A question of millimetres (or inches)

You have a boat built out of aluminium.
Cut using metric dimensions, then finished by someone who works in feet and inches.
Old school just like me.
So what do you think the majority of the internal dimensions are?

You’d think just that, feet and inches, only you’d be wrong.
For instance.
Cupboards are a sweet little 33 inches wide and 14 inches height, 5 inches deep. nice eh?
No problem there.

Only the distance between them is EXACTLY 100 cm (39.37 inches).
The height from the deck, 150 cm (59 inches)

OK, I can live with that only the waste pipework is 30 mm (1.18 inches) diameter.
The sink? That has a 7/8″ (22 mm) drain hole.
Taps? 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) , but the water pipe going to them is 15 mm (.59 inches).

There are adapters EVERYWHERE!

Windows, 33 inches wide (832 mm), but 900 mm high, (35.43 inches).
The glass? 4mm toughened which could be 5/32 (only it isn’t).

Lights are all 50 mm LED’s but 14 inches apart (355.6 mm) and 60 cm (23.6 inches) from the bulkheads.

As for what screws were used? Forget it.
Stainless steel both imperial and metric.

As for wood?
9 mm , 10 mm , 15 mm ply abound.
Frames though are 1/2 inch, 1 1/4 inch, 2 inches pine or hardwood.
EXCEPT the kitchen where all frames are 40 mm, doors 900 mm, drawers 500 mm.
Skinned by 5/8 beech (15.875 mm).
That’s exactly 20 inches across and needs to be fitted into a 500 mm (19.685 inch) base unit!!


I spend half my time looking at my book of tables to convert from metric to imperial and back again.


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7 Responses to A question of millimetres (or inches)

  1. Rifleman III says:

    The Imperial is what I know. The metric was to come out some time after I had graduated but, was confusing the public, who said it was “scientific” and very precise however, when working aircraft skin or airframes, 1/100th inch, is the norm, while in engine rebuilding 1/10,000th of an inch is at times, the norm. Very precise, I would say. Then ballistics, of one caliber point equaling 1/100th of an inch. But along comes the metrics of 8x57mm, 6.5x55mm, and other “troublemakers” to stir the pot.

    • Personally I blame the French.

      • Rifleman III says:

        Yes, that is what was said of whom were making the metric system push, because Napoleon and his ten system. Latin Rome ran a ten system but I do not know how far they pushed it, as commerce dealt with other units of measure. Rod. Hectar.

      • Personally I miss the old money, Pounds, shillings, and pence.
        I still convert back into them.

        I am getting better though, I’ll either work in metric or imperial, it’s the combination of both that blows my mind!

      • Rifleman III says:

        I love the Sterling Pound, too.
        A co-worker of my wife’s, gave her a 100 Pound Sterling note, saying it was “pretty”, but worth about 40 (US) cents. My wife tossed it aside in the trash. My eyes bludged! Asking if she wanted the note, she said it was nothing, so I retrieved the sterling note and the next morning, at the bank, exchange of $70 (USD), minus $5 (USD) bank fee, I smiled as I placed $65 (USD) into my wallet (a Pound wallet!). I also asked my wife to find out if any more “worthless” money was available from the co-worker. I will stand on line at the bank all day long and exchange “worthless” Sterling Pound notes, and stuff my wallet. Let my say, that the pints of ale had a lovlier taste.

      • Rifleman III says:

        PS: Imperial ton vs. Metric ton. (!)

  2. yokel. says:

    i’m old school, I always measure in feet and inches.

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