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View Full Version : Why so little use of metric units in HSM magazine?



jep24601
02-28-2014, 11:11 AM
Although I have subscribed to HSM in the past, in recent years I have just bought a copy that interested me at my local Barnes and Noble. I also bought Machinist's Workshop when an article there interested me though B&N appeared to have stopped carrying that in the last year. I felt that buying a copy occasionally at B&N might also encourage them to carry it where others might find it too.

Alas, my B&N store is to close (I live on the wrong side of the railroad tracks) and so now I am contemplating a mailed subscription. With a mailed subscription though I am open to order any magazine from anywhere.

Magazines which tempt me more are those whose articles use modern units. In my most recent copy of HSM, of 6 articles there 5 only reference antiquated units while one uses modern units with the old units in parentheses. The US HAS committed to the use of modern units it is just a bit slow coming. Why do the editors of HSM not require dual units in articles where the original submission is in the old units. I wonder if the article primarily using metric or S.I. was required to add old units or that the author submitted it like that.

An alternate magazine in english (which also offers an electronic version) and predominantly uses modern units is available but costs a more for the printed copy with mailing from overseas.

What is the policy of HSM with regard to the adoption of modern units in articles? Subscriptions are not cheap and articles that might have use in the future makes more sense. The inclusion of metric/S.I. units could also expand the desirability of the magazine to other regions.

KJ1I
02-28-2014, 11:20 AM
While I can't give the "official" reason, I would guess the reason is that the vast majority of readers and authors are American and still use "Imperial" measurements. When the authors provide measurements, they would therefore be in Imperial. I know any that I would submit would be that way. I dimension all my drawings, both hand drawn and now CAD developed, in inches and feet.

I doubt it would be cost effective to re-dimension submitted drawings to include both Imperial and metric if the author hasn't provided them that way.

dp
02-28-2014, 11:23 AM
In the US imperial is still modern.

mikem
02-28-2014, 11:33 AM
Most of us use inches and feet in the US. Conversion is easy either way, so not a big problem to change to mm if you want.

Say what you want about Imperial measurements, they are the defacto standard in the US, at the hardware store, the steel supplier, the lumber yard etc.

Neither one is more accurate or more meaningful, except I can do either and I prefer the Imperial.

George Bulliss
02-28-2014, 11:48 AM
Tell ya what, sign up for a subscription and I'll send you a calculator.

While probably 99% of the drawings need some work by me (magazine, standardization, and press requirements) I try to keep things as close to the author's original work as I can. This includes but is not limited to the dimensioning. We simply have more readers working in imperial – the reason most authors (they were readers first) submit in imperial.

Yes, dual dimensions could be added, but space is a a premium in the magazines and I try very hard to keep things uncluttered and readable.

TGTool
02-28-2014, 11:56 AM
I'm amused too by the characterization of "old" and "new" dimensioning systems. Metric dimensions have been around for a LONG time in Europe, so they would also count as old. They're just different systems and they're either both old or both new, given that they're in current use. I'd count as old, something that's no longer a standard but might be found occasionally in antique machinery.

Rosco-P
02-28-2014, 11:58 AM
No machines with metric dials in my shop. Wouldn't even consider a "build it" article unless the primary units in the content were in inches.

lakeside53
02-28-2014, 12:06 PM
I could care less what the unit are, but I HATE the arbitrary conversion from one to the other. I's rather it said 21.5mm than 0.8465, or 0.875 instead of 22.225mm. In other words, leave the article is in the authors original units, and don't double up unit systems for those without calculators or IN/MM buttons on their dro.

jep24601
02-28-2014, 12:09 PM
We simply have more readers working in imperial . - kind of to be expected if the magazine is in Imperial!!

Think about that George. What markets might open up if you always included metric. The rest of America? I don't think there are any equivalent Spanish language magazines. Wonder how many MEW's ship to the US? There might be a bigger opportunity in SA, OZ, NZ and the UK.

Forrest Addy
02-28-2014, 12:16 PM
Don't need no steenking meters.

Metric is for people who can't divide by two.

"Give en a minnimeter and they's take a kilometer" sounds silly.

I was raise in an Imperial world but I use metric all the tile. I can;t switch back and forth mathematically and conceptually. Metric or Imperial - no sweat. Give me a drawing in either and I can make anythin on is in range of my capabilities - and scoff at whatever units are used.

The only reason for either is to have a means fo standardizing measurements. I could work in Zeptoparsecs as well as an=uthing. I'm flexible. All I want is a consistant set of agreed on units and simple conventions for multiple and subdivisions.

