Author Topic: dang metric!  (Read 8751 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: 3169
  • 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: 1748
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. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 407
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: 2064
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.

Offline 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: 7754
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]

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 407
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: 2216
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 »

Offline 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.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 407
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: 3169
  • 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: 917
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: 3169
  • 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: 2216
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: 917
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

Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
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Re: dang metric!
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2020, 01:50 AM »
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.

There has already been at least 1 multi million craft lost because if confusion in using imperial instead of metric.

If you use the system used by the majority of the planet Instead of a dinky small percentage who have delusions of importance you have fewer opportunities for messing up.
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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Online SRSemenza

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Re: dang metric!
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2020, 10:40 AM »
Lets keep the international mud slinging out of this, please.

Seth

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2020, 07:45 PM »

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.

The reality is that aside from average folks and, perhaps the building trades, US industry, pharma and pretty much everything else went metric a long time ago. But I agree that each person should use the system they prefer in their own personal endeavors.
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2020, 09:17 PM »

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.

The reality is that aside from average folks and, perhaps the building trades, US industry, pharma and pretty much everything else went metric a long time ago. But I agree that each person should use the system they prefer in their own personal endeavors.

The problem with letting people do what ever is it holds the rest of us back. Those who just want to be metric are denied by hold out mentality.  It also just hurts us all around because so much caters to those who won't change.  Yes, if people just want to have their inches at home, that would fine.  But roadways need to be in metric, the weather forecast, building materials, all of it.

The continued allowance of customary units gets folks killed, this is heavily seen in medical, where people get overdosed all the time. It should be all metric, but since some people refuse to use metric, and do conversions, people get killed.  The people in these fields should not be allowed to do anything but metric.

Link

Link

So much of this is what you see brought up by folks like myself, things are in metric, but then folks change it to customary at the end to be "helpful" or because that's "what the person is used to".   Stuff like this is all around.

Do you want your kid, grandchild, or yourself killed because folks in the hospital are comfortable in customary units so let them be them?  If people don't use metric in their personal lives, it's less likely they will use it in there professional lives, and now this creates serious problems.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 268
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2020, 02:01 AM »
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.
for fine woodworking or close tolerance measurements I use metric, not for the reason you think? On a tape measure the scale is 1/16 and 32nds. At my age and with my glasses I have a difficult time seeing 1/32” increments. On the metric rules they are divided into fifths (woodpecker) so I can see those well enough in most lighting conditions. So I can see in between those measurements which gives me 1/50th of a scale or .5mm. Also I find it error prone to add fractions 1 5/8” + 7/16”. Metric is more straight forward.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2020, 06:52 PM »
Black & Decker sold workmates in Europe with a "conversion" table on it... with wrong values.

Stanly sold bandmeasures with the length of the body imprinted only in inches. I converted it to metric, measured the tape measure body... and it was off too.


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.

The reality is that aside from average folks and, perhaps the building trades, US industry, pharma and pretty much everything else went metric a long time ago. But I agree that each person should use the system they prefer in their own personal endeavors.

The problem with letting people do what ever is it holds the rest of us back. Those who just want to be metric are denied by hold out mentality.  It also just hurts us all around because so much caters to those who won't change.  Yes, if people just want to have their inches at home, that would fine.  But roadways need to be in metric, the weather forecast, building materials, all of it.

The continued allowance of customary units gets folks killed, this is heavily seen in medical, where people get overdosed all the time. It should be all metric, but since some people refuse to use metric, and do conversions, people get killed.  The people in these fields should not be allowed to do anything but metric.

Link

Link

So much of this is what you see brought up by folks like myself, things are in metric, but then folks change it to customary at the end to be "helpful" or because that's "what the person is used to".   Stuff like this is all around.

Do you want your kid, grandchild, or yourself killed because folks in the hospital are comfortable in customary units so let them be them?  If people don't use metric in their personal lives, it's less likely they will use it in there professional lives, and now this creates serious problems.

Don't forget about the Gimli Glider, an airliner that crash-landed due to fuel shortage because someone pumped xx pounds instead of xx kg's into it.

The funny thing is that journalists all over the place here can't even convert properly when a news story originated in the US. The Dutch 'pond' was a customary name for 500 grams. The US 'pound' [lbs] is not 500 gram but 453,....... gram.

All these units like 'teaspoons' is just something from online recipes that always end in something that isn't edible.


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.

The US has already caved. About 60 years ago the inch was defined as being 25.4mm, the yard was defined as being exactly 0.9144 m and the pound was fixed at 0.45359237 kg. So in fact all Imperial is now is a conversion factor on top of metric to confuse things to the maximum and to sell more Allen keys.  ::) And to charge more for US college textbooks I guess.

I suggest we strike a deal; we get busy copying some amendments from your constitution for general adoption here while you implement the metric system; best for everyone  8)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 07:04 PM by Coen »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2020, 09:19 PM »
Conversion table stuff being wrong is common.  As has been brought up before, the US does not us Imperial System and never has.  The US uses the US System of Customary Units.  Most are the same, but some are not.   This is why Festool calling their US tools with inch labeling is Imperial is just so silly.  They are for the US, but not Customary?  Just shows the sorts of confusion that happens.

Liquid stuff is bad because so many don't know the Customary units,  teaspoons/tablespsoons/pints/quarts/etc.  Older folks know how to go between them, but as you go younger, no one knows.  Add to that the US half converted to metric when it comes to volumes, you never know what you are going to deal with. If something says 2 tablespoons, and you have a tablespoon, no problem. But if you only have a teaspoon, no idea how many go into tablespoon, or if that even works. I'd love to have all metric measurement stuff for cooking, but you can't find them, some are dual labeled, but you can be pretty sure one of those labels are wrong.

Then there are tons.  It shouldn't be hard, but in the end, the whole world needs to retire all versions of "ton", as it takes so much work to hope you are all talking the same thing. 

Not sure how much it impacts text books, most text books are metric only here.  Unless it's a long running text, anything in a technical field is all metric, sometime half and half. Some will have some examples in customary units, often just to show why customary units are not used.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2216
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2020, 10:07 PM »
Then there are tons.  It shouldn't be hard, but in the end, the whole world needs to retire all versions of "ton", as it takes so much work to hope you are all talking the same thing. 
I most of the world ton means only one thing - 1000kg. Most people never even heard about anything else (long ton, short ton, UK ton).

Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2020, 10:15 PM »
Conversion table stuff being wrong is common.  As has been brought up before, the US does not us Imperial System and never has.  The US uses the US System of Customary Units.  Most are the same, but some are not.   This is why Festool calling their US tools with inch labeling is Imperial is just so silly.  They are for the US, but not Customary?  Just shows the sorts of confusion that happens.
There are a couple of countries left that use the imperial measuring system and a few more who understand it and use it in parallel, none of them call it  "Customary" or  "Standard"

Linear measurements are identical in US Customary, US Standard and imperial.

So you seem to be getting your underwear tangled over a word.

So changing to the word "Customary" to satisfy your desire for conformity to US usage (though is it "Standard") will significantly add confusion to other markets. Not to mention that grey imported items will probably still be imperial or metric, so how does that help?

