Author Topic: Folks Hate The Metric System  (Read 32750 times)

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Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #60 on: July 27, 2011, 06:06 PM »
How difficult would it be to calculate three equal parts of 1 meter using Imperial measurements?

If I were designing something that was 100" using the Imperial measurement system and I wanted 3 equal parts with standard machining tolerance, I would likely describe them as 33.333" +/- .015".

I don't see mechanical engineering functions as supporting the Imperial system. I see greed as supporting it.


Tom
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Offline tallgrass

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2011, 06:47 PM »
in a machine shop before the digital revaluation of measurement you would use calipers and gauge blocks and sine bars. in fact i have seen wire frequencies used to measure distances. in the metric system you are stuck with a system of units of ten. in the standard system you can decide what units you wish. 64th ,32nd, what ever, not only that you can stay in the ratio and not convert to decimal and keep it all fractions. also there are more factors of 12 than ten. not only that if you want you can use an engineers rule which is broken into tens . to me it is just a tool. not better or worse, just different.

i actually find them both useful.

but i think you are asking for trouble if you combine the systems. as i said i use both but i do not combine them in a project and i never convert them back and forth.

if using one system makes one feel special and better than someone using another system than than fantastic, may you find great happiness:)

Offline VictorL

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #62 on: July 27, 2011, 08:35 PM »

Sound wisdom tallgrass.

 A company that I worked for was under pressure to convert it's manufactured products to the global standard (metric).  It also had pressure from U.S. customers to have their custom machines built with imperial dimensions.  The decision was made to continue with imperial and to also build the export machines in metric.  I spent over a quarter million dollars for precision measuring tools alone.  Most all of the machine tools were CNC so they could handle both systems.  A huge early mistake was to "dual dimension" the mfg. drawings -- this caused countless mistakes misreading the drawings and in turn scrapping parts.  We found a number of old school machinists that would sit at their bench converting metric drawings to imperial & writing the dimensions on the drawings - more mistakes!  I could go on & on with problems the company had but I wholly agree with tallgrass -- pick a system and stick with it as much as possible.    The metric system really is very simple however most mistake occur when converting and switching back & forth.   

Hmm. I don't know what kind of equipment you producing, but why you don't build it in metric only, and have imperial dimensions in the documentation only?  
Nobody will puzzled with 'mounting holes distance  29 13/64" ' As I understand you need precise measurement only when installing equipment on site. Modern electronic scales can show distances in any units such as millimeters, foots, fingers, name your own.  



Offline VictorL

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #63 on: July 27, 2011, 08:41 PM »
i do find it frustrating that the metric system being a 10 base system has issues when measuring geometry where ratios are so easy and i can decide when and how much rounding error i am will do deal with. for example if i have an object that happens to be 1 meter and i simply want to turn into three pieces i am screwed simply because of the ten base system .or opposite, i want to make 3 units that add up to one meter. i am glad the Greeks did not have it ...i wonder what their beautiful ratios would look like if it all had to be units of ten limited to what they could resolve?i can not imagine how hard it was before the digital age.

If you divide 1 meter, you'll get 333.33 mm. Why should you divide one meter only?  999 mm is better number for dividing by 3 or 1200mm or 1500mm or 300mm.

Here is sample how to measure everything in anything.


:)

Offline mastercabman

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #64 on: July 27, 2011, 09:25 PM »
i do find it frustrating that the metric system being a 10 base system has issues when measuring geometry where ratios are so easy and i can decide when and how much rounding error i am will do deal with. for example if i have an object that happens to be 1 meter and i simply want to turn into three pieces i am screwed simply because of the ten base system .or opposite, i want to make 3 units that add up to one meter. i am glad the Greeks did not have it ...i wonder what their beautiful ratios would look like if it all had to be units of ten limited to what they could resolve?i can not imagine how hard it was before the digital age.

If you divide 1 meter, you'll get 333.33 mm. Why should you divide one meter only?  999 mm is better number for dividing by 3 or 1200mm or 1500mm or 300mm.


Couldn't agree more :)
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline RonWen

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #65 on: July 27, 2011, 09:40 PM »

Sound wisdom tallgrass.