R'ght now I'm bilingual and cco-existant in Metric and Imperial. If someone comes up with better and I'm not senile, I'll manage.

lakeside53
02-28-2014, 12:16 PM
Think about that George. What markets might open up if you always included metric. The rest of America? I don't think there are any equivalent Spanish language magazines. Wonder how many MEW's ship to the US? There might be a bigger opportunity in SA, OZ, NZ and the UK.



But.. as I was saying in my prior post, simply converting imperial to metric will make a lot of designs look stupid to a metric viewer. Small example - if I make a imperial design, I'd choose 0.375 for a measurement; if metric 10mm. Using "easy units" is common - when I reverse engineer a foreign design, often I'll get close with imperial and then find the units are in 1 or 1/2 mm increments. I do not convert them to imperial equivalents. OK, when it comes to bolt circle coordinates and other such, it really doesn't matter.

Willy
02-28-2014, 12:17 PM
As the old saying goes...it's a big ship and it will take a long time to turn it around.

Yes the metric system is gaining ground in the US, as any manufacture of products sold to the global market will be produced in metric dimensions. Just look at any product from the automobile industry produced in the US for the last twenty years as just one obvious example.

Personally I've lived with the metric system since 1977 and do think in that system more each passing decade, but when I step up to a lathe or mill I automatically revert to the imperial system. Much as my wife feels more comfortable dealing with the imperial system when baking.
I don't believe that I am alone in doing so. I think we'll be having this discussion for at least another 2-3 generations.

mattthemuppet
02-28-2014, 12:35 PM
I'm not too fussed either way, what with digital calipers etc converting between either at a push of a button, but what really gets my goat is fluid ounces. Just the thought of it drives me batty. I know that most liquids are equivalent in density to water and I don't use much glycerol in the kitchen, but it still bugs me. I've lived in a lot of different countries with various mixes of Imperial and Metric, but this is the only thing that stands out (UK using metric for small things and Imperial for big things is pretty funny though).

George Bulliss
02-28-2014, 12:41 PM
As lakeside 53 points out, every dimension can be converted, but simply adding the conversion figure to an imperial design doesn't always help much.

All the commercial shops I worked in would have been considered imperial based on the equipment, but we had millimeters flying though the shop on almost a daily basis. This is why in my last editorial I stated, “I don’t get it.” I never had a problem and never heard anyone complaining about a mix of units, it’s just the way things are.

However, my decisions on the drawings are not based on my cluelessness, but are the result of a conscious effort to limit our meddling with the author’s designs. The project articles should not be viewed as us telling the readers how to do it – they are the authors describing how they did it.

willmac
02-28-2014, 12:42 PM
(UK using metric for small things and Imperial for big things is pretty funny though).

I'm not sure why you think that we do this, unless you are thinking specifically about miles on road signs. UK Manufacturing and Building worlds have been using the metric system for new projects and products for donkey's years.

dp
02-28-2014, 12:49 PM
There are regional ecosystems to consider. By this I mean that our suppliers sell us raw materials in imperial units. 1/4" round, or 3/4"x1 1/2" rectangle. If that is the material's starting point for the author it makes little sense to convert those dimensions to metric because in a metric ecosystem you won't find those raw material dimensions at your vendor.

J. Randall
02-28-2014, 12:51 PM
Rather a silly way to characterize it, calling one modern and the other antique, seeing as how the U.S. adopted the metric system as legal for trade in something like the 1860's. Anyone with any intelligence should be able to convert back and forth at will.
James

mattthemuppet
02-28-2014, 12:51 PM
I'm not sure why you think that we do this, unless you are thinking specifically about miles on road signs. UK Manufacturing and Building worlds have been using the metric system for new projects and products for donkey's years.

pretty much that - mm for small things, cm or sometimes inches (old folk) for medium things, miles for big things/ distances, with yards in between - 100 yards to a traffic light, for example. I did spend the first 26 years of my life in the UK, so I do know something about it. I also used to state my weight in stones, although I haven't done that in a long time thankfully.

Arthur.Marks
02-28-2014, 01:13 PM
...in my last editorial
Haha! My first thought on opening this thread was, "didn't he read the magazine this issue?!" C'mon :rolleyes:

George Bulliss
02-28-2014, 01:21 PM
If nothing else, this BBS is good for an editorial subject now and then.

adatesman
02-28-2014, 01:22 PM
Tell ya what, sign up for a subscription and I'll send you a calculator.