[slightly sarcastic humour] Calm down with a nice cup of tea, if you can't find any if you visit Boston's harbour they may have a little, though not so fresh[/slightly sarcastic humour]

Quote
Liquid stuff is bad because so many don't know the Customary units, 
Not to mention the 2 different US gallons of 4.404883771 “dry” litres or 3.785411784 “wet” litres or even the imperial 4.54609 litres. [eek]
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 10:25 PM by Sometimewoodworker »
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 DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2020, 11:09 PM »
Then there are tons.  It shouldn't be hard, but in the end, the whole world needs to retire all versions of "ton", as it takes so much work to hope you are all talking the same thing. 
I most of the world ton means only one thing - 1000kg. Most people never even heard about anything else (long ton, short ton, UK ton).

I've never found a good conclusive answer, the biggest issue I see come up is usage of Tonne, people in the US tend to think that is what everyone calls 1000kg, un-aware that for everyone else it's a ton.  But some research implies other places use the word Tonne, but I'm skeptical based on experience.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2216
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2020, 11:40 PM »
Then there are tons.  It shouldn't be hard, but in the end, the whole world needs to retire all versions of "ton", as it takes so much work to hope you are all talking the same thing. 
I most of the world ton means only one thing - 1000kg. Most people never even heard about anything else (long ton, short ton, UK ton).
I've never found a good conclusive answer, the biggest issue I see come up is usage of Tonne, people in the US tend to think that is what everyone calls 1000kg, un-aware that for everyone else it's a ton.  But some research implies other places use the word Tonne, but I'm skeptical based on experience.
Than this is your lucky day. As an official spokesperson of the metric world, which comprises 95% of the global population, I'm giving you a conclusive answer. Ton means 1000 kg. Obviously it's spelled and pronounced differently in different languages. We are not going to retire this term, which we use all the time, just because US and UK invented several other tons for their internal use and are confused now.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2020, 12:57 AM by Svar »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2020, 11:41 PM »
Conversion table stuff being wrong is common.  As has been brought up before, the US does not us Imperial System and never has.  The US uses the US System of Customary Units.  Most are the same, but some are not.   This is why Festool calling their US tools with inch labeling is Imperial is just so silly.  They are for the US, but not Customary?  Just shows the sorts of confusion that happens.
There are a couple of countries left that use the imperial measuring system and a few more who understand it and use it in parallel, none of them call it  "Customary" or  "Standard"

Linear measurements are identical in US Customary, US Standard and imperial.

So changing to the word "Customary" to satisfy your desire for conformity to US usage (though is it "Standard") will significantly add confusion to other markets. Not to mention that grey imported items will probably still be imperial or metric, so how does that help?


Because Imperial, either the system or the word is not used in the US.  The only item people are possibly aware of is they may have heard of an imperial gallon and know it's some over sized gallon used in Europe.  Since Festool started labeling North American stuff as Imperial I have seen people here and some other woodworking related places start to use "imperial" but it's not used elsewhere.  If you told someone something is in Imperial, few people in the US would know what you are talking about.  Typically in the US our system is just called "standard" (ironic, yes), or "inch", if you are more automotive focused it it may be referred to as SAE.  Folks won't generally call it Customary, but that is officially the system.   Also you might find folks calling is IPS (inch pound second), but not often.  Using a word not used in a country that you are targeting is just odd. It shows Festool didn't research it very well.  It would have made far more sense for them to just call them "Inch". If they were targeting inch marked tools globally, sure go for imperial, but they were targeting the US, and lumping Canada in with us. Festool stuff only comes from Festool, and any stuff people bring in thru unofficial channels is metric, since it's the only way to get metric Festool now.

Companies label/name things to suite a country. Thus why things like products, or say cars often get different names in different countries either because people in that country won't understand the name, or a conflict, or just doesn't work well.  When you make something for just one country you make sure it works well there. Nissan goes thru the hassle to have a Nissan Qashqui in the whole world including Canada, but call it a Rouge Sport in the US.

Chrysler's are labeled "Imperial", not tools.  [big grin]

Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 765
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2020, 01:55 AM »
There are only 2 specifically imperial Festool items AFIK the ¼” & ½” collets there are a few labels in inches and instructions that show the nearest equivalent fraction instead, or as well as, the metric size.

The tools are the same world wide.
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
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nui-jerome/

Offline Gone

  • Posts: 925
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2020, 08:45 AM »
Then there are tons.  It shouldn't be hard, but in the end, the whole world needs to retire all versions of "ton", as it takes so much work to hope you are all talking the same thing. 
I most of the world ton means only one thing - 1000kg. Most people never even heard about anything else (long ton, short ton, UK ton).
I've never found a good conclusive answer, the biggest issue I see come up is usage of Tonne, people in the US tend to think that is what everyone calls 1000kg, un-aware that for everyone else it's a ton.  But some research implies other places use the word Tonne, but I'm skeptical based on experience.
Than this is your lucky day. As an official spokesperson of the metric world, which comprises 95% of the global population, I'm giving you a conclusive answer. Ton means 1000 kg. Obviously it's spelled and pronounced differently in different languages. We are not going to retire this term, which we use all the time, just because US and UK invented several other tons for their internal use and are confused now.
Well having lived through a Dang Metric conversion in the mid 70's I can tell you that a ton for us was 2000lbs. and a tonne was 1000kg. At that time it was not a simple changeover and there was mass confusion and backlash. Exposure to metric was minimal in the school system with most of it in science classes. Today the trades are still taught in standard/imperial measurement at trade school and building materials are bought in the same measurement. While it is believed that because metric is used by more people its better that doesn't mean its better in many individual situations. The bottom line is easy is what you have been brought up with and use constantly. To use both systems you still have to have a brain that understands math well. Understanding fractions and decimal conversion is also key. Only when the system is completely changed to metric that makes sense not just a conversion from standard will the system be its best.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonne#:~:text=The%20tonne%20(%2Ft%CA%8Cn,0.984%20long%20tons%20(UK).

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/tonne

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 494
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2020, 03:42 PM »
I don't understand why it seems to upset some who prefer metric that I do not.  I am a retired engineer.  I can use either system, I just work better in feet, inches and fractional inches.  I know a kitchen counter is 36 inches off the floor, typically.  I can convert that to metric but it doesn't help me.  I know I like rails and stiles around 2 1/2 inches wide.  I can convert to 65mm but I won't remember it that way.  I do not see "divisible by 10" as an advantage but if you do then use metric.  I also do not understand blaming medical errors on units of measure unless somebody got confused because they had to use a system they weren't used to.  That is part of the reason I prefer feet and inches.  I am used to it.  I think I would be more likely to make mistakes until I got used to metric and I'm not sure I have that long.

Computers make it fairly easy to do drawings once and convert them into the units desired when viewing them.  I think we should use that capability.

Offline jasen

  • Posts: 50
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2020, 12:17 AM »
Slightly OT

I was born a year before the metric system came in NZ 1969. I remember as a kid in Dad's car with stickers on the dash for KMH lol. Body/ scale  weight was Stone (British influence?) and we always had a pound of butter.

