How to Measure to a MILLIONTH of an Inch (The Dawn of Precision) - Smarter Every Day 206

  • Published: 21 December 2018
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    Read about Joseph Whitworth

    Surface Plates

    Whitworth Rifle:

    Checkout "Machine Thinking". At the moment this video was published he had 77k subscribers. I predict much more if he continues to make such high quality content.

    Huge thanks to The New Tennessee State Museum. They just opened, and when I rolled up in with a camera they were incredibly gracious and open minded. They're trying to figure out twitter and I'd like to help them. Click here to tweet them and say thank you on my behalf: It will make them happy and increase the odds that they'll work with me on a future project involving history.

    Preston Bain owns and found the "Whitworth hex drop". He sells actual artifacts from the US Civil War out of Brentwood, TN.

    Mike Potucek ( is the gentleman who re-engineered and created the replica Whitworth Cannon.

    The Phantom cameras I used:
    The Smarter Every day v2511:
    I borrowed a v2640 from Vision Research for the wide shot

    A special thanks to Keith from the Royal Society for providing a couple of images from Goodeve & Shelley’s book on the Whitworth measuring machine, 1877. Checkout the Objectivity YouTube channel here:

    I recommend this video from Machine Thinking:
    I recommend this video:

    A special thanks to Keith at my local Auto Parts store for letting me film in his bolt bin area.

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    Ambiance and musicy things by: Gordon McGladdery did the outro music the video.
    The thought is it my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you've learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

    Music used during machine thinking section:
    Underneath the Christmas Tree (Instrumental) Licensed from myuu

    If you REALLY liked it, feel free to pitch a few dollars Smarter Every Day by becoming a Patron.

    Warm Regards,

  • Hobbies and Style Hobbies and Style

Comments • 4 025

  • SmarterEveryDay
    SmarterEveryDay   11 months back

    Click here to tweet me a picture of whatever bolt/screw is within arm's reach.

    • DrDerp21
      DrDerp21  1 months back

      NC 13TPI 1/2

    • Claude Lamoreux
      Claude Lamoreux  2 months back

      Don't have Twitter, but I do have an Italian made Colt 1851 Navy pistol with 14 metric screws.

    • Chris Smith
      Chris Smith  3 months back

      I'm setting at my reloading bench so 7/8 X 14 threads on my press for the dies.... I think 1/4 by 20tpi for the bolts holding it to the desk. Sorry but I'm not sure how to include a pic.

  • M P
    M P  14 hours back

    Just use metric...

    • RG Archer Airsoft
      RG Archer Airsoft  2 days back

      I work at Jefferson Lab, I have a 1" NPT Plug sitting on my desk here at work.

      • Hachinger
        Hachinger  1 weeks back

        A withworth thread?

        confused Europeam screaming.

        • Paul Richardson
          Paul Richardson  1 weeks back

          They look pretty darn similar

          • Mib
            Mib  1 weeks back

            "What things have you measured?"

            • Jonathan Lawrencelot Tan

              "Dawn of Precision"
              *uses imperial system*

              • Henry Broman
                Henry Broman  2 weeks back

                Trick or treat

                • leadfoot lawnmower
                  leadfoot lawnmower  3 weeks back

                  These videos I absolutely enjoy. Great channel with tons of awesome content man.

                  • spiderlover 2011
                    spiderlover 2011  3 weeks back

                    Computer case screws, mouse,couch frame

                    • Jonathan Jones
                      Jonathan Jones  3 weeks back

                      The threads on my handgun, which are .578x28 and have to be precise enough to prevent baffle strikes on a suppressor

                      • Frankth3tank099 2.0
                        Frankth3tank099 2.0  3 weeks back

                        It was a gatorade bottle

                        • Richard Dean
                          Richard Dean  3 weeks back

                          WONDERFUL EPISODE 😃😃😃 Makes me proud to be English.
                          My first ' career ' was in Engineering and Quality Control , takes me back. 👍👍

                          • K CC
                            K CC  4 weeks back

                            Why a hexagon shape with a twist ? How does it work ? It can spin in the barrel

                            • K CC
                              K CC  4 weeks back

                              Aaah I see

                          • Kevin N
                            Kevin N  4 weeks back

                            Practically there should be no difference if the scope in on the side of the gun or the top if you think about it.

                            • iquerius
                              iquerius  1 months back

                              I love the arguments about imperial vs metrics... do sad that the rest of the world has moved on to one coherent system and only one country seems to be too proud. Well at least some sciences realized that it is better to use only one that everybody can easily understand.

                              • iquerius
                                iquerius  1 months back

                                I love the arguments about imperial vs metrics... do sad the the rest of the world has moved on to one coherent system and only one country seems to be too proud. Well at least some sciences realized that it is better to use only one that everybody can easily understand.

                                • Cyan
                                  Cyan  1 months back

                                  ~5:15 this almost looks like it was faked with CG... strange and amazing!

