Author Topic: Metric measures  (Read 3859 times)

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Offline Drew Sanderson

  • Posts: 6
Metric measures
« on: April 03, 2019, 01:30 PM »
I do not have any metric measures and will be building the newest Ron Paulk workbench. His newest plans are only in metic. What specific metric measuring products would you suggest the not only cover this project, but will be nice to have I the future?

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Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Metric measures
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 01:51 PM »
Fastcap tape measures come in metric.  Also like the woodpecker rules in metric.
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Offline demographic

  • Posts: 440
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 04:46 PM »
Not an endorsement for any particular product, just a technique.
Ignore the existance of centimetres. Just use millimeters or metres for the building size stuff. Centimetres are for teachers and dressmakers and generally just confuse matters.

Offline jpmeunier

  • Posts: 74
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 05:05 PM »
Fastcap true 32 for tape, Incra/Woodpeckers for other stuff....Be careful


Online pixelated

  • Posts: 166
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 05:26 PM »
I like folding rules like these from Lee Valley, but I also have a metric tape and a metric Woodpeckers rule.
A calculator that does conversions comes in handy too.




Offline rst

  • Posts: 2153
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 05:27 PM »
I use Hultafers tapes that I buy on Ebay...

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 443
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 09:12 PM »
I've been buying various ones to try.

The Fastcap one from a mechanics standpoint is a bad tape measure, it sticks, the latch works poorly, etc. But it has one thing that makes it my go too. It's a mm Metric tape.  All the others I have bought are cm taps which makes them annoying as all heck. When you start working on something out beyond a meter, it's very easy to get yourself in the wrong place.  The fastcap has no cm markings, which makes it easy to use/read/etc.

I have others, a

Komelon 8m, mechanically nice, but is a cm unit.
Starrett 5m, the latch sucks, not the easiest to read, again a cm unit.

I have a hultafers tape that people mentioned here. I have it at work, it's very stabby, I've bleed on it a few times.  It's neat and has a function to measure diameters, still not great.

Really haven't found the end all.  But the fastcap definitively gets honors for being in mm and not cm.

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 491
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 09:27 PM »
Fastcap also has one he reads MM and imperial .
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Offline infer

  • Posts: 36
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 01:44 AM »
BMI VISO and BMI meter pocket tape are always in my pocket. Nothing compares.

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1168
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 07:20 AM »
Hultafors Talmeter is the best tape measure I have ever had, love the reverse locking of the tape (i.e. you press the lock to release and it holds the tape when not depressed). Also the marking tip is the best thing after sliced bread when you just need to quickly mark your measures on wood - just scratchmark with the tapemeasure's integrated scratch tip.

Other good household makes are Bahco-tools and ofc. the high-end Woopecker, Incra, etc. fancy expensive metric versions are obviously just as good as their imperial breathren.

As someone already mentioned above dimensioning and planning is always done in millimeters and never in centimetres unless you are talking on several meters worth where you don't need mm resolution. i.e. you would talk about 600mm doors (24") but you could use 450cm for say a wall lenght dimension in the floorplan.

I guess what it boils down to is to use the unit type your final dimension needs to accurate to all over.

I mean you don't want a +-1cm gap in a cupboard door so you would not define it's size as 60cm but rather you want a 1-2mm relief around the door so using 600mm +-1mm is acceptable.

In woodworking you NEVER need to go to ½mm resolution in anything so that's an metal engineering measuring equipment.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 12:01 PM »
I don't mean for anyone to take this the wrong way but as a born and raised metric person (The Netherlands) to hear the centimeter described as "confusing" (vs feet/inches/fractions) is a bit bizarre.

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 440
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2019, 12:29 PM »
I don't mean for anyone to take this the wrong way but as a born and raised metric person (The Netherlands) to hear the centimeter described as "confusing" (vs feet/inches/fractions) is a bit bizarre.

Raised metric here and for me cms just don't exist. They don't help and in engineering as well as building we dont use them. Metres and millimeters yes, cms? Naah.

