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#### DesertRatTom

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Every time I try to work with metric, I find myself stuck at some point. Well, having grown up with the imperial system, it always surprises me how difficult the Metric system seems to be to use her in the U.S.A. Now, I've stumbled upon and article that pinpoints why it is such a hassle to me, to use metric. Read on and comment if you will. (From Wikipedia)

One common complaint about the metric system is that it doesn't provide a natural way to divide things into thirds; even dividing things into quarters requires one to go down two levels, instead of just one, in the system of units, since 0.25 is the decimal that represents 1/4.

The metric system did not divide the day into 100,000 parts; instead, the hour, minute, and second were retained to allow the day to be divided neatly into quarters and thirds.

In response to an instance of the occasionally-heard suggestion that the metric system should have been built on base 12 instead of base 10, it occurred to me that the precedent of an everyday unit, the day, standing in such a relationship to the metric unit, the second, that the day can be exactly divided into 27 parts, each of which consists of an even number of seconds (3200 seconds, or 53 minutes and 20 seconds), one could, for example, use as everyday units a metric pound of 453.6 grams (instead of approximately 453.69 grams) and a metric inch of 2.52 centimeters (instead of 2.54 centimeters).

453.6 grams divides evenly into 81 units of 5.6 grams, and also into 7 units of 64.8 grams - and, for that matter, into 8 units of 56.7 grams. 2.52 centimeters divides evenly into 9 units of 0.28 centimeters, and also into 7 units of 0.36 centimeters - and, for that matter, into 4 units of 0.63 centimeters.

However, I can't really expect that this very wild idea of using this metric pound and metric inch as everyday units, and measuring things out in these pounds and inches, so that they can be evenly divided into thirds, ninths, and sevenths if one uses the regular metric scale, would catch on.

Back to me... There, now I understand why thinking Imperial clashes with measuring metric.

Water and oil. Matches and gasoline.

#### sunnybob

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That whole article is based on wrong info. check out the link below.

having spent the first 30 years of my life with imperial, and then another 30 in a country that had both (you could buy a half inch garden hose but it had to be 20 metres long, if you wanted a kilo bag of sugar you drove a mile to buy it, etc. etc.) and finally 8 years now in a solely metric country, I can tell you why you have trouble with metric.

Its not your first language. Just like being bi lingual, you can be fluent in languages, but you will always think in your first one.

I am comfortable now with metric, I dont even have an imperial measure any more, but if I need to describe something to someone, my brain will always come up with 2 foot long, never 60cm or 600mm. Those number require thought.

Why is a minute divided into 60 seconds, an hour into 60 minutes, yet there are only 24 hours in a day? - Scientific American

#### cocobolo1

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Why should we always have to think in 1/4's, 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths, 128ths, 256ths. 512ths etc. What's wrong with 10ths?

You and I have been raised imperially, not metrically. But the metric system is extremely easy once you use it for awhile.

What you have to do is to forget imperial when you are working with metric. It's really quite straight forward.

One day, the U.S will go the way of the rest of the world...metric.

Cherryville Chuck

#### Stick486

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plans call for Imperial use Imperial measuring devices...
do it the same way for metric and don't about conversions...

#### cocobolo1

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plans call for imperial use imperial measuring devices...
Do it the same way for metric and don't about conversions...
prezackly!

#### vindaloo

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Glad Stick said that. I use both and I was bought up mainly with metric. My dad used imperial, he was an apprentice engineer draughtsman in the late 50's, early 60's and use imperial then and in his woodworking. So I saw that side and then at school metric had just come in so I learned that. Now I use whatever is suitable for the situation.

I get the problem dividing 10 by 3 in engineering, but in carpentry is there really a problem? After all a third of a mm is a sneeze out.

#### Hutzul

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I trained as a mechanical engineer in the early 1970's, where at college we were told to forget imperial and we were taught in metric. However back at work as a toolmaker we worked in imperial, so like vindaloo ' Now I use whatever is suitable for the situation'.
I prefer to use metric, especially when the calculator is in play.

#### neville9999

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Every time I try to work with metric, I find myself stuck at some point. Well, having grown up with the imperial system, it always surprises me how difficult the Metric system seems to be to use her in the U.S.A. Now, I've stumbled upon and article that pinpoints why it is such a hassle to me, to use metric. Read on and comment if you will. (From Wikipedia)

One common complaint about the metric system is that it doesn't provide a natural way to divide things into thirds; even dividing things into quarters requires one to go down two levels, instead of just one, in the system of units, since 0.25 is the decimal that represents 1/4.

The metric system did not divide the day into 100,000 parts; instead, the hour, minute, and second were retained to allow the day to be divided neatly into quarters and thirds.

In response to an instance of the occasionally-heard suggestion that the metric system should have been built on base 12 instead of base 10, it occurred to me that the precedent of an everyday unit, the day, standing in such a relationship to the metric unit, the second, that the day can be exactly divided into 27 parts, each of which consists of an even number of seconds (3200 seconds, or 53 minutes and 20 seconds), one could, for example, use as everyday units a metric pound of 453.6 grams (instead of approximately 453.69 grams) and a metric inch of 2.52 centimeters (instead of 2.54 centimeters).

453.6 grams divides evenly into 81 units of 5.6 grams, and also into 7 units of 64.8 grams - and, for that matter, into 8 units of 56.7 grams. 2.52 centimeters divides evenly into 9 units of 0.28 centimeters, and also into 7 units of 0.36 centimeters - and, for that matter, into 4 units of 0.63 centimeters.

