Converting Millimeters to Fractions

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 07-18-2008 08:44 PM 39707 views 10 times favorited 107 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16143 posts in 3310 days

07-18-2008 08:44 PM

Okay, so it’s a slow day at work, but this has been a pet peeve of mine. I often run across a measurement given in millimeters, and wish I had a handy reference to convert that number into fractional inches.

There are a lot of charts and calculators online that will give you decimal equivalents, but nothing I could find that will quickly tell me that 17mm equals pretty close to 11/16ths. So I used my Excel skills and some free time to come up with my own. You can get it here:

I have included columns to get you to the nearest 16th, 32nd, or 64th, depending on how precise you care to get. The PDF version will be easiiest for most of you, but I’ve included a link to the Excel file as well, in case you want to monkey around and modify it to best suit your own needs.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

107 replies so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3031 days

#1 posted 07-18-2008 08:50 PM

Very cool. Thanks.

-- Working at Woodworking

View lew's profile


10701 posts in 2847 days

#2 posted 07-18-2008 08:57 PM

Thanks, Charlie!

This will be great laminated and hanging in the shop.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2740 days

#3 posted 07-18-2008 09:35 PM

Thanx! a good reference to keep around….. now if everyone would only work in metric…. we wouldn’t have these problems to begin with would we? lol…

sorry, but metric just makes sense, and working in fractions is a pain in the a$$ sometimes.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3492 days

#4 posted 07-18-2008 09:40 PM

Thanks Charlie. Print out nice on the color laser.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3310 days

#5 posted 07-18-2008 09:41 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more. But the old inches and fractions system just wont die.

If I’m not mistaken, it was something like 30-40 years ago when it was officially announced that the U.S. would be going to the metric system. I guess the wheels of progress turn slowly, huh? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 3019 days

#6 posted 07-18-2008 09:55 PM


I really apprciate your sharing this with us. This will come in soooo handy!

View SteveKorz's profile


2133 posts in 2806 days

#7 posted 07-18-2008 09:57 PM

That’s pretty handy… looks like a good reference to put in the shop… Thanks Charlie!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

785 posts in 2924 days

#8 posted 07-18-2008 10:23 PM

That’s going in the shop. Thanks for the effort!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View MrWoody's profile


305 posts in 2866 days

#9 posted 07-18-2008 10:49 PM

I definitely appreciate your work on this but I won’t be using it. sorry. Canada had the metric system forced on us a number of years back and one thing I have learned in that time is to never convert.
If it’s in imperial measure use imperial. If it’s in metric use metric. The cost of appropiate measuring instruments is very low compared with the aggravation and inaccuracy of converting. Just the opinion of one ticked Canadian. It wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3310 days

#10 posted 07-18-2008 10:54 PM

LOL, MrWoody!

I’ll try not to take it personally. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 2789 days

#11 posted 07-18-2008 11:08 PM

I know what you mean I have sliding ruler that works well but get yourself a tape measure with both English on top and Metric at the bottom

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 3169 days

#12 posted 07-19-2008 12:39 AM

Thanks Charlie. I use both out in the shop. At time I find that metric is more accurate.

The chart is super.

-- BLOG -

View Rob 's profile


206 posts in 2759 days

#13 posted 07-19-2008 01:02 AM

It prints well in good ole b&w too. Thanks Charlie, great idea.

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2795 days

#14 posted 07-19-2008 01:03 AM

Thanks Charlie,

I am lucky, I have a built in converter on my cell phone:)


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3996 posts in 3156 days

#15 posted 07-19-2008 04:09 AM

Thanks, Charlie. Powerful tool, that Excel. One of the best things Bill Gates ever sprang on us (I recall trying to use Lotus123 with a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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