If it's one of those fancy graphing ones, sign me up!

;)

cameron
02-28-2014, 01:22 PM
I'm amused too by the characterization of "old" and "new" dimensioning systems. Metric dimensions have been around for a LONG time in Europe, so they would also count as old. They're just different systems and they're either both old or both new, given that they're in current use. I'd count as old, something that's no longer a standard but might be found occasionally in antique machinery.

I have a pair of French flintlock pistols. The screws that hold the lockplate to the stock are hand forged, with square shanks and slotted round heads . The threads are M4, 4mm dia x 0.7mm pitch. I would say the metric system should not be called "modern".

Giving my totalitarian tendencies a bit of rein, I say that anyone who claims superiority for one system, or complains of difficulty with the "other" system should be shut up in a dark room and forced to listen to a voice endlessly intoning "One inch equals 25.4 millimeters, one inch equals ..................."

Paul Alciatore
02-28-2014, 01:33 PM
I can speak as an author who has submitted several pieces to Village Press, some of which have been published. Both I and Village Press are located in the US. I suspect that most of their authors are. I think the explanation of why Imperial measure is mostly used goes as follows.

1. Almost all the stock that I can easily buy in the US is made to Imperial measure. I know I can get metric sizes, but it is a lot harder and probably more expensive. 99 out of 100 stock metal sizes that I have are Imperial.

2. Almost all the tooling that I can easily buy in the US is made to Imperial measure. Metric sized tooling is probably more common than metric sized stock, but you still have to go looking for it. So, for instance, I have perhaps 10 sets of inch size drills and only one set of metric sized ones. Oh, and the metric ones were more expensive.

3. I do know metric and how to easily convert, but I was raised on Imperial and I just more naturally think that way.

What George said about not interfering with the author's way of doing things is all too true. When I made my first submission I worried about what they might do in the name of editing. Well, they did nothing. They used my exact words and my exact photos and drawings. Nothing was changed. I almost wish they would consider some changes, perhaps asking the author to make them or at least getting his/her approval. But they probably don't have the time.

I have considered using dual units on my drawings. But this is also problematic. I mean, do I just calculate the exact metric conversion 9/16" = 0.5625" (14.2875mm) or is that 9/16" = 0.563" (14.3002mm). Or do I attempt to translate the project into round metric units. Then 9/16" may become just 14mm. If I do that, there is a real danger that some details of the design may not work properly with a conversion that I did not actually test. Perhaps a hole would be too close to another hole or a thread may be larger and interfere with something. Or ... ??? So, I just use the Imperial dimensions that I used in my own shop and leave the metric conversion to the reader who wants it in metric.

I do try to use only one system or the other in any single article or any single project. But even this may not always be possible. Sometimes the two must meet and merge.

The US is becoming metric, but very slowly and with much kicking and screaming. I also work in electronics and the conversion is going somewhat faster there. Most modern IC packages are specified in metric units. But the data sheets almost always have Imperial in brackets. But older ones are in Imperial inches. Sometimes with metric in brackets. Frankly, I find it somewhat confusing and often have to look at the notes to see which it is. And they often round one or the other, but which is exact and which is rounded? I think we are past the 50% point in conversion in this area. Not so in mechanical parts, tools, and metal/wood/plastic stock.

Bob Fisher
02-28-2014, 01:39 PM
Who says the SI system is modern? Long before the metric system as we know it the Egyptians built pyramids with the measurements available to them. I think anyone who frequents this site is perfectly capable of working in either system. My machines, also are in Imperial like most others which require conversions to work from a metric drawing. I work for an Automotive co and all prints are metric, but most equipment in the shop is Imperial. Don't even want to get into building. Products like plywood, Sheetrock, etc. Bob.

doctor demo
02-28-2014, 01:50 PM
How old is old, when it comes to dimensioning? What is the multiplier for cubits to mm ?
I don't like dealing with metric measurements, but I do when necessary as most of my tools are imperial and converting back and forth is a pain.
If ya had a drawing dimensioned in metric, but the bolt holes were tapped 1/4"-20 would you then change that to a metric dim. for the threaded hole (6.35mm X.79 pitch approximately) or change the bolt to a M6, or would ya add confusing notes to the drawing?

Steve

Weston Bye
02-28-2014, 02:01 PM
I crank an article out every three months for Digital Machinist, most of them heavy with drawings.

