[sdiy] Metric OT rant

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Mon Aug 12 07:14:43 CEST 2002


Y-ellow Peter 'n' all.

At 10:50 PM 8/11/02 -0400, Echophazer at aol.com wrote:
>I've thought about this subject more than a few times and came up with this
>theory of why the US still uses Imperial. Mind you this is from information
>I've gathered and not any actual fact that I can refer you to.

That sounds about right. I remember when we were metricating and the 
argument I heard from the US was that the national re-tooling costs were 
just too vast. As you pointed out that with direct CNC, flipping from one 
to the other is as hard as pushing a button. More over that if you're in a 
company that relies on parts and fittings from Asia, then you really have 
no choice. The Japs might consider doing a special imperial order for a 
couple a million units but even then I think it would be just a whole lot 
cheaper to press that button these days. From what I understand, the US 
already uses the metric system on a fairly wide scale these days. Even 
though it's not official.

A friend of mine's father is a retired toolmaker/instrument maker. Before 
he retired he was doing precision instruments for the medical industry. He 
has a building in his back yard where he bought a pile of second hand old 
lathes and mills etc. Really nice solid gear but all imperial. This never 
phased him. He just made up new scales and calibrations which include 
metric as well. Being a medical grade tool maker this was probably not a 
real big deal for him to do.

The guy is 70 odd and with this outdated equipment he can do a better job 
than my ex-musical partner could with the latest stuff. When I need 
something made I always talk to Jaraslav first. The guy's amazing. As an 
aside, he showed me a coin guaranteed for winning bets. It has the queen's 
head on both sides. What he did is mill out the tail side of one coin and 
lathe down the edges of another. Slapped the two pieces together and you 
CANNOT see any join. He pointed out where it was and I still couldn't see it.

As they say, a bad workperson always blames their tools. But since my tools 
are the only ones who'll talk to me these days, who else am I going to blame?

>I'm an apprentice metrologist find this personally to be an interesting
>topic. The things I've written here are based on questions I've asked and not
>facts out of a book so take it with a grain of salt.

Peter, that must be a fascinating place to work but I was wondering what a 
'meteorologist' would be doing in an engine plant. Then I realized it 
wasn't actually a typo. I never knew such a profession existed. That must 
be fascinating work. Especially the bit about riding roughshod over all the 
engineers. How much electrical/electronic work do you do there?

Ya wanna watch this one guys, he could be your boss one day.

----
Definition of a metrologist:
012.067-010 METROLOGIST (profess. & kin.)

         Develops and evaluates calibration systems that measure 
characteristics of objects, substances, or phenomena, such as length, mass, 
time, temperature, electric current, luminous intensity, and derived units 
of physical or chemical measure: Identifies magnitude of error sources 
contributing to uncertainty of results to determine reliability of 
measurement process in quantitative terms. Redesigns or adjusts measurement 
capability to minimize errors. Develops calibration methods and techniques 
based on principles of measurement science, technical analysis of 
measurement problems, and accuracy and precision requirements. Directs 
engineering, quality, and laboratory personnel in design, manufacture, 
evaluation, and calibration of measurement standards, instruments, and test 
systems to ensure selection of approved instrumentation. Advises others on 
methods of resolving measurement problems and exchanges information with 
other metrology personnel through participation in government and 
industrial standardization committees and professional societies.
------

We're not worthy!

Specially me. If you can't measure it. Fuck it!

Be absolutely Icebox.

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