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Mitchell Andrus
08-01-2010, 8:17 AM
Leave politics out of it.

Liberia, Burma and the US are the last countries that have still not converted. Given that most of our cars, appliances and cast arn tools 'n such are imported with metric nuts and bolts.....

Should we finally see the light and get with the program?
.

Dan Hintz
08-01-2010, 8:31 AM
Despite the problems of not growing up with it, and therefore making it confusing to do conversions on the fly, I wouldn't mind seeing us convert.

scott spencer
08-01-2010, 9:06 AM
What will become of all my 1/8" saw blades if we go metric?! :eek:

Dave Verstraete
08-01-2010, 9:09 AM
Oh No!!!!:eek: It seems like they tried this during my childhood. I thought we decided to go it alone. Besides....it's way too easy to use metrics. How many STONE do I weigh?

Dave Verstraete
08-01-2010, 9:16 AM
I'm not going to be able to use my 3/8 drill, either:D

Sean Troy
08-01-2010, 9:27 AM
I think if you had just used No for the second choice instead of the wording you used, the poll would come out much different.

Roger Newby
08-01-2010, 9:37 AM
Go to the lumber yard and try to get a 50mm X 100mm X 2.44 meter board.:rolleyes:

Joe Chritz
08-01-2010, 9:42 AM
Yes but what the rest of the world thinks or does isn't a factor in it.

Metric is faster and easier in almost every way.

Joe

Phil Thien
08-01-2010, 9:46 AM
No. Things made to metric dimensions look funny. :p

The only benefit (I can fathom) is that I'll feel like I've lost weight if I start weighing myself in kilograms.

glenn bradley
08-01-2010, 9:46 AM
I was as comfortable with metric as I was with the Queen's Own when I was learning it in elementary school. Then again when our leaders spent who knows how much money putting up all those silly speed limit signs in KPH.

Of course by now I have only the fundamental understanding that gets one through the day but, I say go for it . . . .


BTW what the next size up from 95/128ths? Oh yeah, .... 3/4's. Funny, the next size up from 95mm is 96mm . . . How SILLY!

Chuck Wintle
08-01-2010, 9:46 AM
it makes to think in terms of 10 for me. my only complaint with the metric system is for the construction trade...it is difficult to replace feet and inches with millimeters and meters. a 2 x 4 becomes 50mm x 100mm.?

Keith Outten
08-01-2010, 10:44 AM
The general public can change to the metic system overnight if they will simply accept the new system.

For business to change to the metric system it will take generations to accomplish. The investment in American Standard tools and machinery is more than most governing bodies are able to fathom. Machine shops alone have huge investments in tools that will last for decades and often machinists own their own measuring tools. I seriously doubt that consumers will be willing to pay the cost increases that a forced change over to metric tools would impose.

I can imagine the response to a company announcement that everyone must cease using their sets of Starret Micrometers on Monday morning..........yeah right. I remember seeing micrometers at Newport News Shipbuilding that were so big they had to be handled by a crane. No worries the taxpayer can afford to pay to replace them :(

I am sure that I have a couple thousand dollars in fasteners in my workshop not to mention my roll-around is stocked with American Standard wrenches and sockets, etc.

Who is going to tell all the Union pipe fitters that they can't use 3" pipe anymore or the welders that they can't use 1/8" welding rod. Not me :)

I remember a few years ago when gas stations started switching to liters, I passed them by just like everyone else did and they almost went out of business before they converted their gas pumps back to gallons.

I prefer to stay with what has worked for over 200 years and let the rest of the world and future generations of Americans do whatever they please. I'm comfortable with fractions of an inch so I will stay put thank you.............
.

Chuck Wintle
08-01-2010, 10:53 AM
The general public can change to the metic system overnight if they will simply accept the new system.

For business to change to the metric system it will take generations to accomplish. The investment in American Standard tools and machinery is more than most governing bodies are able to fathom. Machine shops alone have huge investments in tools that will last for decades and often machinists own their own measuring tools. I seriously doubt that consumers will be willing to pay the cost increases that a forced change over to metric tools would impose.

I can imagine the response to a company announcement that everyone must cease using their sets of Starret Micrometers on Monday morning..........yeah right.

I am sure that I have a couple thousand dollars in fasteners in my workshop not to mention my roll-around is stocked with American Standard wrenches and sockets, etc.

Who is going to tell all the Union pipe fitters that they can't use 3" pipe anymore or the welders that they can't use 1/8" welding rod. Not me :)

I remember a few years ago when gas stations started switching to liters, I passed them by just like everyone else did and they almost went out of business before they converted their gas pumps back to gallons.

I prefer to stay with what has worked for over 200 years and let the rest of the world and future generations of Americans do whatever they please. I'm comfortable with fractions of an inch so I will stay put thank you.............
.

I believe the aircraft industry, at least Boeing and airbus work in the imperial system and won't change anytime soon.

Mitchell Andrus
08-01-2010, 11:01 AM
it makes to think in terms of 10 for me. my only complaint with the metric system is for the construction trade...it is difficult to replace feet and inches with millimeters and meters. a 2 x 4 becomes 50mm x 100mm.?

A 2x4 isn't really 2"x4". So I think we can still say "two by four", receive a stud that's 38.1 mm x 88.9 mm, and be just as accurate as we are today.
.

