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    Chris Bunney

    Hi all,

    I suspect that my workshop has a considerably different humidity level to my house which has resulted in some of my projects suffering from warping and splits when I bring them in the house.

    I would like to check the moisture content of wood stored in my workshop compared to wood stored in my house.

    Can any one recommend a device for doing this?

    A cursory search on Amazon returns plenty of devices in the £20 price tag range – but I am not sure if they are suitable for wood used for joinery.


    Chris - Exeter, UK

    George Bridgeman

    I use this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003CSNV2Q

    I’m not certain as to the accuracy but the readings I’ve had make sense. The main thing is that it’s fairly consistent which is great as I use it to measure change over time. Once the readings stop moving (to within 0.5% or so), I know the timber is roughly in equilibrium with the atmosphere. Paul has advocated using bathroom scales to achieve the same.

    If you’re using it to compare timber in the shop and house, something like that will be fine.


    "To know and not do is to not know"

    Daniel Wagaman

    Hi Chris,

    It seems the higher priced units give you a smaller range of error and deeper probing. A more economical unit might have a +- of 3% and check a depth of 1/2″ whereas a pricier unit might be within 1% and check a depth of 3/4 to 1″ into the material.

    It would be interesting to measure the humidity in your living space and compare to your shop as well as the moisture of the wood itself. If your work is splitting when you bring it home it sounds like the wood wasn’t completely dry or your home is much drier than your shop.

    I read that here in the States most boards at the store even if marked kiln dried can have levels of 12 to 18% moisture. Green lumber is 19% and up. Letting newly acquired wood settle in your shop or workspace for a month or so is always a good idea. A meter to measure moisture at a price you can afford would help get some bearing on where the problem lies. One measurement is worth 1000 opinions.



    I bought mine at Aldi, and it seems to work just fine. Same brand as their chisels. Good luck.

    From Warrington, UK. Making stuff in my front room.

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