Wood Moisture Meter

Jbird560 Posted By Jbird560, Feb 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM

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  1. Jbird560

    Jbird560
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    Feb 2, 2011
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    Can you recommend what to buy and where to purchase? Sorry for all the basic questions
    but what is old info to you is very helpful to us newbies.
    Thanks,
    Jbird
     
  2. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 12, 2010
    878
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    Loc:
    MD
    picked mine up at lowes for something like 30 bucks. to be honest i dont use it much, i think i have a good handle on whats decent and whats not. every now and then i use it as a "bench mark" so if i questioned something later i can use it. for example good burning wood mine will read in the 11-14% range. poorly burning wood is in the 16-20% doesnt sound like much but its a huge difference inside that stove. again i use it more as a benchmark guess rather then reality. it sits in the draw with the long stem lighter and just before a piece goes in i will pull it out if im curious. most times it sleeps in the drawer.

    have heard that harbor fright has some cheap ones.
     
  3. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite
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    Oct 3, 2010
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    Northwest, CT
    well, as a novice here myself, can pass on what i've learned:

    1) The utility of a moisture meter is debatable... seems that the more experienced you are, less you need them.

    2) That being said, since it's my first season burning and this will be my first year getting my own wood, i bought this one at Harbor Freight for $13. Seems to be one that a lot of people get.

    Oh, remember when using it, to cut a fresh split to get an accurate reading from your wood.

    Good luck!
     
  4. dave11

    dave11
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    May 25, 2008
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    Western PA
    They are helpful in the beginning, when you're new to burning, to teach you what is dry enough and what isn't. But I wouldn't spend a fortune on one.

    I bought a delmhorst, but mainly for woodworking. Came in handy just this week when I came across some small rounds of poplar sitting for two years unsplit. They felt pretty light, but the meter showed them to be 22%, so they went out to season, instead of inside to burn.
     
  5. Gark

    Gark
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    Jan 27, 2007
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    SW Michigan
    The cheap moisture meters aren't accurate. They don't know what species of log they're stuck into.
    The MM measures resistance but displays it in % moisture. On the attached page from the Forestry service,
    The column under 20% moisture for sugar maple is 2.24 megohms and for elm is .48 megohms. That's
    a big difference. If you can't tell the MM what species it is measuring, it can't apply a multiplier to arrive at
    an accurate reading. Might as well hold a fresh split surface against your cheek or judge by its weight.
     

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  6. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover
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    Dec 25, 2010
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    Well, that's $30 I'll never get back.
    I suppose I can back-engineer it; Figure out what percentage each species reads when it's dry, in a trial by fire. Of course, by the time I get done handling and burning all that wood, I'll know weather it's ready just by feel.
    I bought the thing thinking it would help me get through 'til Spring on the dead stuff I'm finding. So much for that theory. Oh, well, maybe my roof will start leaking and I can use it to find the wet spot...
     
  7. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran
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    Jan 5, 2010
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    Looks to me as though sugar maple and elm are +/- 5% moisture on the reading, which is good enough for my purposes.
     
  8. DonNC

    DonNC
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    Jan 3, 2011
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    So I can do the same thing using my ohm meter?

    How far apart to the leads need to be?
     
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran
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    Jan 5, 2010
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    See the footnote at the bottom of the chart...use the megohm scale.
     
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