View Poll Results: Metric or Imperial

106. You may not vote on this poll
  • I work exclusively in Imperial Units and my tools are mostly calibrated in Imperial Units.

    65 61.32%
  • I work exclusively in Metric Units and my tools are mostly calibrated in Metric Units.

    2 1.89%
  • I am equally comfortable in both and have tools calibrated in both.

    37 34.91%
  • I never measure anything. ;o)

    2 1.89%
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Thread: Imperial or Metric

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia

    Imperial or Metric

    Do you work using Imperial or Metric measurements or both? Are your tools calibrated in one or the other or do you have 2 sets of everything ?


    Maybe I'll set up a poll.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2

    It depends on what you're doing.

    In furniture, I use imperial units mostly for setting general dimensions, external usually. Once those are established, I rarely measure anything. Mortises are either 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" because those are the bits I have for my router, but once cut those dimensions mean nothing, either. I use calipers, not to measure but to transfer dimensions. I use story sticks rather than rulers, because they're more accurate. Cut to fit, plane to fit, chisel to fit. Measurements don't mean that much in furniture; they're more general guidelines than absolute requisites.

    Building is another matter. There I use imperial exclusively and pay a great deal of attention to careful measuring. Stud spacing, stud length, rafter pitches, lengths, door and window openings are all critical because they're you're working to a standard used by everyone else and product suppliers, too. Windows, doors, cabinets come in fixed dimensions, so it's important that the same standards are used and adhered to.
    Last edited by Bruce Haugen; 11-19-2010 at 07:25 PM. Reason: added text

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    Living in the USA, I have always used Imperial measurements for everything. I'm comfortable using Metric as well. In fact, there have been times that it's been easier to transfer a measurement in Metric rather than try to split a 64th!

    Like Bruce, I use story sticks in many cases after making initial cuts to specific measurements.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I dislike Metric. (don't ask why, answer would violate CoC)
    I use Imperial whenever possible.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    I don't dislike metric. In fact if Imperial simply had never existed, and metric were the only system available we would all be in a better position.


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    imperial only. long live the empire!
    benedictione omnes bene

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Auckland New Zealand
    I was brought up on imperial, but NZ changed to metric in 1976.
    In my opinion that was a great forward thinking move ,BUT we still get plans and stuff from USA which we have to dig out our old rules or use conversion tables etc ,so to be truthfull i hate using the imperial system now,
    Metric is SO much more user freindly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I do both. Imperial is my default and metric is great for incremental or comparative measuring. It is nice to just be comfortable with both. America tried to convert twice while I was in school so a little sank in and then a little more. I worked for Canadian company for a year and that will cure you of any Celsius blues ;-) I have managed to ignore Bob's Rule so far.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    I can't answer the poll. I use Imperial almost all the time, but rarely, I have to divide some awful fraction in half, like 7 13/16. So then I might use a metric rule.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    like a few other have said, when making furniture I don't measure, I do use story stick and calipers.
    "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

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