Tag Archives: vocational school

Metric vs English & an Education

My friends gave me coffee before the anticipated mass last Saturday, so I was up all night and slept at about 4AM Sunday. What did I do as soon as I sat down in front of the computer, stressed with the idea of my limited Sketchup trial subscription? This:


I re-sketched my dream bed because my first attempt was measurement-less. It was hard to imagine the possibilities of a planned reality if most of its part is not apt to what is in the real world. {{{Just made me recall this RT feature of the “Madman of the Cathedral“}}}

For instance, if I plan to insert baskets in the storage instead of making a drawer, is there a basket available in the market for that size?  Or, if the bed is in this particular size, will there be a mattress of that size or will I just be creating useless spaces?

So I worked on that drawing, with proper measurements now…for several hours… Why it took that long? Because I made use of the metric system! I used to laugh at America for still using the English system of measurement; while we, in the so-called 3rd-world, are already using the metric system. Since the available wood in the market are in inches, I attempted to convert all measurements to create a metricized bed. It was easy at first, but as I went to the details, I get confused. Like a 1/4 inch plywood is 0.625 cm. Should I make it 0.6 cm? or 0.5, which is easier to imagine?  Because I only depended on my memory, I sometimes use 0.5 cm on the other edge, while on the other edge, I use 0.6 cm. While in reality this 0.1 cm difference is not a big deal, the computer always reminds you that it is. And since I am a certified OC, I get anxious at the smallest bit of  discrepancy.  So I stopped and decided to go to my dreamland, with the concept of the bed fading as I enter the unconscious…

Noon time, wanting to control my newly-discovered addiction but cannot (it’s Sunday anyways and I already heard mass last night!), I propped up on my computer chair with a cup of black coffee and started fussing with my mouse.  Before that, I told my mother about my plan, but this time, I will plan in inches.

Since the available plywood comes in inches, and I would like to build something with less cutting, I decided to stop pretending to be a metric-advocate and get real. Besides, I can better imagine a persons height in inches or feet than in centimeter or meter. So if a person says he is 1.6 meters, I feel like he is talking about the size of his coffin. To imagine him, I have to compute his height against mine, take the difference and convert to inches. So if the difference between us, let’s say, is 0.1 meter or 10 centimeters, I still have to convert that to inches, or divide it by 2.5 to get the 4 inches difference.

This is also true with the length of the bed. I am an average Asian, so I am below 6 ft, which is about 183 centimeter. If I use 183 centimeter in the plan, that will be stressful to my brain every time I sketch, as what happened on Saturday night.  I have to consider that the plywood dimension in the market is 4 ft x 8 ft. If I use the English system, or 6 ft, I can simply imagine that I will just ask somebody to cut the length 2 ft less. Easy.

So here’s what I sketched that Sunday afternoon:


This was easier to draw since I was basing everything on the dimensions of the available plywood and other woods. And it’s much easier to imagine since the beds in my room were built using inches.

Using the other features of SketchUp, this is what I plan to have:



Atm, this is not yet done (just look at the crooked caster wheel he he).  I still have to decide whether to use a whole plywood to cover the top portion of the bed or to use slats. I want to use slats as it allows me to easily inspect the contents of the storage.

As I analyze how much I will be spending, and considering that there is high probability that I will be hiring somebody to help me out since I am a poor carpenter, I need to prepare a large sum of money…and this is not what I intended.

I want to DIY my own bed, not just because it would mean a lot to me, but also because I want to spend lesser. If I will ask for assistance, that means, I will add a budget for labor.

So I thought, my only problem actually is, I do not have power tools, which will make everything easier. Yes, my father left us with complete carpentry tools in his tool cabinet, but my muscles now are extremely lazy with too much exposure to sematary, errrr sedentary lifestyle. I need those fancy power tools and I am willing to purchase them since it means I can make so much more with it. I can even imagine myself building the dog houses, or the planned stairs for a 2nd storey, or my nephews’ beds.  But as I assess things further, I really do not know anything about basic carpentry.  What I have with me are just based on experience I receive from my late father, who used to head the carpentry department of a multinational corporation, and the intuition and desire to build on my own.

I need an education. Not really a serious education, but at least one that would teach me to carry those power tools.

Hmmm…a technical school!!! That’s right, I will try to enroll in a technical school for carpentry to understand the basics.

So what happened really is, I enrolled last Monday in the government’s technical/vocational school to take carpentry course.  I am hoping to receive a scholarship. But if not, I can try that technical school nearby that enrolls students to study to go abroad hmmm…

So while awaiting for their response to my application, I will keep on drawing, sketching, planning, until my SketchUp trial subscription ends…


Leave a comment

Posted by on November 15, 2016 in SketchUp


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,