Im kind of thinking of making the move to metric... in the US - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1,733
View bauerbach's Photo Album My Photos
Im kind of thinking of making the move to metric... in the US

So... I kinda hate a imperial units for woodworking. All this base 12 base 4 nonsense is frying my brain when MMs are right there for the taking with a finer degree of measurement than 1/16".

So before I go get a metric tape measure I am wondering if Im going to go crazy with common wood stock in the US all coming in imperial thicknesses... Then again, with the thrifting of material, 3/4" is rarely 3/4" anyway.

Any americans primarily using metric in their plans? Does it work out ok?
bauerbach is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 07:34 PM
Senior Member
 
hwebb99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,881
View hwebb99's Photo Album My Photos
The scales on your tools ( not that they are very accurate anyway) would be wrong.

Last edited by hwebb99; 08-18-2015 at 07:41 PM.
hwebb99 is offline  
post #3 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 07:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,992
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Good luck. Everything I'm involved with has a mixture of inches and metric. I could live with either or but the mixture drives me nuts.
Steve Neul is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 08:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Illanoyed
Posts: 308
View Tree Hugger's Photo Album My Photos
I use and express myself in the decimal system , fractions do irritate but most all are memorized to the 64th.
Tree Hugger is offline  
post #5 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 08:40 PM
Senior Member
 
Chamfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 1,450
View Chamfer's Photo Album My Photos
Was drilled with fractions back in the day coming up through the school I went to. Never had a problem with the imperial system myself and prefer it. Don't understand what's so disagreeing about it with some people. It's basic math skills.
Chamfer is offline  
post #6 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 08:53 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,856
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
you never use a dimension workpiece ....

If you take for granted the measurement off the shelf, it's not whatever they state anyway. So, when making a project... but not from plans... you won't have any problems. You just cut, mill and measure in Metric. It could be goat's toenails... as long as you don't change in the middle, it won't make any difference.

I would not convert back and forth. Just jump in and stick with it. Replace your scales on the table saw rails, put a Metric tape on any other tools.

You may run into an issue with a router lift which is still in Imperial and one turn equals 1/16" on my JessEm Mast R Lift II, Now one turn is 1.588 mm. Also bits are made in Imperial sizes, 3/4" 1/4" etc. They do make Metric bits however. That's the main issue I see.
http://raskcycle.com/techtip/webdoc11.html

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)
woodnthings is online now  
post #7 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 09:18 PM
Wood Snob
 
Al B Thayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,960
View Al B Thayer's Photo Album My Photos
I send woodworking plans all over and a guy in England told me some of the older guys still use ft. and in. I was quite surprised.

For me I work out a lot of woodworking without measuring when ever I can. I change everything to an 1/8 or 1/16 and call a 1/32 a little mark. Metric would have been fine if they would have done like they said and changed over when I was a child.

Al


Al B Thayer is offline  
post #8 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1,733
View bauerbach's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
If you take for granted the measurement off the shelf, it's not whatever they state anyway. So, when making a project... but not from plans... you won't have any problems. You just cut, mill and measure in Metric. It could be goat's toenails... as long as you don't change in the middle, it won't make any difference.

I would not convert back and forth. Just jump in and stick with it. Replace your scales on the table saw rails, put a Metric tape on any other tools.

You may run into an issue with a router lift which is still in Imperial and one turn equals 1/16" on my JessEm Mast R Lift II, Now one turn is 1.588 mm. Also bits are made in Imperial sizes, 3/4" 1/4" etc. They do make Metric bits however. That's the main issue I see.
http://raskcycle.com/techtip/webdoc11.html
Im not too worried about the shafts on my router bits or the arbor sizes and that kind of stuff.

Replacing the tape strips on my tools would be something I would have to think about... decisions decisions.
bauerbach is offline  
post #9 of 24 Old 08-18-2015, 10:22 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,856
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
not to worry

Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerbach View Post
Im not too worried about the shafts on my router bits or the arbor sizes and that kind of stuff.

Replacing the tape strips on my tools would be something I would have to think about... decisions decisions.
I'm saying the height adjustments on my JessEm lifts are in Imperial. If you don't have a lift or even so, you can just elevate to a metric standard or to a measured height, and not go by the number of turns on the elevation crank and it's associated dial.

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)
woodnthings is online now  
post #10 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 01:43 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,233
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Most of the hardware sold in America is based on the Imperial system, drawer pulls are standard 3" spacing for example. Everytime you have to convert there is a chance of an error.