However, I can't really expect that this very wild idea of using this metric pound and metric inch as everyday units, and measuring things out in these pounds and inches, so that they can be evenly divided into thirds, ninths, and sevenths if one uses the regular metric scale, would catch on.

Back to me... There, now I understand why thinking Imperial clashes with measuring metric.

Water and oil. Matches and gasoline.
You are overly complicating it as Metric is as easy as it gets so just forget all that can't divide pounds with rubles. Oh and when you get a minute can you tell me what a 1/3 of 11/64ths is? N

#### OPG3

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Metric is base ten because men (and women) have 10 fingers - it is as simple as that.
I use both systems and quickly recognize the comparative stupidity of the imperial system.
An inch is 1/12th of a foot and neither one of those has anything whatsoever to do with a pound or an ounce.
And still neither of those has anything whatsoever to do with quarts or gallons. Imperial is a goofy system and after a long career in engineering, I can honestly say that one spends quite a bit of time making volumetric and weight calculations.

The basic metric unit of measure is the meter. 1/100 is a centimeter and 1/1000 of the meter is a millimeter.
Using water (the standard in chemistry & physics), one cubic centimeter weighs one gram. Just as simple as that proves the stupidity of imperial units of measure. Therefore, one liter of water, weighs one kilogram.

Now, try that with inches and feet vs. pounds or ounces vs. quarts and gallons and those of you who are metric naysayers have just proven that you have a deep lack of understanding of this inherent simplicity.

My products are sold globally and fortunately most of the planet uses metric. Rather than sit-around and gripe about it, I chose to embrace the system and see it for what it really is...SMART!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia

#### Gaffboat

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Although I do most everything with imperial measurements, I often resort to metric for my projects when I need precision that's easy to measure and to add and subtract.

#### Shop guy

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I follow along with Stick. I use both systems and have no problems as long as I don't try to mix them.

#### BOjr

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For almost 40 years I worked and produced metric working drawings for structures. We were always converting the metric to imperial and visa versa. Many of the products used in the structures were made in the USA and therefore the conversions had to be made to insure that they would fit. If you are not working in really large dimensions there are really only two things you have to remember:

1'- 0" = 30 cm

1" = 2.54 cm

#### DesertRatTom

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I have a metric / imperial tape measure and a couple of combination rules, so I can use metric if needed. You all make good points. I was not necessarily advocating for Imperial. I can picture and estimate a yard, but not a meter, an inch, but not automatically 2.5 cm. It is not my first language pretty much pegs it.

#### Stick486

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if the plans are done in Imperial engineer use engineer scales...

you need thirds (precisely) rotate your measuring device across the face/edge of the material till a unit of measure (whole number) that is easily dividable by 3 intersects the opposite edge..

ie...
Imperial...
0 and 3, 6, 9 or 12'' and so on and what ever fits best...
for narrow pieces - 0 and 1½'', 0 and ¾''... etc...
metric...
same thing...
engineer..
same thing..
mark your material at the desired interval...
ie.. 0-12 would be marked at the 4 and 8'' increments.. 0-3 will be at the 1 and 2'' intervals...
if you need those measures more than once save them w/ a set of dividers, a compass or a marking gauge and transfer them as needed...

so much over thinking isn't good for the brain..
stop w/ the conversions and keep the math KISS/MISS...
avoid errors...

NOTE:
if you use a tape measure w/ a hook and you rotate the tape ''down'' mark from the top of the tape...
if you rotate up use the bottom of the tape to mark from...
this also works for any segment count you want... even or odd numbered...

#### Stick486

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For almost 40 years I worked and produced metric working drawings for structures. We were always converting the metric to imperial and visa versa. Many of the products used in the structures were made in the USA and therefore the conversions had to be made to insure that they would fit. If you are not working in really large dimensions there are really only two things you have to remember:

1'- 0" = 30 cm

1" = 2.54 cm
isn't 1 foot 30.48CM???

#### DaninVan

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Touche'

isn't 1 foot 30.48CM???
And that, Folks, is why doing conversions is a beartrap.

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#### Cherryville Chuck

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A lot of the issues can be solved by using the right tool for the job. As has been said, "Don't try to convert and don't mix the two".

A millimeter is slightly less than 1/25th of an inch which is about all I can accurately see anymore. Half that is starting to get close to 64ths which I have to use a magnifying glass to read accurately. I like to use 0.5 mm mechanical pencils in my shop so that is a line 1/2 mm in width. If you estimate the difference between millimeters you'll be plenty close enough and still limited by the width of the pencil line and our ability to estimate where on that line we should be working to.

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#### Stick486

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Yes, it is and we usually call it 305 mm.
so after extended measures the collective will make things go askew...
and here, 1/500th of an inch, is major issue...
go figure...

cocobolo1

#### Garyk

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Google "Bobsrule". Saw an article on this eons ago where an engineer combined metric & imperial on a rule to eliminate confusion(or make it worse) and simplify things. Don't have one so I can't say one way or the other but it's interesting trivia. The basic idea is he divided an inch into 24 parts on the rule, so 1 "Bob" equals 1" divided into 24 segments (less than 1/16 -- more than 1/32).

Bobsrule & Other Tools :: Whitechapel Ltd.

Don't ask me where you can get plans measured in Bob's cause I don't know.

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