Chuck Wintle
08-01-2010, 11:07 AM
A 2x4 isn't really 2"x4". So I think we can still say "two by four", receive a stud that's 38.1 mm x 88.9 mm, and be just as accurate as we are today.
.
How true! In canada some building materials have changed to adapt to the metric system...notably asphalt shingles.

Mitchell Andrus
08-01-2010, 11:11 AM
FYI Keith. Your post measures 95.45mm x 125.23mm on my screen.

When I think of all the little graduated scales on my floor machines, router plunge bases.... There are a few cast right into my biscuit cutters and domino. Turning a crank to the next mm tic isn't the problem, replacing the rules will be. Add to that all of the vernier scales on all of the lathes and mills alone and the mind boggles.

One wonders if all of the milling machines and printing presses sold at clearance auctions and sent India are converted to metric.... I doubt it.
.

David G Baker
08-01-2010, 11:30 AM
I am in favor of the metric system for all of the positive things mentioned above. I didn't like the options available to vote on so I didn't cast a vote.
I have been using metric volume measurements in photographic film labs that I have managed for around 25 years and it is so much easier and more accurate than our measuring system in my opinion.

Shawn Pixley
08-01-2010, 11:37 AM
Absolutely, we should change. I use both daily. Science background while growing up helps. The toughest thing for me would be cooking recipes.

Generally the math is easier with the metric system.

Shawn Pixley
08-01-2010, 11:52 AM
Currently 4.06x10^-29 AM and still hoping to reduce mass.

Jim Koepke
08-01-2010, 12:45 PM
Congress adopted the metric system early in our history. The reason it didn't catch on was that contracts were not specified using the metric system.

One poster listed a roadblock to change. Many people feel like they will have to convert everything "on the fly." In reality, one just has to change their system. Instead of mentally changing every 16 Km road sign to 10 miles, just start thinking that it will take about a half hour to get there at 50 K/h.

Here is something I found on the internet:



Top 10 reasons we should convert to the Metric System (with apologies to David Letterman)

10. People will finally understand my joke about driving attoparsecs per nanocenturies.
9. Gas will seem cheaper at 50 cents a liter.
8. Being 22 kilos overweight does not sound as bad as 50 lbs.
7. Defense will be easier if the offense has to drive 10 meters for a first down.
6. Arizona summers will not seem as bad when its only 40 degrees outside.
5. Its not "metric", its "Digital"!
4. Imagine all the exciting math you will do converting your favorite recipes to milliliters.
3. Less fractions to deal with like, "Do I need a five eighths socket or a nine sixteenths to loosen this nut?"
2. The boy band 98 will not be as popular calling themselves 36.7.
1. Half a liter is more than a pint, which means, MORE BEER FOR EVERYBODY!


As far as automotive things go, I have found a few of my "American made" vehicles to be mixed sizing. My tools for mechanical things are a mix of inch, metric and Whitworht. Before you laugh, if you have a camera and tripod, you have something that is using Whitworth threads.

Many of the metric and inch sizes are interchangeable. Here is a list that I put together many years ago. The tabs and spacing seem to get lost in the translation. If you want this, copy the text into your own text program and install your own formatting.


Metric to Sae wrench sizes. 6.5mm is common in many wrench sets. A "t" next to the wrench size indicates this wrench will be tight on its equivilent size nut, i.e. a 14mm wrench is snug on a 9/16 nut.

Millimeters / Inch
6 / N/A
6.5 / 1/4t
7 /N/A
8 / 5/16
9 / 11/32t
10 / N/A
11t / 7/16
12 /N/A
13 / 1/2t
14t / 9/16
15 / 19/32 (not common)
16 / 5/8
17 / N/A
18 / N/A
19 / 3/4 (This is such a perfect match, it is used internationally for automobile wheel nuts)
20 / N/A
21 / N/A
22t / 7/8

32 / 1-1/4 If memory serves me well, this is the size of the hub nut on the rear axle of Volks Wagons before 1968 or so.

That has 7 metric sizes throughout the range not covered by an SAE wrench set.
3/16 would be tight on a 5mm, neither size is included with most sets.
Three SAE sizes, 3/8, 11/16 and 15/16 are not covered by the metric sizes. 3/8 is often used, the other two sizes are not often encountered.

jim

Curt Harms
08-01-2010, 1:28 PM
whether we do so consciously or not. Automotive parts are often metric, I suspect machines & parts not produced domestically are metric. All metric would be less a pain in the butt than a mixture of SAE & metric. If the marketing types decide they can sell us less product/$ by shifting to metric measures, it'll happen tomorrow. What I find most awkward are pressures and power measurements. i don't have a feel for hPA & the output of gas engines in KW. Other than that, i can cope okay. I find it helps to have some touchstones. 22 degrees C is comfortable, 33 degrees C is not. Soda (pop) has been sold by the liter for some years. The real risk is mixing systems. Two expensive examples are the spacecraft a few years that crashed due to a mixing of measuring units ago and the "Gimli Glider", an Air Canada 767 that ran out of gas due to a partially inoperative fuel quantity indicating system and confusion between lbs. (the measure used by the U.S.) and liters (used by Canada).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

Bryan Morgan
08-01-2010, 3:10 PM
I find myself using the metric system all the time for woodworking. Its easier to measure to the mm than the 34/894 or whatever... ;)

Rod Sheridan
08-01-2010, 3:19 PM
I use the metric system at work for drawings and physical measurements.

Since I'm in the electrical field we're already metric as far as units are concerned.

I have two British and two German motorcycle in the garage so I own Whitworth, Imperial and Metric tools.