 A company that I worked for was under pressure to convert it's manufactured products to the global standard (metric).  It also had pressure from U.S. customers to have their custom machines built with imperial dimensions.  The decision was made to continue with imperial and to also build the export machines in metric.  I spent over a quarter million dollars for precision measuring tools alone.  Most all of the machine tools were CNC so they could handle both systems.  A huge early mistake was to "dual dimension" the mfg. drawings -- this caused countless mistakes misreading the drawings and in turn scrapping parts.  We found a number of old school machinists that would sit at their bench converting metric drawings to imperial & writing the dimensions on the drawings - more mistakes!  I could go on & on with problems the company had but I wholly agree with tallgrass -- pick a system and stick with it as much as possible.    The metric system really is very simple however most mistake occur when converting and switching back & forth.   

Hmm. I don't know what kind of equipment you producing, but why you don't build it in metric only, and have imperial dimensions in the documentation only?  
Nobody will puzzled with 'mounting holes distance  29 13/64" ' As I understand you need precise measurement only when installing equipment on site. Modern electronic scales can show distances in any units such as millimeters, foots, fingers, name your own.  

If only life were that simple...  [smile]  The machines were extremely complex electro/mechanical/hydraulic systems.  The customer documentation would include manuals of repair parts, etc. but certainly no dimensioned drawings.  Customers typically stock a large inventory of all sorts of repair parts -- as an example (imperial) fasteners, pins, hoses, etc.  Obviously they wouldn't be happy to hear with the purchase of a metric machine (~$2M) they would also have to double the repair parts inventory to support both old and new machines that have a typical life cycle of 15 to 20 years.  
Some companies choose to go the route of "soft" metrification where ~99% of the product stays imperial but documentation, etc. is metric -- as an example a 1.000" diameter shaft is listed as 25.4mm.  Most European companies want no part of that nonsense.  

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #66 on: July 27, 2011, 09:55 PM »
Using a CNC machine, it doesn't matter what the dimensions are or what the units are. The incredibly vast majority of metal machining and production style (or big shop) woodworking is done on CNC machines. What matters in metal machining to achieve results within tolerance, is the process. The same is true when machining wood.

If you're designing something that you are going to make using non-CNC machining methods, as the previous posts pointed out, it only makes sense to make it work out to even numbers. There is no inherent advantage to having multiples of 3 or 4 in the equation.

We are taught from 1st grade to think in base ten systems. In my elementary education, I wasn't taught to use fractions until later. I'm good at it but it's more difficult than just using decimal based calc's.


Ron posted while I was writing this so I'll address his post here...

I completely agree with you, Ron. There is a huge legacy machine and spare parts issue. The only way to break the stranglehold of such things is to agree as a nation. We can't agree on anything even if it cripples us to not agree.


Tom


EDIT: I own a nice Pickett slide rule that I bought as a sophomore in High School. It is base ten and was my first "calculator". I used to be REALLY fast and would spend significant time fine tuning it for speed. All of the precision measuring instruments I've used are in decimal equivalents.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 10:20 PM by Tom Bellemare »
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Offline Joe Jensen

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #67 on: July 28, 2011, 02:22 AM »
I don't hate metric, I actually like it better.  I hate having mixed systems.  Sucks, some tools imperial, some metric. I have like 200 router bits, all imperial.  My Felder Slider has both, the shaper cutters are Italian and metric.  Most sheet goods are now actually metric and not imperial.  Lets just shoot the imperial system and get on with life.  Heck, most everything we buy in the US is now made in Asia, where the baseline is metric.

The worst example of cross systems was a Powermatic tool I bought new in 1990.  Complete crazy fasteners.  Most were metric threads with heads that were intended to be imperial, but they were basically the closest they could get in their metric world.  No wrench really fit.  Swapped them all for true metric heads and life was ok.  I think the Taiwanese factory was confused and Powermatic must have specified imperial bolts. That became imperial heads on metic bolts.

Offline andy5405

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #68 on: July 28, 2011, 03:01 PM »
I have always been amazed that the country that put a man on the moon over 40 years ago is still using imperial so much. It just doesn't make sense to a Brit. That said there are some things we will never change. We will always drink beer in pints, anything else would be unthinkable. We still think in miles as well but other than a few things it's a metric world here. Oh and it is obviously silly to drive on anything other than the left!

Offline RonWen

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #69 on: July 28, 2011, 03:38 PM »
I have always been amazed that the country that put a man on the moon over 40 years ago is still using imperial so much. It just doesn't make sense to a Brit. That said there are some things we will never change. We will always drink beer in pints, anything else would be unthinkable. We still think in miles as well but other than a few things it's a metric world here. Oh and it is obviously silly to drive on anything other than the left!

