Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Forum Guidelines (
-   -   Imperial cf Metric (

jeff 01-26-2008 09:21 AM

Imperial cf Metric
Your site would be so much friendlier if it contained empirical <-> metric conversions as a matter of course. Mate, I try to go empirical for USA, but use metric in other threads.
Hope it's possible.
Thanks eh.

dmun 01-26-2008 12:30 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
There's a problem with inch / meter systems, in that they are far from universal in building materials. We have the countries, like continental Europe, that have been using the French yard for generations, where building units are native metric, and countries like the UK/austrialia which are recent converts to the cult, where things are nominally metric, but in truth the systems are full of things measured in multiples of 25.4mm. Then you have the US, where we use inches and like them.

The plans are in US measurements because they pre-suppose the use of USA building materials. Even here, we have to adapt, adopt, and re-use because of regional differences and cost-related scrounging for used materials.

Like it or not, we live in a metric world. We're lucky because the world caters to our US eccentricities. We suspect it's because, deep down, they wish they had feet and inches too!

Archena 01-26-2008 03:27 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by dmun (Post 23108)

Like it or not, we live in a metric world. We're lucky because the world caters to our US eccentricities. We suspect it's because, deep down, they wish they had feet and inches too!

Attachment 5348
I don't think it's a problem with masonry but with lumber 2x4 no longer actually means 2 inches by 4 inches - they're actually smaller than that. Wouldn't that complicate matters as you tried to convert from one country's standards to anothers?

CanuckJim 01-26-2008 06:13 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric

This topic has surfaced several times. Never responded until now. I've given it serious thought and by no means want to appear denigrating, just inquisitive.

I live in one of those uncertain, uncommited societies that is officially metric and has been for a long time. We drive in kilometres, buy meat by the gram (or pound, depending) and gas by the litre but lumber and brick in Imperial.

I can't remotely agree that the rest of the world would like to stick to Imperial measurements. Why would it? I'd really like to hear a defence of that. How many sixty-fourths is that anyway? It's a very imprecise system. In woodworking, metric is far superior for division in building, let's say, a picket fence or a side table. No machinist or tool and die maker that I know would willingly work in Imperial. Tens work, sixteenths are a serious pain in the neck and lead to errors; too much iffy division, conversion (thirty-secondths to eighths to quarters, etc.) too much variation in sizes. Sloppy. Metric measurement simply does not have that problem: ten is ten. I'd like to suggest that anybody put a metric measure on a so-called 2x4; the reason, I suspect, is they are the size they are for export, not because the mills are being cheap. You're right, there is no across the board worldwide standard (2x4s [actually metric in section here] are still 8 ft or 10ft long, though plywood is still 3/4 inch thick, but 3/8ths ain't), but it is accurate to say that the US is the only nation in the world that still clings to an 18th century English measurement system that should have gone the way of the gill, the dram and the butt a long time ago. Even the English don't do that, and they're notoriously xenophopic about such things, much like the French in small. Remember the uproar when they changed from pence, shillings and pounds to a metric division? "We're being taken over by Europeans; END of EMPIRE," if I remember the headlines when I lived there. There's another problem: the English or Imperial gallon and the US gallon. Why, then, if the Imperial system is the correct one, are there 100 cents to the US dollar? This is not a straigtforward issue and has little or nothing to do with national identity. There are global realities out there that need to be addressed.

In baking, gram/kilogram measurements are far more precise than ounces and pounds, simply because the gram division is constant and small. Years ago, I worked on English motorcyles that had an enormous variation in wrench systems and thread pitches. A 1970 Triumph Bonneville had, in order of confusion, British Standard, Whitworth, metric and Imperial bolt and thread pitch systems all at work on a single bike. You can imagine the contents of my tool box. Enter Honda; metric to the bone. Is there a reason that Caputo flour comes in 55 lb bags as opposed to 50 lbs?

In a global economy, standardization, like ISO standards, is the norm; trade rules. This cannot be stopped and should be embraced. True, there is no accepted worldwide normalization--yet--but for sure it won't be in inches/pounds/miles. Resistance, as the man said, is futile. Metric works; the Imperial system is seriously outmoded, imprecise and error prone. Is it possible that this is a Colonial period leftover? That's a serious question, not being snarky. Don't forget, I don't live in your country. I'm puzzled and would like to know why.

Bit of a rant, apologies, but I can't see the triumph (sic) of the Imperial system until the next Ice Age. Euros anyone?