4500 mms would also be 4.5 m. It's just how we do it over here.
The numbers work out so far different in scale that theres less possibility of confused sizes.
None of that 450 cms stuff and if anyone uses a decimal point in a measurement thats not come off a vernier caliper its a metres size.
Mms are small enough that I'm not playing with decimal points in general carpentry work

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2019, 02:34 PM »
I could never possibly confuse 15 cm with mm or meter for anything I'm doing because the order of magnitude is so different. At the same time, the calculation between them is so easy (add or remove a zero) that I don't get the fuss. It must be me. Feet and inches and fractions confuse the heck out of me, especially when adding or subtracting them.

By the way, I've never had or even seen any metric tape measure or ruler or combination square that didn't have centimeters on them as main distance markers. Hultafors, Incra, Starrett, all mentioned here, all centimeters. Fastcap is the only one I've heard of that's in millimeters.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 04:39 PM by Sanderxpander »

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1855
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2019, 04:18 PM »
Not an endorsement for any particular product, just a technique.
Ignore the existance of centimetres. Just use millimeters or metres for the building size stuff. Centimetres are for teachers and dressmakers and generally just confuse matters.

And OB/GYNs
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1168
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Re: Metric measures
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2019, 04:57 PM »
By the way, I've never had or even seen any metric tape measure or ruler or combination square that didn't have centimeters on them as main distance markers. Hultafors, Incra, Starrett, all mentioned here, all centimeters. Fastcap is the only one I've heard of that's in millimeters.

Well, yes - one would use cm's for measuring devices just because each cm = 10mm and makes the numbers legible on a narrow tape. Having a 6m measuring tape would make the text quite small to try to squeeze in 6000mm at the end  [tongue]
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 228
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2019, 04:58 PM »
Millimetres have always been a favoured system, mainly for accuracy. As somebody that grew up with imperial, then because of our EE ties, we all had to learn metric. I can work in imperial, and everything in metric, millimetres, centimetres, metres and kilometres etc, etc.

We only work in millimetres in my company, and so do most of my associates in the building trade, simply because it’s quick and easy, just as others have said.

To the OP, if you’re serious about switching to metric, I would just get used to buying everything in metric. After a while, you won’t want to revert.

Offline justaguy

  • Posts: 200
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2019, 06:11 PM »
Go to that really big auction site and search for PEC metric.

There is one seller, taylortoolworks, that has a significant assortment posted. Some are perfect, some are seconds. The seconds are cosmetic blemishes not accuracy related. I have several items that I use for my daily work. I've held them up side by side with my Starrett's and on the mm and 64th scale they match perfectly. The materials on the Starrett are much nicer. However a Starrett 30mm square is $100 and a PEC is $33.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2019, 06:18 PM »
By the way, I've never had or even seen any metric tape measure or ruler or combination square that didn't have centimeters on them as main distance markers. Hultafors, Incra, Starrett, all mentioned here, all centimeters. Fastcap is the only one I've heard of that's in millimeters.

Well, yes - one would use cm's for measuring devices just because each cm = 10mm and makes the numbers legible on a narrow tape. Having a 6m measuring tape would make the text quite small to try to squeeze in 6000mm at the end  [tongue]
And it's trivial to convert between the two which was my point.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 443
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2019, 11:36 PM »
I don't mean for anyone to take this the wrong way but as a born and raised metric person (The Netherlands) to hear the centimeter described as "confusing" (vs feet/inches/fractions) is a bit bizarre.

CMS has basically been replaced by MGS globally.  From personal experience and from other discussions here, it's understood areas around the Netherlands do use cm a fair bit, but globally it's not the norm.  Centimeters don't work well with the rest of the system as they are a kilo, mega, etc 3 place shift.  Just like how decimeters are not used. In the US centimeters are often brought up when go over metric with kids, and tend to be spoken by people who don't use metric. For those who do use metric a lot, they are almost never used.  Often they can't be used because the field or contract simply won't allow them. Also tools (software) is default mm.  Engineering drawings if in metric are mm-kg-s.  As others mentioned, usage of cm is in general a casual usage thing, not something people would generally use operationally.   Not really any different than how Yards are perfectly valid in the inch system, but you don't use them on drawings, design, etc. But in casual usage for how far away something is, sure.

