Help translating measurements (newbie) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Old 07-16-2019, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Help translating measurements (newbie)

Hi. I'm new here and need some help. sorry if this is in the wrong place.

I'm building a bench, but the drawing and measurements are in English and I'm Norwegian. The whole "how to" bit I understand, but the measurements in inch got me a bit stuck.

I've used a inch to cm calculator I found on Google. Like 17" I quickly found out equals 43,18cm. But when it say 12-5/8" I got a bit lost. What does the 5/8 mean? I can't type it in to the calculator. Cause you can only write in numbers and not the /.

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Old 07-16-2019, 09:17 AM
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When working with fractions enter the decimal equivalency. On the fraction 5/8 divide 5 by 8 and you get .625 so the measurement to use would be 12.625
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
When working with fractions enter the decimal equivalency. On the fraction 5/8 divide 5 by 8 and you get .625 so the measurement to use would be 12.625
Wow so simple.. Now I feel stupid haha:P thank you very much for the help.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:02 AM
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So I'm assuming you live in a country that uses the metric system. To make things easier, for myself, I live in the US, and I have rulers, tape measures, etc in both metric and imperial. Make things easier, when I build something with metric measurements, I use the metric tools. I did this when I built a street crank organ. The plans came from England and they had both metric and imperial measurements meaning some things were shown in metric and some with imperial... Made things very interesting.... To be honest, I prefer metric.... much less complicated.... gave up trying to convert, so I carried around both types of measuring devices....
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffy88 View Post
Wow so simple.. Now I feel stupid haha:P thank you very much for the help.
No, what is stupid is the US hanging onto fractions when the rest of the world has gone metric. Many of us are struggling with tooling when sheet goods have all been converted to metric dimensions. Then now we are seeing some dimension lumber in metric dimensions.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:10 AM
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Just type " 12 5/8" to cm " into Google search and hit enter.

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Old 07-16-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scrappile View Post
So I'm assuming you live in a country that uses the metric system. To make things easier, for myself, I live in the US, and I have rulers, tape measures, etc in both metric and imperial. Make things easier, when I build something with metric measurements, I use the metric tools. I did this when I built a street crank organ. The plans came from England and they had both metric and imperial measurements meaning some things were shown in metric and some with imperial... Made things very interesting.... To be honest, I prefer metric.... much less complicated.... gave up trying to convert, so I carried around both types of measuring devices....
Yeah we use the metric system. And yeah maybe I should invest in some rulers with both on them. Just in case &#x1f61b;
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
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Originally Posted by Buffy88 View Post
Wow so simple.. Now I feel stupid haha:P thank you very much for the help.
No, what is stupid is the US hanging onto fractions when the rest of the world has gone metric. Many of us are struggling with tooling when sheet goods have all been converted to metric dimensions. Then now we are seeing some dimension lumber in metric dimensions.
Yeah it gets really confusing!
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
Just type " 12 5/8" to cm " into Google search and hit enter.
Dang it! Why didn't I think of that.. That just made my job so much easier. I don't even have to use math... Thank you!
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:43 AM
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I often work in SI units especially when I need to make a particularly accurate cut. I keep a calculator handy and it’s inches x 25.4 to get millimeters. It’s much less error prone to measure to half a millimeter than to get caught up in counting 1/64”s. BTW, cms are not central to the SI system and are a holdover from the old metric system. In SI, the basic units of length are separated by factors of 1000 so you have km, m, mm. Fortunately in Canada it’s easy to find rules and tapes with inches and mm.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:53 PM
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For those who are confused ...

I never heard of SI units, so I had to look it up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_base_unit

Quoting above:
Fortunately in Canada it’s easy to find rules and tapes with inches and mm.

Instead of converting using a calculator, just use a dual system tape or scale and read directly across either way to convert. Simple.

For those old enough to remember, the automotive industry used 1/100" rds for years. Then switched to Metric about 20 years ago.

When making 3/8 scale models, we used specialized rules ONLY. So, a unit of "1" was equal to 3/8 of an inch or 0.375"

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-16-2019 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by terryh View Post
Fortunately in Canada it’s easy to find rules and tapes with inches and mm.
But harder to find a tape without metric so you can measure inches from either side of the tape.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Old 07-16-2019, 02:59 PM
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Paid about a dollar for one of these, use it all the time to convert gasket and pipe sizes when working on my steam engines.
Attached Thumbnails

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Old 07-16-2019, 03:42 PM
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I use www.onlineconversion.com for all conversions- length, mass (weight), etc. Stumbled across one on my Android. I noticed a ruler icon and clicked on it. Viola! Conversion for just about everything.