Archena 01-26-2008 07:01 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
Get a grip, dude - it's called 'good natured ribbing' not 'stomp on someone'.

Lumber is called by its nominal size and not its actual size. Both are technically correct - a 2x4 is 2x4 prior to finishing. It's just confusing if you don't know that.

Precision in baking depends on how exactly you measure - not what system you use. Sifted or pressed makes the difference not cups or grams unless you measure by weight instead of volume.

We tried metric - it stunk. Everybody hated it. You couldn't gauge anything - you had to measure because a liter doesn't look like a quart.

But if it makes you feel better they sell soda by the liter.

CanuckJim 01-26-2008 07:39 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric

Just what I would have expected: blinkers. Well, live with it, I guess. Get wordwide and stop hiding under some misguided xnephobic blanket. You're alone. Nonsense. Just because you're aren't used to it does'nt mean it does not work. Well, you better. This is not what this forum is about. I was exploring, not "stomping." You are completely incorrect about nominal sizing. I've been in the construction industry for thirty years, and I find your comment insulting and right off the map. As a matter of fact, I do "know that." I strongly suspect you don't, other than by hearsay. Seems to me you said somewhere that you've never built an oven. Where, exactly, does that leave you?

I always measure by weight, not volume. Read the post: I find metric more accurate for the reasons I stated. Don't catechize me.

You might actually take a moment to read what I actually said. This was a carefully thought out response to an important global issue, not something to be dismissed so glibly because it does not suit your particular point of view. Don't nuke me because I disagree. I find your posts usually offensive and sarcastic for no good reason.


Archena 01-26-2008 07:55 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
Maybe we just don't speak the same language - I wasn't 'jumping on you'. Maybe you didn't mean to 'denigrate' - but you did it anyway.

That was the first time I'd found your posts hysterical - but that is how it reads. Like you had some kind of grudge against anything not metric. If I was wrong, my apologies.

This is the first time I've hated being on this forum. Thanks so much for that.

RTflorida 01-26-2008 08:57 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
My thoughts, for what they are worth (probably very little)
Being a 45 yr old, born and raised in the good ole USA, American male who cooks, bakes, builds, has worked as a mechanic, and works for a USA based global tool manufacturer...Jim makes many valid points that I happen to agree with. I embraced the metric system in junior high school when we were told the change was iminate, only making it to gas stations where gasoline was sold by the liter - briefly. I too have wondered why we would stick to a system that is confusing and inaccurate; I'm sorry, metric is simpler, more precise, and most importantly - accepted by most of the global economies. Archena, your response leads me to believe you have never taken the time to learn or research the system or have never "worked both sides of the fence" - using both systems.
Personally I think it is fear of change, arrogance, and the fear of political backlash that is holding us back. Just my thoughts, and I'm entitled to can tell me to "get a grip", "get bent", or "go jump in a lake"...ain't gonna change me or the facts.
Eventually, the all powerfull US of A WILL have to change, and not so much because of worldwide pressure but because so much of our industry is becoming global (i.e.- outsourcing and moving manufacturing overseas). EVERY manufacturer wants a piece of the China/India pie as they mechanize and come out of the dark ages. As we look to sell and manufacture more products beyond our borders the costs of doing business both ways will eventually lead to a global standard in many industries, you're very naive if you believe the imperial system will win out. Like it or not, we are the minority and will have to change to stay profitable and prosper in this new global marketplace we are pushing ourselves into. Not something that is going to happen overnight, but don't be surprised to see changes in the next few years. The first time, big brother tried to force it on us, this time it will be gradual, with the fear of more lost jobs and profits being preached from the soapbox. It will take yrs, but it will happen.


RTflorida 01-26-2008 09:15 PM

Re: Imperial cf Metric
One last personal note. Before anyone trys to read between the lines and accuse my last post of being "unAmerican" and not patriotic, I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AND VERY MUCH HAPPY WITH WHERE AND HOW I LIVE.
Part of living in a free society allows me the right to NOT agree with the systems and policies we have in place...besides, it won't be little old me who makes the changes, just one of the few who are ready and willing.

Inishta 01-26-2008 11:32 PM

Imperial cf Metric
There should be no need do feel defensive about this issue. Open forums such as Forno Bravo promote discussion and individual opinions are valued. This is the driving force that has made this forum such a success and an instrument for change in the oven building world.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC