Imperial vs Metric - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Imperial vs Metric

Is imperial **** or is imperial ****?

Keen to hear from any Americans using metric cause it’s better?

Just a curious Australian wondering.

Not sure how calculating an inch divided by 4 makes sense when you can just say 6.35mm.

Thoughts.


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post #2 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Inch, unit of British Imperial and United States Customary measure equal to 1/36 of a yard. The unit derives from the Old English ince, or ynce, which in turn came from the Latin unit uncia, which was “one-twelfth” of a Roman foot, or pes.




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post #3 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:25 AM
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You do not say "an inch divided by 4." You say one quarter of an inch. or 00.25 inch.


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post #4 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
You do not say "an inch divided by 4." You say one quarter of an inch. or 00.25 inch.


George

1/4 inch is an inch divided by 4 isn’t it?


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post #5 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesarbiguetti View Post
Is imperial **** or is imperial ****?

Keen to hear from any Americans using metric cause it’s better?

Just a curious Australian wondering.

Not sure how calculating an inch divided by 4 makes sense when you can just say 6.35mm.

Thoughts.


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It's neither imperial **** or is imperial **** (whatever that means), it's standard. LOL
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post #6 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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It's neither imperial **** or is imperial **** (whatever that means), it's standard. LOL

Haha solid reply. Like British people saying they don’t have an accent!!

This post was meant as a joke. We all need a break from the current craziness. I thought converting 320 million people to the clearly superior metric system might just do it!


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post #7 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:53 AM
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There are two types of countries in this world - those that have been to the moon and those that use Metric.

David
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post #8 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
There are two types of countries in this world - those that have been to the moon and those that use Metric.

David


You got me!


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post #9 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 08:00 AM
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I'm a convert!

For most of the woodwork I do, 1/16th of an inch is not an accurate enough interval. 1/32" is too fine and hard to see on a rule. 1/25.4th of an inch (1mm :) seems juuuuust right. I use millimeters in my drawings and in building. Although I know the decimal equivalents of imperial fractions and can do most fractional divisions in my head, it's sooooo much easier in metric.

The only problems I have are that materials are not purchased in metric measurements. The lumber yard doesn't sell 50x100's they sell 2x4's, so one must convert back and forth. Even in Canada where metric is in prevalent use, plywood is still sold in 4'X8' sheets (I don't know how they figure that out! :)
And for some reason, imagining the relative size of metric measurements hasn't gotten stuck in my head. I can readily picture how big 8 inches is, but I don't automatically equate something's size into metric units. I know that 13mm=1/2" and 19mm=3/4" but it's not convenient to have to convert back and forth. Also, tools here other than wrenches aren't readily available in metric measurements. Rulers and especially tape measures are hard to find graduated in mm. Same for drills, router bits and the like. Metric nuts and bolts are available, but selection is limited and it's tends to be more costly than imperial hardware which can be bought in bulk.
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post #10 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a convert!

For most of the woodwork I do, 1/16th of an inch is not an accurate enough interval. 1/32" is too fine and hard to see on a rule. 1/25.4th of an inch (1mm :) seems juuuuust right. I use millimeters in my drawings and in building. Although I know the decimal equivalents of imperial fractions and can do most fractional divisions in my head, it's sooooo much easier in metric.

The only problems I have are that materials are not purchased in metric measurements. The lumber yard doesn't sell 50x100's they sell 2x4's, so one must convert back and forth. Even in Canada where metric is in prevalent use, plywood is still sold in 4'X8' sheets (I don't know how they figure that out! :)
And for some reason, imagining the relative size of metric measurements hasn't gotten stuck in my head. I can readily picture how big 8 inches is, but I don't automatically equate something's size into metric units. I know that 13mm=1/2" and 19mm=3/4" but it's not convenient to have to convert back and forth. Also, tools here other than wrenches aren't readily available in metric measurements. Rulers and especially tape measures are hard to find graduated in mm. Same for drills, router bits and the like. Metric nuts and bolts are available, but selection is limited and it's tends to be more costly than imperial hardware which can be bought in bulk.

I’m glad Festool is a German company that’s for sure lol


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post #11 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
There are two types of countries in this world - those that have been to the moon and those that use Metric.



David
That is so funny David lol... but that is not true.. Russia China and India on the moon and They use metric system...

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post #12 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 09:09 AM
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They have been talking metric in the cabinet shops for many years. Never happened. The furniture company I worked for last used metric, but only on the machines from overseas.still they converted metric to standard for the final products...They all had charts..
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post #13 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 09:17 AM
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That is so funny David lol... but that is not true.. Russia China and India on the moon and They use metric system...
Walked on the moon, then.

