Moisture meter for timber

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--Tom--

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Hi all, looking for a moisture meter to help check timber. Have been buying air dried pieces from a local yard, they feel like they still have a way to go to get dry so would be handy to have something to check with.

Does anyone have any recommendations of one that’s reliable?

Cheers,
Tom
 
I have a cheap no-name jobbie but don't use it. When I buy wood I cut off a managable piece. I weigh it and write the weight and date on it. Repeat the weighing whenever I remember. When the weight is stable the wood is ready for use.
 
I have a cheap no-name jobbie but don't use it. When I buy wood I cut off a managable piece. I weigh it and write the weight and date on it. Repeat the weighing whenever I remember. When the weight is stable the wood is ready for use.
I thought of doing that but would be hassle unstacking and restacking the pile every time.
What stopped you using the one you bought?
 
I don't unstack and restack the pile. I don't touch the pile at all. I only have to handle the small sample pieces I cut off.

The problem with the meter I have is that it eats batteries, even when not in use. Every time I wanted to use it the batteries would be flat so I had to remove the batteries after after each use. Then replace the batteries for the next use. Just hassle.
 
I would expect any of the cheap meters to be reliable but not necessarily accurate. I would expect to be able to decide whether more seasoning is required or not from an initial reading. After that it's a case of taking regular readings to monitor how the MC is coming down. Once the readings are stable you know it's not going to improve unless you change the environment the wood is stored in.
Are the pieces have properly air dried, ie, stacked and stickered with good airflow for 1, 2 or 3 years depending on thickness?
My meter gets left unused for long periods so I disconnect the battery.
Brian
 
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I have a cheap one branded 'silverline', model # 220841, bought it c.£15 from a hardware store* that had a section of fireplace/log accessories. Works OK, I doubt it is accurate in any scientific sense but good enough to see if a log is OK enough for turning or logpile sampling for burning. It goes to 'max' at 40% if I stick it in fresh spring cut tree branch, some stuff that's been on my garage floor for a few months is coming up at 12-15%, some older purchased blanks are around 8%. It has a separate range button for masonry but I've never used it. I was going to moisture check parts of my wife but she objected. Battery life fine, it auto-offs a bit too quickly sometimes. Takes a few LR44 button cells out of one of those cheapo pound-shop-style mixed packs. I'm sure there are many similar others. I think of it as a relativity indicator not a precision instrument.

* when I am on holiday in small towns I do like to give some business to local hardware stores - wonderful places that we should support. The number if times you see the shop assistant patiently helping someone find the right lightbulb or put a new battery in their torch. A social service for some perhaps.
 
I have used a 'cheapie' moisture for a number of years as a measurement for moisture in wood I wish to turn. I have always doubted the accuracy of the readings, especially when getting readings low readings only to cut through a thick piece of timber to find much higher readings towards the core. So how effective is measuring resistivity for the thicker pieces of timber? Well check out the following link, its to a Delmhorst site (who make moisture meters), never heard of them before, however, check out the FAQ which has got some excellent information on how different moisture meters work. In particular, look at the section on how wood temperature affects moisture readings.

http://www.moisturemetersdelmhorst.com/service-support/faqs-wood-industrial-mill.html
Nowadays, I generally just take regular weight readings to decide when my wood is dry enough.
 
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