I get where everyone gets use to the system they are familiar with. Funny thing in the metric world, there are 3 measurements I still use imperial and can never change after 52 years - TV sizes, Babies born weight (no problem with weight of children and adults in metric) and persons height (although in the last 3-4 years I'm starting to visualise metric).

After the 3 years reading forums and watching youtube I now know 3/8, 5/8, 1/2, 3/4 inch (I always knew an inch) to metric almost instly . Geez it was hard times until I put a chart up in front of monitor LOL

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2020, 10:42 AM »
I don't understand why it seems to upset some who prefer metric that I do not.  I am a retired engineer.  I can use either system, I just work better in feet, inches and fractional inches.  I know a kitchen counter is 36 inches off the floor, typically.  I can convert that to metric but it doesn't help me.  I know I like rails and stiles around 2 1/2 inches wide.  I can convert to 65mm but I won't remember it that way.  I do not see "divisible by 10" as an advantage but if you do then use metric.  I also do not understand blaming medical errors on units of measure unless somebody got confused because they had to use a system they weren't used to.  That is part of the reason I prefer feet and inches.  I am used to it.  I think I would be more likely to make mistakes until I got used to metric and I'm not sure I have that long.

Computers make it fairly easy to do drawings once and convert them into the units desired when viewing them.  I think we should use that capability.

Discussions that involve metric for many folks in the US do seem to elicit some strong reactions in online forums. The bottom line is that there is no "best" system. Use the one that you prefer and are comfortable with. Consistency is what's important. Be familiar with the other(s) because there will be times when it's necessary to either work with them or convert from them to your preferred system. That's going to be an increasing need relative to metric because while individuals (speaking primarily about the US) are mostly comfortable with and use inches/feet (and measuring tools available in retail places pretty much are limited to those units), the rest of the world along with "our" industry/science moved to metric long ago. Don't let any kind of measurement unit debate stop you from making nice things and enjoying the process!
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Offline Svar

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Re: dang metric!
« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2020, 05:29 PM »
The bottom line is that there is no "best" system.
I'm all for whatever you are comfortable with. However, a coherent system of units (SI) is not equivalent to a non-coherent one (US customary). And I'm not using "coherent" here is a random adjective, look it up.
If you just measuring cabinets, it doesn't matter (other than you might get good at fractions), but as a consistent system used in every walk of life one is objectively better than the other.
Saying they are equivalent is like saying that Latin numeral system is equivalent to base-ten positional one (Hindu-Arabic). Although I'm sure there was much resistance when Fibonacci popularized the latter in Europe (hey, the Romans ruled the world for 600 years while using their numbers, and they were fine [wink]).
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 05:43 PM by Svar »

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2020, 06:28 PM »
The bottom line is that there is no "best" system.
I'm all for whatever you are comfortable with. However, a coherent system of units (SI) is not equivalent to a non-coherent one (US customary). And I'm not using "coherent" here is a random adjective, look it up.
If you just measuring cabinets, it doesn't matter (other than you might get good at fractions), but as a consistent system used in every walk of life one is objectively better than the other.
Saying they are equivalent is like saying that Latin numeral system is equivalent to base-ten positional one (Hindu-Arabic). Although I'm sure there was much resistance when Fibonacci popularized the latter in Europe (hey, the Romans ruled the world for 600 years while using their numbers, and they were fine [wink]).

Just to be up front--I started working in metric a couple years ago and do so for all of my personal projects and any client projects ai can get away with it for exactly the reason you state. I love it. My comment that you quoted was in the context of an individual where the choice remains subjective. The best measuring system for that individual is the one they want to work with.
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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: dang metric!
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2020, 09:28 PM »
It's not about what an individual is comfortable with. I don't care what folks do on a personal level.  The issue is getting the US metric so that we match the rest of the world and can interchange freely.  Having inch based stuff forced on us for no reason other than some people not wanting to change is the problem. I want to live a life and be able to do things, buy things, etc the same as anyone else in the world. Not be stuck with using stuff I don't want just because a group of people in this country refuse to change.

The medical thing is real. People using the "comfort" excuse is the very problem. If folks can understand the problems here, they never will, and that is the heart of the problem.

Metric is here to stay, even in the US, everything slowly moves that way or has been there for decades.  No, inch based stuff is not "just as good".  Lets just get this done.

I'm not trying to force anyone to use metric in their personal lives.  But the when you leave your house, the world around you needs to be metric like everyplace else on the planet. Plenty of countries have a mix of old and new, the UK is clearly one. But folks there clearly understand when you are doing something in your professional capacity, or government, etc, it's metric.  The US doesn't have to look any further than Canada.   Roadsways are in metric, commerces, etc metric.  But clearly people in their personal lives still talk in feet and inches, etc.

Get that step done, then we can work on phasing out the last of N.A. specific inch base building materials as an example.  Get things like plumbing to be the same as the rest of the world.

Offline Gone

  • Posts: 925
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2020, 08:21 AM »
Maybe another 100 years or so you might see it happen, we've been trying for 45+ years. Big LOL. All you have to do is convince all the businesses currently using imperial to go to metric, get rid of all their imperial equipment, then change government regulations, along with everyone's thought patterns, then deal with most of the people living in your country that barely know imperial. The change has already started but like evolution its extremely slow. Right now though there are a few other things that have a much higher concern than marks on a stick.

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 144
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2020, 10:12 AM »
I was 'educated' in only metric (SI units in general) as the UK had formally adopted it in 1965 (when I was 9). At school it was SI units everywhere - except amusingly in our carpentry classes! Our teacher was quite old and clearly had no intention of changing.

A few 'imperial' measurements still linger, most common examples......
full sheets of ply etc. They are sold as 1220 by 2440, which is of course the 4'x8' ( a size introduced by the Portland Manufacturing Company in 1905).
sink waste water pipes
plumbing threads
Road distances & speeds, although we do buy fuel in litres.
Wind speeds for some reason, but we have switched to Celsius for temperature.
Screen sizing, especially tv's.

I learnt to also use imperial from my Dad as I helped him around the house. But having learnt metric first - I found, and still do, imperial really difficult to work with!

I think apart from those aged 70+ we mostly think and work metric in the UK, but I don't know how we are going to change the few remaining instances of imperial measurements.

I was studying why my various bench planes feel 'different', and a key factor was in the adjustment sensitivity - WoodRiver (US) use a M6 1mm pitch thread, whilst the Lie Nielsen (US) and Clifton (UK) use 1/4"-20 UNC at 1.27mm pitch.

I drive a 2016 Mustang, which is fully metric, but RHD. To me its signature sound is the V8 firing sequence - of which I believe there are 13 different sequences in use around the world. "Vive la difference"!
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline nobdyspecial

  • Posts: 2
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2020, 11:41 AM »
Whatever you do, DO NOT follow the Canadian example. See attachment.

Offline Ajax

  • Posts: 196
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2020, 11:56 AM »
"No sane person would do that math in customary units, and you certainly would not risk lives to a lb-mass, lb-force debacle."