Centimeters defeat one of the primary benefits of metric over inch.  With mm, almost everything you do is whole units, not decimals. Needing less than 1mm is un-common, yet 1mm works out nice as a base thickness.  Even in engineering work it's nice as most all dimensions are whole mm numbers. Not many things get over 1m, and when they do mm still work fine up thru 10m. 1mm is ~.040" which is a classic big tolerance, and 0.1mm is a good tighter tolerance limit  .004" (aka about 1 sheet of paper).  So designing stuff you are always in mm, and only introduce a decimal on things where you have to like hole tolerancing, surfaces, profiles, etc. It just works out really well. We don't say 1cm bolt, or 1.8cm bolt or 0.6cm bolt, we say 6, 10, 18mm bolts, it's just so much cleaner/easier.  0.5mm pencil comes across much better than .05cm pencil. Centimeters mean you loose that and now have a decimal place all the time, now your back to the same headaches as inches.

Using cm and mm together gets real confusing. This is where the tape measures cause problem.  You got a number in your head say 1106mm,  you go to your cm tape and go past 100 (the 1 meter mark) to 106, make mark.  Now you just messed up, you are off by 46mm.  You ended up making your mark at 1060mm, not the 1106 mark you intended.  You have just killed the beauty of metric.

Since stuff when listed with it's proper metric designations are listed in mm,  introducing cm to the mix is a headache and its the very thing that causes people not to want to work in metric.  Almost universally those I find who hate metric or find it dumb speak of cm when pointing out the issues/flaws and to some degree they have a point.  Where those who do work in mm, almost never use/speak of  cm.  Tape measures are this strange thing where ones that are metric tend to be cm, which is just annoying since nothing else metric is listed in cm. Thankfully Festool doesn't recognize cm and sticks to mm (except when they ditch metric all together).

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5883
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2019, 01:45 AM »
Using cm and mm together gets real confusing.

It's not.

Online Bob D.

  • Posts: 931
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2019, 06:06 AM »
Coincidentally Matthias Wandel showed a Metric/Imperial rule he created
just the other day in a YT video. Have a look.

-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2019, 06:25 AM »
It's obvious I'm not going to convince anyone and I don't even really have to, I'm fine using mm for dimensions and do so most of the time. But to say the conversion between mm and cm, which literally means shifting the decimal point one place right or left, "destroys" the advantage over the imperial system with twelve inch feet and lots of different fractions sounds really strange to me. Cm/mm is just a non-issue.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 07:24 AM by Sanderxpander »

Online Bob D.

  • Posts: 931
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2019, 06:52 AM »
Agree, I'm in my 60s and back in grade school we were being taught the metric system because "it's right around the corner" and "the US will be on the Metric System by the time you graduate High School". Yeah, that never happened.

Anyway, I wish we (the USA) had 'converted' years ago. Maybe then I would not have 40 years worth of tooling in my home shop designed around the Imperial measurement system. Yes fractions seem daunting if you have not used them much but it's not too bad. It's not much different than learning a language I think.

Also, at work I'm stuck with drawings from the 60s, 70s, and 80s when the place was designed and built. Those will never be converted (too expensive, over 500,000 hand-drawn drawings, not CAD, so not easy to scan and convert to DXF or DWG) to metric so kinda stuck with Imperial there.

You can't work on your car or pickup with a set of metric tools for the last 20 years I'd say. Maybe in another century we'll catch up with the rest of the world. Hang in there, it will be here before you know it. :-)
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5883
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2019, 08:07 AM »
Centimeters defeat one of the primary benefits of metric over inch.  With mm, almost everything you do is whole units, not decimals. Needing less than 1mm is un-common, yet 1mm works out nice as a base thickness.  Even in engineering work it's nice as most all dimensions are whole mm numbers. Not many things get over 1m, and when they do mm still work fine up thru 10m. 1mm is ~.040" which is a classic big tolerance, and 0.1mm is a good tighter tolerance limit  .004" (aka about 1 sheet of paper).

Just re-read this, odd understanding of engineering you have, I must say.

