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Thread: I need a moisture meter

  1. #1
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    I need a moisture meter

    I have about 1500 bd/ft of lumber that's a mix of red, white oak and pine that's been drying for about 6 months. I need a moisture meter but I don't want to drop a bundle on one. I'd like to stay around 100 or less. Anybody got any recommendations?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lumber2 (Medium).jpg   lumber (Medium).jpg  

  2. #2
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    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-29-2010 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    John,

    I have a pinless (Ligno-Scanner), but for the price you want, I would go with the pin type. I have heard good things about the Mini-Ligno. Important question is what moisture range are you looking for? The Mini-Ligno covers 6 - 20 while the Min-Ligno E/D covers 6 - 45.

    These meters lump wood species into two groups and you can switch between them. I would think there would be some error there, but it probably does not matter for your purpose. More expensive meters have more detailed species corrections. Mine allows for any specific gravity. That is just part of the trade off for less expensive.

    You also need to factor the temperature of the wood. A chart comes with these meters to adjust your values. More expensive meters take care of this for you.

    The Mini-Ligno's run from $100 to $130 on the internet. I believe both Rockler and Woodcraft have the E/D for about $119.

    I guess that the point you should take away from my post is that you need to find out what exactly you are getting for your price and be sure you are comfortable with the trade-offs. There are reasons why some are cheaper than others, it is the features. You need to compare the specs because price alone will not be enough.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 06-25-2010 at 07:21 PM.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
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  4. #4
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    I just want to add, that when I researched for my meter, I downloaded the manual for each (where I was able), so that I could understand how it would work. Helped eliminate a few choices.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  5. #5
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    Darren

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley View Post
    I use the one that Lee Valley sells:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,43513,45788

    Because I've never used anything else I can't give you a comparison, and all I can say is that it seems pretty rugged and it's easy to use.

    cheers

    John
    FWW magazine done a review of moisture meters and compared them to each other and the one that john linked to scored well against higher priced ones.. been awhile back that they reveiwed it
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  7. #7
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    The Mini-Legno E/D got Fine Woodworking's Best Overall.

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolG....aspx?id=33182
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
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    If you have an accurate scale (preferably to 1/10th of a gram or less), an oven, and a bit of time, you can measure the moisture the old-fashioned way, and it'll be more accurate than the electronic meters. The formula is:

    (Weight of the water / Weight of the dry wood) x 100 = Moisture Content in percent

    Take a representative sample of the wood (maybe 3" x 3" or so) and weigh it. That's your "wet weight". Next, put the sample in a low oven (200º or so) for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven, let it cool a bit, then weigh it. Put it back in the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes, cool it, then weigh it again. Repeat this until the weight no longer drops. That's your "dry weight".

    Subtract the dry weight from the wet weight and you know the weight of the water. Divide the weight of the water by the dry weight, multiply by 100, and you've got the moisture percentage. The larger the sample and the more accurate your scale, the more accurate your calculation will be.
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  9. #9
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    And your kitchen will have that delicious aroma of freshly baked wood...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    I am glad Harbor Freight takes back things. I returned mine in a few days... It worked at least 10% of the time. I checked the other boxes at the store, and they all showed signs of having been returned.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
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