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Laserliner Moisture Meter

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Guyforks

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Hi folks.
I just wanted to chuck this one into the mix.
I’ve done a site search and can’t find any info on this so I think I should add some.
I’ve been looking for a half decent pin-less moisture meter for about 2 months now and I kept ending up on the same Wagner page. The only thing was I was looking at £475 OOCHHH! (There’s no way I could afford that).
Anyway a Google search under the shopping pages and at about page 14 I found the Laserline pin less moisture meter.
It’s just turned up today (on a Sunday morning).
62 different materials can be selected 56 of which are different wood types.
Measuring depth of up to 30mm.
LED indicators from green to red.
Audible tone for wet.
Comes with a good instruction booklet, factory test certificate, pouch with belt loop and 2 year guarantee.
This thing is all singing and all dancing.
And the best bit £186.99
It’s made in Germany and delivery took 7 days.

Ordered from conrad-uk.com
Item no.: 123155 – 89
Part number: 082.033A
This was just what I was looking for.

DSCF0001 by Matchstickmaker, on Flickr

DSCF0002 by Matchstickmaker, on Flickr
 

jimi43

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Thanks for posting the review.

Can you explain how it measures the moisture in wood?

I use a traditional pin type and I can see how that would measure the moisture at the pin depth...simple resistance. How does the pin-less one do it to the specified depth of 30mm...that's quite a depth?

Jim
 

Guyforks

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Jim

I don’t know if I’ll be strung up for this or not but here’s the link for the owner’s manual.
http://www.produktinfo.conrad.com/daten ... _fr_nl.pdf

Basically it works on the impedance measuring principle, which I believe is shoving an electrical current in at one end and seeing what comes out of tuther.

What I want to try but haven’t yet is the old damping the surface of the wood routine (don’t ask me why, if the wood was damp I wouldn’t test it any way) to see if the dampness effects the reading much. I know the expensive Wagner’s with their Intellisence TM are not overly affected by damp.
I’ll post the outcome later in the week when I’ve had more time to play and test against the other 2 meters I have.

Something I did find interesting was this little snippet.

“This moisture measuring device is a sensitive tool. This means that the measurement results may
be subject to slight deviations when someone touches the device with their hand or when contact
is broken between the device and the material being measured. However, contact with the user’s
hand forms the basis for calibrating the measuring device, so we recommend holding onto the
device whilst taking your measurements.”

Glynn
 

jimi43

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Hi Glynn

Thanks for the link. Reading the manual it would seem that the actual resistance is measured between the pad contacts and then that resistance is converted to an average moisture reading for the wood dependent on species. As with all moisture meters, this measurement followed by a series during the drying cycle will give a good indication of relative moisture content since first measured...i.e. drying rate....and will give an absolute "complete" reading when the relative readings do not vary very much.

To measure accurate moisture content, intrusive (pin) type readings will be required and even then, the accuracy is only based on sample reference wood. My Protimeter has tables which are updated....presumably as average species types vary their source country. Unfortunately these samples tend to be of species commonly sold in the USA....so again...are fairly arbitrary.

I use mine in the relative mode....that is, to see when the wood has reached the lowest moisture content for where it is being stored. This works quite well for me.

Jim
 

Guyforks

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Jim.
Yep. I agree, It will be interesting to try this out against my pin types to see the outcome.
I’m drying a 12 ¼ 10ft long Ash slab at the moment for a school job and I don’t want to cut into it until I know it’s not going to check on me.
The thing is the pin MM I have I can only get into the slab about 6mm MAX so it will be interesting to see.
G.
 

Guyforks

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Update
I’ve just taken a piece of 3” Pine about a foot long. I’ve taken MC readings from both out sides, then cut the Pine through and taken readings from the insides.
I’ve used the Laserliner set on Pine, a Axminster MC6012 Digital Moisture Meter and a Axminster MD2G Moisture Meter
Here is what they read
Face A , Face B , Inside Face A , Inside Face B ,
Laser 16.5, 14.1, 16.1, 15.5,
MC6012 13.3, 13.6, 10.4, 10.6,
MD2G 10, 10, 8, 8,

If you dampen the surface of the wood the readings on all go off the scale.

