Author Topic: Help me go metric  (Read 2352 times)

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Offline DoctorCroz

  • Posts: 2
Help me go metric
« on: August 24, 2022, 01:08 PM »
Metric is better.  I said what I said.

I hope you guys throw out an idea or two, thanks in advance for any suggestions.

I recently made my first Festool purchase which was a Domino because it's perfect and I love it as much as my family.  I also love that it's metric but of course, all my measuring tools are imperial, Starrett combination squares and tape measures. 

What are your guys' favorite small speed squares/delve squares/thickness gauges that have units in metric - favorite in terms of price/accuracy, etc.  Is there something that works just as well as a Starrett or Woodpeckers square?  I'm not opposed to buying either but are there any others out there that would be advised?  As an FYI, I'm not interested in converting over the Domino's stopblocks to imperial because I'd just generally like to use metric units as it works quite a bit better in my own head.

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Offline 4nthony

  • Posts: 384
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Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2022, 01:48 PM »
When I switched, I bought a couple rules and tapes that had both metric and imperial measurements. It helped me get into the metric mindset and do a quick rough conversion (1" ~25mm, 6" ~150mm, etc).

I like the FastCap yellow tape measure and the Woodpeckers Paolini Pocket rule in stainless. The Paolini rule has markings on both sides so you can flip it if you need a specific measurement to be at the top or bottom.

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Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3800
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2022, 02:05 PM »
Similar to Anthony, I use simple, unfancy steel rules (some have a conversion table on the back) and, for long lengths over 30cm, the Fastcap (mine is the 16ft version):



I keep one short rule at every station (I think they cost me a buck or two when I bought them many moons ago). I use BOTH units in woodworking, depending on what it's.

 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2022, 03:51 PM by ChuckS »

Offline festal

  • Posts: 393
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2022, 02:17 PM »
When I switched, I bought a couple rules and tapes that had both metric and imperial measurements. It helped me get into the metric mindset and do a quick rough conversion (1" ~25mm, 6" ~150mm, etc).

I like the FastCap yellow tape measure and the Woodpeckers Paolini Pocket rule in stainless. The Paolini rule has markings on both sides so you can flip it if you need a specific measurement to be at the top or bottom.

Thats what I do but haven't switched to metric fully but having dual stuff is great

Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2022, 02:27 PM »
I really like Shinwa's stainless steel rules. Very nice markings.

Having DRO's on my tablesaw and drum sander was great, since I can toggle between metric and imperial measurements at the push of a button.

I also swapped out the Incra racks on my mitersaw cutoff fence for metric ones, and got new tapes, too. Did the same on my tablesaw sled fence.

But, the biggest thing, for me, was to start designing in metric. Then build to your design.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1527
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2022, 04:03 PM »
Where I used to work (I’m now retired) all six of the tool and die workers were Polish ex-pats. This was not an accident.  The tool room manager was from Poland and whenever we needed more tool makers, we advertised in the Polish language newspaper.  They were all good workers (but communication was sometimes a challenge).

They all were used to metric.  All our work was imperial.  They all changed.  None ever complained that imperial was inferior.

I don’t see metric as an advantage.  It is a choice.  You are free to choose metric.  I hope you enjoy it.  I doubt the change will improve the quality of your work or facilitate how you do it. 

Online woodferret

  • Posts: 182
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2022, 05:44 PM »
I have the fastcap yellow tape as well and use it often when bridging between lumber/trim work.  But, I also keep a metric-only tape (blue?) for use in the shop which is my baseline reference.  Actual cutting is done against that.  Not having the imperial on the day-to-day measure stick helps.

Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2022, 07:27 PM »
I don’t see metric as an advantage.  It is a choice.  You are free to choose metric.  I hope you enjoy it.  I doubt the change will improve the quality of your work or facilitate how you do it.

Having made the change recently, I wish I had made it decades earlier.

Imperial Example: Install a knob in the middle of a drawer that is 1' 7&3/32" wide.
1) So that's half of a foot plus half of 7" plus half of 3/32". Or 6"+3.5"+3/64", which is 9.5" + 3/64, or 9 & 35/64"
2) Convert to decimal, divide by 2 then convert back. That's 19.094", so 9.547" is the middle. Convert .547" toa  fraction and add to 9.