First, I’ll start with my machinery – all Imperial.
Next, the material selection – all inch, still cheaper and more available than equivalent metric.
Fasteners? Mostly Imperial on hand, although Metric is becoming more available if I want to run out to the local supplier, or plan far enough ahead to order them in.
Taps? Drills? Fewer Metric on hand than Imperial, but available.
CAD – I can configure to draw in either unit, but why would I design in Metric when I will just have to turn around and convert everything to inches? Did I mention that all my machines are Imperial?

I did recently in an article call out a single dimension in both inches and millimeters. This was for a detail that would bolt to the table of an import mill. The table slots were spaced 1.772” or 45mm apart. If I will be using a mix of metric and inch materials or fasteners or the the part fastens to something that is native metric, I dimension for both.

I put time and effort into providing accurate drawings, and George spends time and effort checking my work. Even then, the magazine occasionally has to publish a correction. I shudder to think about how much more time I (and George) would spend, and how many more errors would creep onto the pages of the magazine if I were to try to satisfy a few metric-only readers. I suspect I would inconvenience many more than I would please.

Converting back and forth between the systems seems like a good recipe for a bad landing on Mars.:eek:

Alistair Hosie
02-28-2014, 02:12 PM
It always fascinates me the good old Americans use a metric system for their money I.E 100 cents to the jolly old dollar, and imperial for just about everything else as we used to do.I can understand the reluctance of our American brothers to adapt or adopt new ways as we in the uk were most unpleased about being forced by the government to change our ways. Now many years later I have to say, metric is much much easier and better simpler all round.I wish you would change too and be like most other countries it will or would be better in the long run and also I would say make selling your products in Europe much easier too.In the meantime I will not call you a dick but as I always do our dear old friends remember we are at the end of the day Brothers and sisters all and the decision just like Scotland leaving the rest of the uk and becoming independent,and therefore running our own affairs without the need for corupt meddling and interuptions from westminster who have done very nicely from Scotland over many years LOL.Alistair

mikem
02-28-2014, 03:23 PM
I use the "divide by two" shortcut all the time in dividing, say a 1/2 inch to 1/4", by dividing the denominator by 2 to get half the dimension to find a middle of a part. Not meant as a dis to anyone...anyone who can machine successfully has to be above average at math. In any measurement system.

I do think that the OP's use of "modern and old" to describe measurement systems struck a nerve with some.

.01 mm or .001 inches-- I don't think that either one is inherently better, just what is practical for you, and what is practical for me may not be the same......

wierdscience
02-28-2014, 03:27 PM
Dennis hit on a very good point,raw materials.I tend to steer away from projects that specify metric materials as basically there isn't a good source for small amounts of metric stock here.Same would hold true for those of you in metric countries.

Unless you want to machine every single piece in a project,or redesign to use metric stock in which case have at it.

JohnAlex141r
02-28-2014, 03:47 PM
The 3D printer crowd is more metricated than you'd think.

Just got a "Printrbot Simple" from the USA, and, gosh, it has 1.75mm filament, metric this and metric that in it. The work envelope is 100mm x 100mm x 100mm, but they call it "almost 4x4x4" in the documentation. I think there are some inch-based screws in it, but not sure - will find out when I build it.

My workshop is almost 100% metric, but I do have some inch stuff, like, a 1/2" drill bit and some old inch-based reamers. Probably some taps and dies, too, somewhere.

Give it time - if the "kids" in the USA doing 3D printer stuff are getting comfortable with metric, then the path is set.

Now, there's nothing wrong with inches, feet, etc, but I just find metric easier in my shop.


John.

Juergenwt
02-28-2014, 03:57 PM
Gentlemen - In the US it's the housewife holding up imperial even if most of them don't know the system at all. As far as getting material in metric - You can get anything from screws to steel. But - the store will sell more imperial because they have more people asking for it and the people ask for imperial because the store has more of it.
Here is a reality check - all major industry is or soon will be metric. No doubt about it! If our schools continue to teach imperial they are wasting precious time because of the complexity of the system, only to find out later that our students are lost as soon as they leave the US or once they go out and start working. All lab work is in metric. All research is in metric.
So our small shops can hang on to century old machines until the die and keep converting to imperial or keep on designing in imperial and come up with these laughable numbers for converted units until they run out of all but local customers.
You see people buy a set of imperial wrenches - what for? The garage door? Most all the stuff from China is all metric but once in a while you see something "new". A Chinese built tool with imperial threads because it was designed in the US. Than you check the wrench size - metric.
Gentlemen - you can fight on but the train left the station a long time ago and is picking up speed.
Remember and honor the old system with a pint of beer - but don't ask how many pints in a 1/2 barrel.

