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moisture meters

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rmcfall, Jul 20, 2006.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Can anyone recommend a moisture meter that can be purchased on-line?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My cheapo twenty buck one from Harbor Freight seems to be doing fine. Just don't stick the pins a quarter inch into the end of a split and think that you have an accurate reading. Drill a couple of small holes in the middle of the split and stick them with the meter.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I have the same one, it works ok with pine, i havent tried it on anything else. The price is right.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Check out E-bay. I bought one for $20.
  5. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    bb and msg, are you both still happy with your moisture meters? i am thinking of getting one, but i'm just a little leery of most stuff that comes from harbor freight.
    thanks bruce
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Mine works great. Still reads the same as the high buck one my wood working neighbor has. I hate Harbor Freight. The manager grins from ear to ear when I walk in and brings me a basket.
  7. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    is there a way to test a harbor freight moisture meter? I don't mean crack it open and do a calibration, but how do you know if the readings are accurate?

    I'd like to use one on my girlfriend's cooking. I'd swear she has cooked things completely dry, but she swears she hasn't.

    Oh yeah, those pins don't look like they go too far down....?
  8. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    LMAO :lol:
  9. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    bump - someone mentioned drilling holes to check mositure levels deeper in the wood. Yet I see most basic moisture meters like the harbor freight one have two short prongs....?
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I drill the holes. The reason for the holes is that hardwood is just that. Hard wood. In order to get the prongs deep in the wood ya would have to smack the end of the meter pretty hard and that would pretty much demolish the meter.

    For five or six hundred dollars you can get a pro meter that is made to be driven into the wood but for the difference I like my cordless drill just fine.
  11. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    bb, i took your advice and ordered one from harbor freight. now, question.....
    should i take a split and split it again and then drill the hole for the probes? or should i just drill the holes for the probes?
    thanks bruce
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I just drill the holes for the probes. On most splits that gets close enough to the center. If you split it again just test it in the center without the holes.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    BB hit the point I was going to make. If you are really interested in what the center is like, split it again, and take the reading right away.
  14. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Like bb said, be careful with the meter it won't take punishment.

    Dave
  15. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Hey BB, I made my first sojourn to Harbor Freight yesterday and dropped a C note! I didn't realize there was a Harbor Freight around here. Had to drive a bit, though. It was a much smaller store than I expected.

    Wood moisture meter, laser thermometer, Kill-a-Watt, bulk pack of cheap gloves for stacking, 1 pair $7 gloves for splitting/sawing, and hmmmm... forget what else. Used my 15% off coupon and saved $6 on the thermo, not bad.

    I kinda felt like I was feeding starving kids in China. They should call that place China Freight.

    Moisture meter seems to work ok, but I'm still suspicious. I tried both the newly split technique and the drill technique. Will use it more before final judgement. This is pretty fresh red and white oak I'm testing, but the meter only shows 27% except on one occasion when it topped out at 35%, the next and last graduation on the 'high' scale. I guess that could be correct, but seems like it should have pegged the meter for such fresh wood. What do you think?

    Laser thermometer seems like it is about 3 - 10 degrees off (depending on what I'm checking), but that should be acceptable for stove use I'd think. It also seems to raise a few degrees on the same things after I've held and used it for about 5 or 10 or uh, 30 minutes. That nine volt battery is holding up pretty well. ;) Looks like I need some insulation in my dormer. Interesting info all over the house. I think this thing will come in handy. How long before the novelty wears off? ;)

    Haven't tried the kill-a-watt device yet. The beer fridge is first on the list of experiments. May need to justify a keg setup to Mrs. Mo Heat. ;)
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't know what's happening Mo. My moisture meter pegs on new oak splits and the thermo tracks with the stove thermometer and the one in the room so close it is kinda scary.

    Yep, Harbor and the computer makers are giving us a grand opportunity to feed most of China.
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