I've worked in the aerospace industry for 20 years doing mathematical modeling of flight structures and aerodynamics.  I use Imperial units every day.  I also teach college courses in Vibrations and Dynamics.  I rarely have the students use SI units.  The first day I teach them about consistent mass units, so what you cite above about a "debacle" is silly.  There's too much drama in some of these statements.  It's about knowing what you are doing.  I'm sure somewhere around the world someone is doing similar things that I am doing, but in SI units.  I'm cool with that.

I'm partly amused and partly annoyed with these annual "Metric or Bust" threads.  People make things into way bigger issues than they need to.  Just get a different ruler or get a calculator and make the conversion.
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Offline JimD

  • Posts: 494
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2020, 10:01 AM »
The industry I use to work in is nuclear power.  The most common fuel rod diameter in the world is 0.374 inches which is 9.5mm.  All our U. S. customers talked in inches and our European and Asian customers talked mm.  We used fuel tubes from a European supplier and a U. S. supplier interchangably.  We exchanged a lot of other parts too.  When I say the units of measure are interchangable I am speaking in part on that experience.  The consequences of significant errors could hardly be bigger than with nuclear power.  There have been zero significant issues traced to units of measure (and unlike most industries, any error gets a root cause investigation).

All you are saying when you call U. S. standard measurements incoherent is that you find them illogical.  I wouldn't use them either if that was true in my case.  But you saying they are illogical (to you) doesn't affect my opinion, I prefer them.

Another reason everything has not changed is the lack of sufficient benefit to justify the cost.  Drain lines for tubs are 2 inch and sinks and showers are 1.5 inches.  Changing to metric means changing a bunch of building codes and dies to make the plastic tubing and fittings.    When you are done, what benefit do you get to justify the cost?  European suppliers can more easily supply?  That obviously isn't getting us there.  The same thing is true for plywood sheet sizes and lumber sizing.  It could be changed but where is the benefit to justify the cost?

Offline WillAdams

  • Posts: 65
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2020, 12:11 PM »
I switch back and forth, depending on the nature of the project.

 - Imperial gets used for things which require human proportions which I'm trying to work out and with and for anything which requires division into thirds, sixths, twelfths and so forth --- if things get finely detailed I'll break out a PostScript ruler which has 72 PostScript points per inch

 - metric gets used for toolpaths on my CNC, and anything where measuring is unlikely to align with Imperial units

I hate working with metric for publishing --- I'd give my interest in heck for a nickel every time I've gotten a template from Europe in metric which had the columns and gutter measurements so that a two column ad width didn't equal 2 columns + gutter width, consequence of not being able to divide things neatly into measures other than tenths.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2216
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2020, 01:31 PM »
All you are saying when you call U. S. standard measurements incoherent is that you find them illogical.  I wouldn't use them either if that was true in my case.  But you saying they are illogical (to you) doesn't affect my opinion, I prefer them.
Not at all. Non-coherent system does not mean illogical. It's not an adjective, it's a technical term. The early metric system was also non-coherent. Among other things a coherent system (SI) eliminates many empirical coefficients in definitions and formulas and simplifies scaling. One of the reasons why it won over scientific and most of the rest of the world.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2020, 02:32 PM »
The industry I use to work in is nuclear power.  The most common fuel rod diameter in the world is 0.374 inches which is 9.5mm.  All our U. S. customers talked in inches and our European and Asian customers talked mm.  We used fuel tubes from a European supplier and a U. S. supplier interchangably.  We exchanged a lot of other parts too.  When I say the units of measure are interchangable I am speaking in part on that experience.  The consequences of significant errors could hardly be bigger than with nuclear power.  There have been zero significant issues traced to units of measure (and unlike most industries, any error gets a root cause investigation).

All you are saying when you call U. S. standard measurements incoherent is that you find them illogical.  I wouldn't use them either if that was true in my case.  But you saying they are illogical (to you) doesn't affect my opinion, I prefer them.

Another reason everything has not changed is the lack of sufficient benefit to justify the cost.  Drain lines for tubs are 2 inch and sinks and showers are 1.5 inches.  Changing to metric means changing a bunch of building codes and dies to make the plastic tubing and fittings.    When you are done, what benefit do you get to justify the cost?  European suppliers can more easily supply?  That obviously isn't getting us there.  The same thing is true for plywood sheet sizes and lumber sizing.  It could be changed but where is the benefit to justify the cost?

I don't think anyone is talking about going back to legacy systems and re-designing them.  It's well known that many fields that have systems in use that span decades back aren't going to change legacy systems (and for good reason).  Thus why aerospace hardware is still heavily inch, defense hardware same, with newer stuff metric.  Nuclear power is another good example.

What is the point is get everyone switched over, so new stuff going forward is metric.  Most places are going to follow the same basic rules, old stuff is inch, and everything done on it stays that way. New stuff is metric.  Sometimes old stuff gets carried forward, it is what it is.  Sometimes old stuff gets new stuff added to it, thus the new stuff may be done in inch, but also it may be metric because all the bits for the new stuff are metric. Just because stuff is old, doesn't mean it isn't metric (lots of folks get surprised when working on really old stuff to find it is metric, even long before the metric conversion days).  Also just because it's old and in inches, doesn't mean support documentation/math wasn't done in metric.

The core issue is those who use old stuff as an excuse not to change, it means we never get converted over, and new stuff gets made in inches, it just kicks the problem forwards.  Very often those who say Inch is fine, or claim it's how they work are in a bubble. They really want to think what they say is the case, but don't realize how much down stream or parallel to them work in metric and the problems it causes.  I'm sure many of us have worked in businesses where things get converted back and forth multiple times as it works thru the processes of the company/suppliers/customer/etc as everyone has their own idea how things are done, or what is preferred.  Folks tend to make decisions/statements based on what they like/what works for them, not the bigger picture.  Which gets back to the US being less than 5% of the world, with major industries being full metric, and the shift to metric continuing (there is not growth in Inch usage).  This is where personal preferences doesn't matter. It's about matching up to the world and everything around. 

On drain pipes, far as I know, Europe uses the same sizes at N.A.  they label them different, but dimensions are the same.  Where things become issues are supply.  Their supply lines are mm, where we have the CTS sizes (nominal plus 1/8").  When PEX came, it should have been left as is, there would have been a natural conversion to metric sizes. Then everything that is made globally for plumbing/heating/cooling could be used directly.  As is, you have a very real conversion problem.  Money was spent to re-invent pex and the related bits to match up to the ODs of legacy copper systems, so now anything supply plumbing brought to the US market has to be re-designed/re-tooled for the US market, which cost a lot of money, which is spread across a much smaller market (5% vs 95% planet).  Verses having just made some metric to inch adapters decades ago to interface old to new. 