At home I converted to using the metric system for furniture design and construction because it's so much easier than dealing with fractions.

I have to laugh when people say they don't want to go metric because they know what a pound is.

I don't know what a pound or a kilogram are, you could give me .9 pounds or .9 kilograms and I wouldn't be able to tell you whether it was .9 or 1.0 or 1.1 of either unit.

Regards, Rod.

P.S.

Just curious, the US didn't update their Imperial system when England and its colonies did, which is why your Imperial system doesn't match ours. Do Liberia and Burma have the US or the British Imperial system?

Jim Finn
08-01-2010, 4:57 PM
Ok should we also change our electricity to 220 Volt 50 cycles.......... no keep it simple 100 volts and 100 cycles. yeah that's the ticket.......
We Americans spell words funny too... leets fix that and lets see....

John Coloccia
08-01-2010, 5:17 PM
Actually, I would be 100% for switching all devices over to 240V. 240V lines means that things like electric tea pots heat faster. THAT would be worth it right there. I notice the difference immediately when I travel to Finland. Everything that runs on electricity and gets hot just does it so much more quickly.

Part of why 50Hz was chosen is that lights flicker noticeably much below that. Induction motors of the time, though, ran well around 60Hz. There was a 133Hz standard kicking around at one point but motors didn't run well up there. It's generally accepted that 50Hz was chosen because 50Hz was the first "nice" number that allowed flicker free lamps. Westinghouse chose 60Hz, for reasons only known to them, but I'm guessing that it's because it transmits more efficiently but still allows for cheap, simple induction motors to run well. By all accounts, 60Hz is just a much better choice.

So I want my higher voltage, but they can keep their metric frequency!

John Coloccia
08-01-2010, 5:18 PM
Which brings up another good point....

Why don't I ever get topics like this when I play Trivial Pursuit?

Jim Finn
08-01-2010, 5:33 PM
[QUOTE=John Coloccia;1480497]
"So I want my higher voltage, but they can keep their metric frequency!"
......................... No ............... change for simplicity or for change sake needs to be 100% Ha ha.
We do have metric Money ! That is close to 100% enough for me.
What could use work on is: 360 degrees in a circle, 12 eggs in a dozen, four tires on a car (make it 5) Sure gets silly fast huh?

Mike Henderson
08-01-2010, 5:34 PM
Actually, I would be 100% for switching all devices over to 240V. 240V lines means that things like electric tea pots heat faster. THAT would be worth it right there. I notice the difference immediately when I travel to Finland. Everything that runs on electricity and gets hot just does it so much more quickly.


I used to think the US made a mistake by having 120V as the standard household voltage - I thought, like you, that 240V would have been much better.

But then I traveled in Europe and saw all the safety requirements they have because of the higher voltage. England used to have a requirement that light switches for the bathroom be outside the bath. I suppose that GFCI has fixed that.

But the reality is that most devices in the home don't need a lot of current so they do just fine on 120V. They'd probably do well on an even lower voltage if they were made for it.

The more I learn about how power is distributed to the homes in various countries and the problems of each system, the more I'm impressed with the design for residential power distribution in the United States.

Those early power engineers did a good job.

Mike

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-01-2010, 5:35 PM
Should we finally see the light and get with the program?
.

Why?
Because the other children are doing it?
Why is it seeing the light instead of something else?
Why does it matter at all?
Who cares?
What's the point?

Answer these salient questions and maybe I can offer you a response.

Ken Fitzgerald
08-01-2010, 5:39 PM
We ain't changing now.

I got the complete mix of SAE and metic tools.

We change now and half of what I bought is useless.

I can remember in physics class and math classes in the '60s we were going metric so get used to it. Well......we didn't and I am to old to be flexible about it.;)



Actually I deal with it daily in medical electronics. It's not a big deal.

Gordon Harner
08-01-2010, 5:58 PM
Construction workers on state highway projects are still struggling with their states' failed attempts to go metric. When the designers dimensioned their work whether imperial or metric, when converted, the results were rounded. After two or three roundings, after switching back and forth between metric and imperial, nothing fit. I saw this with New York state projects several times. Used to drive the engineers nuts!

Jon Grider
08-01-2010, 6:01 PM
Most of us have already learned to live with two different measuring systems, why make one of them obsolete and the other the official system? Depending on the customers blueprint, I work in fractions or metrics at my job. No big deal to use either or both systems imo.
Should we switch to the Euro or drive on the left side of the road too because much of the rest of the world does? Naaah...."When in Rome,yada yada....". Differences keep the world a bit more interesting.

Phil Thien
08-01-2010, 7:30 PM
Maybe we should try to talk the rest of the world in coming back to imperial!

I have read posts from woodworkers overseas that prefer to work in inches. They used metric their entire lives and prefer fractions.

John Coloccia
08-01-2010, 7:32 PM
Just one thing to add. There's no reason in the world why you have to stick to fractions when using SAE. Seriously. You could switch to an intelligent sytem overnight by dropping fractions and adopting milliinches, centiinches, kiloinchs, etc. Or use yards if you wish. Machinists have been doing this forever. One thou is a milliinch. Then nothing at all would have to change. I've been doing this in my shop for some time now and boy does it solve a lot of headaches.

That would be a great first step. Get away from those stupid fractions for starters!

John Coloccia
08-01-2010, 7:33 PM
Maybe we should try to talk the rest of the world in coming back to imperial!

