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Thread: Gone metric?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Gone metric?

    Anyone converted most of their operations to metric? I'm really getting tired of dealing with fractions, and one millimeter equaling about 1/25" seems plenty accurate enough.

  2. #2
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    Yes, totally better and I spent the last 30yrs imperial.

    The hardest part for me was visualizing the larger dimensions like say 3' sounds a bit silly but when I thought long and hard about it over several beers and weeks then realizing that 1' basically equals 305mm - boom, easy peasy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cav View Post
    Anyone converted most of their operations to metric? I'm really getting tired of dealing with fractions, and one millimeter equaling about 1/25" seems plenty accurate enough.

  3. #3
    Several people here have done so, in addition to our Canadian friends. The ones who have seem to like it.

    (I tried to find the most recent discussion but failed. Maybe Mr Koepke will reply - his google-fu is better than mine.)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    I recently posted on my conversion. There have been a few hiccoughs and some things that are impractical to convert now (like all my drills and the mortising chisels for my mortiser), but mostly t has been smooth and easy. Life is better now, mostly for the cost of a few stick-on tapes for machines and a couple new rules. (The Tajima metric measuring tapes are wonderful)

    I don't miss doing arithmetic with fractions at all. (yes, I can understand one could use digital inches, but almost nothing in the woodworking world comes marked that way)

    Avoid doing conversions if at all possible, it is a huge source of error. Just work on training yourself to think only in metric. Soon 2.5 or 3 cm begins to look like the logical dimension for a board.

  5. #5
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    On several occcations, I've been pulling peoples legs about metrics... It's really all about what you get used to. I grew up learning metrics, but in a practical life, we all used 2x4s, 1x6s, and a typical small boat was 14-15'. My father was a plumber and everything was inches and fractions...Then I went to work in an environment where metric and imperial go hand by hand, and still do....

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cav View Post
    Anyone converted most of their operations to metric? I'm really getting tired of dealing with fractions, and one millimeter equaling about 1/25" seems plenty accurate enough.
    If you use story sticks, you don't even have to measure _anything_. It's all relative.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    If you use story sticks, you don't even have to measure _anything_. It's all relative.
    Yeah, measurement is the enemy of precision.

  8. #8
    How do you guys who have converted to metric deal with things such as router bits and dado sets? I'd love to convert, but it seems that having to deal with a 12.7mm straight router bit could make the math a bit weird. It seems like so many things seem to be based on fractional inches and I haven't seen otherwise.

  9. #9
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    After retirement, my father (who had been a mech. engr. and cabinetmaker who'd used English units all his life) bought a plan to build a pram using metric units.

    He bought a metric tape measure, and built the boat, and when he was finished, he said he really liked using metric units, which surprised me to hear him say.

  10. #10
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    I bought a metric tape measure to keep in my tool box for when I might need it. I haven't switched and I'm too old and set in my ways to think about switching.
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  11. #11
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    Makes the math easier, no more adding fractions. would need more context on the 12.7mm router question...


    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Moran View Post
    How do you guys who have converted to metric deal with things such as router bits and dado sets? I'd love to convert, but it seems that having to deal with a 12.7mm straight router bit could make the math a bit weird. It seems like so many things seem to be based on fractional inches and I haven't seen otherwise.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2016
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    Exeter, CA
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    Know this has been cussed and discussed over the years on all woodworking forums.... With that said, I convert to metric for lots of stuff, use Siri on my iphone for this mostly. Lived in Europe with the USAF for about 8 years back in early 70s and late 80s, metric really easier to use. Also downloaded a fraction app on my phone to deal with fractions. Between the two, life is good! Randy

  13. #13
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    In many cases it doesn't matter if your router bit is 12mm or 1/2", but if you're making a dado or something of the sorts, you just make sure whatever goes into that dado fits.... it really isn't more compicated. When you get used to it, you just know that your 1/2" is 12.7mm, 1/8" is 3mm+ ( 3.15), 3/4" is 18mm+ ( 18.9 - or just shy of 19mm... When you're used to it, it's just like tying your shoe laces....

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark e Kessler View Post
    Makes the math easier, no more adding fractions. would need more context on the 12.7mm router question...
    The big one that comes to mind is on a blanket chest I've built a few times, I'll run a 1/4" slot down the middle of the wood for the panels, and use a 3/4" but to take off 1/4" on each side of the mating pieces. If I had a 6mm bit and planed my wood to 18mm it'd work just as well, but instead I'd have decimal mm to add up

  15. #15
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    Metric is definitely a better system, but there is way too many things using imperial here in the US to try and convert. Making conversions back and forth just opens up too much room for error and mistakes. Until the US finally decides to switch over, Ill be sticking with Imperial.
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