Your moisture meter vs. my father

tymbee Posted By tymbee, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

  1. tymbee


    Dec 2, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I don't agree at all. An unseasoned piece of wood, depending on the species, can weight anywhere from 50 to 100 per cent more than a seasoned wood. Why is it so hard to believe that an experienced person could easily tell the difference??
  2. Nixon

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 6, 2008
    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    I don't use a MM . I just don't see the need . C/S/S your wood well ahead of need ,and all should be well .Simple really .
    I'm sure that it is useful to some though . So , if they are satisfied with their purchase ,it's all that matters .
  3. CTYank

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 28, 2010
    SW CT
    Obviously not. Follow this line of reasoning, if you will:
    Once in the stove, if a split burns well, you know it's properly dry (forget this "seasoned" spit); or not.
    It's then kinda late in the game to PULL IT OUT and assess how it feels and sounds. (Good way to initiate divorce proceedings?)
    Seemed straightforward here.

    Why would anyone care if anyone else wants an objective measurement of MC? Some are getting pretty religious on this, eh Redd?
    This is America. MYOFB.
  4. oldspark


    And the nonsense continues, I dont need one, its fun to play with, get over it move on. Been burning wood for over 30 years with no back up do ya really think I need it?
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Carrying a moisture meter is lighter than lugging Dad around. And it eats less. And doesn't argue with me.

    And for the life of me I cannot understand why anybody would care whether I own one or not. Dad thought I was insane for heating with wood.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    After reading this post I knew immediately there was much more to it than what was observed. Then after reading all the other posts, it seems that everyone missed the whole point. Your father probably did not know the difference between a few percentages of moisture nor did he even consider it. There is a whole lot more to this than just lifting a piece of wood to know if it is ready to burn or not. In other words, you state that he would, "know immediately by species & weight which was which, toss the seasoned in the wagon and the less seasoned back on top of that pile." There is no doubt he knew the difference between the species but as for going by the weight, that is questionable. That can be done to a certain extent but is a minor thing. The same thing when it comes to "knocking two pieces of wood together to listen to the sound." One has to have some experience to know which "sound" he is hearing! But I assure you, he was using much more than what has been mentioned. It comes from experience and is difficult to teach.
  7. oldspark


    A lot of things are difficult to teach. ;-)
  8. Nixon

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 6, 2008
    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    And harder to learn . :)
  9. oldspark


    Never try and teach a pig to sing, it only wastes your time and annoys the pig.
  10. nate379


    I agree 100% Not to be an ass, but it seems often WAY too much work/thought goes into all of it when I read on this site.

    I have a meter that I've used once or twice in the last several years. It has served just to verify what I already know... the wood is fine to burn, but it was cheap and it was another toy to throw into my toolbox to impress the guys. :lol:

  11. MasterMech


    And I'm sure he wasn't about to freeze because his wood was at 22% and not 20%!

    I have a MM. It's a tool/toy. It satisfied my curiosity. It's also the first tool I bought that actually slows down my wood processing!
  12. bogydave

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 4, 2009
    So Cent ALASKA
    We need a poll
    Moisture meters are:

    1: for sissys
    2. a toy that slows down wood processing
    3. useful to some
    4. accurate within 3%
    5. a good topic on to argue about
    6. for those who don't know what you have but neither does it
    7. to check moisture of air-dried lumber
    8. to measure the moisture in your wood, then burn it regardless of the reading
    9. fun to play with
    9. lighter than lugging Dad around
    10 for the in-experienced
    11. no more accurate than the speedometer
    12. for those with white lab coats
    13 to buy & and you lose your senses
    14. for some, probably a waste of $12.
    15. to think your right
    16. for those that "I know I’m right"
    17 not better than your eyes,nose,hands & ears

    LOL you guys are a blast :) I added #5
  13. Larry in OK

    Larry in OK

    Oct 31, 2011
    NE Oklahoma
    MMs are tools.