I have read posts from woodworkers overseas that prefer to work in inches. They used metric their entire lives and prefer fractions.

ROFL. Great timing on that. :D

Jerome Hanby
08-01-2010, 8:49 PM
We are lord and master of the world. You can't tell anyone anything, so being lord and master is pretty over-rated. Any light that anyone ever sees will turn out to be a train heading toward them in the tunnel. Anything involving people can't be fixed, either one of the parties leaves or one of the parties dies. And I like Craftsman mechanics tools, do I need a coupon for that sale?

Caspar Hauser
08-01-2010, 8:50 PM
... Besides....it's way too easy to use metrics. How many STONE do I weigh?

I don't know your tally but I'm currently weighing in at 15st 5lb at 193cm, thats 1.68 english ells or 0.3837 Perch for those of you who prefer Imperial. :)

John Coloccia
08-01-2010, 8:57 PM
I'm 600 microchains short of a fathom tall.

Jeff Bratt
08-02-2010, 4:36 AM
Should we go metric - it is United States' official measurement system, and has been for decades. We're already going - albeit after 1982 we're going slower, and with more kicking and screaming. Even a halfway decent set of tools includes both Imperial and metric sizes. Whole sectors of industry use predominantly or entirely metric measurements - chemicals, pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages, electronics, even a lot of the military. And the US dollar has been "metric" (decimal based) since its beginning.

Some of the objections against changing are specious - they make it sound like fractional wrenches and saws or drills will stop working - of course that is silly. And no matter what measurement system you use, many things will not end up being sized in "round" numbers anyway. Does it really matter to you whether a #8 screw measures 5/32 in or .156 in or 3.97 mm? Or if 14 gauge wire 0.0641 in or 1.628 mm in diameter? Or if 18 ga steel is .0478 in or 1.214 mm? Those customary sizes will continue on. Even with the current fractional measurement system, a complete drill set includes special sizes of drills in the smaller size ranges - designated by a letter or number where precise sizes "in between" the regular unit divisions are required.

Anyway, all this hand-wringing over measurements in woodworking has always struck me as silly. Lumber measurements are some of the most imprecise things around. How close is that 2x4 to being 5 cm x 10 cm? Or is it really really 4.5 cm x 9 cm? How thick is that plywood, really? How much difference is there between typical "1 by" lumber nominally 3/4 in thick, vs a board milled to 19 mm? (Hint - nothing noticeable.) Where precision is required - such as joinery - mostly parts just need to fit together, the tenon slips into the mortise, or the dado slides onto the tongue. It doesn't matter if they are 1/4 in or 6 mm - as long as they match. The overall sizes of projects are even more flexible - a table could be 30 in wide or 750 mm wide and no one would notice or care. Then the wood will shrink and swell and alternate between the two. Plus there is no real difference between a 1/2 in and a 12 mm roundover edge profile.

For many machine tools there's no conversion required, just toggle a switch or change a setting. Most anything electronic is already metric. For things with engraved scales, such a conversion is obviously not possible - but converting could be as easy as replacing a printed scale strip.

Mostly it's just inertia - the traditional sizes are all around in the woodshop, and it's easier to just do things like they have been done before. But there is no disputing that calculations using a decimal system are easier and less prone to errors. There are really two related things being talked about:
1) Switching the standard units from from inches (and pounds and gallons) to meters (and grams and liters)
2) Calculating using decimals instead of fractions
The second has already happened - engineering is done using decimal calculations. Woodworking is really an anachronism in this regard. And once you are measuring things in thousandths, then it hardly matters whether you're using inches or centimeters, you just need to decide what the "standard" sizes are.

Some will prefer fractions - mostly because that what they learned. And new pipe still has to connect to older pipe, new bolts may still have to fit into old threads. But hardware stores now have to stock at least some metric sizes. These change-overs happen slowly. But eventually, the old units will simply fade away. Other examples - horse races may still be dimensioned in furlongs, but the actual measuring devices used are probably metric. Track and field races used to be in yards - now meters. Still, there will come a time when things like room temperature being 22 deg, or getting 15 km/liter will sound perfectly normal (and not just to people living outside the US), maybe not now, but eventually.

Dar Lounsbury
08-02-2010, 5:21 AM
I'm with Cliff, after all this time, Why does it matter at all? Who cares and what's the point?

At 64, I remember something about old dogs and new tricks. The new tricks might be better but they are still new. This dog is to old to try.

D:confused:

Brian Ashton
08-02-2010, 7:47 AM
it makes to think in terms of 10 for me. my only complaint with the metric system is for the construction trade...it is difficult to replace feet and inches with millimeters and meters. a 2 x 4 becomes 50mm x 100mm.?

I actually found the opposite. Even though canada went metric in 76 or so the building industry on the west coast stayed with imperial. The only people buying metric tapes were women do it yourselfers. When I moved down under 5 years ago it was all metric and it's just as easy for the brain to work in millimetres. It's no harder to say 4800mm as it is to say 16 feet. Or a 24 x 12 sheet of ply as opposed to a 4 x 8 sheet. 50 x 100 isn't any harder than 2 x 4 is it... By the way here they haven't converted over with 2x4 except they say 4x2. But being backwards and upside down goes a long way to explaining that... The only area where I stayed imperial was when designing and drawing items for turning. For some reason my minds eye hasn't crossed over when trying to imagine proportion and dimension in metric

Curt Harms
08-02-2010, 7:57 AM
Just one thing to add. There's no reason in the world why you have to stick to fractions when using SAE. Seriously. You could switch to an intelligent sytem overnight by dropping fractions and adopting milliinches, centiinches, kiloinchs, etc. Or use yards if you wish. Machinists have been doing this forever. One thou is a milliinch. Then nothing at all would have to change. I've been doing this in my shop for some time now and boy does it solve a lot of headaches.