Metrix Example: Install a knob in the middle of a drawer that's 485mm wide.
1) 485/2 = 242.5mm

Just way, way easier. And, memorizing numbers that you're measuring is easier. Not having to switch between denominators on the fractions is a life-saver, too. And you can't eliminate fractions and go to Imperial decimal even if you could find scales because so much is done on ⅛", 1/16" or 1/32" increments.

My only complaint is that they didn't metricize angles. A right angle should be 100 degrees, 400 for a full circle. I know scientists use radians, but that doesn't help for most geometries.
 


Offline Bob D.

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Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2022, 07:43 PM »
I have gone to working in metric almost exclusively when modeling something for 3D printing. Occasionally I need an imperial measurement and I can enter that easily which out changing anything in the software.

Metric is easier since the printer works in metric. Layers are some fraction of a mm, usually 0.20 or 0.15 mm, so working with multiples of your layer height is good.

If I do model something in imperial then when I go to export it for printing I convert it during output to metric as the slicer software wants to see metric too.

But most everything else I am still using the Imperial system.
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Offline HandyDen

  • Posts: 55
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Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2022, 08:52 PM »
When I switched, I bought a couple rules and tapes that had both metric and imperial measurements. It helped me get into the metric mindset and do a quick rough conversion (1" ~25mm, 6" ~150mm, etc).

I like the FastCap yellow tape measure and the Woodpeckers Paolini Pocket rule in stainless. The Paolini rule has markings on both sides so you can flip it if you need a specific measurement to be at the top or bottom.

+1 for the FastCap tapes and Paolini Stainless steel rules, both in metric and imperial. I also use the Lee Valley wooden folding rule with both measurements quite often. I wont wear a pair of pants (or a kilt) without a rule pocket on the side.

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 368
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2022, 09:17 PM »
I have a tape in mm and imperial but I also use those flexible Incra rules I love I can bend them around and lay them flat. I might have to add a couple of the metric or metric and inch ones.

As for squares, believe it or not, I have been using the great triangles from TSO and Woodpecker more than any square. I just keep hoping TSO will add a smaller highly accurate triangle in the 3" range. and I wish I could find a nice 2 or 3-inch saddle square. There was one many years ago with a hinge it would do any angle accurately over a 90-degree edge or 45 or 33 or 27.5 etc. I digress. I have almost entirely moved to triangles.
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Offline smorgasbord

  • Posts: 118
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2022, 09:49 PM »
I don't understand why people like the FastCap tape measures. Mine sucks. Here it is in comparison to a Komelon and a Shinwa metal rule:



The FastCap is $8 on Amazon.
The Komelon is under $18 on Amazon.

The 150mm Shinwa metal rule is under $5.50
I also have a 600mm Shinwa metal rule, which is $23.


Offline Bob Wolfe

  • Posts: 105
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2022, 10:29 PM »
Metric 95 % of the time, I have found Fastcap tapes the best for me. I can see white tapes much easier than yellow.

When I was converting to metric I was advised to get and use metric only or imperial only tapes, not both. Much less confusing.

My panel saw, Altendorf WA6, is metric as are all my Festool.

Bob W.

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 368
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2022, 02:11 AM »
I don't understand why people like the FastCap tape measures. Mine sucks. Here it is in comparison to a Komelon and a Shinwa metal rule:

(Attachment Link)

The FastCap is $8 on Amazon.
The Komelon is under $18 on Amazon.

The 150mm Shinwa metal rule is under $5.50
I also have a 600mm Shinwa metal rule, which is $23.

I like it because it has metric and fractional measurements on the same tape. Mine is also a bit fragile compared to my Milwaukee tapes. The blade in the combo is just thinner and not as robust, that is something I do not like about it. I do not use it for fine measurements just on larger boards I am breaking down or longer spans that I need one or both measurements from.
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 1127
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2022, 06:55 AM »
...
I don’t see metric as an advantage.  It is a choice.  You are free to choose metric.  I hope you enjoy it.  I doubt the change will improve the quality of your work or facilitate how you do it.
I think there are two things at play.
 - switching from fractions to decimal
   => this is, in general, a benefit for easy of calculation /easy calculation then allows people tend ot bother with better accuracy/

 - changing the unit from inch to mm (or cm) while ignoring the feet and yard "things"
   => this is just a unit change, indeed, does not present any qualitative differences

Most people associate Metric/Imperial switch with the Fractions -> Decimal change. As that is where the benefit is easy to see.

