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What is with Euros and measuring in fractions?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Larry Peterson, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    On my Etsy site, I do a lot of orders for custom sizes. Most of the time this isn't an issue but occasionally I have some issues with people who don't speak imperial, only metric. They have a hard time measuring in fractions.

    Not to restart a thread on metric vs imperial as I am a fan of metric but as with most of you here in the US, all my equipment is imperial.

    Here's a recent example.

    In their first conversation with me they asked price on a frame that was "H 13.4 ~ W 16.3 inch" I converted that to imperial and the closest size was 13 3/8" x 16 5/16" and asked them to confirm that.

    After some back and forth trying to explain imperial fractions, they came back with:

    "H : 13,6 ( 34cm) W: 16,5 (41,3 cm)"

    which caused more issues.

    as I explained to them

    34cm is 13.385" but you also measured it at 13,6"
    41.3cm is 16.26" but you also measured it at 16,5"


    Trying to measure two different ways gave them two different results. I am assuming that 13,6" is actually 13 6/10". Correct me if that is wrong.

    I have to assume that they don't teach fractions outside of the US.

    I'm not holding my breath for this sale. They will be getting back to me after they find an American (imperial) ruler somewhere in the vast Euro plains of Brooklyn. A google search tells me their first name has Lithuanian roots.
     
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  2. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I was taught Imperial at school. So I think 10 feet not 3 meters. But the problem with people that have to use
    either system according to the situation is that there is a certain amount of "That's near enough". 3 meters is
    not the same as 10 feet. It's a couple of inches shy. But for coarse measurements, "It's near enough". o_O

    I always use millimeters for fine, accurate work such as mat margins. That's fairly intuitive to me. I know what
    85 mm looks like. But if someones says 8.5 centimeters I have to pause and think....

    I harder for some folks. My first job on leaving school was in a factory where they were is the process of converting
    all the stock control to metric. A lot of the workers were old boys who had spent all their working lives in farming and
    just filling in time before retirement. The standard sack of raw plastic granules had been 50lb. This was changed to
    25kg (near enough). One chap (ex-butcher so used to Imperial weights) had the job of mixing the granules with colorant.
    200lbs (4bags) raw plastic + 3% (6lbs) colorant. Simple enough. But when using Metric bags it was still 4 bags (100kg) plus
    3% color = 3kg. But as 50lb is 22.7 kg he insisted that it needed an extra handful to account for the extra 2.3 kg per bag. o_O
    I could not convince him that 3% is 3% whether Imperial or Metric but I never did. Didn't make any difference to the mix - you
    can only mix something so green but it did waste a lot of the coloring agent which was mega-expensive.

    Conventions in the UK are weird. Car engines have always been in Liters. Never Cubic Inches. Maps have always had gridlines
    in Kilometers. Got one from 1900 in metric. But nobody quotes distances in Km. It's 10 miles way, NEVER whateveritisinmetric
    away. A pint of beer. NEVEREVERNOTNEVER a liter measurement. People are six-foot tall and weigh 12 and a half stones (never
    kilos and even neverer pounds for some reason.) Different in the rest of Europe where Imperial is virtually unknown.

    It seems Imperial is the good familiar creature but when precise accuracy is called for it's Metric. :D
     
  3. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Fractions are fractions, no matter in what measurement U use. We learned with fractions over here and also learned to reverse one fraction to bring dividing in multiply.
     
  4. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    But for framing now it's wise to use a 1.5mm extra length with sawing moulds. No more and no less. With some wooden frames it's better to use a 2 mm extra. I think U framers use a far bigger tolerance.
     
  5. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    To convert 1.5mm into inches we have to divide 1.5/25.4=15/254=impossible to use for U to get the same tolerance.
     
  6. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    So they found an imperial tape measure and it ends up being 13 3/8" x 16 1/4" which is what their initial metric measurement is closest to.

    Their measurement of H : 13,6 ( 34cm) W: 16,5 (41,3 cm) is still puzzling. How do you get 13 3/8" from 13,6 and 16 1/4" from 16,5?
     
  7. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I've run into this problem a couple times with engineers. They use 1/10 inches for engineering projects. I went out and bought an engineer's rule and ended up trimming down from "standard" fractions.
     
    shayla likes this.
  8. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    When converting imperial to metric, you do need to have 3 or 4 decimals places. To be accurate and match the imperial measurement. However, in every other country in the world, in most case 1 or 2 decimal places for metric is more than acceptable. So the imperial fraction will always get rounded to 1 or 2 decimal places. Which in her first request it was. 13.4 in was 13.385 rounded to 1 decimal place.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  9. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    It could be worse....:rolleyes:
    It might be...

    "about this big"...:confused:
    th-4.jpeg

    or..
    Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 9.00.33 PM.png

    or...o_O
    Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 9.03.45 PM.png
     
    prospero likes this.
  10. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Larry that is not correct because it is not the same.
     
  11. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Decimal Fractions are one thing. Vulgar Fractions are another.

    When you are doing fine measurements a millimeter is an ideal unit. You very rarely need to use fractions so
    everything is whole numbers and you can work things out quicker and less chance of mistakes.

    The inch however is a different animal. I would never try working things out in fractions of an inch, even decimal fractions.



