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Thread: Imperial or Metric Measurements: Which is Best?

  1. #11
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    Here in the UK, I grew up with imperial and then we went metric, so now I use both to some degree. A constant source of frustration to me though is when reading forum posts from members from across the pond, when they refer to thicknesses as being 0.080" for example. I can never get used to this, so I now have a conversion app on my phone. With metric I have a mental picture of what 2mm looks like.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb2 View Post
    Here in the UK, I grew up with imperial and then we went metric, so now I use both to some degree. A constant source of frustration to me though is when reading forum posts from members from across the pond, when they refer to thicknesses as being 0.080" for example. I can never get used to this, so I now have a conversion app on my phone. With metric I have a mental picture of what 2mm looks like.
    Also from the UK and old enough to have grown up with imperial, I used to struggle with decimal inches too until I got myself an old Myford lathe. Now I've learnt that 1mm is 40 thou it's not so bad.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dibblet View Post
    Also from the UK and old enough to have grown up with imperial, I used to struggle with decimal inches too until I got myself an old Myford lathe. Now I've learnt that 1mm is 40 thou it's not so bad.
    Lathe ? Dibbs are you now making clarinets as well as playing em ?.....I have an old Myford as well.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

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  4. #14
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    I've owned 2 Triumph motorcycles over the years . Both were late 60's bikes. It used metric nuts and bolts , imperial , and Withworth?
    Three different sizes , .... boy , I loved those bikes. Well worth the aggravation.
    " Anything larger than a soprano is cheating "
    " I'm no luthier but ,........"

  5. #15
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    I never bumped into the issue with ukuleles (everyone seemed to express nut widths in millimeters, or maybe I was just lucky), but when I got into banjos, nearly every resource, luthier, or list of specs used imperial measurements. During my researches, I'd just keep a web site open with a conversion calculator. I found it difficult to make sense of 1-3/8", 1-1/4", 1-3/16", 1-9/32", 1-5/16", 1-1/8", etc and wasn't always able to tell which one was bigger, unless fractions were directly comparable (Yes, somewhere in the distant past, I was taught fractions in school, but it was a long time ago!), let alone mentally convert them to millimeters. When people use decimals instead of fractions, that is already a big step up, though.

  6. #16
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    I agree. It is ridiculous. From what I've read, the reasons are largely financial. It would cost a lot to convert (although other countries have been able to pay the bill), and it would cost businesses money. Our government seems to exist to keep businesses happy.

    I work a lot with tools - wrenches and sockets. I have to spend twice as much for them because I must buy both metric and imperial. I once took the bumper off a Buick, and there were equal numbers of metric and imperial-sized bolts. That makes sense?

    When woodworking, it's often easier to use metric measuring because there are all those little mm lines evenly spaced. I have tapes with both measuring systems on them. If the United States was totally imperial, that would be fine, but it's thoroughly mixed.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pukulele Pete View Post
    I've owned 2 Triumph motorcycles over the years . Both were late 60's bikes. It used metric nuts and bolts , imperial , and Withworth?
    Three different sizes , .... boy , I loved those bikes. Well worth the aggravation.
    I had a couple of MG Ts and they used Whitworth - another set of tools I had to buy.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuck View Post
    Lathe ? Dibbs are you now making clarinets as well as playing em ?.....I have an old Myford as well.
    Yup. But not modern ones.

    clarinet.jpg

    I've got 2 Myfords. An ML7 dating from 1949 and an ML8 wood turning lathe from the 60s.
    Last edited by Dibblet; 04-03-2021 at 06:55 AM.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    I'm imagining a conversation between the inventors of the Imperial System of Measurement:

    -Let's make this distance, the width of my big toe be an "inch" and we can measure things with it.
    -Great idea! Then for bigger distances we can put twelve of those together.
    -Sure. Let's call it a "foot".
    -Sounds like a plan, and for even longer distances we could put three foots together and call it a yard.
    -Good, but let's call 'em "feet" instead of "foots".
    -OK. What about really long distances?
    -Well, we could put 5283 feet together and call it a "mile".
    -That sounds too complicated. Let's round it off to 5280 feet.
    -Good idea. That'd make it 1760 yards.
    -Cool. Now what about liquid measure?
    -. . .
    And who decided a stone was 14 pounds?

  10. #20
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    Well at least the cubit went out of style shortly after the ark ran aground.

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