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2020, 02:44 PM »
All you are saying when you call U. S. standard measurements incoherent is that you find them illogical.  I wouldn't use them either if that was true in my case.  But you saying they are illogical (to you) doesn't affect my opinion, I prefer them.
Not at all. Non-coherent system does not mean illogical. It's not an adjective, it's a technical term. The early metric system was also non-coherent. Among other things a coherent system (SI) eliminates many empirical coefficients in definitions and formulas and simplifies scaling. One of the reasons why it won over scientific and most of the rest of the world.

Exactly.   And even in the SI/metric world, you have stuff that won't go away even when the a unit is depreciated and not to be used (centi-   being a major one), but also things like Bar.  Folks will cling to various units they like, and it's not without some reason, but it works against the end goal.  Inch or Metric,  some folks/fields get entrenched in certain units, in general everyone can understand the history, but it's not a justification to not shift to a "better unit", or more specifically a standardized/systematic unit.  A pascal isn't not a very nice unit to work with, thus people will use Bar, or in the US use PSI when everything else they are doing is in mm and kg.  But not using pascal causes it's own issues.

I doubt SI will ever get rid of stuff that doesn't truly fit in. Like a Hectare, it's a problematic unit, but m^2 is too small, and km^2 is too big.  Some things do have a place, even if out of place.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2020, 11:25 PM »

On drain pipes, far as I know, Europe uses the same sizes at N.A.  they label them different, but dimensions are the same.

The US uses drainpipes in 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 110mm? (Outer diameter)

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2020, 09:02 PM »

On drain pipes, far as I know, Europe uses the same sizes at N.A.  they label them different, but dimensions are the same.

The US uses drainpipes in 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 110mm? (Outer diameter)

Hard to answer.  US waste piping is Schedule 40 PVC/ABS, but has also been various pipe standards too.  So the sizes align to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominal_Pipe_Size

So the stuff in the walls will be 1.5", 2", 3", 4" schedule 40.  Per the link, this matches up to DN/ISO specs.  They are "notional" values either way.  That is, 2" is not 2" on the OD.  Some pipe and fittings will have mm values in () after the inch value. How correct this is, I'm not sure.  Best I have ever been able to work out, this is the same.   The sink drain connections is a whole other system of plumbing, thing wall stuff, I don't know what it aligns too. You just go to the store and buy a kit of bits that will get things routed in the cabinet the way it needs to go.

Supply at one time was galvanized pipe, that went away for copper which is the unique to supply CTS sizes (1/2" copper is 5/8" OD (it's the size plus an 1/8", then the different wall thicknesses take away ID, maintain the same OD.  Copper has also been used for waste, but rarely seen anymore.  Stuff changes often. On the waste side, there is a large assortment of adapters (ferncos) out there to adapt from all the various systems used over time.  Thus why on the supply side, it would have been nothing to change to metric sizes in the 70s/80s and have some adapters, no different than all the other transitions of  copper/galvanized/PVC/CPVC/ABS/iron pipe, etc that go on. Oh and get outside the house you might have clay pipe, or if you really "lucky" Orangeburg .

With the coming of HDPE pipe to the US, they clearly learned and are not making inch sizes, though some makers make soft conversion datasheets, which just adds confusion.  Right now this stuff is mainly used for GeoThermal/Radiant stuff, or town sewer/water mains.  Since a lot of Geothermal/HVAC stuff of that nature comes from Europe, I think they figured out it's just easier to use it all as is, and not modify it for the N.A. market. Those who watch "this old house" see monuments of plumbing made from this stuff the last few seasons.

On any of the "pipe" stuff one area that is probably different is US stuff will use NPT thread, I would assume in Europe even if the pipe is the same, the threads when used are probably G thread or similar.

I think when it comes to "pipe", it was fairly established pre-metric era all around the world, plus being a notional size, everyone was the same, so shift to metric, everyone just soft converted verses come up with something new. The Wiki linked also notes some stuff was to be phased out in the 30s yet is still used.

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Offline JimD

  • Posts: 494
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2020, 03:47 PM »
The label on U. S. schedule 40 PVC pipe is not it's actual size in inches although the inside diameter is close.  The sizes definitely do not correspond to mm sizes.  But my bigger point is the building codes.  Changing them is a huge cost, potentially, with nearly no reward.  Changing all the equipment that makes the piping is another large cost with nearly no payback.

The U. S. is probably around 5% of the world population but it is not 5% of the world economy.  It is about 20%.  But if suppliers want to ignore 20% of the market or count on people in the U. S. to buy metric, I have no issue with that.  I've already demonstrated I will buy metric if I want a product bad enough (my domino XL) but one of the reasons I have a DeWalt track saw is the use of inches for the depth scale. 

Arguments that amount to "the U. S. should do it for the good of the world"  or "it's in your long term best interest" are unlikely to go very far.  That is why we are where we are.  It is not people being mean or stupid, it is people doing what they want and looking out for their own interests. 

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 144
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2020, 04:10 AM »
The label on U. S. schedule 40 PVC pipe is not it's actual size in inches although the inside diameter is close.  The sizes definitely do not correspond to mm sizes.  But my bigger point is the building codes.  Changing them is a huge cost, potentially, with nearly no reward.  Changing all the equipment that makes the piping is another large cost with nearly no payback.

The U. S. is probably around 5% of the world population but it is not 5% of the world economy.  It is about 20%.  But if suppliers want to ignore 20% of the market or count on people in the U. S. to buy metric, I have no issue with that.  I've already demonstrated I will buy metric if I want a product bad enough (my domino XL) but one of the reasons I have a DeWalt track saw is the use of inches for the depth scale. 

Arguments that amount to "the U. S. should do it for the good of the world"  or "it's in your long term best interest" are unlikely to go very far.  That is why we are where we are.  It is not people being mean or stupid, it is people doing what they want and looking out for their own interests.
You dont have to change everything to go metric. In the UK we've been living with what are mostly imperial plumbing threads and pipe sizes. Solvent weld pipes made another confusion, as there are two different pipes of the same notional diameter! It also makes sense to maintain imperial where you have a large stock legacy product that needs maintaining, ie plumbing.

When I go to buy timber, the sizes are not obvious. Even before metrification a 4x2 sawn was different to a 4x2 PAR. We now sell our timber in the actual mm that it is presented as. If i buy framing timber its going to be 63x38mm, 89x38 or 94x44. No prizes for spotting that these are close to the old imperial PAR dimensions. No changes to building codes were initially needed.

So while we are living with the hang over of imperial measurements, we are thinking, working and buying in metric.

My hot tub holds 800 litres. Ask either of my kids how much the water weighs and they will instantly say 800kg, and importantly have a feeling of how much that is. They also know its 8/10's of a 'tonne'. Try that in in imperial units.

I recently bought a Porter Cable dovetail jig. Its nice and does a good job at a good price. Pretty soon its going to be thrown away. Why, because the cutters are very specific imperial sizes. I've imported one extra set from the US, but at a silly cost.

I also bought a WoodRiver no6 plane. Nice plane and the v3 now sold has metric threads. (its better for it too as the blade adjustment sensitivity is much better). So I bought their shoulder plane too last week.

My Mustang is one of the few cars that Ford is making a profit on. It was designed up front for the world market. LHD & RHD. EU6 emissions. Metric.