That would be a great first step. Get away from those stupid fractions for starters!

I think at least some aeronautical engineers do just that. I have a set of homebuilt aircraft plans (somewhere) from Burt Rutan's organization. They use decimal inches. Decimal inches have advantages similar to metric--easy math while keeping inch, feet, lbs. etc. Just what we need, another "standard" :p

Brian Ashton
08-02-2010, 7:59 AM
It's generally accepted that 50Hz was chosen because 50Hz was the first "nice" number that allowed flicker free lamps. Westinghouse chose 60Hz, for reasons only known to them, but I'm guessing that it's because it transmits more efficiently but still allows for cheap, simple induction motors to run well. By all accounts, 60Hz is just a much better choice.

So I want my higher voltage, but they can keep their metric frequency!

I for one have found that it's quite easy to see the flicker at 50hz. I was under the impression that 50hz was accepted because it fit with the concept of the metric system in that it was an easily calculable number. And 60 was found to be more efficient but discarded as a result.

Joe Leigh
08-02-2010, 10:31 AM
When did we ever care what anyone else in the world thinks?
Besides, I'm not ready to give up the cubit...

Mitchell Andrus
08-02-2010, 10:38 AM
Why?
Because the other children are doing it?
Why is it seeing the light instead of something else?
Why does it matter at all?
Who cares?
What's the point?

Answer these salient questions and maybe I can offer you a response.

Perhaps if manufacturers could stop making stuff for us that isn't the same as the stuff they make for the rest of the world, we'd get a price break. Double the tooling, double the inventory, double the packaging, double the errors in ordering and shipping...... Blown plastic bottle molds in oz., qts., gals. alone must cost a fortune... passed on to the consumer. Why make special sizes just for us?

A few years ago a satellite failed in orbit because a technician miss-read inches for cm.

Mechanics must buy 2 sets of tools to work on cars. Ask a cash-strapped mechanic and he'll tell you he'd rather not have spent the money on one of his sets.

If we all had to buy a PC AND a Mac because some websites are designed for one or the other but not both.... you'd be pissed.

8x10 isn't a multiple of any other picture measurement. Sizes are 3x5, 4x6, 4x8, 5x7, 8x10, 10x12, 11x14... why?

Quick, divide 11/32" into thirds. If you said 11/96 you're right. But.... find it on a tape measure. Isn't 12mm divided into 3, 4mm parts easier and less error prone?
.

Michael Weber
08-02-2010, 11:36 AM
Jeez, we debated this back in the 70's. Still no progress on going metric. The problem lies in converting between systems. How many Cm's in an inch, etc. Simply forget about conversion from metric to imperial, the problem is in the conversion. If suddenly people were driving kilometers it would take 15 minutes for the average person to learn how far a kilometer is and to start thinking in km's. If measuring in centimeters it would be obvious after a few minutes how long a cm was to the average person. But we live in a country where politicians are afraid to make any decision that might inconvience anyone. sooo..., here we are.

Tom Winship
08-02-2010, 1:00 PM
I just bought a sheet of 5mm plywood. Kinda loose in a 1/4" groove.

Horton Brasses
08-02-2010, 1:02 PM
The Brits made the transition many moons ago. They still use both side by side and it is confusing to them and anyone who deals with them.

The legacy of our standards will take decades to disappear. Machinery and tooling have very long lifespans, changing the standard would wreak havoc on industry.

Anyone who regularly deals with both Metric and Standard sizes learns to do quick conversions. 25.4mm=1 inch, 4mmx.7 screws are close to an 8-32, etc.

Dan Hintz
08-02-2010, 3:45 PM
If we all had to buy a PC AND a Mac because some websites are designed for one or the other but not both.... you'd be pissed.
I have to keep Internet Explorer on my PC, despite MS saying it's not a necessary component, because some sites don't allow FireFox, and it must be used with most of their development tools' help files.

Yeah, I'm pissed... and I don't even want to think about adding the Mac to the equation.

Marty Paulus
08-03-2010, 11:35 AM
I just bought a sheet of 5mm plywood. Kinda loose in a 1/4" groove.
6.35mm is size:D

That being said. All day long at work it is metric. I come home to the imperial system. Yes I have two sets of tools. No way around it. Although if all you work on is modern cars you could almost get rid of 95% of your standard tools. About the only areas I am sure are still standard are spark plugs and I believe the lug nuts are still standard. Now my 1986 engines in my boat still have all the parts standard. Even if the country said that tomorrow we are going over to the metric system you would still need to have the tools and parts available in the old system. Since I work in the auto industry I cannot comment on if the consumer industry has made the conversion. I will have to check a few new items I have bought this year and see what size the bolts and such are.

It is sort of like buying lumber today. If you have a 100 year old house and try to rebuild any of it you will quickly find that a 2X4 back then meant the board measured 2" X 4". You have to build up any modern lumber to fit it in.

Mike Cruz
08-03-2010, 12:48 PM
The metric system makes me seem SO much further away from Steve Schlumpf...