So though neither an extremely accurate or scientific test it does seem to show the Laser is reading deeper then both pin types. Which I’m really happy about as it means I’ve not wasted my money.
All in all for the money I’m very pleased.

Hope this helps

Gylnn.
 

RogerBoyle

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Why are the results for all 3 so different and which ones are correct ??????????
Curious as I need to get a new meter but with your back to back results Looks like I may need to go for some thing that costs a bit more for the accuracy that i would need

Roger
 

Guyforks

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Which ones right? B****y good question. I don’t know.

Let’s face it, it’s all relative.
Which clock in your home is correct?

The 3 types I used very in price greatly and I would surmise so does the accuracy. Only the laser has the ability to compensate for species and a test certificate.

Did I use new batteries? No (do I use a new battery every time I turn it on) no.
Did I calibrate each before use? Only the ones with built in calibration (2 of them).
How accurate are any of these things after 6 months or so anyway?
You just buy the best you can afford and adapt to it.

If you can afford to pay £400+ then good on yea. I just wanted one that gives a little deeper reading then the pin type and this seems to fit the bill for what I could afford.
G.
 

RogerBoyle

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LOL
The main reason I asked was
I too have been looking for a new meter but I want/need an accurate one to free me from constantly having to check the MC on my stock
As you have alluded to, Batteries can play a large part of the reading as well
I now only use rechargables as I find I get a more constant reading with them

From your results you go from A piece of timber that is within air dried specs to a dry piece that is just as it should be for fine furniture...

If paying over £400 to get an accurate reading would free me having to constantly monitor my stock then yes I would get one However If it was over 1K then no it wouldn't be cost effective for me....

Roger
 

jimi43

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The main reason for the variation is the internal interpretation of the device. As far as I know, all measure conductivity to determine the amount of moisture between two points.

I'm not familiar with the LaserLine but looking at the specification in the manual it would seem it does also.

The amount of resistance between the probes is then converted to either a deflection on a meter or a value processed by a chip.

The "value" is then either represented by a scale on a meter or a number from a counter.

Two things affect the value as far as I can determine...1) the way the sample is collected...intrusive (pins), non-intrusive (pads) and 2) the correlation of this value to % moisture content as determined by known samples within a chip database or a book/scale lookup chart.

My Protimeter uses the intrusive method to measure the resistance between two pins hammered into the long grain.....



The meter is "calibrated" or "set" by a known internal standard and then a reading is displayed by deflection of the scale......



Tables of common species are published every so often (I have two, on out of date one current)....which keeps readings up to date with new species coming on the market....and having been sampled.

Battery state check is automatic...because it won't "SET" without enough charge....

Even with the cost of these things...the updated tables and the calibration which is needed...I still only use mine for reading relative % moisture content over a period of time and a number of samples. When the samples stop changing I consider the wood dry enough in the storage environment used i.e. it has normalised to the surrounding humidity.

My meter measures the moisture at the depth the pins reach when hammered home...this is constant with the standard pins...new spare pins are available. I fail to see how a resistance type device on the surface can accurately measure the moisture at a depth of 30mm...but then I am not really up to date with the new scientific advances.

One thing I do know...if you are only doing time lapse relative drying readings...any meter will do.

Jim
 

Bradshaw Joinery

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i would like to think that testing the meter on a known piece firstly, say a sample kept in the house, or workshop, then testing new stock should give you a relative moisture value to which you can decide the suitablility of use? Sort of like a reference piece. How much does the value alter between different woods?
 

RogerS

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I'm missing something here.

From an electrical impedance testing perspective, I see no difference between a meter with pins or one with pads. Both are measuring the 'impedance' between two contact points. So if the pads are simply resting on the surface then how is it going to measure down to a depth of 30mm? In fact, commonsense suggests that the pin version is actually better since the pins will be measuring the moisture content over a thicker slice of the wood. I also wouldn't be surprised if you got a different reading if you stuck the pins/pads in the same place a couple of minutes later.

The fact that they use the term 'impedance' is for me misleading. Impedance implies an element of capacitive or inductive-ness to the wood but moisture is basically resistance I'd have thought?

Which is why I bought the Wagner !
 
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