The US is going to have to migrate eventually. I suggest for the sake of your children and theirs, get on with it!
(ps: the US is about 13% of the world economy and falling steadily).
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2020, 11:19 AM »
Correct, the plumbing is a Trade Size, so units doesn't matter, but also in the case of it as I mentioned, it's fine to hold the old dimensions, just update the labeling. Would save the manufacture to just mark it with the global standards/sizes, no longer have 2 same but different product lines.  Other things need hard conversions, both to make sense, and match up with global standards.  The US codes and such are metric (dual measurement), they were setup expecting the change over.  Things did change, brick and concrete block changed over, but some industries pushed back. So now you can buy both inch and metric block, but metric ones may need to be special ordered in depending on where you live.  Shingles switched over to metric a while back, unless you are a roofer, you probably wouldn't even notice. Of course even though they are now metric 1m x 1/3m, they label them in inches (39-3/8).

On your car, the US auto industry switched over starting in the 70s.  They are global businesses and face global realities. All US cars have been all metric since the late 80s with random exceptions of some legacy carry over parts that never got updated, some things got soft conversion updates (labeling), other times they just went and re-did all the threaded features to metric and ran with it.  Same goes for other industries like construction/agriculture equipment.  Basically if you are a US manufacture and you sell stuff beyond the US borders everything you do is metric.  There will be exceptions and legacy bits, but for the most part you are metric unless there is some over running reason (legacy hardware install base installed globally, like some examples that others and I have mentioned).  You simply aren't going to be successful selling stuff in metric countries if it's in inches. The companies know that and converted long ago. Plus their supply chains.  Cost is king, and the reality is things like inch bolts/screws cost more when you are buying quality hardware and pulling from global supply chain. There just isn't the market for the inch hardware.  You might find a US supplier for inch hardware to supply a plant in Kentucky, but that isn't going to work for your auto plant in Germany so well. There is just no reason for using inch in this stuff. Plus the flip side, Benz, BMW, VW, Toyota make a large portion of their cars in the US, they aren't going to re-work them to inches. They need US based supply chains to support them.

This also gets to "I'm comfortable with inch" issue.  People have now grown up with the stuff around them metric, 2 generations worth of people.  From farmers to mechanics, everything they wrench on is metric, it's what they know. Just about anything you ever assemble, it takes metric wrenches.  Only reason a lot of folks have many inch hand tools around is the tool kit they bought was half and half.  But for a lot of folks, they primarily have metric tools.   Tear anything apart to fix it, again, all metric.

You can find new stuff that is in inches, but it's generally US only stuff, small companies, legacy products.

Raw material is often inches, but getting metric sized stuff for things like metal is now common. You will get folks who claim they have to do it in inches because the material is in inches and you can't get metric, they just don't want to look or accept the supply chains now do both, again, global realities.   Metal products come from mills around the world.  Same happens to wood products, lot of stuff from Canada, but also all corners of the world.

Short term, I'd just like to see stuff that is metric, not labeled with approximate inch labeling (plywood being a great example). On something like Pipe, just use the ISO labeling.  Stuff that takes real conversion, that will take longer.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 630
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2020, 12:50 PM »
What @AstroKeith said, mostly. UK has been converting more and more to metric later than most other European country’s (Correct me if wrong).
I think from my side of view that both systems has its values. But for what we do here, dimensioning wood, it’s metric all the way. It’s just easier. To master imperial you need it in your spine. I do like the common understanding of imperial way of describing, that works across country’s. But, as also AstroKeith says, when actually measured, you see the different dimensions that is adopted for each country. We have slight different 2x’s, 1 1/2x’s and so on.

But even in my metric country, there’s loads of old imperial.
Ie: We say that a boat/vessel is 18ft, 23ft, 30ft and so on. When a boat is measured exactly, it is in meters and centimetres. We don’t say that that is a 5,49 metres boat, its 18ft boat.
Lumber: Same as you, although it’s slowly changing to metric.
Plumbing: Imperial
Wheels: Imperial (inches) - Funny: diameters in Imperial, with and sidewall height in metric..
Speakers: Mostly imperial, but both used.
Screens: Imperial
Motors: Combustion motors, HP, imperial. (They have tried adopt Kw, but no real luck yet  [big grin]
Electrical motors: Metric (Watts)
The list could be long, I’m sure other Europeans will fill in.
Though, I’ve heard of none that work in woodworking that actually work in imperial.
A woodworker and artist I met recently had lived in New York for many years, living from woodworking and art did adopt some imperial to meet standards when absolutely required, but stayed in metric otherwise. A tool (except for calipers, tapes and so on) made for woodworking is solely in metric scale. We just never see them here in imperial if not coming from the US.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2020, 03:45 PM »
And that is how it will be anyplace.  What was built is built, no one is going to go changing it.

I'm a pro metric as you find in this country, doesn't mean I don't say things in Inch values, and even if we converted, there will be stuff we will speak in inch system afterwards.

Your examples are the same fairly universal.  Metric tires was this odd "failure".  I don't think anyone likes how they are dimensioned.  But yes, Inch Wheel diameter, with metric tread width, and ratio sidewall height is the norm.

A lot of examples are the part that those who resist just don't seam to understand.   If it's a 16ft boat, it will always be a 16ft boat. No one is going to come and demand it be called a 4.877m boat.  If someone relabeled it as such, I would mock them, and call it a 16ft boat, because that is what it is.  But if someone was designing a new boat, it would make sense to design it 5m long.

The issue many take is they do soft conversion, not hard conversion.  No one wants soft conversion, though in some places it makes sense.  They will say something like how they just want to say 36" or 1 yard for the width of something, not .XXXm, etc. They miss that you won't make things 36*25.4 mm,  you will just make it 1m instead.   There was an example of 36" counter height above, well, you don't make them 914.4mm,  you just make them 900mm.   But this is also why we need to convert. Since it's not just about the number, the dimensions of products/items change so things match up and work well.  IKEA has to work this heck in reverse.  They have a kitchen system, but have to modify it to be a different N.A. version to match with the 3" pitch of N.A. cabinets.  Which also means they don't bring all the stuff they have for it to the US.  So now you have US widths to things, but the rest of it is all metric, panel thickness, hardware, etc, it's all metric, except in 1 of 3 dimensions.   Metric can be hard/pointless if you don't do hard conversions and match up to the world. 

But this keeps going back to when metric stuff gets labeled in inches. It just produces madness, but also means you often have no idea what it really is. If something is 1", don't tell me it's 25mm.  If it's 1ft, don't say 300mm.  At the same time, if it is 300mm,  don't tell me it's 11-13/16" .  But as mentioned with roof singles, that exactly what they do.

Framing lumber will always be a mess. a 2x4 is 1.5x3.5 (few decades back was 1.625x3.5), but generally they aren't even that, they tend to be plus or minus and 1/8th in either direction.  So it pretty much is what ever you want to call it.  I suspect a lot of them are being made to 35x90mm based on what I keep measuring.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2020, 07:11 AM »
Your examples are the same fairly universal.  Metric tires was this odd "failure".  I don't think anyone likes how they are dimensioned.  But yes, Inch Wheel diameter, with metric tread width, and ratio sidewall height is the norm.