Chuck Wintle
08-03-2010, 12:50 PM
I have to keep Internet Explorer on my PC, despite MS saying it's not a necessary component, because some sites don't allow FireFox, and it must be used with most of their development tools' help files.

Yeah, I'm pissed... and I don't even want to think about adding the Mac to the equation.
That will change as more and more sites become web standard compliant. IE is still not completely there but firefox and safari are. Its just a matter of time. :D

Chuck Wintle
08-03-2010, 12:52 PM
The Brits made the transition many moons ago. They still use both side by side and it is confusing to them and anyone who deals with them.

The legacy of our standards will take decades to disappear. Machinery and tooling have very long lifespans, changing the standard would wreak havoc on industry.

Anyone who regularly deals with both Metric and Standard sizes learns to do quick conversions. 25.4mm=1 inch, 4mmx.7 screws are close to an 8-32, etc.
GM introduced metric fasteners on some vehicles years ago...it was hals standard and half metric. Too bad they did not go all the way with that idea. :confused:

Bryan Morgan
08-03-2010, 1:05 PM
Our old Chrysler car had bolts in both metric and imperial... not fun to work on!

Lee Schierer
08-03-2010, 1:16 PM
Yes, but I didn't like the wording of your survey so I decline to vote.

We are almost metric anyway. Most cars are already 70-80% metric, bottled products are mostly metric, nearly all food products are labeled with both, change the road signs gradually. Machinists work in decimal dimensions so the change shouldn't be too bad for the few machine shops we have left. A five year change period would not be overly costly and might actually save money.

David Woodruff
08-03-2010, 1:46 PM
Learn to think both ways. We all can visualize an inch which also =2.54cm,= 25.4mm, = 254um. I like the fact that just moving the decimal point is easier than the inches, foot, yard, thing. I have trouble translating(visualizing) carats to grams much less pounds and remembering that troy is different than avoirdupois for measuring some things. It would be nice to have a universal measuring system, ain't gonna happen. Want to get further confused and learn the very, very diversity of world wide measurements. Buy the small paperback "Measure for Measure". Squoia Printing. It is interesting and offers a perspective on the English vs Metric system. The "perspective" you will need to determmine for yourself. For me I determined that "the debate" is fairly insignificant and typical political posturing. That said I will end this discussion in a spat. Google "spat" not what you think

Horton Brasses
08-03-2010, 2:15 PM
One of our mistakes in transitioning to metric is the way it's taught. I spent a lot of time in elementary school sorting out the more obscure metric dimensions like decimeter, centiliter, deciliter, kiloliter, and the ever useful dekagram. This is silly and confusing-yes it all makes sense to an adult brain-you just need to learn the prefixes but teachers didn't understand it or teach it well.

Countries that use the metric system use cm, mm, meter, km, gram, and kg. That's it unless you are dealing with hectares for area. Decimeter, and all the rest are pointless and just add to the chaos.

Stew Hagerty
08-03-2010, 2:23 PM
I remember when I was in school during the 60's and 70's we were told that we were supposedly already in the process of changing over to metric.

Well THAT happened didn't it!

Also in the 70's Roger Billings company was operating a commuter bus line running on his innovative Hydrogen Engine that cost 1/3 as much to operate as a gasoline engine, produced absolutely zero polutants, not to mention that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Roger tried to get the auto companies to use his engine.

Yeah, and THAT happened too!

Mitchell Andrus
08-03-2010, 4:04 PM
One of our mistakes in transitioning to metric is the way it's taught. I spent a lot of time in elementary school sorting out the more obscure metric dimensions like decimeter, centiliter, deciliter, kiloliter, and the ever useful dekagram. This is silly and confusing-yes it all makes sense to an adult brain-you just need to learn the prefixes but teachers didn't understand it or teach it well.

Countries that use the metric system use cm, mm, meter, km, gram, and kg. That's it unless you are dealing with hectares for area. Decimeter, and all the rest are pointless and just add to the chaos.

Learning a different system isn't the thing.... It's grabbing the 'wrong' wrench, crawling under a car, getting somewhat comfortable and finding that you didn't need 9/16", it's 1/2", or is it 12mm, or 11mm, or 13mm or --- how about we all strap 5 or 6 wrenches to our chest?

I don't mind one or the other, fractions don't bother me.... but do we REALLY need to have BOTH anymore?

If the argument is it'll take a decade or two so we shouldn't do it..... 'K... If we had switched 25 or 30 years ago, we'd be a lot closer to needing only one set of wrenches.

I'd still grab the wrong size, but the choices for proper fit would be fewer.
.

Mike Cruz
08-03-2010, 4:10 PM
"Spat", it has always been the past tense of "spit" to me...

Gene Howe
08-03-2010, 6:45 PM
I don't give a rodent's patootie either way. I just wish there was one standard!
If plywood is measured in MM, then make a few straight router bits in MM and advertise them so us non techie idiots can find them along side the imperial ones. Don't advertise "Special Bits" for "undersized plywood".....just sell me a bit that will dado for "3/4" ply. "1/2" ply etc.!:mad: Same with dado sets, too.:confused:

AND!!!! make all plywood and lumber to ONE measurement standard. I don't care if that standard is from Mars, just make up your mind and settle on ONE!

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-03-2010, 7:52 PM
Double the tooling, double the inventory, double the packaging, double the errors in ordering and shipping.....

technician miss-read inches for cm.

Mechanics must buy 2 sets of tools to work on cars.