I did the first year of engineering school, didn't finish my whole study because I got side tracked, but what we learned is that you have different tolerances for different applications.

And for working with metal, the standard tolerance is measured in thousands of a millimeter, 0,001 mm or micrometer. Engineers don't mind decimals, there is nothing wrong with decimals. They are very used to decimals.

Working with decimals is not the same as working with fractions. Want to add 0,123 + 0,456 ? That's simply 0,579.

But want to add 3/8 + 5/6? You'll have to convert to 1/24th! Very complicated to work with and you e.

"Not many things get over 1m, and when they do mm still work fine up thru 10m" - You know bridges and skyscrapers are also made by engineers, right? Trucks, tables, even a fridge is easily over 1 meter.  Engineers don't mind, they simply convert.

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Metric measures
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2019, 11:57 AM »
Use a 5M folding ruler and enjoy the day.

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295556-1

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2019, 12:39 PM »
It's in cm, that's too complicated, apparently.

On a more serious note, I would love to hear about high quality measuring devices that use millimeters exclusively. I'd probably try one out. My Starrett combo square, my incra ruler, my Bosch laser meter and my Stanley tapes and folding rulers all use centimeters.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 443
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2019, 01:00 PM »
Centimeters defeat one of the primary benefits of metric over inch.  With mm, almost everything you do is whole units, not decimals. Needing less than 1mm is un-common, yet 1mm works out nice as a base thickness.  Even in engineering work it's nice as most all dimensions are whole mm numbers. Not many things get over 1m, and when they do mm still work fine up thru 10m. 1mm is ~.040" which is a classic big tolerance, and 0.1mm is a good tighter tolerance limit  .004" (aka about 1 sheet of paper).

Just re-read this, odd understanding of engineering you have, I must say.

I did the first year of engineering school, didn't finish my whole study because I got side tracked, but what we learned is that you have different tolerances for different applications.

And for working with metal, the standard tolerance is measured in thousands of a millimeter, 0,001 mm or micrometer. Engineers don't mind decimals, there is nothing wrong with decimals. They are very used to decimals.

Working with decimals is not the same as working with fractions. Want to add 0,123 + 0,456 ? That's simply 0,579.

But want to add 3/8 + 5/6? You'll have to convert to 1/24th! Very complicated to work with and you e.

"Not many things get over 1m, and when they do mm still work fine up thru 10m" - You know bridges and skyscrapers are also made by engineers, right? Trucks, tables, even a fridge is easily over 1 meter.  Engineers don't mind, they simply convert.

I'm not sure where you are going with this.  This isn't about fractions v decimal.  We don't use fractions, but sadly when working with inch stuff, even though you work with decimals, the values used are generally decimal fractions  (.125, .375, .750) The point I'm making along with others is that metric gives you a great system to work with, and jamming cm in there along with mm at the same time is just asking for mistakes, see my example above.  I know from previous discussions you use cm, that doesn't change the matter that globally when working in metric cm are not generally used.  The cm-kg-s system is obsoleted for m-kg-s and or mm-kg-s.

On tolerances, I'm not sure where you were taking issues.  Some of this may be a difference in how metric prints and inch based prints are generally toleranced.   Inch prints typically have a sheet tolerance block.  Tolerance in inch based world is based on places after the decimal.  So in the lower corner of a drawing there will be a block that looks something like this  :  .X  +-.1 , .XX +-.05  .XXX +-.025 .  (the actual values are up to the company to decided, and is generally based on what they build).   In the field of a drawing,  if  there is a dimension that is 12.5"  then it has a tolerance of +-.1  if it says 12.50" then it has a tolerance of +-.05".    if  .125  then +- .025".   The number of decimal places dictates the tolerance.  If you want to be different from the default, then you call it out in the field.   12.500 +- .004, this trumps the block.    You can do the same with metric, and update the values of things.  Of course in metric trailing zeros don't matter.    12.500 is the same as 12.5   also there are now leading zeros   0.5, not .5".  Metric drawings generally use range tolerances.  Something like  0-10mm +- something.  10-100mm +- something.  I'm not sure if that plays into your comment on tolerances. Handling of leading and trailing zeros in metric vs inch systems is completely different. With inch based stuff you almost always have decimals places in play because an inch is a big unit of size.  If you were to work in cm, you will still have the same annoyance as working in inches. But by working in mm, especially for doing something like house construction, you are never going to go into decimal places. Everything will be whole numbers, life is great.

