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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 17:40 
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I'm new to this woodworking lark :)

I got some rough wood that I was curious to know the moisture content of. So I grabbed a highly reviewed "Wood Moisture Meter" from Amazon and stabbed the wood with it. I was getting readings between 1 and 4 percent.

I was surprised how low this is. Is this normal? Is my meter working ok?

I want `stable` wood so I'm hoping this is legit.


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 17:44 
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That does sound low, I think around 12-14 is considered "normal" for an acclimatised bit of wood, although it will vary with humidity, seasons, central heating etc


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 18:53 
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There is something seriously wrong there.
As Woodmonkey said, you would normally be looking at the 10 - 14 mark depending on how the wood was stored. You can normally air dry timber to about 14% and then most people will bring it indoors to acclimatise to where it will eventually be housed. So a modern CH house would be around 11% and an old damp drafts Victorian one maybe 13 / 14%.
I've never come across timber that dry (even when I tried to microwave a turning blank) so it is either down to your moisture meter or how you are using it. If it's genuinely that dry (which I doubt it is), don't make anything out of it as it will distort / crack / spilt.


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 19:16 
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Sounds like an inaccurate reading from the meter. If it has probes try drilling a small hole (or 2 if it has 2 probes) and
try then as it may just reading from the surface.


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 19:27 
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Good info, thanks all, might plane a bit off or indeed make some holes and probe the wood deeper in.

thanks!


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 19:34 
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I've yet to find timber with a moisture content below 14%.I don't own a moisture meter and have no plans to acquire one as I don't believe they are based on principles that relate to real world results.Measuring resistance between probes on the surface of the wood may tell you a bit about the moisture content at the surface,but can you rely on it to take account of any variation of moisture content with distance from the surface?If I want to know the moisture content of a sample I use a well controlled oven and a set of accurate digital scales.Weigh the sample and then give it an hour and a half in an oven at around 105 deg C and then reweigh.A few moments of calculating tells me the real moisture content.


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 19:40 
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Place the moisture meter prongs across the face of your finger (not stuck in it, it hurts) read 20% or thereabouts?

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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 20:30 
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Doesn't that depend on how mush you have had to drink Chas ? :)


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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 13:09 
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The better, more accurate moisture meters seem to be the ones using microwaves rather than pin contact to achieve a reading. But they're not cheap. As has already been said....it looks like your Amazon kit could be faulty.


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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 14:54 
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I have posted about my efforts with an inexpensive meter here:-
a-basic-moisture-meter-t99178.html.

Woodgears site, https://woodgears.ca/lumber/moisture_meter.html has some interesting reading.
The relavent bit being tests done at a depth of 8mm.

xy

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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 19:05 
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I have a cheap moisture meter from Lidl

If I touch it to the surface it will give the readings you suggest.

What I normally do is cut the end off the board and test the centre, that way I get a better idea of the moisture content.

It won't be spot on but has helped prove that we have had some wet timber supplied, when the moisture content was 17% in the middle.


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PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 19:49 
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Once working for a client who had just taken delivery of some logs.
He was boasting that with his meter they were 18%, i said now chop a log in half
and take another reading, 50% in the centre !


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