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Discussion Starter #1
First of all i want to say that i do NOT want to upbring a discussion of "what is better".
That is and never was my aim.


Second is that there may be a problem at mine to find the right words. I just have some school-english from long-long ago....but i think the discussion is worth it!


Thrid is i opended a new thread because we are not on drill bit nomenclatur any more....




Now, lets start.
I dont want to say that inches are not usable or that metric is THE better system. I know that there is a big factor (maybe the biggest??) about how people are used to a system.
What i mean is that for me, working with old 1/2 1/4....1/128 inches as well as with decimal inches and for sure with metric meassurements, the metric system is that which FITS to the mechanical problems the most.
NOT only because i´m used to it.


I think a "mm" is a very "fitting", "matching" length for the purposes we have to deal with in mechanical engineering. The inch is a bit to "big" makes fine meassurments more difficult to write down and to calculate with. When i say that the many "0" makes problems in the decimal inch-system, thats not just my opinion, its a fact. We do many works for US medicinal industries and they have LOTS of faults in their drawings, especially with tolerances.


What is clearly my own opinion and perhaps a question of sight, that the broken-inch system is a mess. When a length is to be 1-239/256 inches there is -in my eyes- the need of bringing this to system that fits the modern systems around the world.
Many years before, even metric user-societies used "hand-lengths" and "elbows". These systems were ok for the time used, but they died. So should do the mathematical broken inch-system, too.
When the told 1-239/256 inch gets to fit with a tolerance of ±1/512 inch, there -for me- "the fun gets a hole"!
This is a post-medieval system and has overcome.


An Example?
Just calculate how much will be the length of ...say 1-7/64 inches (model)  with a 1:87 scale in original. But in feet and inches, please! And in the head. And some kind of fast, please!
Let me guess: it is not usable!


the inch per se is just a length. Using inches or millimeters is  -therfore i agree- mainly a question of how we are used to. But please: just in decimal style. Even windows-computers use decimal systems for their users (what they use internal is regardless)....because even windows users are humans... 
.....ahmm....i hope not to have to open a Computersystems-thread...:-D (written by a millitant apple user.....)




Grettings 


and nothing for bad..just my thoughts!


Frank 
 

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Frank

First of all, there is nothing wrong with your English, it is much better than any of my German (i.e. non-existent).


Next, I agree this isn't an argument about which is better or worse at all.

Lastly, you really didn't need to start a new topic (although it is OK that you did) we are used to a fair amount of thread drift.

The place where we diverge in the opinions expressed by each (i.e. you and I), is in the environment. In most of your examples you refer to the commercial/professional environment (i.e. engineering etc.) and I totally agree with you opinion, what I'm speaking of is within the individual's personal environment. And since children pick up a great deal of knowledge & habits from their parents, long before they ever enter a school house. that transfer forward of old systems will continue.


Even within the hobby arena, I really don't find it all that difficult to convert from inch fractional notation to decimal notation, without the aid of a calculator, I guess that I've been doing it for so long it just doesn't seem that difficult. Heck, a few days back one of my sons asked what my serial number was when I was in the U.S. Marines, now mind you I haven't even thought about that in well over 45+ years, yet without any hesitation it came rolling out of my mouth, as if I was fresh out of 'Boot camp.'
The other thing being is the degree of accuracy desired. For example I model in 1:20.32 (NMRA Fn3, 3-foot gauge on #1 gauge track (i.e. 45mm)). Yet I don't use the correct decimal value of 0.59" for 1 ft. instead I use 0.6" and a U.S. engineer scale (i.e. 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, & 60 (U.S. in.)) and for me that's close enough.


No sir we don't need to worry about the computer internals (i.e. binary base methodologies)
 

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The Company I work for Makes Industrail printing presses in Japan. Everything thing is metric. All my tools are Metric. That is why I use the metric system. It is easier.
With every new press we install I supply a Tape measure with metric increments on it. It makes life easier than the convertion tables some people have generated.
The hard part is it is getting harder and harder to find metric tape measures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, your right.
I often feel that very experienced people have some feeling of taking the right thing, even though they have no tool to meassure or a pocket-calculator.
So i think fractional inch-systems work: people get deeply into it and are doing right, and noone arround knows why...:D


There are several examples of similar things: like cooking and baking.
There are people who may weigh the ingredients particle by particle of a recipe and the result doesnt taste well.
Others work with "a hand full" or "some of.." getting a delicious dish.
Its a miracle.....


So in mechanics, both professional and "on hobby", i better like the  reconstructable way. Means, all people involved should talk ONE language, use ONE standard. So its clear that the mm which was today a mm is the same tomorrow. And its the same regardless if Max, Tom, Jack or Fred used it.


And therefore i always have to fight  a bit with the inches, and -as told before- for sure of some big reason that i´m not deep enough into it. So i will never know why there are threads R1/2"-G1/2"-UNF1/2" and each one is from another diameter......and dont try to explain to me...LOL!!!


But i really think that a mm is a more capable length to use with mechanics. 
Breaking an inch in a smaller size would have helped.


