Author Topic: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools  (Read 1684 times)

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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« on: December 06, 2017, 12:47 AM »
I’m ready to buy the LR32 so I can begin making cabinets for my basement woodshop and eventually kitchen, dining, laundry room, etc.  As I was reading about 32mm cabinet construction, I thought perhaps it’s time for me to switch to metric!!!

I was fairly excited to take on this new challenge and learn something new until I started looking at all my tools. I’ve many WoodPecker squares and Incra precision rules which are all Imperial. I’ve the Incra TS-LS precision fence system for my SawStop (the rules can be changed but not sure if I could change the threaded rod which locks things into place in 1/32 incremements). I’ve a Incra router lift which is Imperial. I’ve the TS 55 and OF 1400 which are Imperial (I could get different scales but the tracksaw would have Imperial detents). My XL 700 is the only metric tool I have. I invested over 15k in equipment, am probably forgetting a few other items, and haven’t even used the tools yet.

All this to say, should I be looking to make the switch to metric even if it comes at a financial loss?  I’m basically all Imperial at this point, XL 700 has an Imperial conversion gauge, and uncertain whether in the long run I’d be better off taking a loss or figuring out how to incorporate the 32mm principles while using Imperial gauge equipment which would likely over complicate things and increase chance of error.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 01:01 AM by Bugsysiegals »

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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 12:51 AM »
I just looked and it’s $120 to convert the Incra fence. Ouch.

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7257
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 08:48 AM »
There's no reason you can't incorporate the LR32 into your imperial measurements.  Many people get caught up in the 32mm systems.  These systems are for production shops to minimize changing the setup of their line boring machines.  For the most part they aren't really applicable to the woodworker's one off projects. 

My advice, understand your Euro hardware of choice, and figure out how to incorporate it into your project rather than learning a system that doesn't really apply to your needs.  Good luck.   
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline mo siopa

  • Posts: 80
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 03:11 AM »
I just looked and it’s $120 to convert the Incra fence. Ouch.

I assume the $120 is for the main metal scale.  You can replace one of the two plastic scales and have both imperial and metric.  I have the imperial version of the incra fence as well but I have been doing more work in metric and even started designing in metric.  For me, it is much easier to work with the metric system and I even find it easier to read millimeters than 32nds on a rule- although that could have something to do with the fact that I hit the half century mark this year.

I think you would find it much easier to work with metric if you put a little effort into it.  All of your cabinet hardware is based on the metric system and 32mm is just the metric equivalent of 1 1/4" (within .05").  So when you are working in the 32mm system, you are basically just keeping sizes within 1 1/4" increments.  In the end, it is really just a number that works well for shelf spacing, etc.  When you are putting face frames on cabinets, it gets more complicated because you are making adaptations (ie:spacers for drawer slides) to use hardware designed for frameless cabinets.

I have both dominos.  The only issue I can see with these is that the height adjustment is designed to center on thickness.  I always choose an "outside" of each component to register from.  Domestic plywood in particular is not true to thickness and can even vary within a panel so you can't depend on being dead center anyway.  As for the track saws, I always "eyeball" my depth.  If I need to cut to an exact depth on the router, I do not depend on the scale anyway.  I set it, make a cut, check the depth, and adjust accordingly.





Can somebody tell me what kind of a world we live in where a man, dressed up as a bat, gets all of my press?

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 08:31 AM »
The $120 kit includes the metric lead screw, micro adjust knob, and metric threaded element for the clamping mechanism as well as the steel and lexan scales. If you merely switch scales it will not positively lock in at the exact point you’re looking for.

Thanks for the advice!

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1434
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 08:40 AM »
Quote
I could get different scales but the tracksaw would have Imperial detents

Nope, the detents are still spaced in metric. 

You can read about the whole metric to imperial debacle here on the FOG. Be warned, it's long and drawn out.  And probably a waste of time. 