Saying you can work in both system may be true but you can not think in metric and that is the real problem. The media does not help. They convert all units to imperial - think weather!

1935Ron
02-28-2014, 04:09 PM
just my 2 cents..

I do perfer Imp. over metric inch over mm degrees F or C but work in both, have worked in pharma/medical device cGMP enviroments for the last 25 years and have seen the change and admitt more and more items are in metric now than ever,,,, but we also import from every place on the planet...the thing that bugs me the most is how I am ( and everyone in the shop) forced to sign off on everthing we do in what i call the "Metric Date" 28 Feb 2014 instead of 2/28/2014....I'll get over it

jep24601
02-28-2014, 05:00 PM
...the thing that bugs me the most is how I am ( and everyone in the shop) forced to sign off on everthing we do in what i call the "Metric Date" 28 Feb 2014 instead of 2/28/2014....I'll get over it
That date format has become necessary because the US always used the date backwards compared to the rest of the world - 2/28/2014 instead of 28/2/2014.

I believe the date format of 28FEB2014 originally originated in the use of international vaccination certificates.

KJ1I
02-28-2014, 05:00 PM
the train left the station a long time ago

The train may have left the station, but it is stuck on a siding waiting for the long, long freight train of inertia to roll on by. Not many businesses can afford to blithely toss out existing machinery and retool to metric. It will take a more than a few years for the world's largest economy (until recently) to cost effectively re-tool.

KJ1I
02-28-2014, 05:05 PM
That date format has become necessary because the US always used the date backwards

Just out of curiosity, when you meet someone - do you say "My birthday is 15 February", "I have an appointment on 30 September"?

jep24601
02-28-2014, 05:17 PM
Just out of curiosity, when you meet someone - do you say "My birthday is 15 February", "I have an appointment on 30 September"?
Yes. ??

KJ1I
02-28-2014, 05:19 PM
yes. ??

Oh well. Tried to put in 3 laughing faces but it didn't work. Got a laugh anyway, thanks.

loose nut
02-28-2014, 06:39 PM
Jeb, in your world if an author submits an article in Imperial, specifying the use of 1/8" CRS plate, then George is suppose to convert it to 3.2mm to placate the imaginary overseas market you think will pop up. When this "reader" from across the pond sees 3.2mm it will be "were the 'ell am I going to get that". Now I'm sure you would say that George should convert it to a standard metric size like 3mm so that this "imaginary" reader doesn't have any problem. What about Joe blow in Indiana, what is he going to do when he see a requirement for 3 mm stock. Something like "were the 'ell am I suppose to get that". Now it is possible for people to get the appropriate sized material but often with great difficulty and expense so wouldn't it be better all around for you to bugger off and leave the HSM magazines alone. There are plenty of metric based magazine for the metal working /hsm/model engineering hobby around the world, pick one and go read it.

Do we need another "whats best, metric or imperial" debate. The world is the way it is like or not so lets just deal with it and get on with life.

Juergenwt
02-28-2014, 07:42 PM
The train may have left the station, but it is stuck on a siding waiting for the long, long freight train of inertia to roll on by. Not many businesses can afford to blithely toss out existing machinery and retool to metric. It will take a more than a few years for the world's largest economy (until recently) to cost effectively re-tool.

True! But the way I see it is - if you want to stay in business in the future and be a supplier to major manufacturers, than you have the choice of keeping your old inch based manual equipment and bear the cost of converting with the constant threat of a costly error or at least modernize your equipment with DRO's and train your employees to work in metric. That is a tough one. A lot tougher than most people think.
The cost for such things as drills and taps is minimal. All you need is one set of drills (depending on the size of your shop) and one set of taps - coarse only!. If material is somewhat more expensive to start than you will find savings by not having to machine inch sizes down to metric.
All this is readily available.
The problem with converting is not so much in the base numbers i.e. 35mm = 1.378" but in converting tolerances like 18 H7. Can be done -
but you loose the advantage of being able to buy a standard 18 H7 reamer that has the H7 tol. built in for max. life time. You would have to buy a special 1.378" reamer with the appropriate tol. . Also converting surface finish etc. would require time and know-how.
Gen. Motors at first came up with a huge $$$ amount for the cost to change over and did ask the Government to reimburse the Co. After 50% of the project was completed they had to cancel the request because the savings outweighed the cost.
Another problem comes in if you are the supplier to a company that is in the process of changing and has many part built to inch specifications. Since all new parts are metric and have to fit the existing parts you will be faced with some dim's and tol. that can drive you up the wall.
There is more to it but that would go to far for now. It is not as easy as some people here seem to think. It require a full commitment by the company and it's owner or CEO. Choice is yours.

loose nut
02-28-2014, 07:57 PM
Retraining your employes to metrics would be a lot harder then just doing the math. There are a completely different set of standards and material specifications, as well as other factor. Getting the right material could be a big problem too, it just isn't readily available in many places in NA. Not impossible but costly and that can kill competitiveness.