    What is 2 x 3.77 inches?

    o_O

    What is 2 x 86mm?

    :D

    2 x 3 27/32 ?

    :confused:

    My brain hurts.
     
  12. Nick Marneffe

    Nick Marneffe Grumbler in Training

    Most people in Europe probably don't even know how much an inch is in cm's, let alone say 13 3/8" in cm's. Or the other way around.
    Hurray for Google whenever someone brings in a print from the States :)
     
  13. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hmm... I think we better make a calculation:

    Let's say 113" and 3/8" to calculate into metric dimensions.

    113" * 25.4 = 2870.2 mm
    3/8" * 25.4 = 9.525 mm
    Total length = 2879,725 mm
    1 cm = 10 mm so also 287.9725 cm
    1 dm = 10 cm so also 28.79725 dm
    1 m = 10 dm so also 2.879725 m

    What can be more simple..... reverse?

    OK 179 cm to inches.

    179 / 2.54 = 70.094488189"
     
  14. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Even simpler if you don't have to do it at all. ;)

    You are an engineer Peter so nine decimal places won't hold any terrors to you.

    There is always the Framer's System that involves smigeons, tads, spider's eyebrows and gnats whiskers. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    tedh and neilframer like this.
  15. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When yur happy yu don’t needa the digs.
     
  16. alacrity8

    alacrity8 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Your original Imperial size suggestion was 13 3/8 x 16 5/16
    They suggested back 13,6 x 16,5
    If you convert both of your whole numbers and fractions, you get 13 6/16 x 16 5/16

    I'm not sure what their thought process was, but I see a correlation.

    Brian
     
  17. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I never would have guessed that. I thought that 13,6 was 13 6/10, not 13 6/16. Nobody use 6/16 instead of 3/8.

    Perhaps one of our Euro friends can tell use what 13,6 really is.
     
  18. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You are correct. 13.6 or 13,6 = 13 plus 3/10
    We speak here about decimals.
     
  19. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Actually, we used to get orders like that regularly. It was the first (home-grown, but real) POS system I ever heard of - early '90s. EVERYthing was in 16ths, even 0/16ths.

    We still occasionally get called in orders in non-reduced 16ths, but they are rare.
     
  20. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    HuH??

    We (well, I, and probably Larry) understand that Europeans use the comma and period opposite to the way the US does.
     
  21. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes David that's correct.

    10.3 is US writing and 10,3 is EU writing. And U use the , as 10,300.00 and we write 10.300,00
     
  22. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    But now I understand the confusing. We and me (as a technician) mostly use the US methode in calculating and mathematics. But than we never use the thousands-separator ","
     
  23. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    How did you go from 13,6 to 3 plus 3/10? How does 6 become 3? Typo?
     
  24. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sorry. Yes it was a typo. 10,6 is correct.
     
  25. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If I got a measurement 13,6 I would have no idea. 13.6 yes.

    1,000,000,000.1

    Can be quite confusing when UK people get dates in US order. Today is 1/3/19 to me. :D
     
  26. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It is the same. 13,6 mm in the EU and 13.6 mm in the US and the UK.
     
  27. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When I was at school a decimal point was a . :D
     
  28. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As I think it is time now to change our EU using into the US/UK method in general. Also date notice should be changed.
     
  29. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    prospero and IFGL like this.
  30. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I was reading a Sherlock Holmes story the other day where there is mention a litre (aka liter) of something or
    other. Scientific things have used metric ever since the metric system was introduced.
     
  31. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What I don't get is when a company uses an apparently random number for an item quantity. One that is not a "round" number in either imperial or metric.

    Case in point, I picked up some beer when visiting Belize. The bottles seemed to empty quickly, so I looked to see how much was in them. 284ml. OK, that must be the metric equivalent of an imperial amount. Nope, 9.60318 fluid oz...
     
  32. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Back in the early days of Saturday Night Live, when the country was thinking of going metric, Dan Ackroyd did a brilliant sketch where he played a govt. official introducing a metric alphabet, the Decabet. It's hard to find the video now because NBC pulls it down whenever anyone posts it, but here is a brief description: http://www.waff.com/story/29256313/classic-snl-sketch-proposes-the-decabet/

    :cool: Rick
     
  33. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You very often get that in the UK in 'Pound' shops. Everything is £1. So if the commodity price goes up the supplier can't increase the
    wholesale price so they reduce to quantity. The packet is the same size of course. o_O
     
  34. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've seen that sketch. :D It falls into elephant trap of confusing Decimal with Metric. o_O
     
  35. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Probably because Metric is Decimal. Although Decimal is not necessarily Metric.
     
    prospero likes this.
  36. Dutch

    Dutch Grumbler in Training

    Ik zit er nooit in de piepzak erover. Ik maak er nooit zorgen over en gebruik ze allebij.
     
    Peter Odems likes this.
  37. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God


    According to Google Translate:

    I'm never in the bump about it. I never worry about it and use it all.
     
  38. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Gelukkig vraag ik alleen maar of je nog wel eens in de piekzak zit.........;)
     
  39. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Allebei bedoel je. Hahahaha.
     
  40. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Het wordt hier nog gezellig! ;)
     
  41. Peter Odems

    Peter Odems SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    How have you both solved working with inches? Communicating in inches and working with mm?
     
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