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Pirates! - Why the US doesn't use the metric system.

Greebles

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#3
Honestly having learned both Metric and Imperial I have to say the metric system is MUCH easier to learn and remember. Just multiple and divide by 10. Nothing could be easier than adding or removing a trailing zero. :)

-Denzil
 

higgite

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#4
Honestly having learned both Metric and Imperial I have to say the metric system is MUCH easier to learn and remember. Just multiple and divide by 10. Nothing could be easier than adding or removing a trailing zero. :)

-Denzil
Yeah, but you have to admit, “453.592 grams of flesh” just doesn’t have the same zing to it.

Tom
 

hermetic

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#5
Good article, but not entirely true, as the UK have only partially accepted the metric system, and even that was under pressure from them thare ferringers fra Europe!! The system used in the USA is the earlier English system of weights and measures which were in use in England up to 1824, when they were all revised by the Weights And Measures act . The USA carried on using the old system. I can work quite happily in both, and even when using a tape measure, always pick the system that gives me the easiest to remember round figures. My two lathes are imperial, My Harrison H/V mill is metric, My Raglan mill is imperial. I have micrometers in both, but my large range micrometers are imperial. TBH I find more problems in the metric system, because of anomalies like different pitches on the same diameter bolt, and different types of metric thread, like ISOmetric. I don't really think either of the systems is better than the other! We are now leaving EC, and what will happen when we do is anybodies guess, but we have had cases of shopkeepers being heavily fined for using the imperial system of weight to sell goods, a system which was used in this country for many years without a problem. All the prosecutions achieved was a very high level of bad publicity for the EC and the government that were promoting the change. In my own field of electrical engineering, when cable sizes were metricated, the equivalent cable to out old 7/029 (7 strands twisted together, each strand .029" thick) was 2.5mm, which is a single core 2.5mmcsa. It carries less current than the stranded cable, is much more rigid, and harder to handle and install neatly, but of course, it is a lot cheaper to make!
 

Holescreek

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#6
I work with both systems every day at work and at home. What I can't figure out is why the question still pops up randomly about once a year. That ship sailed in the 70's. The USA won't ever officially change.
 

wrmiller

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#7
My only issue with our system is the silly fractions used in linear measurement. Fractions? Really?

When I started using metal working machines I started thinking of everything in yards/feet/inches/tenths/hundredths/thousandths/ten thousandths. I've saved quite a number of brain cells over the years. Or at least I think I have... ;)
 

higgite

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#8
I like fractions when sawing or cutting paper, wood, cloth, etc. I find that intervals of 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, etc., are easier to make out on a rule or scale than 100ths of an inch. It's only going to be as accurate as a pencil lead width anyway.

BUT, for lathe and mill work where I get to cheat with digital calipers, mics, DTIs, etc., with direct readouts, gimme thousandths of an inch every time. (Or hundredths of a millimeter if I'm working from a drawing generated in one of the more advanced civilizations, like the 18th century French, who are confused by such complex terms as 1/8".)

Tom
 

Joncooey

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#10
One of the biggest things 'bout the Metric system that our petroleum companies (and others, I'm sure) have taken advantage of is the Litre; in my humble opinion. In the U.S. you may get cheezed because the cost of gas is up 10 cents per gallon on the long weekend; up here in Canada it goes up 10 cents per litre. That's 40 cents per gallon. Wonder why antidepressants are so popular these days. Makes it easier when you realize that you're being made a fool of.
 

cjtoombs

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#11
The argument that was always put forward in the past to promote the metric system is that it was in increments of 10, which made the math easy. From an engineering standpoint the advent of computers made that arguement a mute point, as they could just as easily convert inches to feet as millimeters to meters. From a pure engineering standpoint, a base 2 system would be much better, since base 2 math is much faster on a computer (you just shift right or lef by one bit to multiply or divide). It's a bit of a pain to change over, so I doubt that we will now that the main reason for doing it is gone.
 

cvairwerks

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#14
Only way the US will go totally metric is when the military aviation system does it. Only way that happens is when we quit flying anything but pocket drones.
 

aliva

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#15
Gasoline is at $1.18 a liter or $4.46 a US gallon. As said above an easy way for the oil companies and government to hide the real impact.
 

savarin

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#16
If you think about it American machinists are already using the metric system, they talk of tenths, hundredths and thousandths.
Now we just have to get them to let go of their base unit.
 

rgray

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#17
If metric is so wonderful, how come clocks worldwide are still fractional (even in metric countries) ? :alien:
And look at socket drive sizes. 3/8 1/2 . In metric countries do you ask for a 9.525mm ratchet for a 3/8 and a 12.7mm if you want a 1/2 ratchet.
Hey Jo grab me that 9.525 ratchet and a 9.525 drive 10mm deep socket will ya.
 

petcnc

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#21
A funny thing happens with plummers! In my country we all use metric system! Plummers use imperial.
In the UK everyone use imperial plummers use metric! It's a funny world.
 

savarin

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#22
And look at socket drive sizes. 3/8 1/2 . In metric countries do you ask for a 9.525mm ratchet for a 3/8 and a 12.7mm if you want a 1/2 ratchet.
Hey Jo grab me that 9.525 ratchet and a 9.525 drive 10mm deep socket will ya.
Nahh, we just ask for the size socket for the bolt we need to shift.
I think that as a sop to our American cousins who cannot come to "grips" with the metric system we have decided to keep the drivers as standard imperial to help them out.:laughing:
Standard sizes of square drives around the world include 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" square drive sizes along with some lesser used drivers such as 5/8" square drive, and both #4 and #5 spline drives.
 

dlane

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#23
It's a funny world.
Yes it is,
sometimes Not so funny
 

higgite

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#25
Gee whiz you guys, if we switched over to metric we could no longer carry on a thread such as this one. See, there is a purpose!
Yeah, if we switched to metric, the next thing you know they'd want us to learn French.

Tom
 

savarin

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#26
Dis donc, qu'est-ce qui ne va pas avec le français parlant?
 

RJSakowski

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#28
We have virtually converted to metric. Most of our manufacturing uses metric dimensioning. The medical and scientific community has been metric for decades. The automotive industry, likewise.

I suspect that the building trades will be the last big holdout. Much of this has to do with legacy systems. With "2 x 4's" and 4' x 8' sheets of sheet products having been standard sizes for many decades, the majority of our residential structures are built to those standards. Stud or joist spacing at 16" or 24" fits nicely with 4"' x 8' sheeting. Any repair or remodeling work using newly adopted metric products would cause match up issues.

As I look at EU lumber (timber) and sheet goods, I see a hodge podge of different sizes catering to the older legacy structures and new building. Far from the metric order they would have us believe. Looking at sheet goods, I saw 1200mm x 2400mm, 1220mm x 2440mm, 1250mm x 2500mm, and 1500 x 3000mm.

Just specifying dimensions in the metric system doesn't mean that you have converted, IMO. We could specify our 2 x 4's as 38mm x 89mm too. I, for one, prefer to deal with the inch measure where I can work out all my cut lines and allowances without having to carry a calculator.

It's a different story when machining metal. My CAD, CAM, and DRO's don't care whether I'm working in Imperial or metric. Nice, whole numbers aren't as convenient as they once were. I have worked so long with both systems that the conversion from on to the other comes fairly effortlessly. I design and work in either, the choice depending on materials and tooling at hand.
 

Eddyde

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#30
While I do use and like the Metric System, I think there is a certain natural practicality to the relative measurements, ½ inch, ¼ cup etc, that seems to get lost using metric.
 
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