With modern machining we can expect to hold sub .004"  (.1mm) all day.  So this is where working in mm is very nice.  Just call out dimensions in mm, and have sheet tolerance for no place to be something like +-1mm (.039", nice loose easy tolerance), and when you need tighter, you have .X tolerance as +-.1mm.  So it's a very convenient setup.   Of course GD&T changes it all, stuff is now basic, but that works great with mm too, again all whole numbers and you only see decimals in the Gtol block.

It comes down to things being the right scale, and that's why mm are so nice.   Far as when you shift to m from mm,  no idea what various industries do.  I know we stick to mm all around, and stuff we build gets rather large.  I've worked on stuff near 10m long, everything was still mm.  As needed a jump to meter from mm is easy enough. Certainly no need to jump to meter on a house, only extremes of the house get very big.

But there is no reason to use cm, we don't talk in cm, we don't design in cm, standards/specs for things aren't in cm.  So it comes down to why inject something in there for no reason.  Stuff is generally listed/talked about in  mm and m.   Long distances we will make the jump to km, and for things like surface finish um,  why toss cm in there?  If someone is making cabinets, it's 32mm cabinetry, the material is in mm thickness, the hardware/slides are in mm, Festool marks their tools in mm (parallel guides as a good example, and the tracks are designated in mm too), everything being done is in mm, so why would someone want to use a cm tape measure and risk the mistakes like I showed above?

switch to mass for a moment,  we work in grams and kilograms.   Sure kg may be a bit big of a unit for  some things, and gram may be a bit to small for things, but we stick to gram and kg,  we don't don't randomly decide to use centigrams.  If you bought a scale and it read out in centigrams, sure it works and yes you can convert easy enough. But will a person make mistakes, you bet and often.



Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 310
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2019, 04:48 PM »
When I take a measurement of, say 62.6 cm on my tape measure, I write down 626. There's no chance I could ever think I might have meant 626 cm, same as you don't mistake 6 inches for 6 feet. When I have to use a tape measure again to transfer the measurement, I add in one decimal point and it's 62.6 again.

The simple fact is that millimeter based measuring devices are not common and often not practical for the kinds of distances we need (in the sense that the numbers won't fit in a sensible way). But you can easily read a cm based tape measure as a millimeter based one that just has numbers every tenth millimeter and a larger mark every fifth.

Offline DashZero

  • Posts: 86
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2019, 05:01 PM »
METRIC is easy just like the money here in USA.

10 penny = 1 dime
10 dime = 1 dollar
100 dollar bill = 1 100 dollar bill

I never could see where the confusion is here.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 443
Re: Metric measures
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2019, 05:17 PM »
When I take a measurement of, say 62.6 cm on my tape measure, I write down 626. There's no chance I could ever think I might have meant 626 cm, same as you don't mistake 6 inches for 6 feet. When I have to use a tape measure again to transfer the measurement, I add in one decimal point and it's 62.6 again.

The simple fact is that millimeter based measuring devices are not common and often not practical for the kinds of distances we need (in the sense that the numbers won't fit in a sensible way). But you can easily read a cm based tape measure as a millimeter based one that just has numbers every tenth millimeter and a larger mark every fifth.

Life would just be easier to have a truly mm tape measure, then you wouldn't be going back and forth.   But look at my example I gave above.  It's not that one is going to think one or the other. It's about when you go to mark things and get screwed up in the way I described above, it's very easy to do. It's just an oddity that tape measures show in cm (generally), yet nothing else does.  Machines with readouts are inches/mm , same for calipers and a lot of other measurement tools.  Drawings are in mm, etc.  Why does one thing in the whole system report in cm.  I'm sure a lot of it is people who make the tapes just go with it because all the other tapes before did it.  I like rule 2 printed right on the tape of the fastcap tape "remove the opportunity for mistake from the process".