6038 forum posts
I recall the 8ft (2400) length of wood was a standard supplied by the Scandinavians and called a 'deal' and as such sold throughout Europe starting hundreds of years ago. Hence houses everywhere tend to be built using submultiples of it, regardless of units used. 16in stud spacing has never been a 'round' figure that a mathematician might choose, let alone the 14+ a smidge for the noggin. It is only recently that site carpenters apart from the foreman could afford a rule anyway. As for plasterboard not fitting, that's probably 'cos some dumb ass graduate engineer who had never been near a building site wanted to make it a nice 'round' figure.
|Peter G. Shaw||17/09/2021 20:16:18|
1311 forum posts
I'm 78, so older than Mick above, and I much prefer metric. Indeed, I find metric linear measurements much more understandable than imperial. Capacity measurements & weights are someway behing linear measurements, but slowly I'm getting there, and I don't want to go back. Indeed, the whole concept of imperial I find to be a recipe for disaster. Think pennies, shillings, pounds, what a rotten system requiring an in depth knowledge of the 12 times tables and the 20 times table. 100p to the pound is so much easier. Similarly, ounces/pounds/stones/hundredweights/ton's etc. requiring a knowledge of 16's, 14's, etc.
So, as far as I am concerned, although brought up as an imperial child, and am to an extent struggling with the visualization of the various metric quantities, I am slowly becoming au fait with it, indeed in some instances I already do think metric in preference to imperial.
It will be a bad day if we have to revert to imperial.
Peter G. Shaw
|Brian G||17/09/2021 20:46:26|
|782 forum posts|
I bet shopkeepers would love the idea of selling a 2lb bag of sugar for the same price as a kilo.
|Bill Dawes||17/09/2021 21:43:29|
|472 forum posts|
I'm 79, 80 in a couple of months, doing model engineering has made me think back to my apprentice days on the shop floor and drawing office and realise now how ridiculous trying to use dimensions such as 37/64" was. Nostalgia apart, metric is far more logical.
I do however after so many years have the ability to be able to quickly convert in my head approximations of imperial to metric and vice versa. The industrial fan industry I (still) work in deals with markets all over the world and mechanical, chemical, electrical engineers etc. all with favourite units such as cubic feet per minute, m3/hr, inches water gauge, pascal, millibar ad infinitum. There are times however when the metric system falls down, I can readily convert all these but I have always said the bloke that invented inches water gauge new what he was doing, you can see a column of water, how do you visualize a pascal? Easy, convert it to inches water gauge!!
|Mick B1||17/09/2021 22:13:34|
|2018 forum posts|
Edited By Mick B1 on 17/09/2021 22:16:06
|Peter Greene||17/09/2021 22:16:18|
|287 forum posts|
'Imperial' is not ipso-facto fractions. I have never in my whole (Imperial) Engineering life used fractions, or seen them used seriously on drawings or elsewhere. 37/64 would be 0.578 ±whatever
2242 forum posts
1 cwt of cement coming back then wasn't that 112lbs.
Anyway don't care. Here in Fuertoventura. You can ask for a half litre or a pint. It gets the result either way.
Slightly brown & wobbly.
|Colin Whittaker||18/09/2021 04:54:04|
|124 forum posts|
12 inches to a foot
3 ft to a yard
22 yds to a chain (and also a cricket pitch)
10 sq chains to an acre
10 chains to a furlong
10 acres to a square furlong
8 furlongs to the mile
1 inch to the mile is 1:63,360
16 oz to a pound
14 pounds to a stone
8 stones to a 100 weight
20 cwt to a ton
not to mention short tons and rods, poles and perches
16 fl oz to a US pint and 20 fl oz to an imperial pint.
2 US pints to a US quart, 2 Imperial pints to an Imperial quart.
4 US quarts to a US gallon, 4 Imperial quarts to an Imperial gallon.
42 US gallons to a barrel
and my favourite ...
1 British Thermal Unit = energy needed to raise 1 US pint of water by 1 degF
Are the people who want a return to imperial measurements smart enough to use them?
P.S. There must be a typo above. Please excuse it.