Huh? I buy bicycle tires purely on their metric size according to ETRTO standards. Buying based on inches is way more likely to get you a tire that doesn't fit. My Brompton has 16" tires... good luck with that, as '16"' is used for both 305 and 349 (and 18" for 355). Normal sized bicycles (28"); same story; there is the common 622, but also 635 (with 27" being 630). Just one giant mess if you don't follow the ETRTO sizes.

A few weeks ago I bought some tires; I went to the store, told them I wanted Schwalbe Marathon 40-622 and that is exactly what I got; zero confusion. If I were to say I wanted 28"x1.5 he might have asked me if I wanted 622 or 635.

Or as Wikipedia says it;
"The great advantage of ETRTO sizing is that it is unambiguous; previously, nominal dimensions were used which were interpreted in different ways by different countries and manufacturers - a problem for the end user. "

Agreed on the framing lumber; what a mess that is..

What @AstroKeith said, mostly. UK has been converting more and more to metric later than most other European country’s (Correct me if wrong).
I think from my side of view that both systems has its values. But for what we do here, dimensioning wood, it’s metric all the way. It’s just easier. To master imperial you need it in your spine. I do like the common understanding of imperial way of describing, that works across country’s. But, as also AstroKeith says, when actually measured, you see the different dimensions that is adopted for each country. We have slight different 2x’s, 1 1/2x’s and so on.

But even in my metric country, there’s loads of old imperial.
Ie: We say that a boat/vessel is 18ft, 23ft, 30ft and so on. When a boat is measured exactly, it is in meters and centimetres. We don’t say that that is a 5,49 metres boat, its 18ft boat.
Lumber: Same as you, although it’s slowly changing to metric.
Plumbing: Imperial
Wheels: Imperial (inches) - Funny: diameters in Imperial, with and sidewall height in metric..
Speakers: Mostly imperial, but both used.
Screens: Imperial
Motors: Combustion motors, HP, imperial. (They have tried adopt Kw, but no real luck yet  [big grin]
Electrical motors: Metric (Watts)
The list could be long, I’m sure other Europeans will fill in.
Though, I’ve heard of none that work in woodworking that actually work in imperial.
A woodworker and artist I met recently had lived in New York for many years, living from woodworking and art did adopt some imperial to meet standards when absolutely required, but stayed in metric otherwise. A tool (except for calipers, tapes and so on) made for woodworking is solely in metric scale. We just never see them here in imperial if not coming from the US.

Combustion motors is in kW here. Plumbing also metric.

To add to your list; pressure. Usually [bar] instead of [Pa], sadly.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 07:18 AM by Coen »

Online SRSemenza

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Re: dang metric!
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2020, 10:51 AM »
I think he is talking about car tires which are,  for example,    65/225 R16   The R16 being 16" wheel diameter with 65/225 metric height to tread width ratio. The width is 225mm and the height is 65% of the width.


Seth

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 630
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2020, 12:17 PM »
That’s correct, Seth.

Albeit not interested in bicycles other than taking a spin very now and then for fun. I still have plenty experiences with all conflicting dimensions regarding tires and wheels [eek]

It just keeps me reminded what a plumber once answered when I asked him: “Isn’t 1/4”, 1/2” and 3/4” standard?” He answered: lThe standard is that there isn’t any standard, it’s a mess”  [big grin]

And, yeah, tire pressure is “standard” in “bar”.
I live happily with both systems, and the fact that I can measure the framing timber in my outhouse in imperial is fun. Because it is 100 years, and back then and till not too long ago a 4x4” was actually 4x4” here. But later a standard used mandatory now is TEK, when building houses. It results in som strange dimensions in mm. Just to make it harder.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2020, 11:01 PM »
yeah, was speaking of car tires.  Had to look up  ETRTO,  looks to be somewhat defunct and or taken over by ISO.  Looked at their history, you can see all the struggles of tires sizing, looks like all their standards were scrapped by the mid 2000s.  Some cars were sold in the US in the 80s with "metric tires", which I think is what ETRTO specs did. They flopped. Probably because wheel sizes were so stable then, verses now where they increase an inch every couple years.  So metric tires just meant it would be hard/expensive to get replacements. Cars can be around for 100s of years, so you have a massive amount of inch rims, so changing that becomes a mess.

I know bike tires get weird, I'm not much a biker, but I know you can get confused very fast. In the past few years tires went from all being 26" to being 29" and 27.5" along with 26", I think in the US, people will jump between metric and inch designations. I just take a dead tire to the bike shop and let them deal with it.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2020, 06:39 AM »
yeah, was speaking of car tires.  Had to look up  ETRTO,  looks to be somewhat defunct and or taken over by ISO.  Looked at their history, you can see all the struggles of tires sizing, looks like all their standards were scrapped by the mid 2000s.  Some cars were sold in the US in the 80s with "metric tires", which I think is what ETRTO specs did. They flopped. Probably because wheel sizes were so stable then, verses now where they increase an inch every couple years.  So metric tires just meant it would be hard/expensive to get replacements. Cars can be around for 100s of years, so you have a massive amount of inch rims, so changing that becomes a mess.

I know bike tires get weird, I'm not much a biker, but I know you can get confused very fast. In the past few years tires went from all being 26" to being 29" and 27.5" along with 26", I think in the US, people will jump between metric and inch designations. I just take a dead tire to the bike shop and let them deal with it.

29" is just another ... name... it's the same 622 size as regular "  28" " bicycles have. It just tends to refer to mountainbikes // fatter tires. Eg 47-622, 57-622, 60-622 etc. while 37-622 is a more regular size although citybikes with 50mm fat tires are becoming more common too.

I've never taken dead tires to the bike shop. Why on earth would you do that except if you are confused by nonsense tire-sizing?  [wink]

ETRTO isn't taken over by ISO... they literally created the current ISO 5775 norm.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6767
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2020, 05:46 PM »
If you think converting to metric is the challenge ....... just wait till the Asian countries have to get rid of their old fashioned and overly complicated characters and start using the Latin alphabet. Same for Russia and cyrillic.

Offline WillAdams

  • Posts: 65
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2020, 08:19 PM »
China, Japan and Korea using Latin characters is easily handled using the same systems implemented for Morse code.

For Korean for example it's SKATS, Standard Korean Alphabetic Transliteration System.


Offline JimD

  • Posts: 494
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2020, 06:51 PM »
All or nearly all the materials I use for woodworking in the U. S. are sized Imperial.  Hardwood is in board feet.  Sheet goods are 4x8 foot sheets (although thickness may be in mm).  Fasteners are numbers for screws (#4, #6, #8, #12 etc), inches for bolts.  Drawer slides are sold in inches.  Bits to make the holes for screws are sized to the screw number.  Router bits have either 1/4 or 1/2 inch shanks and roundovers are in fractional inches.  It is possible to find metric bolts but I don't know about metric screws.  It would be a bit challenging to buy raw materials and some tools to metric measures.  But I use imperial due to preference, not difficulty. 

