Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40

Thread: Converted the shop today!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,508

    Converted the shop today!

    After being in a confusing half-and-half state almost forever I finally bit the bullet today and fully converted my shop over to metric. I replaced all the inch measuring strips on my saw fences, got metric blades for my Starrett squares, bought several new Tajima metric measuring tapes (really nice tapes!), and sketched the plan for the coffee table I'm starting to build in units of even centimeters. I even milled some lumber to 65 mm for the legs, having learned how to set the DRO on my new planer to mm.

    I'm seriously looking forward to never worrying about what a third of 11/64ths plus 5/16ths is ever again. I'm too old for that stuff.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    461
    The imperial system was developed to challenge your brain keep you from getting Alzheimer's. I gave up measuring most everything a long time ago, i just use a story stick and transfer, and feel fit most stuff. I still use my digital calipers, (mostly for metalworking) and switch back and forth from metric to standard all the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,094
    Blog Entries
    7
    I pretty much just use decimal inches, mainly for the same reason is that it gets tiring to convert fractions outside of the typical.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #4
    There was another system. Few years back one of the Scandinavian countries had an odd ball inch. That probably affected
    the feet too! Can't find any info now. Never knew anything about it until I bought a 3 inch folding ivory rule. I researched
    it then simply because it was too beautifully made to be a mistake.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 08-23-2019 at 8:05 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    915
    I typically used to use decimal inches however have also switched over to metric and enjoy it. One can easily split the 1mm markings in half by eye which produces measurements to ~0.020" or just over 1/64th inches. I really couldn't stand all of those traditional fractional divisions on my tapes and scales. It is still a little difficult to process the traditional sheet of plywood in my head in mm after all of these years of imperial thinking, but I am getting more comfortable with metric woodworking with each new project.

    One thing that I'm not going to convert to metric is divisions of pizzas or apple pies............fractions are still fine there
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 08-23-2019 at 7:38 PM.
    Dick Mahany.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    49,612
    I've been working primarily in metric for well over a year now and I've grown to absolutely love it. It does mean I have to be flexible with some of my subcontract customers since in many cases, they are providing inches, but for anything I design and build...it's metric period. SO much easier... I do ask clients to provide decimal inches if that's their preference. Congrats on your conversion!
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 08-23-2019 at 9:20 PM.
    --

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,495
    Good for you Roger, I did the same thing a decade ago.

    Since I design my own furniture going metric was really easy, who would know if a leg was 2" or 50mm wide?

    Not having to deal with fractions is great, instead of 3/4" I use 20mm which makes for easy math when designing......Regards, Rod.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    441

    You saw the light

    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    After being in a confusing half-and-half state almost forever I finally bit the bullet today and fully converted my shop over to metric. I replaced all the inch measuring strips on my saw fences, got metric blades for my Starrett squares, bought several new Tajima metric measuring tapes (really nice tapes!), and sketched the plan for the coffee table I'm starting to build in units of even centimeters. I even milled some lumber to 65 mm for the legs, having learned how to set the DRO on my new planer to mm.

    I'm seriously looking forward to never worrying about what a third of 11/64ths plus 5/16ths is ever again. I'm too old for that stuff.
    Welcome to the bright side of the force. 😄

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    73
    Roger - Congrats! I guess I'm still in your confused half-and-half state. I've been using a half-baked 32 mm system for building boxes that goes back to when I had my commercial shop. Line boring at 32 mm with 37 mm setback / 1/4" dados for backs at 1/2" from the back... No wonder I can't sleep at night

    Like you I've standardized on Tajima. I've made Tajima my reference tape in the shop.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,277
    If only I hadn’t spent so much on imperial starrett squares!

  11. #11
    I need to do this. Iím a math idiot

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,094
    Blog Entries
    7
    An inch is standardized to 25.4mm, so we're all using metric.

    I don't have a preference one way or the other for what measurement system I use since I use imperial mainly, metric occasionally and Shaku for shoji making. I grew up with imperial and used mainly decimal inches in the machine shop, after that it was the easiest go-to for me for precise work.

    I like fractional for layout, it makes it easy to split thirds for mortise and tenon.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  13. A bit off topic but I went to work on my truck brakes today . Pulled out my metric socket hmmm 17 mm to small and 19 mm to big. Guess what they also make an 18 mm ,just not part of my set. Off I go back to the auto parts store again . NOT A BIG fan of metric today

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,508
    I worked in a lab most of my career, so my days have been 100% metric for as long as I can remember. It's only when I got home to the shop that things got confusing. (Cooking went entirely metric (and by weight rather than volume) quite a while ago for me with the advent of affordable electronic balances.)

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post

    I like fractional for layout, it makes it easy to split thirds for mortise and tenon.
    Interestingly and further to your point, I was once told that a particular advantage of Imperial (and it's 12 based predecessors in ancient times) is the ability to split and divide, a feature useful to the process of building and layout.

    For example, 10 can be evenly divided by 1, 2, 5 and itself - i.e. 10ths, fifths, halves.

    12 can be evenly divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and itself - i.e. 12ths, sixths, quarters, thirds, halves - hence more flexibility for the builder, and perhaps more commonsense divisions.

    I recall seeing an interesting post here a long time ago about the accuracy of division versus measurement and its use in ancient times.
    Not advocating for one system or the other here, just sharing an interesting tidbit of info.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •