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

savarin

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#31
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.
As an ex chef I have to say American recipes using cups for the measurement of items other than liquids is abominable, I mean how can you work out the cup equivalent of "err, about that much!"
 

Eddyde

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#32
As an ex chef I have to say American recipes using cups for the measurement of items other than liquids is abominable, I mean how can you work out the cup equivalent of "err, about that much!"
Um, about 250 cc of chopped onions? Though it doesn't sound too appetizing....
 

GA Gyro

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#33
Which system we use... seems a mute point...

My concern... is we use one system or the other... and not mix them.

Remember a service van I had years ago... there was no telling whether a bolt or nut would be metric or SAE... until you put a socket on it and determined if the socket fit or was just a little loose. Literally one bolt of the engine accessories (belt driven things on the front of the engine) would be 13MM... the next 1/2".

So either way is good... just please do not mix them on the same product!!!
 

hermetic

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#34
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.
Ah yes, but it only applies to soldered copper, in which the most common sizes are 15mm, 22mm and 28mm. As soon as you start with threaded fittings or pipework, it is back to imperial, sink taps are 1/2" bath taps 3/4", and a threaded adapter will be quoted as 15mm to 1/2 inch, or 22mm to 3/4"etc!
 

GA Gyro

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#35
And here is another oddity:

In the USA: Copper water pipe is the inside diameter... while refrigeration pipe is the outside diameter.

So a 3/4 water pipe is in reality 7/8 outside...
While a 3/4 refrigeration pipe is in reality closer to 5/8 inside.

Standards... do not always seem so standard... :)
 

GA Gyro

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#37
Could well be...

I used to run a remodeling co... we specialized in basement finishes. Did the water with copper pipe...
Then switched to heating and AC... noticed the copper pipe is a different size, yet called the same.
We have done a little commercial refrigeration (convenience store stuff)... even rigid pipe (tubing?) for refrigeration is the smaller size noted in the previous post.

Curious how sizes become 'standard'... :)
 

GA Gyro

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#39
Just be thankful that you don't live in England, I've just bought some 12mm plywood, and it comes in a size of 8ft X 4 ft!
Brian
So does it match in thickness the current plywood...
Even in the USA... going from one manufacturer to another... could cause a difference of as much as a 1/16" in thickness... both are called 3/4 BCX at the big box stores.
Point to remember... always start and finish a project with the same brand of lumber... :)
 

mcostello

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#41
Bought 3/8" plywood ,size was .200, bought 1/4" plywood size was 3/16". Some cheapness going on here.
 

tq60

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#42
We hate the new "way of doing things"

Before you order 3/4 inch plywood and by golly it was 3/4 inch thick.

Now it is close to 3/4 but to some 32 of an inch.

Same brand?

Forget that!

When we built the shop it has second floor with 16 centers on the joists and we wanted more heavy duty and after much homework selected 1 1/8 plytanium subfloor as it was APA rated 48 span meaning it on 48 inch joists were same as normal on 16 so given we had 16 span good to go.

Ordered 2 pallets of them and there were noticeable differences in thickness and there was no way to reasonably sort and size them.

We just used a 20 inch floor polisher with sanding disks to level it out and called it a day.

When we looked into it the responses were that size varied due to international standards and metric along w the many other excuses for lack of quality control.

Next time you are at the big box store look at the sheet stock and everything is just a bit thinner than standard and it is same as the 1.75 quart ice cream instead of 1/2 gallon or smaller cans of product that cause cooks grief and metric gets blamed sometimes but we know it is about profit....

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
 

terrywerm

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#43
Bought 3/8" plywood ,size was .200, bought 1/4" plywood size was 3/16". Some cheapness going on here.
You actually found 3/8" plywood?? Wow. I haven't been able to find it around here for a while now, at least not at the big box stores. Time to start doing business at the local lumber yard again!
 

savarin

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#45
I got it the other way round yesterday.
Bought a one metre length of 150mm steel tube but when I measured it back home it was 152.
Where does this come from?
neither 150 nor 152 is 6" so it wasnt just a straight swap.
 

Smithy

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#46
the metric system was introduced in australia before i was born and i grew up on a farm where we had a sawmill as well so i ended up learning both from a young age. to be honest both systems have their positives and negatives. for some things i prefer metric and for others imperial.
 

crazypj

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#47
I'm British, grew up with feet and inches. Living in USA I had to do some research. USA has used feet and inches based on Meter and Kilogram since 1864 Act of Congress which means USA HAS used kilo's and meters for over 150 years without even knowing it. Prior to 1864 act, the only standardised measurement was for gold and silver (Troy ounce)
Australia went metric 14th Feb 1966 if I remember the annoying jingle they used correctly? :eagerness:
Also had various rhyme's, 'liter of water a pint and three quarter' (UK pint, 20 fl. oz.)
'Two and quarter pots of jam, weigh about a kilogram' This was on British TV in the early 70's, almost 50 yrs later, it's still stuck in my head
Judging by the amount of students I had while teaching, US Military has used metric system for years
 
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cvairwerks

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#48
Judging by the amount of students I had while teaching, US Military has used metric system for years
Only the ground pounders use metric, and that's only for some things. Aviators and the boat people still use inch/foot/mile/gallons and pounds.
 

Dan_S

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#49
Only the ground pounders use metric, and that's only for some things. Aviators and the boat people still use inch/foot/mile/gallons and pounds.
Telling some your speed in knots always draws a huh look!
 

westsailpat

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#50
I once had Whitworth tools because I had a J.A.P. speedway bike .
 

westsailpat

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#51
Also I'm a sailboat guy and the knot thing and nautical mile thing always trip me up . And don't even get me started on magnetic compass readings .
 

Mutt

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#52
You mean you don't ask for 1/2 a liter of lager?
Lager, filthy foreign muck that tastes like P*ss We drink PINTS of bitter!, or as the Hob Goblin advert says



Man, I wish I could get a 6 pints of that King Goblin over here in Texas !!!!!
 

higgite

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#53
I use metrics when I have to, but the only metric that I really like to use is 9mm. ;)

Tom
 

whitmore

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#54
My concern... is we use one system or the other... and not mix them.

Remember a service van I had years ago...
Literally one bolt of the engine accessories (belt driven things on the front of the engine) would be 13MM... the next 1/2".
Yeah, I've been there. Due to a committee of contributors, our product had fasteners to be cataloged before
production, and (after some grousing and grumbling) mostly got sorted out. Everything was metric,
except one inserts-in-sheet-metal, so we rationalized at the toolkit. Four metric Allen wrenches, two or three
hex wrenches, and (for the lonely inch screws) Phillips head driver. The hard part was, one
or two socket heads could just barely be seen, and took a 18" (half meter) extension shaft driver
if you didn't want to skin your knuckles. Other than that, the whole multikilobuck
gizmo only needed the tools you could fit in a shirtpocket.

Three of the fasteners had to be done 'cleverly' (I hate that, SOMEONE a few years from now
won't get it right), so I felt a little ... unclean... about the design, but at least there wasn't a
wrong-measure-system wrench issue.
 

bfk

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#55
When I was teen I worked construction during the summer. This was in Scotland in the late 60's, just as they were changing to the metric system. The new system worked fine and the change was surprisingly smooth. Except for all the rules of thumb. I was frequently told to cut a piece of wood to (say) 1478mm. Less 1/4".
 
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