Moisture Meters

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Forum topic by Gary posted 01-24-2009 07:15 AM 1557 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9331 posts in 3434 days

01-24-2009 07:15 AM

So hey, what’s a good moisture meter? There’s bunches of em listed from pocket change all the way to the price of a good tool. Anyone have experience/suggestions?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

9 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 01-24-2009 02:01 PM

I have the Wagner L609 and it works well. It runs about $190.

But to tell the truth I really don’t know what to do with it. I have no control over the moisture content of the lumber I am using. Lumber will reach equilibrium with ambient conditions so while I can get a reading of the moisture content on any given day I can’t change the moisture level that is in the wood. I can see where it would be helpful if I was drying my own wood but I buy kiln dried rough lumber that is in the 6-8% range.
Within a short period of time it usually ends up in the 10-12% range when I store it in my shop. So I either use it as is or wait for the moisture content to change which will never reach the levels when it came from the kiln.

I guess I look on it more as a novelty item than an essential woodworking tool.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3894 days

#2 posted 01-24-2009 02:03 PM

I feel the shavings… me an idea of whether its dry enough

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3907 days

#3 posted 01-25-2009 03:27 AM

I have the Lignomat set…a bit spendy…but it’s been well worth the investment considering I dry my wood the old fashioned air method…just after the tree is downed I’ve had readings in the 20s…then over a period of months it falls…the maple I have out back is now in the 8 to 10 per cent range…some now in my garage…and I haven’t taken the percentage since I brought it in…but Lignomat is the answer…I have both capabilities…the separate fork and the smaller built in tines. Whatever system you buy, it’ll save some headaches and worry about when your wood is ready to use. Also…a magnetometer is important…to be certain there are no bullets or nails in the wood…especially if you’re getting trees that have fallen (and can’t get up, haha) or you’re harvesting in a forest or on someone’s private property. Both investments assure the woodworker the wood is usable. Recently, I heard a story about a 30 inch walnut trunk…about 10 foot long…brought to South Dakota from Minnesota. The woodworker thought he’d gotten a great bargain. Well, the tree was full of bullets and the sawyer just left it on his property to serve as a warning to others.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 01-25-2009 04:00 AM

Lignomat is great. I also used to have one called a wizard that worked great until it vanished from my shop.

-- making sawdust....

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 01-25-2009 04:46 AM

Thanks jocks! I wish I could get this kind of positive response from my wife when I ask her questions!!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View BigStick's profile


17 posts in 3418 days

#6 posted 01-27-2009 04:30 AM

Maybe you need a better meter….. LoL

-- Tommy, Pa,

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3490 days

#7 posted 01-27-2009 04:52 AM

And then the fight started….................... lolol

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3745 days

#8 posted 01-27-2009 05:35 AM

Gary, you live in Texas, for cryin’ out loud! The drinking water here is only about 85% moisture. I have a moisture meter and I usually have to hose down the lumber to get it to even register. Air dried lumber takes on a whole new meaning here, ya know. What takes 2 or 3 years in the rest of the country, only takes 2 or 3 months in the summer here in Texas. I think Roman has the right idea, just check a shaving or some saw dust.

View jimp's profile


208 posts in 3762 days

#9 posted 01-27-2009 06:51 AM

Do the guys with moisture meters prefer pin or pinless meters? Does one type work better than the other?

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

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