1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Wood Moisture Meters

Post in 'The Gear' started by leftyscott, Apr 12, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. leftyscott

    leftyscott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    arkansas
    Anybody use these???
    I've seen them for sale online from abut $20 to $200.

    I've always assumed the oak that I split/stacked in winter would be seasoned by next fall.

    What I've noticed this year is my 2 year seasoned wood is burning much much better than my 9 month seasoned wood. This has me thinking my more recent wood is not properly seasoned. Typically, I have been cutting down only standing dead trees.

    This year, I'm getting much more green wood thanks to the Jan. ice storm. I'm about done cutting for the year, as I have split/stacked 3-4 cords for 2009/2010 burning season.

    Ticks get really bad this time of the year.

    Thanks,

    Lefty Scott

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    725
    Loc:
    Central CT
    Lefty, I cut a standing dead red oak yesterday. When bucking into lengths, chips are coming out DRY. I say perfect. Brought a round down to the house and split it, stabbed it with the moisture meter.......35+! Oak needs lots of time to season. This has been a huge learning year. Hearth.com has taught me many, many lessons.


    KC
  3. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI
    I bought the harbor freight cheepie and it works fine. I have cut stacked and dried red oak that was dead let sit for 10 monthe and split a 8" round and bam still 30+ mc Now if you split that 8" round it will be great to burn drys pretty fast.
  4. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    584
    Loc:
    South Western Wisconsin
    I had a 5x10 trailer loaded with 2 year seasoned wood, had a tarp over the trailer. The wind blew it off one end and the wood got wet from melting snow, and did not burn as good as the same wood under the tarp. So that moisture meter can come in handy for many things. My EPA stove likes wood extremely dry.
  5. Spikem

    Spikem Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    248
    Loc:
    Middleboro, MA, USA
    Any links to good moisture meters (and good deals on them)?
  6. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    584
    Loc:
    South Western Wisconsin
    As mentioned above Harbor Freight, it's something you don't use often but comes in real handy, and the price is right, they have them on sale all the time.
  7. b121

    b121 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Maine
    I agree with Smokey

    I also have a Harbor Freight mositure meter and it works fine.
  8. sledhead41

    sledhead41 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Circle Pines, Minnesota
    Got hf moisture meter today. Stuck it into Fresh oak no reading. Is the fresh oak to wet to read on meter ?
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Which HF meter did you get? The one with the LED bar graph display, or the one with the LCD number readout? I have the LED bars unit, and found mine was a bit tricky to get a reading on. You have to really press the pins into the wood a good bit to get a good reading (especially with hardwoods like oak)

    It is also best to split the chunk you want the reading on just before testing, as the number that really counts is the moisture in the center of the round - Note that it is quite possible for a round to read nearly zero on the exposed surface, and still be green in the middle.

    Lastly, make sure you get the "POST Test" display when you push the read button - My unit has a red LED separate from the bars that should flash, then you should see the bars go from the low end to the high end, stopping at the correct reading - try the low (7-15%) scale first - if that goes all the way up, try the high scale (Note that I find a lot of my wood will register 15% on the low scale and not register at all on the high scale) If you can't get a reading at all, or even if you do, try rubbing a few drops of water (or spit) on the surface of the wood and repeat - that will get me a significantly higher reading - if it doesn't then there may be a problem with the meter...

    Gooserider
  10. sledhead41

    sledhead41 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Circle Pines, Minnesota
    I got the LED bars. I tryed it on fresh split, both the bars went all the way up. Meaning the wood is over 35% ? I tryed it on my house siding and get no reading till I spit on the siding , then both bars go all the way up.
    Thanks, Don
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Yup, that sounds about right, though the siding sounds a bit on the dry side - I would have expected it to be around 8-10% unless you've been having really dry weather lately. If you go off scale on both bars, it means you are over 35% The thing is you have to watch the meter as you take the reading because other than seeing the bars flash there isn't a way to tell over-range from under-range...

    Gooserider
  12. sledhead41

    sledhead41 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Circle Pines, Minnesota
    Very dry and 2 foot overhangs. Going to repaint as long as I have time.
  13. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,862
    Loc:
    NNJ
    I have a cheap moiture meter. You can only use it for a relative reading. Always test on a fresh split (that day). Touch the two prongs to your moist fingers. You should get approx 35%. Touch it to kiln dried lumber, should be about 10%. Touch it to 1yr seasoned oak, should be about 35%. Touch it to fresh cut white ash or black locust and it will be about 30%.
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,862
    Loc:
    NNJ
    Don't think it matters. It sends an electrical signal through the material.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page