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Metric vs Imperial - Practical or Traditional?

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Sam Stones07/10/2010 22:48:47
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While `helping' with some paper hanging, my stepmother had her own standard.
 
A length of wallpaper, when measured from the ceiling to the skirting board was -
 
"Two rulers full, and half a screwdriver".
 
Sam
 
 
john swift 108/10/2010 00:20:14
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I Started of with imperial measurements and  thats how I visualise things
and given a free choice that what I use
 
but I use what ever measuring stick is appropriate
 
I've worked from drawings that started of with  imperial measurements
and had been updated by changing the stock dimensions to metric sizes !!!! 
 
a 1/4" x 1/2" x 3/4" component became 6 x 12 x 3/4"   with
a hole for a BA screw at one end and a metric screw at the other
well done G.E.C
 
I must admit I'm confused by timber sizes being smaller then the stated size
but then again road tax is not spent on the roads
 
of more concern is seeing  work experience students  not being able to make the transition from centimetres to millimetres
 
 
                  John

Edited By john swift 1 on 08/10/2010 00:42:48

chris stephens08/10/2010 02:09:18
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Hi John,
I think I can point you in the right direction about timber size anomalies Traditionally the size quoted is the "as sawn" size. The reason planed timber is smaller is because some timber is lost in the planing., this to an "engineer" is of course a ridiculous state of affairs. Ain't tradition wonderful?
chriStephens 
Wolfie24/10/2010 23:06:56
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I can work in both Imperial and foreign as should any engineer be able to. I prefer Imperial, but am just as happy with metric as long as its expressed in mm.
 
But thats only the length units. What the hell is a kilogram?? And why can I still buy 2 metres of 4 x 2? 
 
Oh well 576ml of lager please gaffer!
Andrew Johnston24/10/2010 23:12:22
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Wot? Lager! What's wrong with a good bitter. None of this foreign stuff thank you!
 
Andrew
Nicholas Farr24/10/2010 23:26:53
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Hi Andrew, a good bitter anyday.
 
Regards Nick.
john swift 125/10/2010 00:01:01
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welcome to the forum Wolfie
 
all I know is my 1 lb of sausages has to labled   " 454g    1 lb   e "
to keep the jobs worths happy
 
I have to agree with Andrew and Nick
 
its a pint of bitter for me
 
 
              John
Axel25/10/2010 05:24:57
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Funny how important our respective languages are to us. We feel lost when we cant use the expressions we "allways" used, but have a think, arent there remnants of old units of measurements (and other things too!) in todays language that are totally alien to us? At one time people must have thought the same way when they stoped using those units...
 
Have all the pints you want; but you are a fool if you keep using Imperial units today in the shop!
KWIL25/10/2010 09:04:23
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"you are a fool"  Why? We can call it whatever we want surely? The only thing that is alien are the outsiders who wish to impose their ways.  [Yes I can work in both and other systems as well as differing weights but that does not make me change my opinions]

Edited By KWIL on 25/10/2010 09:06:08

Andrew Johnston25/10/2010 09:52:38
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Well said KWIL! Mind you, in my experience, shop assistants don't understand either measurement system. How much pork pie do I want? Two inches, blank look; err, 50mm, blank look again. This much, indicating with finger and thumb. They then select half that distance, so you have to keep saying bit more, a bit more, until it's correct. Rather like Bernie, the bolt, for those who remember the Golden Shot.
 
And we can buy cheap beer in any measurement unit without having to go to Denmark.

Regards,

Andrew
Nicholas Farr25/10/2010 10:37:45
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Hi, hear, hear! Kwill and Andrew. One may not like a particular system, that doesn't make any other system or anyone who uses it a fool, espcially when a system has been and is still in successfull use for longer than any of us who are debating it. Why should anyone be a fool for using any system they feel is justyfied for themselves.
 