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5308
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 08:58 AM »
Story sticks to make the parts.

Only pieces that need to fall 32mm are the parts that will be drilled using the LR 32. The side panel height is all this will apply to in most cases.

Matters not what the system of measurement is.

Tom

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 09:47 AM »
I ended up doing what you proposed earlier this year, including converting my TS-LS. A couple things that are used the most are these stainless steel cabinetmakers rules from Lee Valley, http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32568&cat=1,43513,43519 , and metric tape measures. (I got the blue Fastcap True 32, yellow Fastcap Imperial/metric, and ordered an 8M and a 5M Stanley FatMax metric tapes from the UK.) I’ve also picked up the metric Woodpeckers rules but would be fine with just having the Lee Valley ones. I have NOT, however, converted my Incra router table fence. I don’t use it as much since getting a spindle shaper, and have not found the lack of metric scales to much affect my workflow. I did, however, convert to metric positioners on my Incra miter sled and miter gauge. Those I use extensively. That conversion was relatively cheap, much more so than doing the TS-LS.  I did get off a little cheaper there as well, having only the 25” positioner to upgrade.

I’ve invested quite a bit in trying to go metric and am happy with the change so far. I still, however, use my imperial measures regularly as there is just way too much I deal with that still requires it.

Good luck with your endeavors.
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 03:26 PM »
I’ve the imperial OF 1400. Is there any difference besides scales?  What about all my imperial router bits?

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 03:55 PM »
Your router is essentially the same as the metric one other than the depth scale is marked in imperial increments. The only essential metric bit you need is the 5mm dowel drill for the LR-32.  A groove cut by an imperial bit will be that imperial width, but if you need a metric width, two passes with a narrower bit will get you there as well.

I’ve picked up a few metric bits, but none, other than the dowell drill, were essential purchases.

If you need to get to a precise metric depth, just use some metric setup blocks under the stop block, which is a way more accurate method than trying to use the depth scale on the side of the router.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 06:27 PM by thudchkr »
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 12:33 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the metric setup blocks, I’ll have to see if somebody sells such a kit.

As far as the TS 55REQ is concerned, Festool indicated it’s not a simple scale replacement as suggested above and costs $75 currently.  I wish I’d considered all of this before making all these purchases.  Perhaps I can sell it locally and then buy a new metric version, is it even available in the US?

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 128
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 01:02 PM »
I reality, the scale markings on a track saw are pretty pointless whether metric or imperial. Unless you are doing grooves or dados one blade width at a time, the scale doesn't matter. It's only an approximate scale anyway. Keep your TS55 and just use it. Doing through cuts in solid wood boards or ply becomes so routine that you'll know what setting is needed. I put tape on my TS75 (metric) and Makita track saw (metric) with equivalents for 1/2", 3/4" ply and thicker just for quick reference. Track saws are easily the one item where metric/imperial markings matter the least. And yes, regardless of which one you have, the detents are metric no matter what. The TS55REQ may be one of the few track saws which even takes in account the setting with the saw on the track because the markings are bogus with respect to track usage on a TS75, the Makitas, earlier TS55 models.

All I want on a track saw cut is the blade to extend about 2-3mm or 1/16-1/8" below the workpiece.

Thanks for the tip on the metric setup blocks, I’ll have to see if somebody sells such a kit.

As far as the TS 55REQ is concerned, Festool indicated it’s not a simple scale replacement as suggested above and costs $75 currently.  I wish I’d considered all of this before making all these purchases.  Perhaps I can sell it locally and then buy a new metric version, is it even available in the US?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 01:12 PM by bnaboatbuilder »
- John

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 07:14 PM »
Thanks for the advice!  Mine is the TS55 REQ USA. I wonder what they planned to change for $75 if detents are metric. As you said, it will always be doing through cuts so really just need to ensure it doesn’t cut to deep into the MFT. I’ll use the table saw or router for slots and I can dial those in with micrometer, etc.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 07:52 PM »
I have the Incra router lift which is in Imperial. The lift raises the router 1/16” (.0625) per crank rotation and in .002” (.051mm) increments. The metric version raises 2mm (.079) per rotation and in .05mm increments.