David
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post #14 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Walked on the moon, then.

David
they can do it .. they don't want walk on the moon.. Because it is too expensive..The next race will be walk on the mars.. we will see.. who is win? i hope my country can be a racer..

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post #15 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 10:19 AM
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Haha! There's a lot I CAN do but it's too expensive so I haven't done those things. So I can't say, 'Been there, done that!'

'Been there, haven't done that, but I could' just doesn't have the same ring to it.

David
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post #16 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 10:26 AM
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The UK moved to metric in, I believe, 1971 in preparation for joining the EU.
I remember it took some time to get used to pricing items in metric.
However, my children benefited from the easier maths when a pound became 100 pence rather than 240.
Measurements took longer and I still thought of imperial until the 2000s.
I now make a conscious effort to measure in metric.
The US had decimalised money from the start of the dollar.
Regarding aerospace, there was the failed mission to Mars due to confusion and also the plane that ran out of fuel over the Atlantic. Gallons of petrol only became litres a few years ago when the price rose in response to various factors.
Still think of MPG rate than miles/litre.
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post #17 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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I was born in Brazil (100% metric) and moved to Australia in 2002.
Imperial still rules here for the following:

Height of a human : Im 182cm (People look at you funny)

Weight of a baby ( that’s changing though...)

Not all change is good but imperial is ****


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post #18 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 02:24 PM
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I was taught imperial measurements in school and have used them all my life.
At 66 years old I'm not likely to change. No mater who thinks which is superior.
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post #19 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 03:52 PM
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Serious post:

I use and feel equally comfortable with both measurement systems or rarely, a mix of both when necessary. In the past, I used the term "Imperial." This Wikipedia article says, 'The United States Code refers to these units as "traditional systems of weights and measures". Other common ways of referring to the system in the U.S. are: "customary", "standard", or, erroneously: "English", or "imperial" ...'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...ustomary_units

-> I stand corrected. Going forward, I will call the US measurement system "standard."

My Freud dado blade set came with a chart which listed the blade configurations for various standard unit widths. I needed a 3/8 inch dado and followed the chart - two blades and one chipper. What I got was not 3/8 inch. The set came with shims, but Freud did not want to show that they were necessary for accurate standard unit cuts. I am still angry with Freud over that. I would have preferred an accurate chart, shims and all. See:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/b...4-inch-220127/

There was a thread here where someone wrote about the different woodworking traditions in Japan, and how they contrast with those here in the US. They asked for suggestions of which woodworking traditions we could borrow from other cultures around the world to improve our own woodworking. My response was simple, "Switch to metric."

I would be pleased if the US could pick a day, switch to metric, and be done with it. It would give us a tremendous boost to our economy. What I see is slow but steady progress towards that goal, driven by our entities (businesses, military, etc.) that must interact with the rest of the world. I doubt that a complete conversion will happen in my time.

Less serious:

As @difalkner noted, our country is the only one to get people to the moon. That said, we also burned up a probe in the Martian atmosphere because two software modules performed computations in standard and metric unit systems respectively, and failed to convert between them:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter

Related:

I bet @johnedp34 remembers the day when the UK moved to a decimal currency. Does anybody remember the day when Sweden switched from left side driving to right side driving?
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 06-04-2020 at 03:54 PM.
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post #20 of 95 Old 06-04-2020, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnedp34 View Post
The UK moved to metric in, I believe, 1971 in preparation for joining the EU.
I remember it took some time to get used to pricing items in metric.
However, my children benefited from the easier maths when a pound became 100 pence rather than 240.
Measurements took longer and I still thought of imperial until the 2000s.
I now make a conscious effort to measure in metric.
The US had decimalised money from the start of the dollar.
Regarding aerospace, there was the failed mission to Mars due to confusion and also the plane that ran out of fuel over the Atlantic. Gallons of petrol only became litres a few years ago when the price rose in response to various factors.
Still think of MPG rate than miles/litre.
johnep
"miles/litre" makes me laugh. Oops, I didn't notice your comment about decimalized currency when I posted my comment above.

Canada was fairly new to the metric standard when I lived there. The grocery stores sold produce where some items priced per 100 grams, others priced per pound. The mailed advertisements from the stores were also mixed. I never figured out how they decided which units to use; it seemed random to me. Pricier items seemed more likely to be sold per 100 grams, but not always.

I find myself having to do mixed measurements with woodworking from time to time. I write procedures like, "Drill a 5 mm hole exactly 1/2 inch above the mark." Stuff like that.
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