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Thread: Imperial or metric?

  1. #136
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    For myself I just use measuring devises to transfer a known demension to material to work on. I can use anything to do this imperial, metric, a stick, just anything handy. I have built many pieces not taking a measurement at all. Sometimes I just work with what I have. I see a piece of wood and think it would make a nice small table top and go from there. I find pieces that will work for legs and some that will work for aprons and bulld it up by eye. Match the legs up match the aprons up and build it. In most cases unless you are working from drawings or have to have a fixed size your eyes and matching like pieces is just fine.
    Jim

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve H Graham View Post
    The decimal inch is proof that metric is superior.

    It's the imperial imitation of the metric system.

    You don't see the meter imitating the yard.
    In your shop - yes.
    In my shop-NO

  3. #138
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve H Graham View Post
    The decimal inch is proof that metric is superior.

    It's the imperial imitation of the metric system.

    You don't see the meter imitating the yard.
    Since the imperial system predates the metric system by a very long time, I doubt that it is imitating the metric system. I would agree that without external factors like customer preferences, the system used on readily available tools, or a life long familiarity with one or the other; the metric system is superior. The thing is that we don't live in a world without those factors, so for many of us the Imperial system makes more sense. I kind do wish that the US had successfully made the switch back in 1975 or so when they were making efforts in that direction.

  4. #139
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    I use Imperial, but convert everything to the closest thousandth of an inch. Most of my tape measures are Imperial. I usually buy rulers with a scale for 10ths, 100ths on one side and 1/16ths, 1/64ths on the other side. Imperial calipers read in thousandths.

    So in effect, I am using Imperial in a metric fashion. I would have preferred to make the switch to metric in the 70s.

    Steve

  5. #140
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    I would have preferred to make the switch to metric in the 70s.
    As one who is getting closer to his 70s, I am not looking forward to it one iota.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #141
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    As one who is getting closer to his 70s, I am not looking forward to it one iota.

    jtk
    Come on Jim, I'm older than you are and made the change.....man up .

    All kidding aside, not converting to metric is costing the States and by extension all of us money. It is the smart thing to do and the longer we wait the more it will cost. For all the "I'll convert when they pry my yard stick from my cold dead hands" folks, no one is coming for your fractional measuring tools and after the States converts to metric you will be able to work in fractions until you croak and have a great view of the grass from the roots. But in time everyone will be better off once we convert.

    ken

  7. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Staehling View Post
    I kind do wish that the US had successfully made the switch back in 1975 or so when they were making efforts in that direction.
    Me too Pete. But I was taught both systems from an early age. I sure understand why some Creekers oppose it. If the US converted next year, I don't know that I'd ever convert my shop. I'd have to look at the impacts a bit more - it might be just a matter of swapping the tapes on my machines and buying new rules. Never really looked into it.

    Edit: Heck, if it's that easy I might go ahead and convert now to get the benefits of metric. ☺
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 12-04-2015 at 7:22 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  8. #143
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    But in time everyone will be better off once we convert.
    I am sure you are right.

    It will likely be a generational thing. It will have to be mandated in schools and other areas.

    I think the reason we haven't changed is most people have never felt a need to change.

    Hopefully soon, we will have a whole generation who can work well with both systems. Then it will be easy to have the next generation with metric and a little understanding of the old systems. Then we will move to all of our yardsticks and other measuring devices being relegated to antique stores.

    One thing for which there is never a shortage is inertia.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Come on Jim, I'm older than you are and made the change.....man up .

    All kidding aside, not converting to metric is costing the States and by extension all of us money. It is the smart thing to do and the longer we wait the more it will cost. For all the "I'll convert when they pry my yard stick from my cold dead hands" folks, no one is coming for your fractional measuring tools and after the States converts to metric you will be able to work in fractions until you croak and have a great view of the grass from the roots. But in time everyone will be better off once we convert.

    ken
    This is exactly what THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE, when, in fact, if it were truly the case, the conversion would have happened years ago. In fact it has happened where its beneficial. Lets take cooking and baking - where exactly would the benefit be to making that switch? Only for the companies making metric spatulas and bowls and strainers - its laughable. I've heard this go metric bs since the 70's. No one can show any benefit whatsoever. DO you think its affecting trade? Not in the slightest. If companies want to sell their spatulas in Europe then they'll make em metric.

  10. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Me too Pete. But I was taught both systems from an early age. I sure understand why some Creekers oppose it. If the US converted next year, I don't know that I'd ever convert my shop. I'd have to look at the impacts a bit more - it might be just a matter of swapping the tapes on my machines and buying new rules. Never really looked into it.

    Edit: Heck, if it's that easy I might go ahead and convert now to get the benefits of metric. ☺
    Well, besides rulers and tapes... there are bolts and nuts and tools for that. Router lifts have inch threads that advance the thing and other similar machines where number of revolutions governs travel distance. I mean if you have incra fence and want to switch to metric you have to buy conversion kit to replace those threads and nuts. That would cost a lot for sure...

    The rest is purely brain excercise which is good thing as any other excercise, as to know more than one language. Important for when we get older.

