An Interesting Way To Check The Mositure Content Of Firewood

Nonprophet Posted By Nonprophet, Sep 8, 2009 at 4:06 AM

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  1. Nonprophet

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 27, 2009
    Just happened to be looking at the OSU Extension service website and thought I'd see what they had to say about firewood.

    I thought this was particularly interesting:

    "Weigh a small piece of firewood cut from the middle of a large piece. Record the weight in ounces. Dry the small piece overnight at 200 to 300 degrees in your oven. Weigh it again while it is still warm. The difference in weight is the weight of the water in the wood. Divide the weight of the water by the oven-dry weight in the wood to find the moisture content of your firewood. Wood is ready to burn when the moisture content is less than 20 percent."

    At the very least it sure seems like a good way to check the accuracy of my moisture meter.........

  2. LLigetfa

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 9, 2008
    NW Ontario
    It works but expensive to run the oven unless of course it's a wood burning cookstove. My mother used to dry wood in the oven often. My father never did figure out the wood seasoning thing.
  3. Highbeam

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 28, 2006
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    That's freaking ridiculous for regular people. Those goofy oregonians. That method describes how you would determine the water weight in a lab and if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. I'm a civil engineer and in school we sat many samples of soil in a special little oven overnight to dry out so that we could determine the dry density and then figure out how wet the soil must be to get good compaction. I know the oven that they are using and it's not your normal cooking oven.

    Let us know if you try this and compare to the standard HF moisture meter. I used mine this weekend on a pile of fir cut this spring, seems a guy wants to know if it is ready. 22% looks pretty ready to me.
  4. DiscoInferno

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 7, 2006
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    I've done this for grins and my own edification, years ago. I weighed the pieces every hour or so until they stopped getting lighter. But I think the "usual" concept of moisture content is to divide the weight of the water by the combined weight of the water and the wood. That way you get a percentage from 0 (completely dry) to approaching 100 (all water).
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