Regards Nick.
DMB25/10/2010 10:40:13
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Hi all,
 
A long time ago I purchased a Clarkson milling chuck in its box and 4 Imperial sized collets. My reasoning was that all the exbn. tool stands were flogging 2nd hand endmills and slotcutters in Imperial sizes in large quantities,probably because they were being got rid of by industry on the cheap to tool dealers. I thought that I could buy metric collets later, if and when needed/forced to. This has worked well, since I am still using above collets and cutters for most designs in the mags are still Imp. and it doesnt of course matter whether a 5/8D cutter is used purely for fast metal removal or if its 16mmD.
In the past I have cobbled-up Tee nuts and studs + odd washers to do whatever job was in hand. Now I plan to put all those bits on one side in a spares box for when/if I need extra clamping. At the present, I am making a proper set of studs, nuts and extensions, all in 8mm thread, so I can simply buy hex. nuts to fit tops of the studs.
Likewise with any thing else where I think about future needs when only metric nuts and bolts, screws will be easily available, I now choose metric threads.
The exception of course, is on my models where I will continue with whichever thread has been traditionally used.
John. 
chris stephens25/10/2010 11:16:59
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Hi Axel,
I know you are only trying to be provocative with your statement, but even so I think you are the fool for offering such blatant exaggerated rubbish. The one and only fault with Imp lengths is the use of fractional sizes and that only because micrometers don't come marked in fractions. 
On the subject of micrometers,  we all try to work to the finest graduation on our instruments, in most cases one thou on IMP and 0.01mm on a metric. It is much easier to work to units 2.5 times larger (IMP) and still be accurate enough for most of our needs. Now which is better?
chriStephens 
 
Gordon W25/10/2010 11:57:46
2011 forum posts
I do get fed up with this metric /imp. stuff, the bit you make is whatever size it is, do agree about centimetres tho'. When I was an apprentice one test was to bore a hole for a given ball race (about 2 " dia,) with only an outside and inside set of calipers, what size was that hole? Must say I surprised myself doing that one. Andrew please, where is this cheap beer?
John Coates25/10/2010 12:59:11
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An interesting thread
 
As a newbie who has never done any engineering beyond re-assembling motorbike engines and their tolerances, I have been having fun trying to establish in my mind the value of thou's.
 
I have just got to the point where I can visualise 40 thou being one millimetre and work things out from there with one thou being 0.025mm but thats too small for me to grasp as a concept
 
Having a metric mill and an imperial lathe means I am going to have to be able to interchange dimensions in my head.
 
The lathe will be enhanced by tooling with imperial threads to fit to the 5/8th holes in the cross slide. But I'm with John Coleman and am making up a set of new T-nuts to take standard M8 threaded bar as the 3/8th set I bought doesn't have the right lengths for my milling table or vertical slide
 
And as for beer I prefer ale
 
"Why are pirates? ................... because they aaaargh" 
 
Axel25/10/2010 15:09:26
126 forum posts
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First of all I want too apoligize, it was a word badly choosen, too early to be properly respectful I guess when I wrote it. I´m very sorry!
 
To be accurate is easiest with a metric micrometer. I was taught to use an Imperial when I got my training in the USA. I have used both in professional circumstances. Often one needs to "split the lines" on a mic and guess a little, putting the thimble (barrel that turns) between two lines. you get a finer increment on a metric, than on the Imperial one, and it´s alot easier to read a metric mic, there´s alot less mental work to it!
 
The world of mensuration is larger than our micrometers though. When we get to do calculations, its alot more practical to have 10 as the base rather than all of the Imperial units that come out as unmanageble decimal numbers from the fractional form.
 
There was an interim unit of measurement here in Sweden, that used 10" to 1`, this was just a segway to metrification. I have a nice folding steel rule with that unit on one scale, made in Sheffield!

Edited By Axel on 25/10/2010 15:10:49

Andrew Johnston25/10/2010 15:52:02
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Hi Axel,
 
No need to apologise, to me at least, it was taken in good humour on my part. I appreciate that the British sense of humour can be somewhat confusing!
 
Gordon,
 
I'm afraid the cheap beer is in relative terms rather than absolute. The first time I went to Sweden not only was the beer expensive, but the price went up after 9pm. So, at 8:50pm we ordered three beers each; the waiter wasn't impressed, but he did bring them.
 
Regards,
 
Andrew
KWIL25/10/2010 16:40:35
3477 forum posts
66 photos
My small metric mic can indicate 0.001mm that is a whole 4/100 of 1 thou. Good enough for me!

Edited By KWIL on 25/10/2010 16:40:59

Stub Mandrel25/10/2010 19:01:02
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Hmm, 1 uM, that's two wavelengths of red light. I hope you have a fine ense of touch when adjusting your mike Kwil!
 
Neil
Andrew Johnston25/10/2010 19:44:37
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Blimey, 1µm indeed. You'd only need a mouse to fart in the workshop and that'd warm things up enough to change the reading!
 
Regards,
 
Andrew

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