Saturday, January 23, 2010

going imperial


i always thought the english or imperial system of measurement was stupid. basically arbitrary origins that dont make sense in a logical sort of way. i mean, 64ths?! come on now, that is weird.

working as a wrench in bike shops for a long time did not help my distaste for imperial measurement. yes, there are a few of english sizes of things on bikes, tubing is english sized-- 1", 1-1/8", 1-1/4", some clamping designations...but in the shop we still convert them to our lovely metric 25.4, 31.8 and so on. but there is also a lot of bike specific dimensions that is metric. dropout spacing, BB widths, bolt circle diameters, seatpost sizes, and a whole bunch of other things.

metric is just easier to do mental math, i became comfortable with it.

but i had to make the switch back to imperial. why you may ask?
my lathe/mill, an emco v10p, is an imperial machine. this particular machine was manufactured in austria, and came available as a metric or imperial. obviously the majority of the the units imported to the US are imperial. an interesting thing about the emco is that bc it was built in europe, all of the fasteners and wrench sizes are metric.

all of the scaling on the lathe/mill is in thousandths. 0.001 of an inch. for me to become adept at using the machiney i had to become comfortable with fractional measurements and converting to decimal.

i feel a lot more american now that i am comfortably using inches again.


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