I've been to the UK several times and usually ask why the roads are driven on the left -- I've gotten about as may different answers as times asked.  It does seem to go back to the around 1300 A.D at the request of the Pope. 
I admire the efficiency of the clockwise roundabouts in England, a much better way to move busy traffic.  I suppose it would be possible for the U.S. to create counter-clockwise roundabouts instead of our silly 4-way stop intersections -- that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #70 on: July 28, 2011, 03:45 PM »
that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

You see - you got rid of us, but you obviously regret it and are desperate to hang on to some vestige of your British heritage....

That's why you still use imperial! [poke]
Festoolian since February 2006

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Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #71 on: July 28, 2011, 04:02 PM »
I have always been amazed that the country that put a man on the moon over 40 years ago is still using imperial so much. It just doesn't make sense to a Brit. That said there are some things we will never change. We will always drink beer in pints, anything else would be unthinkable. We still think in miles as well but other than a few things it's a metric world here. Oh and it is obviously silly to drive on anything other than the left!

I've been to the UK several times and usually ask why the roads are driven on the left -- I've gotten about as may different answers as times asked.  It does seem to go back to the around 1300 A.D at the request of the Pope. 
I admire the efficiency of the clockwise roundabouts in England, a much better way to move busy traffic.  I suppose it would be possible for the U.S. to create counter-clockwise roundabouts instead of our silly 4-way stop intersections -- that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

Funny, in New Jersey, all they've been doing is getting rid of "circles" or round-a-bouts and replacing them with large multi-lane intersections due to the traffic.

Offline Steve R

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #72 on: July 28, 2011, 04:05 PM »
that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

You see - you got rid of us, but you obviously regret it and are desperate to hang on to some vestige of your British heritage....

That's why you still use imperial! [poke]

JRB,

Actually we have messed it up even more.....   Go to a conversion site..... and you will see US gallons...and Imperial gallons....  [doh]  When living in Ireland for a year.... I found that out when a guy told me their gas would cost so much US$ a gallone and told him no.... that's imperical.... we have US gallons... and it got ugly from there... could have been the 8 Guinness he had.... [eek]

Cheers,
Steve
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Offline Alan m

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2011, 04:11 PM »
that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

You see - you got rid of us, but you obviously regret it and are desperate to hang on to some vestige of your British heritage....

That's why you still use imperial! [poke]

JRB,

Actually we have messed it up even more.....   Go to a conversion site..... and you will see US gallons...and Imperial gallons....  [doh]  When living in Ireland for a year.... I found that out when a guy told me their gas would cost so much US$ a gallone and told him no.... that's imperical.... we have US gallons... and it got ugly from there... could have been the 8 Guinness he had.... [eek]

Cheers,
Steve
whats all that about. make up yer mind/ if ye want one pick one and not make up an in between.
what is the reason for the difference
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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Offline Steve R

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2011, 04:19 PM »
I have always been amazed that the country that put a man on the moon over 40 years ago is still using imperial so much. It just doesn't make sense to a Brit. That said there are some things we will never change. We will always drink beer in pints, anything else would be unthinkable. We still think in miles as well but other than a few things it's a metric world here. Oh and it is obviously silly to drive on anything other than the left!

I've been to the UK several times and usually ask why the roads are driven on the left -- I've gotten about as may different answers as times asked.  It does seem to go back to the around 1300 A.D at the request of the Pope. 
I admire the efficiency of the clockwise roundabouts in England, a much better way to move busy traffic.  I suppose it would be possible for the U.S. to create counter-clockwise roundabouts instead of our silly 4-way stop intersections -- that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

Funny, in New Jersey, all they've been doing is getting rid of "circles" or round-a-bouts and replacing them with large multi-lane intersections due to the traffic.

It was Napoleon that changed things to having on coming traffic on the left.... Why.... because he was left handed!  Which meant he was more able to defend himself... under the normal have oncoming traffic  on your right he lost. He wanted it changed so he could draw his sword from your his right side and use his strong arm to fight off an attack. Righties lost....

We don't have to go into the whole English and French.... love/hate thing....

Cheers,
Steve
"A Festool is a tool, Marian; much better than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A Festool is still only as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” ~ Ode to Shane (the movie)

Offline Steve R

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #75 on: July 28, 2011, 04:33 PM »
that will probably happen in about the same century that we finally get rid of imperial units (thank you very much British Empire!).  [wink]

You see - you got rid of us, but you obviously regret it and are desperate to hang on to some vestige of your British heritage....

