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it's
===========================I think you have a very jaundiced view of the good old Imperial system. It worked extremely well for all practical purposes and it's still fully available for anybody who cares to use it. Look back on the history of engineering, civil engineering, architecture etc. and you have a living testimony to its value. Every cathedral, almost every public building and the vast majority of houses were built using Imperial measurements and they compare very favourably with anything modern.
Cic.
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Probably.
Except that it's not. If you go outside the UK into the rest of Europe you won't find it. The only other place where there is significant use is the U.S.
In the UK, by continuing to attempt to espouse two systems of measurement, we effectively end up with the worst scenario -
- compromises on measuring equipment by having two scales.
- most tooling sold in metric
- hand tools sold in different sizes reducing volume of each and increasing prices.

I don't think that their greatness had anything to do with the system of measurement used.
It's responsible for very silly legacies like standard railway gauges which aren't even in round figures in imperial measure.
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available
houses
=======================Imperial certainly is available to anybody. Every single measuring implement I own - tapes, rulers, squares - has both scales marked equally prominently. I have at least 6 levels (bought in recent years) and all are measured to a standard multiple of 2', 3' and 6'. None of them is a metric length. Even a recently bought vernier gauge is marked in both Imperial and Metric.
Railway gauges are a different matter again but given their history they wouldn't have been measured in a 'round' metric figure either.
Imperial is very much alive and kicking, and likely to be around for a long time to come.
Cic.
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This is true if you are shopping in the UK. The problem is that most of these products is made only for the UK market. You can find some dual marked products in the U.S. but the majority are imperial only.
Then we complain because we are paying a price premium....

Unfortunately you are probably right. I would have hoped that come the millenium we could have dumped it, but I guess that it might take another generation or so to finally die.
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I
==========================It could be a very long generation because some of the old 'die-hards' continue to pass on their knowledge. The US connection will always have some influence and will probably help to maintain a virtual dual standard indefinitely.
Cic.
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said:

I have to mostly agree with Andy, but the imperial system did work very well with bigger units than fractions of an inch. There are many more factors of 12 and 36 than there are of 10, so there were many shortcuts you could take, like 12 x 3", 8 x 4", 6 x 6" or 4 x 9" all equal 1 yard. To find out how many 9" bricks in a wall 12 yards long you just multiply 12 by 4 and times by the number of courses. It beats dividing 10,973 by 225.
When measuring buildings, especially old ones, I still use imperial measurement sometimes. I can read the printed inches on a tape or 6ft rod much more easily than cm, generally it's much quicker and less error-prone to write down imperial measurements (I use the same convention as the old shillings and pence i.e. 4/11 rather than 4' 11") and more often than not the materials used in old buildings relate to inches much better than mm. Many materials still retain the old imperial sizes even though they're designated in mm, for instance doors, manhole covers, slates and roof tiles. I always use metric on newer buildings, and when I'm levelling or taking readings with the electronic Disto.
Back at the office, if I'm drawing by hand I use a conversion scale rule for the imperial measurements and a normal metric one for the metric measurements. Or in AutoCAD it's dead simple to change from one system to the other because you draw everything at full size. Entering dimensions in feet and inches in CAD is a killer - I sympathise with anyone using CAD in USA or Canada.
We also used a system in the old days called duodecimals, where the basic unit was the foot, and inches were expressed as decimals. 4' 11" would be expressed as 4.9166' feet. With practice you got to remember the decimal values of fractions too. It's still useful today if you want to work in imperial with a calculator.
Peter
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Pondering about this, you'd think, wouldn't you, that the Americans could have come up with a better system for typing fractions on their computers? The only fractions in the standard character map are and . How do they enter something like 2 inches and 19/64ths?
I seem to remember there was a way of doing it in WordPerfect for DOS, but there's nothing in the MS Office suite as far as I can see.
Peter
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Peter Taylor wrote:

Those would be the fractions that are present as glyphs in standard fonts.

IIRC WP could make fractions-on-demand (using Compose?)

Only way I can see is to make a fraction using the Insert>Field>Equation function, eg 2\F(19,64), then toggle the field codes on, select the \F(19,64) part and take the font size down to between half and two-thirds the normal text size.
Or use TeX, I'm sure it handles fractions beautifully.
Owain
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Peter Taylor wrote:

On some of the HP RPN calculators (well at least on the HP 32SII I've got in front of me) you'd just enter "2.19..64". Very simple and effective fraction entry, immediately converted to decimal when you hit enter, or a function or constant key.
--
Andy

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<snipped because it became unwieldly>
. It

==========================I believe that there are in effect two parallel Imperial systems. Woodworkers and similar trades are happy enough to work to a relatively coarse tolerance of 1/16th" and use appropriate measuring implements. Engineers use the same Imperial scale but often work to much finer tolerances and use measuring instruments and tools appropriate to their refined needs. I doubt if many people measure their timber with a micrometer and a toolmaker wouldn't be satisfied with a joiner's boxwood rule.
Imperial is versatile even if it is heading for extinction.
Cic.
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wrote:

Surely it's a matter of choice, Andy ... !
--
Frank Erskine

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On 2006-09-24 20:05:44 +0100, Frank Erskine

Well I suppose, but factors of 10 make more sense to me.....
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dcbwhaley wrote:

And IIRC my handy Electrician's Year Book (1947) has decimals of inch, foot, and yard, in ready-reckoner tables.
Owain
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Indeed but you will never convince a ( ! ) who claims to have an engineering degree of this.
-
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As I pointed out, one has to look at the *whole* picture including the conversions of eighths and 64ths to decimal before said addition.
On the other point, I have an engineering degree. Fact, and not a claim. Yourself?
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That conversion is avoided by using a rule marked in tenths/hundredths of an inch and a vernier or micrometer marked in thou. In fact I can't remember ever seeing an imperial micrometer marked in binary fractions

Honours Electronic Engineering - Machester - Class of '69
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dcbwhaley wrote:

Sure it's not Class of '09, looking at your email address?! :-)
David
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Of course. However, the starting point was 8ths and 64ths as measured by the typical DIY tape....
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>

So what are you using to measure your 0.2mm wood cutting accuracy, an Imperial equivalent would be decimal so just as easy to use.

Nope, but then I don't have a problem calculating fractions. I also quite like Imperial measurements and thread forms as there is always one to match the job, be it Rods Fathoms, or a BSC thread. Metrication is just like the French, boring.
-
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For thicknessing, a calibrated digital caliper.
Why would I want to mix units? My woodworking machinery and tooling is metric, so there is no value in adding anither system of measurment.

Neither do I. It's simply an unnecessary extra step which adds a risk of errors being made.

These seem to be emotional rather than logical thoughts.
Nothing wrong with that, but they should be understood for what they are
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