Is there anything which would need to be so precise that it would be worth converting the lift to metric for $70 or more?

INCRA Mast-R-Lift II Router Lift

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 08:47 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the metric setup blocks, I’ll have to see if somebody sells such a kit.

Here is the set I have from Lee Valley. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=72294&cat=1,43513,51657

As far as the TS 55REQ is concerned, Festool indicated it’s not a simple scale replacement as suggested above and costs $75 currently.  I wish I’d considered all of this before making all these purchases.  Perhaps I can sell it locally and then buy a new metric version, is it even available in the US?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 09:00 PM by thudchkr »
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 08:59 PM »
I have the Incra router lift which is in Imperial. The lift raises the router 1/16” (.0625) per crank rotation and in .002” (.051mm) increments. The metric version raises 2mm (.079) per rotation and in .05mm increments.

Is there anything which would need to be so precise that it would be worth converting the lift to metric for $70 or more?

INCRA Mast-R-Lift II Router Lift
My router lift has those same specs but I don’t worry about trying to set depths using the scales. And FWIW, if you try to use the .002 (.051mm) numbers for each increment, it seems to get off pretty quick. If I need an exact depth, I revert back to my setup blocks. The router lifts are great, however, for tiny adjustments to get it just right.

I find that it’s rare that I need a groove to be an exact depth, and even more rare when that depth is a metric value. As such, I doubt that I’ll ever worry about converting my lift to a metric lead screw.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 09:02 PM by thudchkr »
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 09:01 PM »
I’d be much more likely to convert my router fence than my router lift. There have been a lot more instances of needing a metric distance with it than I’ve ever encountered from adjusting the lift.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 09:07 PM by thudchkr »
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 09:56 PM »
Thanks Clint.

It seems like the only thing worth changing, if anything, would be the Incra fence and perhaps all my squares/rules if I did the fence. I have several WoodPecker squares and rules as well as the Incra master set rules below.

Is it worth keeping the Imperial stuff and adding metric equivalents or if I change the fence there’s no need for Imperial any longer?

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 367
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 11:55 PM »
Get a fastcap tape measure that reads both metric and imperial .
I has helped me.
Charlie


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 77
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2017, 08:05 AM »
Thanks Clint.

It seems like the only thing worth changing, if anything, would be the Incra fence and perhaps all my squares/rules if I did the fence. I have several WoodPecker squares and rules as well as the Incra master set rules below.

Is it worth keeping the Imperial stuff and adding metric equivalents or if I change the fence there’s no need for Imperial any longer?

I pretty much think you need to keep the Imperial items. Hopefully there wouldn’t be much need for them, but inevitably you are going to have a need at some point.

The items that I’ve found to be used the most are the Lee Valley SS rules, my metric Incra rules, (I have t-rules and flat rules both, the miter gauge rules, and naturally the TS-LS fence. I do use my Woodpecker squares and rules as well, but not as much as the other items listed earlier. I did get metric blades or metric equivalents, for my combination and double squares that I also use extensively.

If I had only the TS-LS, the metric tape measures, and my Incra rules I could get by.  The other items make everything much simpler though. IMO the primary function of a square is not its ability to measure and I regularly grab whichever square is the most handy, be it marked with metric or imperial.

Most individuals will have their go to items that they use the most. Once you have the metric version of that/those, you’ll be well on the way and your other tools will just augment your conversion.
Clint

TSC 55, TS 55, TS 75, HKC 55, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 25
Re: 32mm Cabinets w/Imperial Tools
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 10:52 AM »
Is it worth keeping the Imperial components for the Incra TS-LS or should I see if Incra will take some trade in (its brand new and hasn’t been used yet) towards additional purchase?