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Thread: Moisture Meter

  1. #1
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    Default Moisture Meter

    I need one.

    For boat building and wood working generally.

    I know that I can spend $500 or more, but that is too much. I am looking at the Extech mo55 for about $100, or am I just as well off with the $12 special at Harbor Fright?

    Does anyone have any recommendations? Pins, or pinless?

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions appreciated.
    Steve Martinsen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    i used the oven drying method when i was sawmilling in michigan
    all it takes is an oven and a postal scale and about twelve hours
    i used a hole saw to collect a sample about one foot from the ends

    my brother in alabama uses a fluke multimeter and sharpened probes
    he had to use the oven method for the first several dozen measurements to create a table of margin of error
    it breaks down on very wet wood
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    btw i believe your package went out today
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    ....... I am looking at the Extech mo55 for about $100, or am I just as well off with the $12 special at Harbor Fright?.......
    Probably something somewhere between the two. I have a pinned one that cost about £25 (UK), and it gives consistent results. It isn't really that important what the actual figures are, so much as the relative figures. Measure some wood you know to be dry, such as an old coffee table in the lounge, and relate everything else to that. It doesn't matter if the figure for that coffee table is X, Y or Z.....it's just for comparison. If you measure your wood in the workshop and it is coffee-table-plus 20%, you know it's got some drying to do.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    btw i believe your package went out today
    Yowza, thank you. I'll start a thread. Though technically it might be categorized as "materials" I will probably post it in the Bilge for the amusement of all including DavidG. \thread drift
    Steve Martinsen

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    Yowza, thank you. I'll start a thread. Though technically it might be categorized as "materials" I will probably post it in the Bilge for the amusement of all including DavidG. \thread drift
    Please. Keep this thread alive and continue to post here. Moving it to the bilge will only see it drop quickly out of sight and be useless to most forum members.

    Jeff

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike-in-Suffolk View Post
    ...... I have a pinned one that cost about £25 (UK), and it gives consistent results........
    Mine is a Brennenstuhl. Recommended to me by a pro furnituremaker I know.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Iíve had a cheap harbor freight one for years, works alright, gives self-consistent & repeatable results within its error.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    I've used a Lignomat 'Mini-Ligno', which is probably about $100, for years. Best bang for the buck when I bought. Maybe still now. It stays in the shop.

    But I also keep a cheaper General in the truck. Haven't used it nearly as much, but have done some comparison calibrating with the Mini... and it seems accurate. Maybe $60?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    X2 in the "Mini-Ligno". I've had mine for about ten years and have had pretty good repeatable readings with it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    I used a General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter to monitor the state of the framing in my house before I hung the drywall, all of $34.00 on Amazon. It gave consistent readings over the course of the project but don't have a way to check how well calibrated it is.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    .........(I) don't have a way to check how well calibrated it is.
    Calibration is really unimportant. It doesn't matter what someone else's meter says on the same piece of wood as you've just tested. It only matters that your meter is consistent. As I said previously, absolute readings are pointless. It's reletive readings which count.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike-in-Suffolk View Post
    Probably something somewhere between the two. I have a pinned one that cost about £25 (UK), and it gives consistent results. It isn't really that important what the actual figures are, so much as the relative figures. Measure some wood you know to be dry, such as an old coffee table in the lounge, and relate everything else to that. It doesn't matter if the figure for that coffee table is X, Y or Z.....it's just for comparison. If you measure your wood in the workshop and it is coffee-table-plus 20%, you know it's got some drying to do.
    That may be a good methodology for working within one's own environment. But one must be careful when importing wood or exporting finished goods. This is due to the relative humidity in one's locale. I lived in Alaska for many years where the relative humidity crashes during the winter months. Many people moved there from the southern United States where the relative humidity is high enough to swim in. They brought their antique dining tables with them, and watched those table split during the first winter. Absolute moisture content is meaningful.

    Jeff

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike-in-Suffolk View Post
    Calibration is really unimportant. It doesn't matter what someone else's meter says on the same piece of wood as you've just tested. It only matters that your meter is consistent. As I said previously, absolute readings are pointless. It's reletive readings which count.
    That's pretty much how I used it.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    As another East Anglian I have to say that moisture content isn't too high on my list of priorities for wood.It needs to adjust to a climate that has a humidity level of 95% this evening and won't drop very much before next summer.I don't set too much store by readings between probes on the surface of a specimen and if really pressed I will use the oven method but miss the accuracy of the industrial oven with digital controller that I used to have access to.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    I need one.

    For boat building and wood working generally.

    I know that I can spend $500 or more, but that is too much. I am looking at the Extech mo55 for about $100, or am I just as well off with the $12 special at Harbor Fright?

    Does anyone have any recommendations? Pins, or pinless?

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions appreciated.



    So, how's that meter working out for you?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Moisture Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    So, how's that meter working out for you?

    Jim Ledger very generously gave me a very sophisticated Delmhorst moisture meter. Pre-digital, with multuple scales, different kinds of pins and a big heavy slide hammer to drive them. A real wooden box, it is a thing of beauty. Thanks Jim.

    Everything works great, but I have not had enough time to do much with it, as I have been busy with paint and fiberglass before the cold weather arrives.

    I am away from my project for a late fall respite, but upon my return, I will delve more closely into moisture metering of my wood planks, and post some results and photos here.

    Thanks again.
    Steve Martinsen

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