Edited By Colin Whittaker on 18/09/2021 04:55:18
|229 forum posts|
You were lucky, in the DO where I worked in the 60s all the drawings used fractions such as 37/64" with the occasional decimal one where a tighter tolerance was required, it was only when working for another company in 1971 when the UK changed to decimal currency that the company changed from inch fractions to drawing in millimetres, and both these companies were large Multinationals.
Edited By Sandgrounder on 18/09/2021 06:09:35
Edited By Sandgrounder on 18/09/2021 06:12:49
Edited By Sandgrounder on 18/09/2021 06:14:03
|Nicholas Farr||18/09/2021 08:58:13|
2986 forum posts
Hi Peter, below is a scan of part of a commercial drawing showing one of the views of a general arrangement of a machine that I've actually done maintenance on.
And this is the drawing info showing all the tolerances in fractions.
This is just one of the many drawings that I've seen during my working life that have used imperial measurements using fractions and it was common even for awhile after the general use of the metric system although many were using decimals instead of fractions also.
|Anthony Knights||18/09/2021 09:09:47|
|562 forum posts|
My current project is an model American civil war cannon. The drawings came off the internet and are in imperial fractions - an absolute nightmare. I am in the process of converting all the dimensions to millimetres, just to make life easier.
|Nicholas Wheeler 1||18/09/2021 09:18:29|
|739 forum posts|
Anyone who has ever had to explain imperial measurements to someone who has only used metric will know that once you get to the 12 inches to a foot/3 feet to a yard/20 fl oz in a pint/8 pints to a gallon/16 oz to a pound/ 14 pounds to a stone list they'll tell you you're mental. And if you're deluded enough to consider it a system, let alone one that's somehow better, then they'd be right.
|Chris Evans 6||18/09/2021 09:23:37|
1959 forum posts
When the metric system was introduced to engineering the first thing we would do is sit and convert the drawing sizes to imperial. Not because we could not think in metric terms but to suit the imperial measuring equipment we had. I am 73 and to this day prefer to use an imperial depth micrometer to a metric one whereas other metric measurement equipment does not bother me and all my machines are metric.
|not done it yet||18/09/2021 09:30:08|
|6322 forum posts|
Colin and Nicholas are completely “on the button”.
ALL measurements can be expressed as metric or imperial - it’s just that the sensible units are all metric and virtually everything we buy now is in standard metric units.
Looking at the number of ‘beer guts’ in our population, it mught be a good idea to change from pints to half ltres! Not that it would change the habits of some drinkers.
|Nicholas Wheeler 1||18/09/2021 10:21:10|
|739 forum posts|
Let's not fall into the 'blah blah unit' makes sense trap. Once you have a strong definition and a way of measuring it repeatably, the actual number is unimportant. What makes metric a workable system is that the real world units of length, volume and weight are directly related. That means that all the units derived from them are also related, and thus calculations are straightforward. Then all the multiples have the same quantity and prefix so Colin's list is unnecessary. Finally, they're base 10 and decimal to be consistent with our number system.
|Alan Jackson||18/09/2021 10:33:11|
232 forum posts
Just ask most people what is their height and weight to see how thoroughly they have adapted to the metric system.
I bet a pound to a penny they mostly reply in imperial. That's my two cents.
|John Haine||18/09/2021 10:42:39|
|4170 forum posts|
In the UK and US, right perhaps. But in the UK, not my grandchildren and many others. Anyway as I read the short newsd item it was only allowing the use of imperial weights, not dictating them. Traders in our local market have been using imperial anyway.
|noel shelley||18/09/2021 10:48:05|
|758 forum posts|
Spot on Alan, recently went to hospital - was asked height and weight, gave both as imperial, not sure what the nurse wrote down ? Noel.
|vic newey||18/09/2021 10:58:28|
102 forum posts
They are not returning us to the imperial system though, it just means you will be free to use it if you are a trader. Just remember that market traders were being taken to court and fined for selling fruit by the pound and then forced to buy metric scales in order to obey Brussels.
|Mike Poole||18/09/2021 11:05:17|
3071 forum posts
A jar of Robertson’s Golden shred Marmalade is labelled as 454g, pretty close to 1lb in my book.
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