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Thread: I must be OLD! I HATE the Metric System!!

  1. #1

    I must be OLD! I HATE the Metric System!!



    Well, it's either I am getting OLD !! , or being stuck in the House because of the Coronavirus shutdown !! Went through the latest woodworking catalogs , and took a look at some nice Wood Chisels. I am used to the standard 1/4. 1/2, 1/8, 3/4 and 1 INCH !! Wood chisels.. WELL...... The set I looked at was in METRIC !!! Oh, it was nice looking alright. But, when I compared the Metric sizes to STANDARD INCH sizes, some were under sized, some were over sized. WHY !!! can't they make Metric sized Chisels that are equal in size to STANDARD size Wood Chisels ????

    Off my Soap Box now !!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to being the only country that still uses imperial. If you want imperial, it's gonna have to be US made.
    ~mike

    reading. it helps.

  3. #3
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    Because then they would have to use increments smaller than a millimeter . Being old I have gone through the full blown attempts to switch to metric twice in public school. Freeway signs, speed limit signs, gas pumps; millions of my tax dollars spent only to give up something so easy. On the upside I now flow between them pretty readily for short lengths. I'm poor at volumes beyond the liter and can't make my mind "see" KPH versus MPH so, like I said, we gave up.

    It is convenient to have chisels near the size we desire but, I don't use chisels as precise measuring devices. I may be cutting a 1/2" mortise but if it is .3mm (just funnin') too narrow or wide I will still fit the tenon to it, not vice versa. I applaud your healthy and succinct Soap Box Rant. We are living in the time we are living in and so I try to carry on. Generally it is not a big deal but, I too occasionally rant-on about our failure to join the planet in the metric system. That being said, I think and work in imperial. It uses a different part of my brain than I used in my career and I find it very relaxing.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  4. #4
    I have both metric and imperial chisels and use both. If you use antique chisels most were not the exact size. For most of the work I do having an exact size chisel doesn't matter.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    Welcome to being the only country that still uses imperial. If you want imperial, it's gonna have to be US made.
    Not quite - most of the Lee Valley Veritas tools are still in imperial. But good luck finding anything out of Europe that's not metric that's less than a few decades old.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Bancroft View Post
    Not quite - most of the Lee Valley Veritas tools are still in imperial. But good luck finding anything out of Europe that's not metric that's less than a few decades old.
    True, I suspect Rob considers the US to be a major enough market to warrant doubling the tooling..
    ~mike

    reading. it helps.

  7. #7
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    I believe Ashley Isles are sold in imperial sizes. Narex has an imperial sized set as well too.

  8. #8
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    Wait, you measure things in your shop?

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    Set the mortise gauge to the chisel and wack away.

    My work improved after giving up on trying to use a tape measure on everything. Now a story stick seems to bring better accuracy.

    My rulers and tape measure are typically used to measure overall lengths.

    My thinking is still in inches and feet, but working with metric is okay. It is usually easy to convert back and forth if needed.

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

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    True, I suspect Rob considers the US to be a major enough market to warrant doubling the tooling..
    I can't speak for professional cabinetmakers, but I'm pretty sure the Canadian construction industry still tends to use imperial. Canada's a bit mixed-up on this. Kilometers for distance and km/h for speed, but feet and inches for height and shorter measurements. Most people give you their weight in pounds, but no one uses ounces. Pints at the pub, but litres at the grocery store and in the kitchen. Fortunately, we're totally metric for science purposes, otherwise I'd go insane.

  11. #11
    As a French, I never had to learn the British unit system in school. I guess because the metric system is such a French Revolution thing AND most of all, the imperial system a British one

    Anyway, while I got the common fractions of a inch quite naturally, It takes me a minute to figure out if a 6 feet and 9 inches person is a child or a giant. Not to mention the miles/gallon vs l/100km.

  12. #12
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    I am of that generation where they decided to teach only the metric system in an effort to force us to use it. So Iíve had to pick up the imperial system along the way and I can never quite remember some of the conversions.

    btw, I vaguely remember hearing/reading somewhere that Japanese tools are sold in metric but are actually made in the old Japanese system (bo, sun, etc). Anybody know about that?

  13. #13
    I like having a set of metric chisels with my standard ones. It can be nice for cleaning out a mortice to have a slightly undersized chisel. Most times though, I pick a chisel width for convenience relative to the operation, not because I need an exact size. In that case, standard vs metric doesn't matter.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Bancroft View Post
    Fortunately, we're totally metric for science purposes, otherwise I'd go insane.
    So is the US. However, the only countries that officially use imperial are the US, Liberia and Myanmar.

    I grew up with metric, it's easy. In any case, I try not to measure.
    ~mike

    reading. it helps.

  15. #15
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    I wonder if when Norm said measure twice, cut once he really wanted folks to measure in metric and imperial before cutting?

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