Weston Bye
02-28-2014, 07:59 PM
... - if you want to stay in business in the future and be a supplier to major manufacturers...

Some hobby magazine readers may aspire to this, and it's a good thing, but most readers, not so much.

boslab
02-28-2014, 08:29 PM
What i call imperial was fractional, like 1/4", which is 0.25" Decimal, which is 6.35 mm, metric, is that right?
So when you say imperial you are using decimal inches or have i got that wrong. I can remember seeing drawings from Black and Decker who had a factory in the UK that had all three systems in use at the same time, it was for the Workmate that we were going to make parts of, to add to the mix the tolerancing systems included unilateral, bilateral, and just for added fun fractional, we got the tools made but it was amusing as the drawings were sent from B&D to germany, converted to SI then back to the UK where we converted the obvious x25.4 conversions back to decimal, it was far easier to drill a 1/4 hole with a 1/4" drill!
Also some of the stuff like holes were number and letter!, converted to mm,s!
Im happy to use any system myself, i see no reason why they cant be mixed even though it was considered a cardinal sin in the drawing office but i wonder if its so bad?
I seem to do it all the time, feet inches mms yards miles meters it dosent matter, inches are handy for biggish things and mms for smallish things, tiny thing in thous, it all works
Mark

jep24601
02-28-2014, 10:22 PM
..... wouldn't it be better all around for you to bugger off and leave the HSM magazines alone. There are plenty of metric based magazine for the metal working /hsm/model engineering hobby around the world, pick one and go read it.....

I'm only aware of ME and MEW from the UK - are there others?

J Tiers
02-28-2014, 11:11 PM
I'm happy no matter what. I design stuff in SI at work. When we think about temperature for anything at work it is always C.

We have customers who sell to the US government, or to systems integrators who sell to the government (military). The crazy mud-heads are hard lb/ft/F/btu..... we have to translate for them.

I just do not get it.

But, for the magazine, it's a no-brainer either way. Put in metric, or inches, whatever. Do BOTH it f you like, there isn't anything wrong with that, other than taking up more room on the page.

I typically do all drawings in both, with metric being the master dimension, carried to 2 places, and inch being the second, carried to three. So the 22.5 comes out as 0.886. OK, whatever. It's far easier to make a proto on non-metric machines if the inch dims are in place already (yah, DRO.... costs more than the machine).

As for the stock being a problem? Why would anyone say that?

First of all, it's just stock, you will turn to a smaller diameter, mill off parts of it, maybe face mill the entire thing.... What possible difference can it make?

I give you a hint..... it makes NO difference.

For the stock, CALL IT WHAT IT IS.... Don't bother with a metric equivalent.... unless it IS metric stock, in which case ALSO call it what it is. People can convert those if they are interested enough and want to find suitable stock locally.

As for teh general run of materials, I hope to NEVER see the basic standard materials converted to metric so that there are no inch ones available. A 2 x 4 is already a problem, because it is smaller than the ones in the house.... but a metric stud would no doubt be worse.....

1-800miner
03-01-2014, 12:39 AM
I just renewed...Do I get a calculator too?

JRouche
03-01-2014, 02:48 AM
Funny. Measuring Systems. Im a young 48 year old baby boomer in the US. Saw the attempt for change to Metric a few years ago. Didnt catch. Bummer. Its a logical numbering system and I like it.

On the flip side I like to see my numbers in the Decimal and Fractional Systems.

So when Im reading my Mag that Ive had for years I WANT my system. If it was in all metric Id quite. If it was Bi-numeral" Id still leave. I dont need two numbers to describe the same thing. No bi-numeral systems needed. Pick one and use it. JR

tdkkart
03-01-2014, 03:33 AM
I'm still giggling over the phrase "modern units". Really??

I just don't get it, but I also don't understand why my local Lowes store, located in the middle of Iowa, insists on having the
front door say "ENTRADA".

