Home > Woodworking > If not Metric, Why Fractions? (Rant)

If not Metric, Why Fractions? (Rant)

So when I began my woodworking journey, I naively thought that I would go metric. Why not, I don’t have that many tools and I’m new to the sport, eh “craft” so why not get with the program and go metric? When I was coughing up cash for some Lee Valley tools I purchased this sweet square; in metric.

Veritas Precision Square - metric


I figured that this would be the first in a long line of metric tooling for my brand new workshop. Sadly, this is not the case. This awesome tool is the only purely metric tool in my workshop.

Now the good news is that most of my other measuring devices support metric measurement although usually they do so by means of a secondary scale. Please believe me when I say that I’m no zealot, I’m a patriotic American but I think we’re stuck in this hell and no one knows how to make it stop. I certainly get that we need some level of backwards compatibility as we stop the madness but I never expected every single tool and woodworking plan to be in Imperial measurements exclusively.

We’re all stuck with no way out. If we’re in love with the inch fine. Can’t stand the centimeter OK. But why the stupid fractions? Wouldn’t it at least make some sense to use decimal inches. Just saying, I mean come on. I can DO the math, and my calculator can DO the math but I really shouldn’t have to. You can’t even intuitively know which friggin’ drill bit to pull out because the numbering system is ludicrous, let’s see which 13/32 or 27/64? Yes, I gave you an easy one but my point is we shouldn’t need to work so hard to find the middle of 3/8 + 3/16 minus the 1/8 offsets on both sides.

I still wish I could convert to metric but it would seem that in doing so, I’d have to work even harder than simply living with fractions. There, I’ve said it now I feel better 🙂

You have been reading a rant from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.


Categories: Woodworking Tags: ,
  1. August 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Buy a bunch of Festool power tools and fill your metric craving. Lol.

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