That's why you still use imperial! [poke]

JRB,

Actually we have messed it up even more.....   Go to a conversion site..... and you will see US gallons...and Imperial gallons....  [doh]  When living in Ireland for a year.... I found that out when a guy told me their gas would cost so much US$ a gallone and told him no.... that's imperical.... we have US gallons... and it got ugly from there... could have been the 8 Guinness he had.... [eek]

Cheers,
Steve
whats all that about. make up yer mind/ if ye want one pick one and not make up an in between.
what is the reason for the difference

Alen

go to http://www.csgnetwork.com/fuelvolumeconverter.html

and you will see one US Gallon is 0.8327 Imperial gallons or 3.785411784 Liters...

Why?.....  Sorry don't know......

Just like Churchill said two countries separated by a common language. 

Cheers,
Steve
"A Festool is a tool, Marian; much better than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A Festool is still only as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” ~ Ode to Shane (the movie)

Offline tallgrass

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #76 on: July 28, 2011, 10:17 PM »
got to the moon with standard....

so who here uses the mm as the smallest unit and if so how do you accurately measure and mark a smaller unit. in your shop,repeatably.

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2011, 02:16 AM »
got to the moon with standard....

so who here uses the mm as the smallest unit and if so how do you accurately measure and mark a smaller unit. in your shop,repeatably.

Most metric steel rules are marked in 1/2mm increments. Most tapes are just marked in 1mm increments, but it's easy to place your mark to a 1/2mm by simply placing your mark half-way between the 1mm marks. It's also quite easy to 'guesstimate' to 1/4mm, but who really needs that level of accuracy?

TBH, very little I do really needs to be more accurate than a mm. There's no real point trying to mark to 1/2 or 1/4mm when a tape measure might be that far out anyway.

Anything that really needs a high level of accuracy would be marked directly from one piece to another, rather than measured & marked (if you know what I mean).
Festoolian since February 2006

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Offline VictorL

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2011, 11:26 AM »

so who here uses the mm as the smallest unit and if so how do you accurately measure and mark a smaller unit. in your shop,repeatably.

Could you please give example? How do you mark with 1/64 and 1/128 accuracy in your shop?

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2011, 11:47 AM »
I can't think of a reason to do so. Can someone please describe a reason why one would need to define any aspect of a project in smaller increments than 1mm?

I'm not asking for shims, foil, or other such stuff either.


Thanks in advance,

Tom
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Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #80 on: July 29, 2011, 12:01 PM »
I can't think of a reason to do so. Can someone please describe a reason why one would need to define any aspect of a project in smaller increments than 1mm?

I'm not asking for shims, foil, or other such stuff either.


Thanks in advance,

Tom

Furniture for the space shuttle, like some Adirondack chairs for the pilot and co-pilot.

Offline VictorL

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #81 on: July 29, 2011, 12:27 PM »
I can't think of a reason to do so. Can someone please describe a reason why one would need to define any aspect of a project in smaller increments than 1mm?

I'm not asking for shims, foil, or other such stuff either.


Thanks in advance,

Tom

Furniture for the space shuttle, like some Adirondack chairs for the pilot and co-pilot.

got to the moon with standard....



Space shuttle program is closed. There is no more MANNED non-metric space vehicles.  ISS is only metric  now.

Offline Deansocial

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #82 on: July 29, 2011, 01:03 PM »

so who here uses the mm as the smallest unit and if so how do you accurately measure and mark a smaller unit. in your shop,repeatably.

Could you please give example? How do you mark with 1/64 and 1/128 accuracy in your shop?

it makes me laugh when people talk of how accurate they measure and mark on here, Really is laughable. Also festool talk of precision etc yet the guide bush on a of1400 clearly moves 1/2mm or so(no i havent measured i just guessed because i dont really give a rats) Really this is wood we are working with not metal

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #83 on: July 29, 2011, 02:19 PM »
I can't think of a reason to do so. Can someone please describe a reason why one would need to define any aspect of a project in smaller increments than 1mm?

I'm not asking for shims, foil, or other such stuff either.


Thanks in advance,

Tom

Furniture for the space shuttle, like some Adirondack chairs for the pilot and co-pilot.


Future Manned Space furniture will likely come from Rent-A-Center, as Victor suggested.


Tom
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Offline tallgrass

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #84 on: July 29, 2011, 06:12 PM »
yes you can easily get finer resolution scales if you like, or you can use caliper to get there.1/2 a mm???i like that should you not be using micro meters at that pint... [embarassed].....i mean it is a better system right????? you should not be defiling it with fractions....do you not get sick if you want a 1/3 of a mm?? [tongue]

Offline VictorL

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #85 on: July 29, 2011, 07:51 PM »
yes you can easily get finer resolution scales if you like, or you can use caliper to get there.1/2 a mm???i like that should you not be using micro meters at that pint... [embarassed].....i mean it is a better system right????? you should not be defiling it with fractions....do you not get sick if you want a 1/3 of a mm?? [tongue]

I can't get your question. We are talking about woodworking, correct?
What are you trying to build? Table, apron, cabinet, wardrobe? 1:200 scale ship?
Where do you need precision better than 1/32" (1mm is 1/25")

Regular caliper has scale up to 0.1mm, Better caliper has 0.05mm marks.

Metric system don't use fractions, only whole numbers

it would be 0.3 mm, if it still not enough, 0.33 mm, 0.333 mm and so on.  If I need divide 1 meter into 3 equal pieces I'll divide it 333mm 333mm and 334 mm  (assume that I have to drill holes). But If I have to cut it with Festool TS-55 saw I have to pay attention to kerf width. So it will be 1000 - 2*(2.2) or 995.6mm or 996mm divide by 3 I'll get three planks 332mm each. I did it without calculator.  Try to do the same for 40" board.

Please note:
Thickness of human hair Varies from 50 (0.05mm)  to 120  microns (0.12 mm). On average a human hair is usually around 100 microns or 0.1 mm






Offline Alex

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #86 on: July 29, 2011, 09:09 PM »
yes you can easily get finer resolution scales if you like, or you can use caliper to get there.1/2 a mm???i like that should you not be using micro meters at that pint... [embarassed].....i mean it is a better system right????? you should not be defiling it with fractions....do you not get sick if you want a 1/3 of a mm?? [tongue]

tallgrass, why is it either the one thing or the other? That's a pretty dumb way of thinking. Fractions are a normal part of our general maths capabilities and we can use them wherever we want and/or need. Stop acting silly. You'd think a mechanical engeneer is somewhat of an educated person but your objections to the metric system are the silliest of all.

Btw, ever heard of the shift key?

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #87 on: July 29, 2011, 09:23 PM »
I've had enough of this.  My fractional/metric/decimalized head is spinning.  From now on, on measuring everything in hexadecimal.  I need that board cut to E3BC please!  Chop Chop!

Offline tallgrass

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Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #88 on: July 29, 2011, 10:02 PM »
Quote from: tallgrass on Today at 05:12 PM
yes you can easily get finer resolution scales if you like, or you can use caliper to get there.1/2 a mm???i like that should you not be using micro meters at that pint... Embarassed.....i mean it is a better system right?Huh?? you should not be defiling it with fractions....do you not get sick if you want a 1/3 of a mm?? Tongue Out

tallgrass, why is it either the one thing or the other? That's a pretty dumb way of thinking. Fractions are a normal part of our general maths capabilities and we can use them wherever we want and/or need. Stop acting silly. You'd think a mechanical engeneer is somewhat of an educated person but your objections to the metric system are the silliest of all.

Btw, ever heard of the shift key?


nothing like the high minded thinking of the personal attack.

the whole point of the metric system is to get rid of fractions, of this i am sure you know.

as for the shift key, i am responding to these post on my phone "shift key is a pain" , i would think that a person who can't spell engineer would let the the lack of shift key slide. [embarassed]

If you think that i am arguing this seriously ,you are sadly mistaken. I assume you read my earlier posts in which i said i use both, my only real objection is the combination of the systems,using both is not a smart idea. I think i said pick one.

As for the educated crack, grad school at a place we call CAL TECH and am currently at a place called JPL. I hope you find the use of SHIFT key enjoyable and that it makes all the difference.

I find the ad homonym  stuff just sandbox B.S.

I would rather just talk about the topics and hear what people have to say.....i love the metric - standard debates that crop up every so often. I find them fun and lighthearted debates, unfortunately sometimes people get emotionally bent.

On occasion using both systems i find that i ask for advice on a problem that crops up and i am surprised by the answers. For example i do find the mm a little course. so i have asked how all of you guys handle it. The responses range from you do not need to measure anything finer than that to why would you ever need anything smaller than a mm. I find this confusing considering that i find that most people that are working in wood are actually dealing with much smaller tolerances  mm using their eyes and hands.



Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 742
Re: Folks Hate The Metric System
« Reply #89 on: July 29, 2011, 10:35 PM »
hexadecimal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes sir.

I would never stop laughing to see a ruler with a,b,c ect ...it would also make me scared....have you decided what the unit size will be ?:)