All your science in here


I’m referring to 66’ Gunter’s Chains, as used in ‘ranging’ surveys. They allowed you to make remarkably accurate surveys of irregular plots. Naturally, you needed an assistant (chainman)

Like this



Believe it or not, some of the guys I work with still work in imperial :woozy_face:


Did you have any rods, poles and perch (es) ?


Are you fishing for something?




You are right. Sorry.

I will now go and read my surveying handbook, five times.


When I’m woodworking, so do I.

Most timber is still sold in imperial sizes. They may list it as 63 x 38mm but it’s really just 2 1/2" x 1 1/2"


It’s the physical insights that it brings which I find useful. So in the coilgun case, for example, the electrical circuit consists of a capacitor C discharged into an inductor L (the coil) to create a pulsed magnetic field. The field pulls the projectile - typically a ferromagnet (think 4" bright steel nail with the head cut off) - into the coil. At that point the field has to be switched off and the nail then continues through the coil, coming out of the far end at a rate of knots.

Hang on, you say. The thing about an inductor is that the current and voltage are 90 degrees out of phase. So averaged over a cycle the electrical circuit does no net work. How, then, can it have imparted kinetic energy to the nail ? The important thing, of course, is that as the nail enters the coil it changes the inductance. So there’s a dL/dt term (calculus) in the equation as well as the basic L. Each time we differentiate a sinusoid we phase-shift it by 90 degrees. It turns out that this brings the current and voltage back into phase and lo-and-behold we can now do electrical work on the projectile. If we look at the things which contribute positively to the dL/dt term we can work to make them bigger so that we transfer more of the energy. But getting the sign right is important (any negative contributions actually slow the projectile down) and for this my calculus would have needed to be up to scratch.



Don’t forget hands and cubits…


A more reliable kilogram was needed because the previous metal standard’s atomic decay, albeit very low was making high precision measurements impossible.

Full video available here


I think they went bankrupt in the '70s.


My local timber yard lists sheet goods as 8’by4’by18mm and so on.



Because they are 8’ x 4’ :smile:


I don’t understand why anyone would use imperial over metric.


I thought they were 1200 x 2400


When I got my first job, the UK were on the cusp of switching from imperial to metric. All works to existing properties were measured in imperial and drawn up at a scale of 1/4" per foot. New builds were designed and drawn up at 1:50 scale which was roughly similar. Hence I had to learn to use both systems and have continued to work in both all of my working career.

After leaving the civil engineering side, the next 30 years I spent in mechanical engineering, you would have thought it would be metric only, but of course US made parts/plans and older UK parts were always still in imperial measurements, so I still had to use both.

I can use either system, I just prefer to use imperial when I’m woodworking.


Sometimes, not always, by a long way.

Sometimes it is a mixture of the two!

Lol, 8’ x 1200 mm


I thought they were 1220 x 2440


That’s a metric 8x4 :grinning:


Well joists are normally set at 400 or 600 centres, which if the boards aren’t 1200x2400 wouldn’t work.