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    This is exactly what THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE, when, in fact, if it were truly the case, the conversion would have happened years ago. In fact it has happened where its beneficial. Lets take cooking and baking - where exactly would the benefit be to making that switch? Only for the companies making metric spatulas and bowls and strainers - its laughable. I've heard this go metric bs since the 70's. No one can show any benefit whatsoever. DO you think its affecting trade? Not in the slightest. If companies want to sell their spatulas in Europe or anywhere else in the world except Liberia or Myanmar (we keep such esteemed company) then they'll make em metric.
    I wonder what it would cost manufacturers to produce two product lines, identical except for graduations. Probably not much, measuring cups have come with dual scales for years and it's trivial to produce digital readouts with different units. If a machine manufacturer had to produce two lines of machines identical except for holes, threads and fasteners that seems like it'd be pretty inefficient. Or kiss off the export market I guess.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 12-06-2015 at 9:10 AM.

  12. #147
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    If a machine manufacturer had to produce two lines of machines identical except for holes, threads and fasteners that seems like it'd be pretty inefficient.
    If you have worked on automobiles you would notice that a lot of American vehicles have a lot of metric sizes already. Often they are in sizes that are close/equivalent to metric sizes so SAE tools can be used.

    Fortunately for me when my 1994 Dodge truck needed work away from home, I brought some of my metric tools along. One bolt was a 15mm which doesn't translate into common inch sizes.

    Many years ago a mechanic friend told me it was less expensive to set up a shop with metric tools since there are less SAE sizes needed to fill in the gaps than if you set up with SAE tooling and then filled the gaps for the metric.

    Though my wood shop is set up pretty much in inch, my automotive tools are pretty much metric.

    I have not converted to metric, but I am not stuck on inches. Inches work for most of what I do so why not go with it. There is no advantage for me at this point to change.

    This subject always reminds me of a conversation with a former co-worker. I had misplaced a socket of mine. It was 19mm socket brought from home. When I asked him if he had seen a stray 19mm socket, he asked why in heck I would have a metric socket at work. I explained it is the same size as 3/4". He then wondered why I didn't just ask him if he had seen a 3/4" socket. I explained it was marked 19mm on the socket. Again he asked why I would bring a metric socket into an SAE shop. He is/was one of those brain shy folks who can turn anything into an argument. I tended to avoid him after a while.

    Here is a list of wrench sizes in metric and SAE:


    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 '68 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 common SAE sizes, 3/8, 11/16 and 15/16 are not covered by the metric sizes.


    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-06-2015 at 1:16 PM. Reason: add chart, correct formatting
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #148
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    If you have worked on automobiles you would notice that a lot of American vehicles have a lot of metric sizes already. Often they are in sizes that are close/equivalent to metric sizes so SAE tools can be used.

    Fortunately for me when my 1994 Dodge truck needed work away from home, I brought some of my metric tools along. One bolt was a 15mm which doesn't translate into common inch sizes.

    Many years ago a mechanic friend told me it was less expensive to set up a shop with metric tools since there are less SAE sizes needed to fill in the gaps than if you set up with SAE tooling and then filled the gaps for the metric.

    Though my wood shop is set up pretty much in inch, my automotive tools are pretty much metric.

    I have not converted to metric, but I am not stuck on inches. Inches work for most of what I do so why not go with it. There is no advantage for me at this point to change.

    This subject always reminds me of a conversation with a former co-worker. I had misplaced a socket of mine. It was 19mm socket brought from home. When I asked him if he had seen a stray 19mm socket, he asked why in heck I would have a metric socket at work. I explained it is the same size as 3/4". He then wondered why I didn't just ask him if he had seen a 3/4" socket. I explained it was marked 19mm on the socket. Again he asked why I would bring a metric socket into an SAE shop. He is/was one of those brain shy folks who can turn anything into an argument. I tended to avoid him after a while.

    Here is a list of wrench sizes in metric and SAE:


    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 '68 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 common SAE sizes, 3/8, 11/16 and 15/16 are not covered by the metric sizes.


    jtk
    Jim, I never thought of this approach, but I like it! Thanks for the idea.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Me too Pete. But I was taught both systems from an early age. I sure understand why some Creekers oppose it. If the US converted next year, I don't know that I'd ever convert my shop. I'd have to look at the impacts a bit more - it might be just a matter of swapping the tapes on my machines and buying new rules. Never really looked into it.

    Edit: Heck, if it's that easy I might go ahead and convert now to get the benefits of metric. ☺
    I don't oppose it. I'm just not going to convert my shop. I have made many drawings showing metric dimensions and also drawings that show both imperial and metric dimensions. There's nothing particularly difficult with metric if it suits you.

    I have a 16 bit set of Irwin auger bits in a wooden case that were my fathers. I have a Stanley Bell brace. I use these all the time. Now what would I do with them if I converted to Metric.

    I also happen to like and use 6 foot folding carpenters rules. And, when I break one of the 6 foot rules, I end up with a folding yard stick which I like to use. Lets see, also framing sqares have a place in my shop. I like them, why would I give them up. And there are other things. I'm happy with my shop and I'm not changing it. If you go to one of the big orange box stores, the lumber is not sold with metric dimensions. My thickness planer is imperial in the thickness settings. And so on. . . . . . . . . .

  15. #150
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    This thread in interesting in that it's had some staying power.

    I just use whatever is convient. Matching is important, for instance I have a 6mm mortise chisel that actually measures .250" and so I use it in conjunction with my .250" grooving plane.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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