When I get out of bed later today the date will be 3-1-2014, I will drink milk from a quart, drink Diet Dew by the ounce and buy gas by
the gallon using dollars and cents. Monday when I travel 19 miles at 55mph to work (in a machine shop), for a major international manufacturer all the drawings and machines will be in "old units".

As far as I'm concerned it can stay that way for the rest of my life and I'll be perfectly happy, or we can switch, I could care less.

Peter.
03-01-2014, 04:04 AM
If you live here in the UK you have no choice but to work with both, so you just get on with it.

Saying that my dad flatly REFUSED to work in metric either monetarily or dimensionally. He would convert metric money to pounds, shillings and pence deliberately to confuse people and though he knew the metric system of measurement, refused to work in that either. I had to go fix his Japanese motorbike because he wouldn't own metric tools. He even once argued with a copper about exceeding a width restriction when going under a bridge arch in his lorry because it was posted in metres but he said that there was no way his lorry was that many miles wide. I'd like to say he won the argument but the truth is more likely that the copper sent him on his way out of self-defence after being ground into submission.

Seeing these metric vs imperial discussions always makes me remember him with a smile :)

1935Ron
03-01-2014, 06:26 AM
If you live here in the UK you have no choice but to work with both, so you just get on with it.

Saying that my dad flatly REFUSED to work in metric either monetarily or dimensionally. He would convert metric money to pounds, shillings and pence deliberately to confuse people and though he knew the metric system of measurement, refused to work in that either. I had to go fix his Japanese motorbike because he wouldn't own metric tools. He even once argued with a copper about exceeding a width restriction when going under a bridge arch in his lorry because it was posted in metres but he said that there was no way his lorry was that many miles wide. I'd like to say he won the argument but the truth is more likely that the copper sent him on his way out of self-defence after being ground into submission.

Seeing these metric vs imperial discussions always makes me remember him with a smile :)




Your dad sounded like one heck of a good guy ! i would of liked him alot!

Jaakko Fagerlund
03-01-2014, 06:31 AM
Your dad sounded like one heck of a good guy ! i would of liked him alot!

Sounded more like an idiot.

Doozer
03-01-2014, 08:26 AM
In the US imperial is still modern.

I like that. I may use your quote at some point.

-D

Doozer
03-01-2014, 08:29 AM
Sounded more like an idiot.

I agree. He sounds hard headed with no good reason.
But then again, Dad's can be like that. Ask me how I know :D.

-D

wierdscience
03-01-2014, 08:44 AM
Sounded more like an idiot.

Sounded like someone who saw no good reason to change from a system that worked just fine to a system that works little better.Change for the sake of change is idiotic no matter what you cult of the froggy yardstick followers say:p

Peter.
03-01-2014, 08:47 AM
Passionate is what I would say.

Hard-headed - oh yes, knowledegable - certainly, stubborn - indubitably. Possessing of an incredible drive and a will-to-do where no mountain was too big and no river too wide, an unstoppable force which earned him great respect and a few enemies. At his funeral they couldn't fit all his mourners in the chapel though so he must have done something right. He drove me mad at times but I miss him so much it near brings me to tears just typing it.

Anyway, back to business. Metric is the best! I got ten fingers and I don't want to cut them into sixteenths when I do my figgerin' :D

firbikrhd1
03-01-2014, 11:03 AM
My thoughts:
At 60 years old the Imperial system has been what I've worked with my entire life with the exception of my medical training; dosage requirements, which only dealt with weights and volumes, not linear measurement. Imperial is what I'm used to and how I think. Sure, I can use a calculator and convert, but for me it's just another step that slows things down. For example, a couple of years ago I bought a book, "The Milling Machine" by Harold Hall, so I could learn to operate my new to me mill. The book itself was excellent with great information and good explanations once I interpreted the King's English into American English, however, the frustrating thing was that all linear measurement was presented in the metric system. Converting while reading in order to get an idea of scale was a pain. There are some plans for various tools in the book but again all measurements are given in the Metric system. My mind and my machines are Imperial so before I undertook any project presented it would be necessary to convert everything to Imperial.
Edit: One last factor, for me anyway, is that I work mostly on older machines and equipment that was designed using Imperial. I guess I could convert the measurements I take when making a replacement part to metric before I started the job, but again, it's just another step.

loose nut
03-01-2014, 11:03 AM
So what do you do, cut them into hundreds or thousands, to work under a MM.

loose nut
03-01-2014, 11:25 AM
I'm only aware of ME and MEW from the UK - are there others?