If we all had to buy a PC AND a Mac

8x10 isn't a multiple of any other picture measurement.

Quick, divide 11/32" into thirds.


None of which I find compelling Mitch. I don't think in fractions though. I think in thousandths of an inch, then feet then yards.

Manufacturers are not making things especially for us. They are meeting a receptive market and making money doing it. Carp Diem.

Technicians make mistakes, if not that, then another.

Mechanics can specialize or not, I don't much care.

If sites catered to the MAC, I'd just ignore them.

It is meaningless to me whether the dimensions of a photo enlargement is apropos of anything else in the universe.

I have never heard an argument that supports my going through any effort to accommodate some one else's idea of a measuring system. It doesn't make anything come out better.

Rod Sheridan
08-03-2010, 8:29 PM
I have never heard an argument that supports my going through any effort to accommodate some one else's idea of a measuring system. It doesn't make anything come out better.

Come on Cliff, you expect me to believe that you invented your own system rather than accomodating the imperial system?

Regards, Rod.

Norman Hitt
08-03-2010, 9:34 PM
Go to the lumber yard and try to get a 50mm X 100mm X 2.44 meter board.:rolleyes:

Who would Want One????

Before folks started trying to impose the Metric system on everyone, we had
good quality Plywoods that were called 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", etc, and they actually measured the same, but now we have some metric mess that they still call 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 that but is reduced to the next lower size metric number, and guess what layer of plywood they made thinner......... the face layer, of course. Some of it looks as thin as paper.
(note that they certainly didn't increase the size to the next higher metric number OR improve the quality, because that would have taken more material, right, but we are FORCED to accept it anyhow).

To work on almost any automobile in the US today, you have to have BOTH metric and imperial sets of wrenches, (tool co's like it because they get to sell a lot more tools).

The Imperial system has worked fine here for 200 years, and I really don't care what any other country in the world does, (in their country), as long as they don't try to dictate what we do in ours.

Tom Winship
08-03-2010, 10:08 PM
Water and gas pipe for houses is based on ID of std wall thickness pipe. PVC is something else. Pipe used in the oilfield is based on OD (which kind makes sense), but then oilfield barrels are 42 gallons instead of 55 gals like std imperial measure. So now lets change all this to metric and it would really be fun.
Drill bits in the oilfield are measured as the hole size they drill in inches. Probably 20 years ago, API (American Petroleum Institute) said they had to have the metric size printed on the box in parenthesis. No one ever knew the metric hole size.

Jeff Bratt
08-03-2010, 10:53 PM
There is one standard - metric. The official definition of the inch is 25.4 mm - the whole imperial system is just a special case of the real world standards. In the original poll, choice #2 will NEVER happen. The real choices are 1) the US finishes its switch to metric or 2) the US continues its path of a "two different measurement systems" society.

Someone else mentioned there has been little progress towards metric since the 70s - that is just not true. Whole industries have switched to metric - it's just that woodworking isn't one of them. Home cooking and recipes is another example where traditional units dominate.

During this long changeover period many will not switch, and won't be forced to. But sticking our collective heads in the sand and hoping that metric will go away is not realistic.

Bill Cunningham
08-03-2010, 11:24 PM
Canada got dragged kicking and screaming into the metric age by the Canadian version of Obama, called Trudeau back in the 70's. I can work in either, but being over 60, I'm much more comfortable with feet and inches. Kids today, don't seem to be able to work in either Metric or Imperial. The one thing that no one seems to realize is all the extra money it's going to cost you.. The 10mph over the speed limit 'gimme' that's common now, will drop to 10 kph or 6 mph. So, now you get the ticket at 6mph over, but the fine you get for say 15 miles over the limit, will now apply to 15 klm over the limit (9 mph). When the sign at the gas station says gas only went up 2 cents, that's 2 cents per liter or 7 cents a gallon (U.S). It will be much easier for the oil companies to jack up prices, because a couple of cents here and there does not seem like much. There was a time when we would drive half way across town for a saving of .20 per gallon, now the price goes up .10 cents a liter (37.8 cents per gal U.S.) and no one bats an eye.. It WILL cost you more money..Think not? It's common in Canada. by the way, a 2x4 is still called a 2x4 in Canada, and most construction companies still order 4x8 sheets of what ever.. Somethings will never change, but the areas that allow the government to squeeze more money out of you will expand quite a bit... I Rarely work in metric, and most of my suppliers work in both.. I would not miss it if it were gone, as a matter of fact, I would be money ahead..

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-04-2010, 11:32 PM
Come on Cliff, you expect me to believe that you invented your own system rather than accomodating the imperial system?

Regards, Rod.

Oh well ya got me there. I didn't invent the inch standard. I grew up with it. So it's what I know and am comfy with.

Anyway did you know that it is a stone cold fact that Metrics are inherently more dangerous even lethal than the inch standard?

Mitchell Andrus
08-05-2010, 8:07 AM
Oh well ya got me there. I didn't invent the inch standard. I grew up with it. So it's what I know and am comfy with.

Anyway did you know that it is a stone cold fact that Metrics are inherently more dangerous even lethal than the inch standard?

OK, Ill bite.

How is it a stone cold fact that Metrics are inherently more dangerous even lethal than the inch standard?
.

Horton Brasses
08-05-2010, 8:26 AM
You could scrap both systems for woodworking and go with Bob's Rule:

http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/category/bob.html

Rod Sheridan
08-05-2010, 8:48 AM
OK, Ill bite.