    As someone that just this season made the choice to heat with wood after a 25+ year absence it has come in handy, along with the advice from this site. The biggest thing having one has done for me is to keep me from burning wood that my long dormant "experience" would have told me was ok to burn when it really was too wet. I've had to scramble quite a bit this first season finding dry wood from standing dead, blowdowns and timber that had been dozed for land clearing. But, I have found it. I use the MM to sort my wood,>20% on the MM I consider good, the rest gets stacked for next year.
    A couple of weeks ago I cut up a 14"-16" black walnut that had been dozed 3 years ago, it was off the ground, exposed to sun and wind and the bark was mostly gone and I would otherwise have considered it good to go. About half of it tested under 20%. The closer to the rootball the wetter it got.

    Sometimes otherwise good advice from knowledgable people gets lost in the attitude served up with the delivery.
  14. Excavator

    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 18, 2011
    Central NJ
    Yes, most of my neighbors think I am some kind of nut for heating with wood last 20 years, bringing home wood, carrying wood, stacking wood, empty ashes, clean chimney. Do any of you think I care what anyone thinks if I test wood with a MM (LOL) NOOOOO I don't care.
    We test what ever we feel like just like outside temps. I think we need a "WHO CARES METER"
  15. oldspark


    The first time this came up I could not figure out why any one even cared one way or the other, who would have thought possible, never could figured out why IR testors and temp gauges on stoves did not cause the same stir.
  16. Dune

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 14, 2008
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    One of these years I am going to aquire a moisture meter. No sarcasm, I want one.

    I bend bronze by heating to between 850 and 1100 degrees F. Too cool it breaks, too hot, it crumbles. I determine the correct bending temperature by eye (now).
    After I got sick of breaking/melting $10/lb metal I bought a pyrometer, heated the bronze to the correct temperature and noted the color.

    I sort wood exactly as the OP's father did. I throw the denser pieces back on the pile, sometimes even move them to next years pile.
    Some of the denser ones I bring inside and let them dry more near the stove. Some of them become light overnight, some do not after a week. It is these pieces I want to check
    for I think they are dry but of a much denser section of wood, and a moisture meter seems to me the easiest way to find out.

    Further, I would like to determine how much drier wood gets once inside than it had been when stored outside.

    Maybe I should keep two weeks worth of wood in the house, maybe one hour's worth. I am not sure.

    Why anyone would give a flying leap whether anyone else uses a given tool or not is beyond my reckoning ability.

    I don't need a MM. I want one, and I think it would improve mhy burning effectiveness.
  17. smokinj

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 11, 2008
    Anderson, Indiana
    Nope! ;-)
  18. billb3

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 14, 2007
    SE Mass
    For anyone unable to find their way around their own back yard, a compass and GPS are probably indispensable.
    Not having them would probably be unfathomable.

    I cut my own wood. I know when it was green, when it won't be green and when I can burn it and burn it well.

    If I was buying truckloads of cut and split mystery wood, a MM would come in handy.

    If a MM helps you get maximum efficiency out of your stove and process then by all means use one.
  19. Thistle

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 16, 2010
    Central IA

    LMAO....damn :lol:
  20. oldspark


    I love it when someone points out how silly we are. :red:
  21. ironpony

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 22, 2010
    mid-ohio via St.Croix USVI
    off subject a little, reminds me of a guy I met

    Jack was around 80 years old, excavator his whole life
    he would walk out onto a site, kick some dirt, dig in his heal
    scoop some with a shovel and tell you exactly what needed to be done to build on it
    I am talking big buildings
    engineers would laugh then run their calculations and guess what
    Jack was always right
    I worked with him many times over the years and met many others who did
    and the conclusion was, after 60 years in the business
    dont argue with Jack
    he was truly amazing at what he did
    real experience is an amazing thing
  22. colin.p

    Burning Hunk

    Feb 26, 2011
    Ottawa Canada
    But, but, but... I bought one on sale a month or so ago. If I don't need it, should I sell it on ebay? %-P
  23. Excavator

    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 18, 2011
    Central NJ
    I bet half us posters on here had to be convinced by some one younger than you that a computer would be a good tool for the home.

    I have to admit, the MM works great just as the meter on top of my stove for temps.
    Are the meters perfect? Nope, they are as good as any thing else in life.

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