Rex Edgar

Tape Measure Rant

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Just received a new tape measure from Starrett, made in China. I got it because the graduations are all metric. How I wish the US had changed when it first came up. Dealing with 32nds, 16ths, 64ths is such a hassle. On the same note, why are the case dimensions so arbitrary? No tape measure that I have seen has had an easy number to factor in when measuring inside and allowing for the size of the case. Always 3 and 7/8 inches or some other fractional number. 

On the same note the new Starrett (all in metric) measures their case at add 3 inches. WHAT! Good thing I never measure using the dimensions of the case. Thanks, I feel better........

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When I got into machining a light bulb went off. I think of fractions in their decimal form, no more fractions no more pain.

Much easier to add them, and use them as they are. This is really what happens when people move to Metric. They are seeing the numbers in a different way.

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Canada is officially metric but we all use imperial in residential construction out of habit I guess. Last year I was between builds on my residential site so they sent me to the airport to oversee a job there. When I opened the plans it was all in metric. I was reminded how much easier to use it is. With that said, I really have no issue going from one to the other. I think the imperial system is archaic and needs to be forgotten but I still use it because of years with a toolbelt on. Metric is a much more logical system. Probably why every country in the world is Metric except a handful .

I don't think in the history of the world anyone has ever used the case as part of a measurement.

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

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To call metric more logical is to be tied to measuring devices and math problems. I can teach a kid to cut in half. It takes far longer to teach them to cut into five even parts which is a critical estimation skill when ten is the base. I have nothing against metric. All measuring systems are chosen arbitrarily anyway. When they make us change, I will adjust. 

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I use both systems. European concealed hinges, slides and holes for adjustable shelves are all part of the 32 mm program.

Whenever accuracy is important I use metric . Millimeters are about the smallest and easiest to count off and lots of tape measures don't have 1/16ths or 1/32nds past the first few feet.  Of course my brain is wired Imperial but like Mel mentioned using the decimal inch numbers makes calculations much easier. I always have a calculator and a fraction/decimal/metric equivalents chart in the cover for the calculator.

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Metric is so much easier to convert to larger units, because everything a 10.  10mm to 1 cm, 100 cm to a meter, etc.

I find imperial confusing with 12 of these is this, or 8 of those in that, etc.

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59 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

To call metric more logical is to be tied to measuring devices and math problems. I can teach a kid to cut in half. It takes far longer to teach them to cut into five even parts which is a critical estimation skill when ten is the base. I have nothing against metric. All measuring systems are chosen arbitrarily anyway. When they make us change, I will adjust. 

Help me understand your position. I'm not advocating changing , I'm too far along for that. I read that you can teach someone unfamiliar with either system, the inch/feet system easier than the metric. For my mind five even pieces out of ten is far more quickly arrived at that five even pieces out of 12. Maybe I am missing something in your post.

As for wdwerker; if you have all the neat electronics, there is no issue.

Just ranting here don't want to get into donnybrook....................

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1 hour ago, shaneymack said:

Canada is officially metric but we all use imperial in residential construction out of habit I guess.

The real reason we still use imperial in construction, residential and commercial is not habit, but that all the construction materials are still only available in imperial. If a certain large neighbor of ours were to go metric, we'd complete the conversion in a heartbeat.

I remember about 25 years ago all government & many commercial projects came out with metric drawings. What a nightmare trying to build metric with imperial materials. Now everything's designed imperial again :(

 

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12 minutes ago, drzaius said:
The real reason we still use imperial in construction, residential and commercial is not habit, but that all the construction materials are still only available in imperial. If a certain large neighbor of ours were to go metric, we'd complete the conversion in a heartbeat.

I remember about 25 years ago all government & many commercial projects came out with metric drawings. What a nightmare trying to build metric with imperial materials. Now everything's designed imperial again [emoji20]

 

Depends on client but most of our industrial/commerical jobs are all metric. Im mostly in residential but last industrial job i did all materials were in metric also

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Number of countries that use imperial that have put a man on the moon: 1

Number of countries that use metric that put a man on the moon: 0

:ph34r::ph34r:

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Are we talking about the International foot or the U.S survey foot? Then there are survey datums and geoid corrections, coordinate system conversions, grid vs ground.

I'll take the fractions of inches and feet over the survey world any day. After all tomorrow the center of the earth is going to change and all measurements metric or imperial are going to be wrong. At any point in the day I'm switching between 6-8 different units of measure, fractions of an inch are a breath of fresh air.

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5 minutes ago, weithman5 said:

Number of countries that use imperial that have put a man on the moon: 1

Number of countries that use metric that put a man on the moon: 0

:ph34r::ph34r:

I heard the man on the moon thing was a hoax. So there ! :)

Number of metric countries that faked a moon landing: 0

 

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22 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Are we talking about the International foot or the U.S survey foot? Then there are survey datums and geoid corrections, coordinate system conversions, grid vs ground.

I'll take the fractions of inches and feet over the survey world any day. After all tomorrow the center of the earth is going to change and all measurements metric or imperial are going to be wrong. At any point in the day I'm switching between 6-8 different units of measure, fractions of an inch are a breath of fresh air.

This is a woodworkers forum. Where are coming from? I care less where the center of the earth is, I just want measure twice and cut once!

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21 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

 

 

I heard the man on the moon thing was a hoax. So there ! :)

 

Number of metric countries that faked a moon landing: 0

 

 

See, you can't just say this and get away with it. You are taking a vastly understated position. To call it "a hoax" is dead wrong. Either we went, or it was a lot of hoaxes. 

 

44 minutes ago, Rex Edgar said:

Help me understand your position. I'm not advocating changing , I'm too far along for that. I read that you can teach someone unfamiliar with either system, the inch/feet system easier than the metric. For my mind five even pieces out of ten is far more quickly arrived at that five even pieces out of 12. Maybe I am missing something in your post.

As for wdwerker; if you have all the neat electronics, there is no issue.

Just ranting here don't want to get into donnybrook....................

You are misrepresenting your math here. Five out of ten is dividing in half. Now divide into quarters (Imperial) and this is easy. Divide that half into five, however, (Metric) and this takes more practice. It is doable, just takes a longer learning curve. 

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Tha

4 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

See, you can't just say this and get away with it. You are taking a vastly understated position. To call it "a hoax" is dead wrong. Either we went, or it was a lot of hoaxes. 

 

You are misrepresenting your math here. Five out of ten is dividing in half. Now divide into quarters (Imperial) and this is easy. Divide that half into five, however, (Metric) and this takes more practice. It is doable, just takes a longer learning curve. 

That's where we differ, you said divide into five equal pieces. That quote is what I was referring to. Answer is 2, not as seamless to find five equal parts of twelve. You need math skills with either format.

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This is not about math per se. This is about practical application. With ten as a base, reducing 10 to 5 is division by two. Now to get to 1, you must divide by five. You still are misrepresenting the math described. Making five equal parts is not as intuitive. 

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24 minutes ago, Rex Edgar said:

This is a woodworkers forum. Where are coming from? I care less where the center of the earth is, I just want measure twice and cut once!

I was just making a joke i guess this conversation got a bit too heated for that. :unsure:

To me it's all perspective if i want 5 equal parts and I'm using imperial i change my dimensions to make it easier or a grab a calculator. After all if i have 53" or 53cm dividing by 5 is messy no matter what system.

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24 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

After all if i have 53" or 53cm dividing by 5 is messy no matter what system.

Thats easy - I am either going to end up with 5 pieces 10 long and a piece <3 inches in the scrap heap, or I am going to have 5 pieces 10 cm long and a piece <3 cm in the scrap heap. :P

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@shaneymack, the Mythbusters proved the moon landing was real.  And if you can't trust special effects guys to tell you the truth, who can you trust?

 

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What I like about imperial is that the base units, inches, feet, (cubits), yards, were initially determined by the length of various parts of the human body, so estimating, at least, required no additional tools. And the smallest base unit, inches, is easily divided by twos, ad infinitum. The only complexity is that each larger unit is composed of different multiples of the next smaller unit. I think that is why the cubit fell out of favor, it is 1.5 feet, rather than a whole number multiple.

Now, some of YOU may claim body parts equivilent to 10 centimeters, but I'll stick with 12 inches, thank you very much. ?

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MY shoe is 12" long. I can step feet all day. MY gait is not quite 36". Yards prove a stretch and meters fall off quickly. I think Rex thinks I am argumentative because he pictures pencil, paper, and calculators. I am in the business of pushing kids to do mental math first to verify that what they punch in a calculator makes sense. Walking up to a banana split to cut it into five parts is tricky. Last words, I don't want to drag the thread down. I just suspect we are not yet discussing apples to apples. I have no fight against transitioning to metric. 

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1 hour ago, C Shaffer said:

MY shoe is 12" long. I can step feet all day. MY gait is not quite 36".

I can almost guarantee your thumb is an inch wide though. :) 

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I don't mind one way or another. My only issue is the conversion. I can do math all day long in either with no issues. But I can't tell you what 1/2 inch is in metric. I'm comforted by the fact Lockheed Martin doesn't know either - and that it destroyed a $300 million dollar Mars orbiter because of it. 

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