But if someone already worked with decimal /just in inches/ there is not much benefit. The benefit comes once Yards and Feet would come to play -> i.e. mostly in cross-specialty interactions. As long as one just makes furniture, or machines something, one can just  well stick to inches and their decimal fractions and be exactly the same position as with millimeters.

Though the big/original draw of the SI system, why it came to be in the first place, was not efficiency. Sure, they chose decimal as it was obviously the better way.
The reason the system came to be was that - at the time - nothing like today's physically-defined /derived from millimeter, heh/ "standard inch" existed to begin. The folks went purely after standardisation to get interoperability across trades and across countries.

The choices made were based on sound analysis, sure. But the system was always about interoperability first, everything else second.

As long as one does not inter-operate much, one does not get much benefit either. Can be even to the contrary as certain workflows lend well to fractions.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 06:58 AM by mino »
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Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 271
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2022, 08:49 AM »
The single best thing you can do to change is design and measure in metric and ignore imperial altogether. I was forced into it because the plans for my workshop were metric and I never went back to imperial. Buy some European made metric tapes and start there, Shinwa rules are damned good as well. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1527
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2022, 09:51 AM »
I don’t see metric as an advantage.  It is a choice.  You are free to choose metric.  I hope you enjoy it.  I doubt the change will improve the quality of your work or facilitate how you do it.

Having made the change recently, I wish I had made it decades earlier.

Imperial Example: Install a knob in the middle of a drawer that is 1' 7&3/32" wide.
1) So that's half of a foot plus half of 7" plus half of 3/32". Or 6"+3.5"+3/64", which is 9.5" + 3/64, or 9 & 35/64"
2) Convert to decimal, divide by 2 then convert back. That's 19.094", so 9.547" is the middle. Convert .547" toa  fraction and add to 9.

Metrix Example: Install a knob in the middle of a drawer that's 485mm wide.
1) 485/2 = 242.5mm

Just way, way easier. And, memorizing numbers that you're measuring is easier. Not having to switch between denominators on the fractions is a life-saver, too. And you can't eliminate fractions and go to Imperial decimal even if you could find scales because so much is done on ⅛", 1/16" or 1/32" increments.

My only complaint is that they didn't metricize angles. A right angle should be 100 degrees, 400 for a full circle. I know scientists use radians, but that doesn't help for most geometries.

But can you as easily divide in 3rds, 4ths and 6ths?

10 divided by 3 is messy.

12 divided by three is 4.

There are conveniences in using metric.  There are conveniences in using Imperial.  The biggest convenience is using the system that 95% of your community is using. 

It is just like language.  If you are living in an English speaking country, it is an advantage to be able to speak English. 

If you are living in a country that uses Imperial measuring units, then it is an advantage using Imperial.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 374
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2022, 01:29 PM »
I have a metric Stanley tape, but don’t use it very much. My go-to is a metric folding rule I bought from Lee Valley.

I prefer working in metric and hate with a passion trying to count sixteenths, eighteenths,  and quarters on a tape, much less doing arithmetic with them.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3885
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Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2022, 04:22 PM »
I have become "ambidextrous" with respect to measurement systems. My Festool stuff (way too much) triggered my inclusion of metric.

I ended up getting Starrett rules and squares in metric to go with my Imperial measuring tools.

That said, I tend to use "go by" story sticks and other non-measurement techniques when I can.
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3800
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2022, 06:02 PM »
I don't understand why people like the FastCap tape measures. Mine sucks.Snip.
In what ways do the Fastcap tapes fall short?

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1127
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2022, 06:14 PM »
But can you as easily divide in 3rds, 4ths and 6ths?

10 divided by 3 is messy.

12 divided by three is 4.
...
Easy. If you expect to have a need for fractions, you make your sizes in multiples of them.

The 32mm standard is about that - 32/96 - 16+16 - 24+24+24+24 - 8+8+8 etc.

Or you use base-60 sizes, but still in metric.

This is no different if using whole inches as your "base" so your fractions are then simple.

There are advantages of writing 1(") instead of 32(mm) the same as are advantages to writing 24 (mm) instead of 2/3 ("). Especially when those 2/3" are not marked anywhere and have to be approximated with power-of-2 fractions.

The decimal system is way more flexible here as you can choose to measure in a unit most suitable for he task - you would generally use unit small-enough to minimise fractions.

I make some drawings in CM, some in MM, some in M as it is easy to have them relate to each other, just moving the dot.


