Questions on using a Moisture Meter

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Forum topic by Whiskers posted 03-02-2014 04:08 AM 1243 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 2054 days

03-02-2014 04:08 AM

We have quite a few folks in my area who dry and sell cut lumber and recently I got one of the well reviewed digital moisture meters on sale, but frankly I have no idea what reading to look for to know if the wood I’m buying is ready, or liable to crack, split, and curl still. What percentage moisture should I be looking for, and is there a guideline on if it a little “wet” from being cured outside how long I will have to store it in my garage to let it finish drying?

3 replies so far

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 1969 days

#1 posted 03-02-2014 10:00 AM

8% is about what you want depending on what the final use will be. Depends on the final environment of the furniture but I think up to 12% is OK for outdoor furniture or house with out climate control. If it’s a little wet I think 6 months would be enough time but really depends on conditions in you garage. Temp, humidity and airflow are all going to affect the drying time and final MC. There are a lot of much more experienced people then me on this site who I am sure can give you more advice and a lot of info on the topic all over the web.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View koraile's profile


98 posts in 1688 days

#2 posted 03-02-2014 11:20 AM

The mosisture of the material is like @watermark says. Im curious abouth something, how do they dry the material at these lumbersales?
Do they machinedry them or do they do it the old way? My Guess is by machines, this creates another problem, the resisns somthimes vaporizes or melt out of the Wood and it gets dry and not fat. Im experienced wih pine and Birch in this regard. But this is how i do it.

We buy the trees on root in a Place where they have the right conditions for carpentry and carving, carving Wood is of a different standard and cutt than carpentry materieal. you look for trees With straight and even grow and little brances. Its also important With windndirection and grond moist lvl.

We cutt them in the Winter when there is a Natural low moisture in the trees, and store them outside in the Cold but lifted from the ground. In the spring when the last snow goes we take it to the lumbermill and cutt it in the right size and planks depending on eatch individual logg and How it is material-vice.

Then we stack them in big squares . With 3-4 cm airing between every plank, both diagaonaly and vertically to get good air movement. Cover the topp to awoid rain and then we dry it for 1,5-2 years outdoor. We take it in and then dry it for another 1-1,5 year indoor. at this point is ready to use. We store it in big Block planks of 15cmx40 cm, that we can easily splitt up and automaticaly get the right yearing placement in whatever Your going to carve.

One of the biggest problems we encounter today is that Peoples houses are to dry for woodcarvings because of the higher lvl of heat and dryness. So i always advice ppl that buy alott of buy wery expencive Things to get a air moisturer and keep a normal mistness in the house so the Wood wont crack. I spend 1 year in this millionares house making splinters to fill cracks in woodcarvings, because he didnt listen abouth air moisture :) well, at least the pay was good for simple work, but it was mostly irritating.

I always check every plank With a woodcarving iron, i try a cutt on the end of the plank, if the Wood is fat enaught and fee from burls and branch cores its suitable for carving, if its to dry its better for carpentry. The fattest pine is the bets to carve in for fast and easy careving, especialy for speedcarving, the irons slide well and material is like soft cheese to form With Sharp irons.

If you want to try and dry something Yourself ther is a simple way of doing it, cutt Down a tree, fletch of the barch and cutt it in suitable lengts. Then u mix a amount of Wood glue, the waterbased white one, thin itt With water 1/5 should be Nice, it needs to be thin to penetrate far into the Wood. Putt glue only at the cutt end of the loggs, both ends. take them in and apply a layer og glue now and then during the NeXT week so its well glued on the end. If you putt it in a wery hot room the Wood will get wery dry, but still Nice for turning or carpentry. If you put it in asemi warm room it will be better for carvings. Its makes it faster to dry yourself, and the loggs wont crack. You might need6 months or 1 years depending on how hott it is in the room you store it.

Just sharing How we do it :) in some ways you can feel it in the Wood to With experience you can feel its moisture With Your finger, and know when its done, the more moist the colder it will feel to the toutch.

-- Bard son of iver

View koraile's profile


98 posts in 1688 days

#3 posted 03-03-2014 02:12 PM

Sorry by the way i didnt realy answer Your question :) i dont think i have used a moisture meter since carpentry School 24 years ago :)

-- Bard son of iver

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