It isn't woodworking but I moved a couple gates last week.  Fasteners were in inches and I needed my inch size sockets and wrenches.  But later in the week I tried to fix a couple things on my BMW and needed my metric tools.  Would have also been metric fasteners if I messed with my Ram pickup. 

Cars are one of the few things that are more metric.  But the weight is still given in pounds (but the KgU will be in the owners manual), tire pressure is in psi, the motor spec is in hp and lb ft of torque. 

I used to have a job where my primary responsibility was to sell nuclear fuel assemblies.  I had a boss who like to ask you when a negotiation would close.  Next he would ask why.  His point was that if your date was based upon the customer promising senior management or a regulator he tended to believe it.  If it was just your estimate, the safe assumption was that you were being optimistic.  The application to this situation is the lack of a forcing function, I believe, for the U. S. to convert everything to metric.  The question is why.  To me all the answers I've heard sound weak.  That suggests the conversion will not happen at all, or at least any time soon. 

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2020, 09:34 PM »
4x8 in funny units is just what we call 2,44 x 1,22 here.

It starts with not teaching your children units that are supposed to disappear in school. People coming out of the school in NL now often usually don't even know the funny units anymore.

And when grandma asks the 18 yr old in the food market for "2 ons" (1 ons being 100 gram) of beef, she is gonna get the question; 'two what?'.

When I asked my 19 year old niece what one inch was, she said "about 1 cm". Then she went to live in the UK for a while and her mother (my sister in law) said she lived close to the train station; "only like 2 km" but in fact it was 2 mile, being 3+ km.  [tongue]

That change is possible can be seen with Torx; once we had slot screwheads, phillips, pozidrive, but now there is Torx and it's widely used, simply because it is better.

Offline Gone

  • Posts: 925
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2020, 07:47 AM »

4x8 in funny units is just what we call 2,44 x 1,22 here.

Its funny what people call funny units.

It starts with not teaching your children units that are supposed to disappear in school. People coming out of the school in NL now often usually don't even know the funny units anymore.

They tried that here too. It was sort working until they started looking for jobs in house, landscape etc construction or plumbing and had to be reeducated to the existing system of measure which was imperial. This happens at the college level when apprentices are sent for mandatory training. If you went anywhere here and asked for 2.44 x 1.44 they would look at you like you had a third eye.


I'm sure one day you might see a total change but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2020, 09:39 AM »
4x8 sheets of plywood, etc, vary greatly in the US. The "good stuff" I get from Industrial Plywood is typically 1245x1225mm (~96.5"x~48.5")

But again, it doesn't matter one one personally chooses to use. But I for one would prefer that we would achieve on system globally and given adoption already in place, that would be metric.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2020, 10:59 AM »

4x8 in funny units is just what we call 2,44 x 1,22 here.

Its funny what people call funny units.

It starts with not teaching your children units that are supposed to disappear in school. People coming out of the school in NL now often usually don't even know the funny units anymore.

They tried that here too. It was sort working until they started looking for jobs in house, landscape etc construction or plumbing and had to be reeducated to the existing system of measure which was imperial. This happens at the college level when apprentices are sent for mandatory training. If you went anywhere here and asked for 2.44 x 1.44 they would look at you like you had a third eye.


I'm sure one day you might see a total change but I wouldn't hold my breath.


4x8 sheets of plywood, etc, vary greatly in the US. The "good stuff" I get from Industrial Plywood is typically 1245x1225mm (~96.5"x~48.5")

But again, it doesn't matter one one personally chooses to use. But I for one would prefer that we would achieve on system globally and given adoption already in place, that would be metric.

It's funny you both have some errors in there, just giving more reasons why it should be all metric  [cool]

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2020, 04:49 PM »
Coen, the mm measurements I stated (which I actually use for my work) are accurate. The other numbers have the tilde in front to note they are approximate. I switched to metric two years ago for all projects that would allow it. Some work I do for other makers I have to use their preferred system, however.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 04:51 PM by Jim_in_PA »
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline Just Bill

  • Posts: 26
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #79 on: October 14, 2020, 03:48 AM »
Coen, the mm measurements I stated (which I actually use for my work) are accurate. The other numbers have the tilde in front to note they are approximate. I switched to metric two years ago for all projects that would allow it. Some work I do for other makers I have to use their preferred system, however.
You might want to check that again......a little more carefully.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 570
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2020, 01:49 PM »
Coen, the mm measurements I stated (which I actually use for my work) are accurate. The other numbers have the tilde in front to note they are approximate. I switched to metric two years ago for all projects that would allow it. Some work I do for other makers I have to use their preferred system, however.

That's some crude approximation being 47.5" off  8)

Or more likely you meant 2451 and not 1245  :P
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 01:51 PM by Coen »

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 152
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #81 on: October 14, 2020, 09:06 PM »
Coen, the mm measurements I stated (which I actually use for my work) are accurate. The other numbers have the tilde in front to note they are approximate. I switched to metric two years ago for all projects that would allow it. Some work I do for other makers I have to use their preferred system, however.
You might want to check that again......a little more carefully.
yea, I see what I did... I work in half sheets on my CNC and forgot to multiply the long dimension by two. It should be about 2450mm. My bad. I'll slap myself up-side my head. :) Geepers that's embarrassing...
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline Just Bill

  • Posts: 26
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2020, 10:43 AM »
Coen, the mm measurements I stated (which I actually use for my work) are accurate. The other numbers have the tilde in front to note they are approximate. I switched to metric two years ago for all projects that would allow it. Some work I do for other makers I have to use their preferred system, however.
You might want to check that again......a little more carefully.
yea, I see what I did... I work in half sheets on my CNC and forgot to multiply the long dimension by two. It should be about 2450mm. My bad. I'll slap myself up-side my head. :) Geepers that's embarrassing...

Happens to us all! Me more than most actually!

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6767
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #83 on: October 15, 2020, 02:51 PM »
Me too, I was laying some laminate flooring the other day, and up in the attic I measure 98,7 cm, I walk down to the saw outside and I cut 95,7. Wasted 4 boards. Dang metric! [big grin]

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #84 on: October 15, 2020, 05:26 PM »
well, there are always the parallel guides with their marker arrows you miss and instead use the end of the stop as the marker, and then everything ends up 10mm short.  Good thing current project is very rough construction.   

I'm sure the guides are fine, it's just a metric thing.   [wink]

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 630
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2020, 06:27 PM »
Me too, I was laying some laminate flooring the other day, and up in the attic I measure 98,7 cm, I walk down to the saw outside and I cut 95,7. Wasted 4 boards. Dang metric! [big grin]

That would be either; dang vision, or dang top command center!  [big grin]
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 917
Re: dang metric!
« Reply #86 on: October 15, 2020, 07:31 PM »
Me too, I was laying some laminate flooring the other day, and up in the attic I measure 98,7 cm, I walk down to the saw outside and I cut 95,7. Wasted 4 boards. Dang metric! [big grin]

Sharpie + Forearm = solution  [tongue]