But as said. If 90% of what one does lends well to the 1" as a unit and sticks to power-of-2 fractions - which a lot of WW does - then inches can be more efficient for an individual workflow.

Once you need to integrate into smaller and/or bigger (like micro-electronics sizes and building-sizes) the decimal system base on a single unit goes on top.


The real "problem" is we all operate in a decimal(base 10) system otherwise as that is the standard that won the mathematics system "wars". Had we operated in a duodecimal (base 12) one, where 10" (duodecimal) would be 1' and where there would be a unit equivalent to 1/10" (duodecimal) having its own name, (equivalent to 2.116mm), and there would be 10' (3657,6mm) again having its own name. Then it may even work better using inches and feet. But we are not there and the system is "incomplete" making it "boxed-in" kinda.

/lands back on earth surface


I don't understand why people like the FastCap tape measures. Mine sucks.Snip.
In what ways do the Fastcap tapes fall short?
Let me guess - it has a "sea" of markings, none of them clearly or easily identifiable as "main" marking. When you compare it to the metric ones (or pure imperial ones) there is just no comparison on ergonomy.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 06:18 PM by mino »
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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1843
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2022, 06:21 PM »
I have become "ambidextrous" with respect to measurement systems. My Festool stuff (way too much) triggered my inclusion of metric.

I ended up getting Starrett rules and squares in metric to go with my Imperial measuring tools.

That said, I tend to use "go by" story sticks and other non-measurement techniques when I can.

I'm in about the same situation. I use imperial for most things, because that is how the shop drawings are done, but that is really only for the broad view. The parts that make up the whole project are measured/calculated in whatever manner seems to fit the best.
My vocational training as a machinist, way back in the day, instilled decimal equivalents in my head, so I use that whenever helps too. I use metric on the Festool things that still have it, but sadly many don't anymore?
I've been doing this jumbled mix for so long that it's second-nature to me, but certainly confuses others. I really hate the "Architect's way" of measuring feet and inches though. We are working on relatively small interior measurements, inches only works just fine 
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Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3800
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2022, 07:00 PM »
Snip.
Let me guess - it has a "sea" of markings, none of them clearly or easily identifiable as "main" marking. When you compare it to the metric ones (or pure imperial ones) there is just no comparison on ergonomy.

Well, that isn't a fair comment at all regarding the "seas" of marking. The Fastcap's metric side is just as clear as the other two metric tapes:



When I use the Fastcap for its metric scale, I have never found it confusing. I'm still curious to know what makes the tape "suck" to (edited) smorgasbord.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2022, 10:55 AM by ChuckS »

Offline 4nthony

  • Posts: 384
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Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2022, 08:06 PM »
The only issue I've had with my FastCap yellow tapes is I think I let one of them retract too fast, too many times. There's some buckling in the edge about about 30mm from the hook.

Otherwise, they are legible and fairly consistent with the markings on my other rules and tapes.
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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1498
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2022, 10:58 PM »
Snip.
Let me guess - it has a "sea" of markings, none of them clearly or easily identifiable as "main" marking. When you compare it to the metric ones (or pure imperial ones) there is just no comparison on ergonomy.

Well, that isn't a fair comment at all regarding the "seas" of marking. The Fastcap's metric side is just as clear as the other two metric tapes:

(Attachment Link)

When I use the Fastcap for its metric scale, I have never found it confusing. I'm still curious to know what makes the tape "suck" to Packard.

For the record, it wasn't Packard, it was smorgasbord.  Packard just said the human mind can be flexible enough to change or not change, without any commentary about the Fastcap tape.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2814
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2022, 12:25 PM »
I started using metric with my first Festool purchases quite some time ago.  As a professional glazier and plastic fabricator I use a Tajima 16' dual tape, Wiha dual stick tapes, 6 and 3 meter, and a conversion app on my phone.  It is much easier to weather the conversion if you in a trade that requires constant measuring...P.S. I do get ragged about always have the two Wiha in my side pockets

Offline DoctorCroz

  • Posts: 2
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2022, 04:11 PM »
Hey, thanks everybody!  I appreciate the feedback and will definitely check out the suggestions here :-)

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 271
Re: Help me go metric
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2022, 09:41 PM »
I have one of these in my pocket all the time while making stuff and own 3 of them. The 3 metre version used to be dual scale which honestly was a proper PIA because for me they should have been transposed side to side and I never used the imperial side anyway.