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Imperial units of measurement and the future?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Railboy, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. DR73202

    DR73202 New Member

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    Permanent Way still use a lot of imperial measurements.

    I.E. Fishbolt, Pan Pear Square 15/16" Dia x 5" Long For 95RBH Bull Head Pear-shaped Hole Fishplates.

    And Fishbolt, Pan Pear Square 1" Dia x 6" Long For 109/110A/113A Flat Bottom Pear-shaped Hole Fishplates.

    With switch and crossing bolts being a combination of imperial and metric.

    I.E. Bolt, High Tensile, Square - Round - Square 1" Dia x 310mm Long.
     
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  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    A logical derivative of the calculated polar circumference of the earth ..... since you ask!;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  3. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    And I like the way that length and area work together, once you realise the relationship.

    Furlong = 1/8 mile
    Chain = 1/10 furlong

    Strip one furlong long by one chain wide = one acre.
     
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  4. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    39.4% of an inch if that helps with your historical context!
     
  5. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Were they small condoms?

    Tom
     
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  8. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Your not a joiner then?

    I argued about 0.1mm for a finished size of some tongue and grooved board recently, with a supplier.

    Sawdust.
     
  9. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    Before the metric system, countries and regions all used their own separate local measurements, and much confusion ensued, particularly as the names for the units were often the same. For example in Scandinavia a mile was 36,000 feet - which in itself would greatly confuse English visitors expecting something much shorter - but the length of a foot differed between Norway and Sweden, by about 6%, and hence the mile did too.

    Pre-revolutionary France was particularly bedevilled with a wide variety of regional weights and measures, which is not entirely surprising as it also had huge variety in local and regional laws, taxation and tolls. This variety is possibly why they were the first to agree that a standardised system was probably worth trying.

    Wikipedia, incidentally, has a big chart of historic "foot" measures. The Romans apparently used two different feet, one roughly 296mm and the other roughly 334mm. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_(unit) for more.
     
  10. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Hard to tell! Luckily, the problem didn't become inflated .... and I'll stop that stream of conciousness before it gives birth to any more ..... for crying out loud ...... down, dammit ..... Sorry! :Droid:)
     
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  11. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    no but my Grandad was and he'd make the timber fit the job. Built revolving doors for hotels and posh shops and fittings for ocean liners.
     
  12. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Very good. But I don't expect nominal to be nearly half a millimetre out.

    I'm also good at making the timber fit the job :)

    Sawdust.
     
  13. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Well-Known Member

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    Presumably you checked the relative humidity when arguing about a tolerance well below the standard ?

    Bob.
     
  14. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

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    May be slightly different in UK as we still measure distances in Miles and Yards, Pubs still sell beer by the pint and Milk is still generally sold by the pint. In my experience most people (including youngsters) still refer to their height in feet and inches - indeed one of our sons said he didn't realise that feet and inches and metres were different systems! Now that's scary

    David R
     
  15. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    Liquid measurements are interesting. Whilst a UK Pint is 20 fluid ounces, an American (USA) pint is 16.6535 Imperial fluid ounces.

    A nephew of mine, moved to the USA and took with him a UK pint glass which was retained behind the bar of a local hostelry and for his use whenever he visited.

    I believe it was some number of weeks before the bar owner caught on and 'accidentally' smashed his tankard.:)
     
  16. W.Williams

    W.Williams Well-Known Member

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    I find it fun that we have both systems still. Some things are just more intuitive in inches. I think at some point imperial will fade away, but until we stop drilling for oil or flying aircraft in the sky, its a long way off.
     
  17. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Except that the smart arsed garlic sucking frogs got it wrong.
    They got it wrong. C'est un erreur,mon Empereur.
    Wrong.
    The entire world is doing calculations, building houses and atom bombs and rockets, all based on a mistake that the french ******** were too bloody arrogant to check their calculations.

    Sorry. I don't like metric.
    or the french
     
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  18. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    All the time we try to keep antique machinery running we will have to use the imperial measurements they were made in. Using a metric fastener in a imperial hole will usually end up with either a sloppy joint or an inteference fit. Not good for safety or the longlevity of components
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    C'est plane pour moi. Bien, allons-y! Having in my youth (the non-misspent portion!) spent a year at school in Savoie, I'm rather less exercised on either front, though I can't honestly say I found Parisians any more or less friendly than Londoners during random wanderings in both cities. Not being one to get my blood pressure up, in my experience, people come in two flavours. They're either OK or they're not.

    In half a century of travel, pretty much the only national stereotypes I've found to have any basis in reality concern driving. It's a matter of fact that the Italian language has a specific word for what happens to a body burned to a crisp in a head-on traffic collision and the only vehicles I saw in Turin with no dents in them during my visits were the trams (those in use in the 70's and well into the 80's were built like battleships compared with the Alfas and Fiats of the time). Roads in Alexandria (supposedly more sedate than Cairo) were nothing short of terrifying and a friend of mine from Cairo was scared out of his wits by traffic in Kolkata. Many Hindus, he alleged, were given to speeding up on seeing an obstruction, such is the faith in reincarnation. Most Indian cabbies are Hindu and presumably hope for a better crack of the whip next time around!

    To be honest, I see little difference in the accuracy surrounding the origins of the metric system any more or less outrageous than something based on the length of part of some random bloke with a funny hat's anatomy half a millenium ago. Given the difference in nutrition between an invisible bonded serf and a nobleman, the notion of an 'average' size of body part is nonsensical. Leaving that aside, imperial measures would make more sense if the damned things were the same everywhere.
     
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  20. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    It must have been interesting coming to that conclusion. I can't say the same as I haven't met them all :)
    The ones I did meet when living and working in Pau, Arles and for a while, Paris, seemed to be the usual mixture of people found anywhere :)
     

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