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Old 07-16-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
No, what is stupid is the US hanging onto fractions when the rest of the world has gone metric. Many of us are struggling with tooling when sheet goods have all been converted to metric dimensions. Then now we are seeing some dimension lumber in metric dimensions.
Your post reminds me of the thread where someone saw a video about Japanese woodworking, and the OP asked about traditional joinery and woodworking techniques outside the US. He was wondering what we might learn and apply to our own woodworking here in the US.

My response was, "In my humble opinion, the single best "traditional technique" that we could steal from other cultures to improve our woodworking would be to move to the metric system."

I stand by that statement.

Post: https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/j...7/#post2046663
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Your post reminds me of the thread where someone saw a video about Japanese woodworking, and the OP asked about traditional joinery and woodworking techniques outside the US. He was wondering what we might learn and apply to our own woodworking here in the US.

My response was, "In my humble opinion, the single best "traditional technique" that we could steal from other cultures to improve our woodworking would be to move to the metric system."

I stand by that statement.

Post: https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/j...7/#post2046663
I'm old and I still think I could adapt to the change. What makes it difficult is having both around. I just did an engine overhaul on a 1987 car made in Missoiuri and had to have two sets of tools handy. Every other bolt was metric. Drove me crazy trying to determine what wrench to use.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I'm old and I still think I could adapt to the change. What makes it difficult is having both around. I just did an engine overhaul on a 1987 car made in Missoiuri and had to have two sets of tools handy. Every other bolt was metric. Drove me crazy trying to determine what wrench to use.
I once worked for an envelope manufacturer that had branches in North America, Europe and British Isles, this company built their own machines so a machine could have parts that were Metric, Witworth and Imperial all joined together, each section had its own tools that fit, talk about confusion.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Old 07-16-2019, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankC View Post

I once worked for an envelope manufacturer that had branches in North America, Europe and British Isles, this company built their own machines so a machine could have parts that were Metric, Witworth and Imperial all joined together, each section had its own tools that fit, talk about confusion.
I think the car manufacturers do it just to make repairs so difficult a lot of people will take their cars to the dealer. I have a customer that owns a auto dealership and she told me once that they make more money off the service department than selling cars.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:03 PM
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No, they are just much more complicated now

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I think the car manufacturers do it just to make repairs so difficult a lot of people will take their cars to the dealer. I have a customer that owns a auto dealership and she told me once that they make more money off the service department than selling cars.

My son was an automechanic ASE certified, but changed professions. Now he is a technical service agent for dealer mechanics who don't know how to fix the cars themselves, a much more sophisticated and complex occupation. There are up to 9 or more computer modules and wiring diagrams that look like a bowl of noodles. The average dealer tech doesn't understand them, so they call him for help. Some things are now wireless like the key fobs which know if you are within range of the vehicle. Now throw in "my car won't start" and the customer is mad, and the tech is stumped.....

It's really not a plot to make it so you can't work on your own car. Even changing the battery yourself can cause issues. Often some things won't won't on the restart. Ever wonder how the service tech makes the oil interval back to zero after an oil change? His new truck knows when the air pressure in any tire has dropped below factory recommendations and the warning light comes on.

What about the cars that shut down at the stop lights? They have 2 batteries, one for starting and one for running stuff. Of course there are the hands off the wheel self driving driving cars now. Wait until something goes wrong with those..... who will know how to fix them?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
My son was an automechanic ASE certified, but changed professions. Now he is a technical service agent for dealer mechanics who don't know how to fix the cars themselves, a much more sophisticated and complex occupation. There are up to 9 or more computer modules and wiring diagrams that look like a bowl of noodles. The average dealer tech doesn't understand them, so they call him for help. Some things are now wireless like the key fobs which know if you are within range of the vehicle. Now throw in "my car won't start" and the customer is mad, and the tech is stumped.....

It's really not a plot to make it so you can't work on your own car. Even changing the battery yourself can cause issues. Often some things won't won't on the restart. Ever wonder how the service tech makes the oil interval back to zero after an oil change? His new truck knows when the air pressure in any tire has dropped below factory recommendations and the warning light comes on.

What about the cars that shut down at the stop lights? They have 2 batteries, one for starting and one for running stuff. Of course there are the hands off the wheel self driving driving cars now. Wait until something goes wrong with those..... who will know how to fix them?

Myself, I shy away from vehicles with electronics. They are alright when new but the more gadgets they put on cars the more headache will be when they get a little old. The only reason we have a vehicle made this century is my wife inherited her brothers truck when he died. The rest of our vehicles are 1975, 1987, 1993 and 1999.

I can't stand the idea of the self driving vehicles. Any computer I've ever been around has malfunctioned. I hate to think of driving with them.
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