What metric really is, is a transfer from design lab to fabrication
If the boys designed it in mm, they expect the quotes and subsequent
samples to be all metric.
It is not some kind of secret language, as you know, but a preferred
method to some. Not all. Some.
It is the close-minded "it's the USA-thereore BEST" crowd that hinders
flexibility and advancements in adaptation to world markets. IOW...
arrogance. Like Doug Miller.
It's not just the USA crowd. A lot of the people that make much loud noise
against metric never use any measurement system of any kind. Those that
absolutely need to use measurements every day, all day, are in the minority.
When I was in university I heard some pretty heated arguments against metric
from my musician friends, a very noisy lot indeed. Me and my physics
buddies were just crying inside, since no amount of logic worked any kind of
magic, and we just didn't have the volume needed to convince anyone of
I've been bitter every since.
- Owen -
At work we make custom molded parts both to customer specification and our
designs to their finished product. I don't recall ever seeing a drawing
with metric dimension until sometime maybe in the mid '80s. Now more than
half are metric.
Used to be too, drawings had dimensions like 12 5/8" that later became
12.625 with the advent of drawing programs, but now it is likely to be
I used to buy hydrauling supplies, hoses, etc from a local comapny. Whenw e
go imported machines, they could not suppoy us. They told me "if it's
metric, you're on your own" Five years later they were out of business, but
my new supplier has everything I need.
I have to wonder where they will be in five, ten, fifteen years. Remember
when the local gas station would not work on imported cars because they did
not have the tools?
As a matter of fact, no, and I worked in the place in '53 and '54 and
some of '55. Mostly SAE, but also Whitworth (Brit motorcycles mainly),
and some metric on the few VWs, MGs and Jags we saw--and we probably
saw more than most areas, along with BSAs, AJSs, Nortons, Triumphs and
similar wonders of the dying headlight/oil leaking art.
Uh, not quite. I seldom agree with Doug, but on this point, I wonder:
the U.S. is the world's largest customer, yet we're being told we HAVE
to accept a different measurement standard. When I want to sell an
article or a book, I'm the one facing the "have to" parts of the deal.
The customer may or may not be right, but he is the guy paying the
Of course, we could all be like the hotshot CEO of Mattel who
apologized to the Chinese for not telling them that lead paint in
children's toys was a bad idea. In that case, we've become too large a
customer, so that the seller swings the cat by the tail and U.S.
buyers, on any scale, get to duck.
I'm in England and we use imperial and metric, I also have a house in
France where they have no comprehension of imperial lengths, weights
We co-exist with both; it's no big deal. My son is 20 years old and
has only been taught metric at school and Uni, but if you ask him how
tall and how much he weighs, he will tell you "6 3 and a half and 15
stone" (we don't use pounds to describe body weight).
Now the French being French, like to be different when it comes to
using metric. When I've been working on my place in France with a
French builder, he will use centimeters rather than millimeters. So a
measurement of 65 becomes 6.5 and when I ask, "is that meters" he says
"no it's centimeters". A 18mm thick sheet of ply becomes 1.8 thick and
9mm (3/8") plaster board is point 9.
This can become quite confusing when working together- fitting out a
kitchen or plaster boarding a room and on top of that I'm also
translating the language at the same time.
I'd rather use metric, imperial is illogical when measuring or
planning a structure. However, because of my age and education, I
still can't help thinking in feet and inches initially.
People will always disagree, that's just the way it is.
On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 08:59:40 +0100, email@example.com wrote:
I can relate... We moved to Mexico a year ago and we're still not sure how much
gas is (I think it's about $2.25 a gallon) or which measurement to expect..
The AC and heaters are in Celsius, the cistern is in gallons, the house plans
were in feet, the windows are imperial and the screens are metric.. The stove is
in C. and the frig is in F degrees.. lol
It would be nice to have just one measurement, whichever they use..
Oh.. we're in the process of cementing the carport so my tools roll better and
the re-bar and wire were imperial and the cement mixers are in metric volume..
Please remove splinters before emailing
I question this oft quoted yet misapplied analogy. If you grab a 10mm
socket and it's too small what do you do? You try to figure out if it's one
size, two sizes or whatever, too small. You don't really care about 11 or
12 or 22 for that matter. Same with fractional measurements. If 1/2 does
not fit, then is it one or two or 5 sizes off? The number written on the
wrench is totally meaningless. In fact, you can intemix your metric and
your ASE sockets with equal results in attempting to find the right "bigger"
socket. It has nothing at all to do with the numbering scheme and the
numbering scheme has nothing at all to do with ease of use or anything else
except foolish attempts at bragging rights for a "superior" system.
Preach it brotha!
What? Blasphemy! Woodworkers the world over work hard to learn these
fractions to sound knowledgeable. And you want to reduce this secret
language to the level of the common layman? Balderdash!
Not saying the reasoning is good or bad, but put the following in sequence
13, 11, 12
29/64, 7/16, 9/32
Most experienced mechanics know by looking at a bolt head what to reach for
right off, but to the Saturday mechanic, it can be confusing.
I recognize every inch bolt/nut from 1/4" to 1"+ by sight but I'll be
damned if I can _yet_ tell the difference between adjacent 1-mm sizes in
the 10-12 range. And the designers just seem hellbent to use every
daggone one of them in random profusion---it's my biggest complaint
about metric in general use although everything, even the Deere now is
almost universally metric...
Not really, at least not if you go to Europe. When I still used to stick my
head under the bonnets of Fiats, VWs and whatever virtually all the bolt heads
and nuts were 10-13-17; the bolts being 6mm, 8mm and 10mm respectively - it
took the Japanese to confuse the issue and start using 12mm, 14mm and what have
you ( I presume to save on steel but I am guessing there).
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
With the right mindset, it doesn't have to be.
Suboptimal mindset: "Hmmm, bolt head looks like about a 9/16..." [look through
rack for 9/16 socket] "Nope, too big, guess I'd better go to 1/2..."
More effective mindset: "This socket looks about the right size for this
bolt... nope, too big, better go one size smaller."
IOW, never mind the *numbers* on the side of the socket. Just use what fits.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Did I *really* need to specify "repeat as needed until the proper size is
found"?? I thought that went without saying, but apparently I was mistaken.
The point is, use the socket that's the right size, and never mind what
numbers are etched on the side of it.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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