, lb-force debacle.

End of the day, having unit system that aligns with our base 10 number system is key.  Furthermore, being compatible with the other 96% of the world is what matters.  Unified units, that allow easy math, and easy understanding of things is extremely valuable.  Our lives are a mess with Horsepower, Btu/hr, Tons of ice, etc for different systems, it's all power.  Just show it in kW.

@DeformedTree I couldnt have said it better.
Vijay Kumar