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How much longer will we stay with imperial measurements ?

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Forum topic by 716 posted 02-18-2016 08:11 PM 1821 views 0 times favorited 63 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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716

502 posts in 382 days


02-18-2016 08:11 PM

Why would anyone prefer a multibase measuring system with bases 1,2,4,8,16….. over as simple single base metric system where the only denominator is 10, is beyond me. Try taking 3/4” board, deduct blade kerf thickness twice and divide the remainder by 3 to set your table saw fence to cut the board into 3 narrow pieces. All this while the blade is running. Very easy with the metric units, beyond my mathematical ability in imperial system. I just gave up and do most of my work in millimeters converting to inches when setting the tool that take imperial. I am not even talking about those two sets of wrenches I bought for one for each system and ‘conveniece’ of trying to figure out which one to use.
Am I the only one not smart enough to use the imperial measurements ?

-- It's nice!


63 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#1 posted 02-18-2016 08:13 PM

It’s a very long overdue change that the US will probably not undertake anytime soon. People’s resistance to change is beyond belief on this issue. As a result we have the current mess (try working on a car without both fractional and metric tools) that exists.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2441 days


#2 posted 02-18-2016 09:03 PM

My 6th grade teacher told me by the time I graduate from high school. I believe that was in 1975.

I’m can’t remember if we were switching to metric or running out of fossil fuels first but both surely happened at least 30 yrs ago…well before the end of the earth due to Y2K!

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John

166 posts in 1047 days


#3 posted 02-18-2016 09:25 PM

There are two types of people in the world…

Those that use the metric system

and those that landed on the moon.

Jk

They have been telling us for years to get ready for the metric system, yet we still hang on our old way of doing things. Being in construction, I can’t ever see the building trades going metric, it’s too ingrained into the industry.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2441 days


#4 posted 02-18-2016 09:33 PM

I thought it was those that can count and those that can’t…

Or, is it there are 10 types of people in the world, those that read binary and those that don’t.


There are two types of people in the world…

Those that use the metric system

and those that landed on the moon.

- John


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BigYin

347 posts in 1882 days


#5 posted 02-18-2016 09:33 PM

but the imperial / fractional system is so simple, reliable, sensible and best of all not metric !
you missed out a few useful numbers in your list … 3rds, 5ths, etc
I still work out area as acres in furlongs and chains distance in miles and i am overweight in stones and pounds

when England used imperial system we had an empire, full employment, security, now we use the metric system and walk round with our ass hanging out of our pants. we went metric to be part of europe and the common market – anyone think it has helped us ???

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1461 days


#6 posted 02-18-2016 09:53 PM

Never! Fraction’s aren’t dangerous, people. What do we stand to gain by changing? Base 10 isn’t going to magically double your productivity, make anything cheaper, or bring world peace.

Also, to the OP, i recommend turning the saw off as you move your fence etc. That is considered best practice in both systems of measure. Also gives you a chance to re-measure safely. Always good to double check.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2880 posts in 2993 days


#7 posted 02-18-2016 09:57 PM

It is all much easier if you convert to parsecs first using 1 inch = 8.23158e-19 parsecs.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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waho6o9

7176 posts in 2042 days


#8 posted 02-18-2016 10:25 PM

Fascinating

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#9 posted 02-18-2016 10:31 PM

Decimals don’t easily divide by three. All building materials have agreed on 4” mounting multiples. Fractions are easier in the head. Double the denominator to halve.

3/4” board less two 1/8” kerfs is 1/2” which doesn’t divide into three so you can get two 3/16” strips with an 1/8” leftover.

3/4 of 25 mm is 19mm (sorta) less two 3mm kerfs is 13mm that doesn’t divide by three giving you three 4mm pieces and a 1mm leftover.

Also, no matter what unit you use, ciphering with the blade spinning is wrong. Pre-plan your cuts and moves and you’ll have fewer miscuts and mental stress while cutting.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 939 days


#10 posted 02-18-2016 10:34 PM

Or, you can do as we have done in Canada. We are supposedly on the metric system, but we still buy 2×4’s and sheet goods in 4×8’. We build our houses with studs on 16” centers, but buy the flooring by the square meter.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1491 days


#11 posted 02-18-2016 10:37 PM

I suspect the moon project used metric measure. And wasn’t it a failure to make the conversion that led to the failure of one of the Mars landings?

But we are gradually using metric more and more, since so much stuff is imported from metric using countries. We’re getting used to it. And I’ve found that until you get down to very small sizes, like 3/8” or less, metric wrenches work just fine on “inch” nuts and bolts. But not the other way around.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#12 posted 02-18-2016 10:40 PM



Or, you can do as we have done in Canada. We are supposedly on the metric system, but we still buy 2×4 s and sheet goods in 4×8 . We build our houses with studs on 16” centers, but buy the flooring by the square meter.

- gwilki


And you also pump fuel into airliners in pounds when the requirement is kilograms.

-- It's nice!

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1186 days


#13 posted 02-18-2016 10:44 PM

I worked at a Honda motorcycle shop some time ago and the parent company was a Harley store next door, those guys had to have twice the tools due to the fact that half the stuff on the Hardleys was metric and half was SAE standard. The Hondas were 100% metric and the real irony is the guys that went to tech school for motorcycle repair rarely wanted to work on anything but Harleys, as a result they made less than the Honda techs.

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716

502 posts in 382 days


#14 posted 02-18-2016 10:45 PM



Decimals don t easily divide by three. All building materials have agreed on 4” mounting multiples. Fractions are easier in the head. Double the denominator to halve.

3/4” board less two 1/8” kerfs is 1/2” which doesn t divide into three so you can get two 3/16” strips with an 1/8” leftover.

3/4 of 25 mm is 19mm (sorta) less two 3mm kerfs is 13mm that doesn t divide by three giving you three 4mm pieces and a 1mm leftover.

- MadMark

See you are wasting wood because of the inconvenient system, And decimals perfectly easy divide by 3 at any required accuracy. In your example above 13mm divide by 3 is 4.3 mm. Easy to divide, easy to set the fence, no waste.

-- It's nice!

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 984 days


#15 posted 02-18-2016 10:47 PM

I worked as a machinist for a few years while I was in school. I learned to look at everything in the decimal form and have not bailed on that yet.

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