                                  • Josh Andrews
                                    Josh Andrews  1 months back

                                    Drinking game:
                                    Take a drink whenever someone mentions precision.
                                    Here's the catch: not the whole video, only watch from 7:32 - 9:58.

                                    • The Lavian
                                      The Lavian  1 months back

                                      What's an "inch"?

                                      • Andreas
                                        Andreas  1 months back

                                        .... Ma daaaad

                                        • Pie Golem
                                          Pie Golem  1 months back

                                          Screws in: my ankle

                                          Although I don’t really feel like taking em out to measure the bsw, sorry

                                          • John Taylor
                                            John Taylor  2 months back

                                            The hex bore is cut on a rifling machine. I did one several years back just to see if I could. The original Whitworth rifle had a twist rate of 1 turn in 20", mine has 1 in 22". I have not figured out a way to make a hex bullet yet, to busy working on guns.

                                            • D Thirteen
                                              D Thirteen  2 months back

                                              23 and me will take your information and send it to the government so they can know everything about you and track you. Dont do it!

                                              • Maya Thompson
                                                Maya Thompson  2 months back

                                                More evidence as to why the imperial system is a hindrance

                                                • Tyler W
                                                  Tyler W  2 months back

                                                  1/2” grade 80. Coarse thread. For my winch bumper lol

                                                  • AynenMakino
                                                    AynenMakino  2 months back

                                                    How much of a projectile's max range is lost by some of it's energy going into spinning rather than everything going into forward momentum?

                                                    • dyffykins
                                                      dyffykins  2 months back

                                                      Love your videos. Keep it up!

                                                      • T B
                                                        T B  2 months back

                                                        What's that in metric?

                                                        • Anna Hinly
                                                          Anna Hinly  2 months back

                                                          The m6 1.0 hexnut on my motorcycles exaust pipe

                                                          • Psalm 27:2
                                                            Psalm 27:2  2 months back

                                                            A toothpick

                                                            • Oscarmike247 0.0
                                                              Oscarmike247 0.0  2 months back

                                                              that was some amazing high speed shots.

                                                              • Liam McDonnell
                                                                Liam McDonnell  2 months back

                                                                9:09 tom hardy?

                                                                • Scott Sullivan
                                                                  Scott Sullivan  2 months back

                                                                  Sitting next to my PC, it has a handful of M3 screws

                                                                  • PooPipeBoy
                                                                    PooPipeBoy  2 months back

                                                                    It's hard to not become an engineer when your dad has heaps of awesome equipment in the garage.

                                                                    • John Michael Cruz
                                                                      John Michael Cruz  2 months back

                                                                      my mouse

                                                                      • miller4980
                                                                        miller4980  2 months back

                                                                        Molecular adhesion is another fascinating effect that occurs when you lay two precision ground plates together. 
                                                                        it is very hard to get them apart by pulling on them.

                                                                        • Emporer 1986
                                                                          Emporer 1986  2 months back

                                                                          Accent 100

                                                                          • Rick Feith
                                                                            Rick Feith  2 months back

                                                                            The origins of precision is almost too much to comprehend...I've watched half a dozen very well made videos and documentaries and it still blows me away.

                                                                            • ChickenBBQpizza
                                                                              ChickenBBQpizza  2 months back

                                                                              JUST USE METRIC!!!

                                                                              • Malleus Maleficarum
                                                                                Malleus Maleficarum  3 months back

                                                                                Yeah, you spit in a vial and they have your DNA on record forever. Warning to any past, current, and/or future criminals, along with anyone else whom is concerned about big brother tactics. They are using DNA information obtained through these new DNA testing companies, such as ancestry and 23 and me, to solve all manner of crimes, past and present. This may sound like a good thing to some, but to me it sounds like a huge invasion of privacy and should in fact be criminal in itself. People make mistakes all the time and strange things do happen. What's to stop people from being accused or even convicted of a crime because their DNA was found at a crime scene, which doesnt necessarily mean they had anything to do with it. If they are already using the DNA they have obtained for these purposes, who knows what they might use it for next. We let them get away with it, so why would they stop there?

                                                                                • It's Tape!
                                                                                  It's Tape!  3 months back

                                                                                  Your father work at redstone? I reclassed to TMDE, metrology, there.

                                                                                  • kieran franey
                                                                                    kieran franey  3 months back

                                                                                    Nothing goes into space we live on a flat motionless plain.

                                                                                  • John Smith
                                                                                    John Smith  3 months back

                                                                                    Smart people use the metric system...

                                                                                    • Koushik Kashyap
                                                                                      Koushik Kashyap  3 months back

                                                                                      The information is very interesting.. can you please make it more precise

                                                                                      • tyler89557
                                                                                        tyler89557  3 months back

                                                                                        inch? INCHES?!?
                                                                                        *Not in my physics class*

                                                                                        • Mark Foote
                                                                                          Mark Foote  3 months back

                                                                                          12.0mm x 1.50 bolt from a sway bar bracket lol

                                                                                          • Jenn Hoff
                                                                                            Jenn Hoff  3 months back

                                                                                            I'm going to name my son Don of Precision.