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

FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
FrankC is online now  
post #11 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 03:08 AM
johnep
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Anglia UK
Posts: 1,898
View johnep's Photo Album My Photos
Errors have been dangerous. A plane ran out of fuel and had to land in the Azores because of confusion between lbs/kgs. Mars space craft failed for same reason. The UK changed over in 1971. I have had to concentrate, but have got used to metric now. We now talk about temperature in degrees C.
The US should have changed, imperial is a relic of colonialism.
johnep
johnep is offline  
post #12 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 07:15 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 25
View mtnwalton's Photo Album My Photos
Only you can answer whether or not you can deal with the conversion issue as it will come up. The imperial system is so widely used I can't imagine switching over completely. It is commonly used in lots of industries as the precision base. As in thousandths and ten thousandths of an inch.
mtnwalton is offline  
post #13 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 10:47 AM
Senior Member
 
arvanlaar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Cannington ON
Posts: 283
View arvanlaar's Photo Album My Photos
I am Canadian, Kenbo is Canadian, and a few others here are Canadian and I can guarentee you NONE OF US use metric for woodworking. I honestly don't know a single contractor in Canada who uses metric. Even in the stores everything is imperial. Save yourself the hassel... if you are not living in Europe, stick to imperial. You will thank me later :P
arvanlaar is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to arvanlaar For This Useful Post:
BWSmith (08-20-2015), Danno (08-19-2015), FrankC (08-19-2015)
post #14 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kamloops, B.C.
Posts: 444
View asevereid's Photo Album My Photos

I can attest to this.
The only projects I've been involved in that have been in metric have been larger commercial projects.
All residential renovations and new builds have been in imperial measures.
And the little woodwork that I do is in imperial as well.
asevereid is offline  
post #15 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 01:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,568
View Quickstep's Photo Album My Photos
I've made the switch (mostly). I draw and build using metric measures. For the most part, I'm using solid, wood that I mill myself, so I can make the width and thickness in whatever measure I want.

Converting back and forth will bite you, especially if you multiply a given measurement for spacing. For example, 1/2" and 13mm are pretty darn close, but if you multiply them by 6, you'll have 3" and 78mm which are not the same dimension. Other than that though, it's working for me.
Quickstep is offline  
post #16 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 01:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,233
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
My son went through the school system just after we switched to the metric system here in Canada so is very familiar with it.
I had to teach him the Imperial system and that is what he uses and thinks in today.

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

FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
FrankC is online now  
post #17 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 03:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 131
View fareastern's Photo Album My Photos
I'm not American and I am completely bi-lingual where measurements are concerned.It always amuses me that the shadow of imperialism still falls over a nation whose measurement system is based on the size of the thumb of a long dead English king.
I would advocate acquiring a set of metric rules and becoming familiar with them so that any object from either system of measuring can be made without the risk of an error from conversion.

As an aside,I know a man who has a little knowledge of CNC programming and who believes that only metric objects can be cut by CNC routers.I don't like to risk damaging his mental health by telling him how mistaken he is.
fareastern is offline  
post #18 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 03:26 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
You can get rulers and tape measures in decimal inches if you don't want to deal with any fractions. The Incra marking rules are well labeled with numbers for 16ths and 32nds. It's pretty much a no-brainer as long as you stay on the same scale (16 or 32).
NickDIY is offline  
post #19 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 03:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,233
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Many of the tape measures and rules we get here in Canada have both Metric and Imperial scales on them so conversion is not that difficult.

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

FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
FrankC is online now  
post #20 of 24 Old 08-19-2015, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1,733
View bauerbach's Photo Album My Photos
Im better than the average bear with conversions (in general anyway) but the other day I had a work-piece that I needed to skinny up equally from each side... As I'm figuring out how much to take off each side from 15 3/8 down to 14 13/16th. 9/16ths.... ok, so thats 9/32nd off each side... ok, so where do I need to set my first fence positioning... errrr 15 3/8 minus 9/32nd... I cant even reach for a calculator because the resulting decimal wont mean a damn thing on this 16th degree tape measure...

For the record, I CAN do that math easily, Im not a moron :p but its not a natural way of thinking for someone that is VERY familiar with base 10.
bauerbach is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Imperial - Metric Converisons Scinzon General Woodworking Discussion 13 09-04-2015 12:39 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome