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Thread: Moisture meter recommendations

  1. #1
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    Moisture meter recommendations

    I am putting together a Christmas list and I think I should have a moisture meter on it. I am building musical instruments (drums) and stuff for other people now and need to know that the wood is going to be fairly stable. I was contemplating pin vs pinless but I think that I should get pinless. Heres why I think that. A pinless will allow me to check wood at all the stages of machining without leaving holes everywhere. Drum building uses a lot of small pieces so I can check them after they are cut and still be able to use them because they don't have holes in them. Thats my main reason, I can also check every foot or so down a board. I know that they cost more than a pin type but it seems more useful when used on machined wood that will be used in the project. I am currently looking at the ligno scanner d which reads 3/4" deep
    http://www.lignomatusa.com/MoistureMeter/OBSscanner.htm
    there is also a ligno scanner s which reads 1/4" deep I usually use 3/4 or slightly thicker wood, but their website says that if measuring thinner than 3/4 the readings will the low. If I get the 1/4" read depth than it doesn't read into the center of a 3/4 board. Why isn't there a 1/2" deep model????????

    Thoughts? other brands?, should I get a pin model? does someone just want to buy me both and I can do a review for the common good of woodworkers everywhere?

  2. #2
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    I have the Ligno-Scanner D, 3/4" and have been very happy with it. It was evaluated the Best Overall in Fine Woodworking's 2011 Tool Guide.

    I would get the 3/4" and just use another board to stand-off the scanner to the correct depth. They use to mention this tip on their website. You want to try and scan to about center of the board.
    “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

  3. #3
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    ((I would get the 3/4" and just use another board to stand-off the scanner to the correct depth. They use to mention this tip on their website. You want to try and scan to about center of the board.))

    I thought about this but didn't think it would work, I assume that it should the same species and similar moisture backer board. Does this board go between the scanner and the sample or behind the sample?

  4. #4
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    Dave,

    It looks like I got that tip from Fine Woodworking. I attached the article link, but it might be for members only. In it they suggest that the problem with scanner thinner stock is that what ever is under your board will influence the readings. They suggest you stack "similar boards".

    I don't really know if the scanning reads a focal point (at 1/4" or 3/4" depending on your model) or a range from the base to the depth of the model. I suspect the latter, but would be interested if someone can point us to information that explains this. If it measures in a range then you need to have boards with the same species and relative moisture stacked together for it to work accurately.

    All of this has not been a concern with me, as for the most part I am scanning over 3/4" because I surface all my lumber. Those items that I do measure that are thinner, I have always stacked similar boards and I don't think I have been "off".

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/fwnpdf/011210064.pdf
    “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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    Dave,

    I found the following information in my manual. One of the implications is that surface water will greatly affect the readings, something I did not know.

    "The readings generated by the Ligno Scanners are average values of the entire measuring field between the surface and the maximum depth of penetration. Moisture closer to the surface has a greater effect on the average than the moisture closer to the maximum depth of penetration."
    “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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Dave,

    I found the following information in my manual. One of the implications is that surface water will greatly affect the readings, something I did not know.

    "The readings generated by the Ligno Scanners are average values of the entire measuring field between the surface and the maximum depth of penetration. Moisture closer to the surface has a greater effect on the average than the moisture closer to the maximum depth of penetration."
    Thanks for the info, I think that the 3/4" model is what I will try to get, where did you get yours?

  7. #7
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    There was a rather extensive thread on moisture meters on FWW about a year (I think) ago. One of the responses said that the General meter (on sale for $10 at Lowe's) was as good as his $160 (I believe that dollar amount is correct. If not, it is close) meter. He said that they both always read the same. I think it would be well worth your time to search for that thread.

    I purchased one and so did my son Glenn. They seem to work.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  8. #8
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    I got the ligno scanner d with some of my christmas money, tried it out a few times and works great.

  9. #9
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    ++++++

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post

    I bought the same on a few months ago when the thread on it was active. Seems to work great. For under $10 you can't beat it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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