Engineering in Miniature - a contemporary of Model Engineer

7 & 1/4 Gauge in review
Locomotives Large and Small - both live steam, train related

You have those for a start but there are many others that are more specialized IE: clockmaker, scratch model boat builders, engine builders ETC. I haven't kept up with them for some time, British magazine are just to expensive to have a large # of them.

You also have online magazines now, http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/ is one, not affiliated with Model Engineer magazine, there are others, again it depends on what exactly you are after. There are many metal working/hobby sites on the web now from all over the world, mostly metric. Do a Google search for them, there out there

From down under there is "Australian Model Engineer", an excellent magazine, definitely worth looking at. There are many other good magazines from none English speaking country's also but language is a problem for most.

The Village Press mags and Model Engine Builder (online only now) are about the only non-metric magazines left that I know of, so leave those of us that still use the "ancient system" something.

Any body know of others, add them to the list.

Lu47Dan
03-01-2014, 11:39 AM
It always fascinates me the good old Americans use a metric system for their money I.E 100 cents to the jolly old dollar, and imperial for just about everything else as we used to do. Alistair
The US Dollar was adopted in 1786 a few years before the metric system came into being in 1799 in France, so how does that have anything to do with this subject.
Dan.

Jaakko Fagerlund
03-01-2014, 11:39 AM
So what do you do, cut them into hundreds or thousands, to work under a MM.
Usual is hundreds, but tolerances like H7 or grinding information is usually given in thousandths of a mm. But it depends so much what the drawing depicts, sometimes just 0.1 mm is enough precision.

J Tiers
03-01-2014, 11:58 AM
So what do you do, cut them into hundreds or thousands, to work under a MM.

0.01mm is 0.00039", so a hundredth of a mm is plenty small enough for most work on the lathe or mill.

And it is written as "mm"...

A mm is already a fairly good number, small enough that for many things a half mm is good enough.... as in 39.5mm etc. The 0.5mm is about 20 thou, which is a decent sized increment.

a tenth of a mm is about 0.0039", close enough to 0.0040 for thinking about it.

The even conversion is via 25.4mm/inch. While I know some like to use 0.03937, it is actually 0.039370079, which seems like too many decimals, but can get you in trouble when doing CAD. CAD knows the exact figure, and claims it isn't aligned if its a micron off.

You will actually find that mm are a convenient size, if you start working with them.

loose nut
03-01-2014, 01:15 PM
So what do you do, cut them into hundreds or thousands, to work under a MM.

He was referring to cutting his finger into 16ths and my reply was about cutting them into 100ths or 1000ths.

You guys really got to work on recognizing a joke, although I have ground my fingers on more then one occasion.

JohnAlex141r
03-01-2014, 03:34 PM
My mind and my machines are Imperial so before I undertook any project presented it would be necessary to convert everything to Imperial.
Edit: One last factor, for me anyway, is that I work mostly on older machines and equipment that was designed using Imperial. I guess I could convert the measurements I take when making a replacement part to metric before I started the job, but again, it's just another step.

Hi Firbikrhd1;

Most of my machines are imperial, but I work 100% in metric.

I have either DROs on them, or, on my larger lathe, I have dial indicators magnetically clamped to the slides. I should put a DRO on this lathe, but, after 15+ years, it has done fine as is.

I do have a metric lathe, and it did take a lot of swearing and cussing before I got used to exactly what a millimetre was, so I *DO* have sympathy.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but when you look at the demographics; up here in Canada anyone younger than 55 was trained in the metric system, and, from following the 3D printer stuff in the USA, lots of younger kids there know what an 8mm bed rail (i.e., 8mm dia. drill rod) is.

I think Harold Halls' designs (in metric) will outlast the inch-stuff in Home Shop Machinist, because, all the young people around the world know what a millimetre is.

I do ask kids up here if they know inches. Most do, but ask them how many inches in a foot, and they are lost.

Again, I'm not saying that one way or the other is better, but Imperial measurements really are on their way out.

If you are 60, you hopefully have a good 30 years machining; if I could go from inch-based machining to metric machining when I was in my late 30s, I'd expect that you could to, if you put your mind to it. (same goes for anyone reading this)

Respectfully - John.

loose nut
03-01-2014, 05:16 PM
from following the 3D printer stuff in the USA, lots of younger kids there know what an 8mm bed rail (i.e., 8mm dia. drill rod) is.




But let them find any.

R W
03-01-2014, 05:32 PM
Prefer Imperial.