Moisture tester

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Established Member
5 Oct 2020
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Can anyone recommend a moisture tester? purpose - to check seasoning of wood for plane making.

There are loads of really cheap ones on eBay and it would be good to know they work before parting with £7.99 or whatever.

Brennenstuhl moisture detector is good for the money, it is worth paying a bit more for the higher quality.
For monitoring wood as it dries out does not need anything expensive or sophisticated. It just needs to be consistent so that you can see the trend of the reducing MC.
Once the readings have flatlined you know it's not going to drop any further in the prevailing conditions.
Never had any trust in the cheapo pin meters, they will give you differing readings 2 minutes later and in the same spot. They have very broad catagories like "hardwood" and "masonary" which is a bit vague, the more advanced ones have species specific settings and are considerably more useful.
The one they have at the timber yard is a large yellow thing that evidently costs "a bloody fortune" I forget the name of it now.
I have on my shopping list a Wagner Orion or maybe a Protimeter.

There are many Chinese versions on Amazon etc which promise to be as good as a Wagner for a 10th of the price but I am just not sure I trust it, might be worth a punt given Amazons easy returns if its rubbish, trouble is you almost need to borrow a known good one to check calibration.

Only use meters as a general guide for determining moisture content for my turned stuff. Best indicator is weigh and record. Also you can get a 'feel' for certain pieces. Also not sure of the degree of accuracy of the resistivity measurements the thicker the wood.

My homemade wood kiln, is a Beko Freezer (which i have posted photos of in previous similar threads). With the optimum kiln temperature set to 49deg C and very regular checking for incipient cracks, this I have found to be the best method (for me) in determining when to finish drying pieces.
protimeters are pretty good and well made. I used to dry buildings after floods. no meter is really suitable in that scenario tbh. but for wood a resistance meter and hammer probes is hard to beat.
we generally used the speedy carbide test on masonry.
Thanks for the suggestions. I quite fancy the Brennenstuhl. there is also a Bosch that Axminster sell which looks good.

Intrigued by the Beko freezer!
Hi Steve and trvir, I posted this photo on a previous thread. As Stig points out, there are many YT videos out there. The concept is very basic thermodynamics , hole drilled in bottom (cold air in), heat source applied (incandescent light bulb) warm air rises and vented through hole near top of freezer! Also use it in the winter to dry firewood and turned pieces.

I have two sconces in the bottom to hold the light bulbs, usually 2 x 60W or 1x 100W. I also have a temperature control mounted on the side to cut out power when the temp reaches 49 deg C

Wow and Wow again...

One doth learneth sumat gnu every day. This item is pure genius. Must bookmark it

Would this actually dry out slightly damp logs etc. prior to burning in ye olde 'n trusty wood burner/stove; to the same degree as logs sold as klln dried??

Many thanks.
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Hi trvir, in a word ...yes. Over the autumn / winter I move the wood sequentially up through the 6 shelf's to the top, before mixing it 50:50 with my smokeless ovoid's coal. You can fit a "damper" to the top (exhaust) outlet hole to control the temperature, but I simply just use a kitchen sponge to block the hole to aid heating. It is very simple and works effectively. There is a seventh shelf in the freezer which held the ice -trays ! To be honest I would doubt that the larger logs sold as kiln-dried are dry all the way through, anyway, I would probably split them.

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