But with the metric system, we have also a problem: each branch thinks to use its own standard, using the sizes they think to be ok. so there is somtimes a bit of confusion.
Maybe its usefull that carpenters use "cm" and mechanics "mm".
The problem is that metall work of the sketch from a carpenters hand often gives very fine and difficult parts. Or a mechanic ordering a "profile of 20x 20 wood" getting a big beam. 
but there are sizes noone really needs:
"dm" (dezimeter..100mm) "hektoliter" (100 liters) or "zentner". Zentner is an old weighing size and stands for 50kg. 


What i really find very difficult is when words are similar, but values different. So noone really knows how many sorts of "miles" are in the world. Or "pounds". Even in German we have Miles and Pounds, but the german mile is just for naval use and somekind of another lenght than the british mile and so on. There are Landmiles and Seamiles...and Spacemiles?...
I think the US pound is originally not 0,5 kg, because the addition exists: 3400 pounds of 2000pounds per ton.
Its kind of "historical grown" and would give a long way to bring it to a norm. Perhaps it is no good idea to bring all to a norm..Who knows?


Greetings




Frank 
 
 

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.....which brings us to another interresting situation.

Why do "thirty inch" railroads in Europe and some colonies varry from 750mm (Saxony) to 760 (Austria-Hungary) up to 785mm (Pomerania) depending on where or what "mother country" built them?



There was not a standard inch until the late 1950s.
 

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There was a feeble effort decades back to have the metric system used in the United States. It died for several reasons, not the least of which was the enormous cost of conversion of all the equipment used to make stuff (we had a lot more manufacturing jobs here back then)... lathes, milling machines, drill presses - in short, all the machinery used to manufacture goods, all of which were calibrated in inches and fractions thereof.

There is also strong resistance to change, regardless of how beneficial such change may be in the long run. People here are used to inches, and aren't particularly into learning a whole new system. If you grew up with inches, pounds, gallons, etc. you have a "feel" for how much a certain quantity is. For good or ill, most don't want to throw that away, and are happy with the system already in place.
 

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Thanks Stan, that was the laugh that I needed for the day.
Now let me go get the paper towels to clean this mess I made from choking on my coffee.
 

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And then there's the sports announcer saying, "And he's down at 22.75 meters!"

I speak either metric or "english" but generally prefer to stick to one or the other for a project.
 

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Where I have found metrics to be king is when dealing with drawings, plans, etc. Then the math gets REALLY simple, unless it is an obvious easy to convert in standard units scale such as 1:12, 1:24, 1:48, etc.
 

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And when it comes to accidents, a miss is as good as ah - - 1.6 Km.

But I always work with mm when laying out LGB track! Those small pieces come in millimeters!!


Art
 

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I tried suggesting to Aristo a few years ago: "Look, we all know what a meter is. Just specify the metric measurements instead of saying, 'about a foot.'"

The negative response from other model railroaders was overwhelming.
 

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With me, it's very much a "when in Rome" kind of thing. My two cars are metric, so I can work on them rather easily from that perspective. When traveling in Canada, I quickly get used to km and litres. If I'm driving a car with a selectable speedomoter (i.e, a button changes it from imperial to metric, rather than having both scales) it gets even easier. I don't know that one system is easier than the other. From my perspective, they're both just lines on a ruler. Rarely when I'm drilling holes, etc., do I use either imperial or metric sizes, instead using the numbered and lettered drills.

Besides, there are 15mm to every foot, so I don't see what the trouble is. ;)


Later,


K
 

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But not always so, in our time our family has owned a Chevette that was a mix of Metric and Standard, ditto with a couple 1960s Volvos.

Math of KM-MPH got really easy really fast when we owned a grey market Citroen with a metric dashboard. What was really fun was watching how fast the "tenth" digit on the odometer went at speeds around 70 mph/110 kph....
 

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In the early 80's a machinist told me "It's impossible to do precision work in the metric system." That seemed to be pretty odd as a micrometer is a very small unit.
 

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atleast I have gotten better at some types of math :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />

Try this on.
The prototype driver is 1250mm about 49.2" or 4'1-5/32" (I suspect though that the original is really 4'1")

that is 39,0625 mm in 1/32


hmmm, now to find a driver that fits the model...
Hmmm, everything available is in 10mm/foot Wohoo :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />

So that equals... 1.25" right? no, I am not modelling in 10mm but I can use the wheels, but I will need a slightly larger one.
ok, for metrics I can use (1250*32)/30,4785 to get the size = 1312.4 wich is 51.669" or (roughly) 4' 3-1/2" wohooo, and slaters actually had a 10mm scale wheel for 4' 3-1/2" :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />

But... dang, so much trouble to go between two types of calculating.
And I have no idea how I would have done it without metrics, or atleast decimal inches (the converter doesn't even take fractions).


then again, I do order the wheels once I have found the right one and done the math, as it's really too much hassle to do it twice ;)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />




Edited for accuracy :)
 

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10mm to the ft is 1/30.5 or so.
 

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Posted By Torby on 04/20/2009 11:46 AM
10mm to the ft is 1/30.5 or so.

Indeed, it's 1/30.478512648 (etc.) :)
1/30 was for simplicity in the example :)
 
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