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Thread: Hammer A3-31 Digital Read Out ... Imperial or Metric

  1. #1

    Hammer A3-31 Digital Read Out ... Imperial or Metric

    For those that added the DRO on their Hammer J/P.

    Would you go with the Imperial or Metric version?

    Standard of measurement is Imperial. I've read others suggest the metric but not sure which route to decide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Florida
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    I did imperial as all my other tools are imperial. Also just picked up a new Felder saw that has metric scales on it and need to call them Monday for replacements to imperial. But I read metric is supposedly easier for whatever that is worth. For me though, to much else is imperial in my shop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I think metric probably is easier, once you get used to it. Working with hardware is still not as easy as imperial IME if your primary source is the hardware store or borg.

  4. #4
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    Support for both would be ideal, IMHO. While I personally prefer metric these days, so much of what I do ends up still being in Imperial because of the nature of the project or the client. I don't like to mix systems or deal with conversions if I can avoid it as that helps reduce opportunities for Mr Murphy to do nefarious things...

    I do find metric to be far easier to work with in the shop and love it when I can make that choice for a project. And given that all of my tools, more or less, support metric (SCM/Minimax, Festool) natively...it's a good thing in that respect, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    My whole shop runs in decimal inches, including my A3-31. Decimal inches lets you use a familiar unit -- inches -- and gives you the decimal system, where you can do easy math.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford Mass
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    I went with the metric readout. I used it as the final excuse to go to metric in all my new projects. It takes awhile to start thinking in metric but once the brain converts it is a much easier system to design and build IMHO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Lebanon, TN
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    I bought the Inch gauge, about 4 months ago, for my A3-31 and likewise bought the Imperial setup for my Incra LS-TS positioner on my table saw.

    I should have been smarter and made the conversion over to metric on both tools.

    So if you want to go Imperial, I'll sell you mine
    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 02-10-2019 at 12:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Wouldn't the answer simply be dependent on which system of measurement you use in your work? The reason the manufacturer offers both is because neither is right or wrong.

    In my case I have the Imperial, but be aware it doesn't read out in fractions, so you're basically working thousands of an inch (decimal Imperial). It's a very accurate and repeatable machine in this regard.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the replies.


    Chris,

    Thanks for the offer. At this time I am on a delivery pending status. I was just reaching out to see if I made the right purchase choice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    Definitely metric for 2 reasons

    1) If you design your own stuff, metric is much easier as there are no fractions. Who would ever know if your shelf is 20mm or 0.75" thick?

    2) Your machine is metric, one revolution of the planer elevation hand wheel is 2mm. If you're using the Imperial gauge, it's 0.078 inches. good luck with wrapping your head around that.

    I have the metric gauges on both my A3 and B3, time to get with the 21st century and go metric.............Regards, Rod.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Wouldn't the answer simply be dependent on which system of measurement you use in your work? The reason the manufacturer offers both is because neither is right or wrong.

    In my case I have the Imperial, but be aware it doesn't read out in fractions, so you're basically working thousands of an inch (decimal Imperial). It's a very accurate and repeatable machine in this regard.
    Edwin,

    Yes it is dependent on the system I use most ... Imperial. Now that I know the DRO is in decimal inches, eg. I still have to convert 3/32" fraction to decimal inches. Hence why others prefer switching over to the metric system.

    Thanks for all the replies ... I need to start by getting a metric tape ruler to grasp my old head and adapting the brain cells to metric.

  12. #12
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    Girad, I have a metric tape from Lee Valley and fortunately, my steel rules, also from there, feature both metric and Imperial. I bought new rules for my Starret squares from Lee Valley so I have metric available for them, too. My suggestion (and what I did to validate things for myself) is to commit to doing an actual project or two totally in metric. While my mind still sometimes tried to "compare" some distances when thinking about them, the actual measuring was far easier than I first anticipated since it was pretty much all whole numbers. It's just a number scale. The trick is to only use one number scale for a given project. Imperial fractions, Imperial decimal and Metric are all perfectly valid...just avoid confusion by not mixing them in the same work if you can avoid it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Girad, I have a metric tape from Lee Valley and fortunately, my steel rules, also from there, feature both metric and Imperial. I bought new rules for my Starret squares from Lee Valley so I have metric available for them, too. My suggestion (and what I did to validate things for myself) is to commit to doing an actual project or two totally in metric. While my mind still sometimes tried to "compare" some distances when thinking about them, the actual measuring was far easier than I first anticipated since it was pretty much all whole numbers. It's just a number scale. The trick is to only use one number scale for a given project. Imperial fractions, Imperial decimal and Metric are all perfectly valid...just avoid confusion by not mixing them in the same work if you can avoid it.
    Jim,

    I've been contemplating on this decision for the DRO, my Incra fence, Incra miter and Incra router lift are all imperial. It would be foolish for me to purchase the metric DRO for the jointer planer. I wish I had switched to metric during my initial purchase. As others have said, the metric system is much easier.

    I am 56 years old ... it would be a massive brain adjustment.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,273
    I find it hard to believe there is not a switch to toggle from one system to the other as needed. I do not think the scales or reader heads are different. $10.00 HF calipers have the switch onboard.
    Bil lD.

  15. #15
    I bought the imperial one, used it for two days and sent it back for the metric. The acme thread that raises the table is 2 mm per rotation. It is a designed metric machine. If each turn of the handle was 0.100“ I would’ve stuck with Imperial.

    The handle is an analogue. When you’ve played long enough in decimals of an inch and converting to mm, it just become second nature.

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