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Thread: Metric or inches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Lincoln AR
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    Question Metric or inches

    I just bought a wooden steam engine set of plans and wanted try it out because I've built a lot of aluminum and steel ones ( maybe more like a few).

    Here's the deal. I got the plans and there all in metric. I know how to convert, there are down loadable rulers, charts. etc. But they don't have the (.) like 42.2 just the 42 and very small lines.

    There are a lot of ways to go I'm just not sure which way. I can sit down and convert all the measurement which there a lot of them, I don't know, just throw something at me.

    Thanks Bill

  2. #2
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    I'd just do it in metric.
    Wooden steam engine..I'd think the steam would warp the wood..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Like Don said, just do it in metric if you can. Otherwise, you're gonna need a good calculator. My older TI-68 will convert to many more decimal places than you'd ever need.

    The idea of a wooden steam engine intrigues me. Where'd you get the plans?
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
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    Poway, CA, near San Diego
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    Hi folks,
    Some years ago I saw a method in a magazine. Maybe "Live Steam." If you just convert with a calculator, you end up with a bunch of hard to work with numbers. For instance, convert 10 mm to .3937 in. Now what? What if that's the size of some stock material? You're stuck making special stuff. The method was to convert each millimeter to one sixteenth of an inch. So, the 10 mm becomes 10/16" = 5/8". Now you have a sensible inch number to work with. A side effect of this is that everything gets larger because 1/16" is bigger than 1 mm. Just fine if you're making a something to no particular scale. May even be better for a wood engine, since the parts would be bigger.
    Not so good for furniture, I guess.

    Good luck,
    Bob

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Plainwell, Michigan
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    Check your phone Bill. No I'm not crazy, my phone has a conversion calculator built in it. Very easy for metric conversions

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Work in millimeters. No 'systems' to remember. No conversions. Acquire dual measure tapes and rules and effortlessly switch from one to the other. Whichever is the most expedient at the moment. Only stubbornness makes this hard. Everyone on this board is more than bright enough to incorporate this. It is simply counting in whole numbers in groups of ten. Math and calculations are easier - no fractions, save maybe a half a millimeter for close work.

    The confusion can lie in the fact that sheet goods now are measured in millimeters but cutters are not. Thus there is a discrepancy between the 19mm sheet and the 3.4" router bit. Go with the closest.

    There are conversion charts all over the Internet. Download and print one out for the shop so you have a visual idea where you are one with the other.

    Only real downside to working in both systems is that there is no fun in complaining about how user un-friendly one it as opposed to the other.

  7. #7
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    Talking

    Thanks for response. All you do is put the metric in and x by o,39 and you have you inches . in fact it can be just .39

    As to the steam it's really air or vacuum. They just call it steam engine even mine that are made of metal run on compressed air.

    Thanks Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Yes Bill don't try to convert it will just create more problems for you. Metric is really easy as everythinmg works in 10's. Good luck looking forward to the pics of the project.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  9. #9
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    This post reminds me of the time when the USA was suposed to convert to metric. LOML said they cant do that how am I gonna cook. I don't know what liters are.
    There's a streatch of freeway from Tucson to Nogalas Mexico where there are no mile markers, only km markers. Seems that it was built during the time when we were thinking of switching to metric.

    Does anyone know how and inch was determined. 1 inch equals 2 barly corns. Sure hope the barley grows uniformly..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    Work in millimeters. No 'systems' to remember. No conversions. Acquire dual measure tapes and rules and effortlessly switch from one to the other. Whichever is the most expedient at the moment. Only stubbornness makes this hard. Everyone on this board is more than bright enough to incorporate this. It is simply counting in whole numbers in groups of ten. Math and calculations are easier - no fractions, save maybe a half a millimeter for close work.

    The confusion can lie in the fact that sheet goods now are measured in millimeters but cutters are not. Thus there is a discrepancy between the 19mm sheet and the 3.4" router bit. Go with the closest.

    There are conversion charts all over the Internet. Download and print one out for the shop so you have a visual idea where you are one with the other.

    Only real downside to working in both systems is that there is no fun in complaining about how user un-friendly one it as opposed to the other.
    Excellent post Carol

    I grew up in Canada at a time when the imperial system was on the way out, and the metric system was on the way in, so we had to learn both, boy we complained about that, but now I'm glad we did have to learn both, because I can work in both easily.

    If I have my choice, I'll choose metric, it is a LOT simpler, groups of 10, and I have 10 fingers and ten toes, not twelve
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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