How is it a stone cold fact that Metrics are inherently more dangerous even lethal than the inch standard?
.

Mitch, don't go there!

It has something to do with 90% of the woodworking accidents in the world happen to people who use the metric system.

Regards, Rod.

John Coloccia
08-05-2010, 8:59 AM
Mitch, don't go there!

It has something to do with 90% of the woodworking accidents in the world happen to people who use the metric system.

Regards, Rod.

Maybe, but which would you rather loose: 1" of your finger or 1mm of your finger, hmmm? I think I've made my point.

:p

Rod Sheridan
08-05-2010, 9:05 AM
You could scrap both systems for woodworking and go with Bob's Rule:

http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/category/bob.html

That's pretty funny, I enjoyed that.

Bob made an excellent point that the millimetre is a perfect unit for wood working, it's small enough to be accurate without being a problem to read on a ruler, and it's easy to visually split in half to obtain a half millimetre measurement.

I don't buy Bobs argument that 2286mm is hard to work with, how about 228.6cm or 2.286m.

Try converting 2,286 inches to feet and inches in your head.

I grew up with the Imperial system in Canada, however science and engineering had been metric for a long time prior to that.

I switched to metric for furniture building a few years ago because it was so easy to use (Bobs system would also be easy, however who wants to start using a third system?).

My first introduction was through the 32mm system of kitchen cabinet building, quite a revelation, extremely well engineered, easy to work in and completely standardised.

Then I began to design my own furniture using the metric system, if a Morris Chair had a 2" component, I made it 50mm, not an exact conversion because it's better to actually use whole metric numbers if possible.

When I bought a new jointer/planer I ordered the digital height gauge in metric, need a 50mm component, no problem, no measuring required.

I know that sheet goods aren't metric yet except for thickness, and if I'm using them for construction I then use the imperial system.

I think the issue is that many people lack familiarity with the system so they stick to what they know.

I suspect however that if you had to choose a system from scratch, you would go for a decimal based system like the metric system. I doubt if anyone would pick a system with a wide array of constants like the imperial system.

Regards, Rod.

Dan Hintz
08-05-2010, 9:17 AM
Laboratory research has been shown to cause cancer in rats...

Mitchell Andrus
08-05-2010, 10:10 AM
Mitch, don't go there!

It has something to do with 90% of the woodworking accidents in the world happen to people who use the metric system.

Regards, Rod.

I think 100% of the people who have any kind of accident breath air. There's got to be a connection. I'm applying for a gov't grant to study the problem.
.

Rod Sheridan
08-05-2010, 10:11 AM
Maybe, but which would you rather loose: 1" of your finger or 1mm of your finger, hmmm? I think I've made my point.

:p


Good point John, glad I went metric:D.............Rod.

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-05-2010, 2:54 PM
OK, Ill bite.

How is it a stone cold fact that Metrics are inherently more dangerous even lethal than the inch standard?
.

The statistics are easily googelable.
More people are injured in the work place even killed using the metric system every single day than are harmed or killed when using the inch standard.
The numbers don't lie. Inch standard is far far safer.

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-05-2010, 2:58 PM
Congress adopted the metric system early in our history. The reason it didn't catch on was that contracts were not specified using the metric system.

Congress does not have the authority to impose a system of measurement on the people.
Who do they think is the sovereign in this republic?
It ain't them. They are servants.

Mitchell Andrus
08-05-2010, 3:00 PM
The statistics are easily googelable.
More people are injured in the work place even killed using the metric system every single day than are harmed or killed when using the inch standard.
The numbers don't lie. Inch standard is far far safer.

I'd rather have sharper tools so if that means switching to the metric versions that are sharper and more dangerous, maybe even more deadly, so be it.
.

Ken Fitzgerald
08-05-2010, 3:08 PM
The statistics are easily googelable.
More people are injured in the work place even killed using the metric system every single day than are harmed or killed when using the inch standard.
The numbers don't lie. Inch standard is far far safer.

Huh?

Cliff,

How is the inch standard safer?

BTW...the medical and scientific communities have been using metric for decades.

And....numbers do lie! I can generate a poll and if I word the question or questions correctly it will allow me a lot of latitude in the conclusion.

I want to see the poll......the records......and I want to know who did the poll or study and what their pre-event opinion was.

bob blakeborough
08-05-2010, 8:08 PM
You want to know what messed is? Try the tire industry... 3 forms of measure in one tire size.

205/55R16

205 = 205mm wide... Metric

55 = sidewall profile is 55% of the width which = 112.75mm... percentage calculation

16 = 16 inch rim... Imperial

Same with a rim... The diameter and width are written as imperial but the offset is written as metric

Go figure

Curt Harms
08-05-2010, 8:32 PM
Congress does not have the authority to impose a system of measurement on the people.
Who do they think is the sovereign in this republic?
It ain't them. They are servants.

At the risk of this becoming political (please don't!) Try and convince THEM of that.

Bill Cunningham
08-05-2010, 11:13 PM
Laboratory research has been shown to cause cancer in rats...

Wasn't it George Carlin that said the only thing that causes cancer is Saliva. But only if swallowed in small amounts over long periods of time..

Karl Card
08-06-2010, 8:42 AM
My opinion is that I would go to metric or would like to go to metric because it is easier figureing measures on a base of 10 instead of 12.

Just my opinion and has nothing to do with America not being what it used to etc.