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Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

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  • Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

    I just got the below moisture meter so I can see what my lumber has for moisture content. Much of my wood warps even though I am storing it per best practices. I am trying to see if maybe it isn't dried enough when I get it. Anyway, I noticed the Klein non-invasive meter after I purchased the pin-style meter. Does anyone know if the non-contact ones are as accurate as the contact ones? I ask primarily because it is Klein tools which are tier one.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q5TFB74

    https://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-E.../dp/B07SZX8QXH
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  • #2

    Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

    I have the Klein meter and seems Ok but I keep forgetting to check it against our expensive one at work. I'll try and do that this week and report back my findings

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    • #3

      Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

      You could check the meter you have by weighing a piece of wet wood, then oven drying it and weighing again.
      iamtooler likes this.

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      • #4

        Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

        have a delmorst for 35 years with the pins, fairly complicated with a few settings having to check temp of the wood first. It works very well no idea how they can measure into wood with no pins. Oven thing was even used in the lumber companies and they usually had a Delmorst as the main meter used

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        • #5

          Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

          Good discussion. I have just bought a LV pin type meter and am getting started using it. I have several cherry slabs that are unknown moisture content to start but seem to be settling in at 10 to 14% after a few months in my shed.

          I don't know yet whether that is surface moisture content or something else. I'll be looking forward to hearing from others more knowledgeable than I.
          The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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          • #6

            Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

            Remember they measure from pin to pin. So you will getting a reading that is just below the surface. Only cutting the wood in half will you get an inside reading.

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            • #7

              Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

              Originally posted by RV Sam View Post
              Remember they measure from pin to pin. So you will getting a reading that is just below the surface. Only cutting the wood in half will you get an inside reading.
              You can drive a couple nails or screws, pin width apart, into the wood and touch your probe tips to them. That will give you the moisture content deeper in the wood. Obviously they need to come out before you go near a saw. ;)

              Pete
              smallerstick and Kayak Jim like this.

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              • #8

                Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                Wagner has a nice write up comparing the two types:

                https://www.wagnermeters.com/moistur...ent%20readings.

                I've had the Wagner pinless for a couple years, find it to be awesome

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                • #9

                  Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                  I wanted to resurrect this thread for a question. I put a humidity meter in my shop and it is 58%. This is on the cusp of being high. I am thinking about getting a dehumidifier and running it to try to reduce the humidity. My shop has no vents in or out just the door. It does have a drop ceiling, however. My drawer fronts that I just cut and immediately coated with Danish oil are already showing signs of warping. Could 58% be high enough to cause my constant warping issues? Even my plywood warps.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                    Do not confuse relative humidity with moisture content.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                      Hi Bob, the issue is uneven distribution of moisture in the wood.

                      When the wood internal moisture changes, it will not be homogeneous throughout the wood, this causes the wood to bend.

                      Keeping the humidity constant allows wood to maintain it’s shape, keeping your shop at a relatively constant humidity will stop the warping regardless of weather your shop is a desert or a rain forest...Rod
                      Work is the curse of the riding class.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                        I bought the below today. At this point I am getting desperate. I just find it hard to believe that almost every single piece of wood I buy, including plywood, has been incorrectly dried.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                          Most often wood movement is a result of losing moisture from the wood not absorption because the tree is sawn when wet and diminishes there after.Certainly panels etc. will expand under humid conditions long after being worked but raw wood problems are most often from diminishing moisture content. I have always felt that it is better to get that movement over with before turning raw wood into finished products.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                            Originally posted by WoodBob View Post
                            I bought the below today. At this point I am getting desperate. I just find it hard to believe that almost every single piece of wood I buy, including plywood, has been incorrectly dried.  
                            It probably was correctly dried but what has happened to it since then is giving the current result. Plywood's manufacturing process inherently makes it dry. If it is warping then one side has more moisture than the other. This can be remedied by lightly wetting the concave (dry) side and laying flat. There iis a lot of info on the web on doing this. Ply leaning against an outside wall can absorb more moisture than the side facing the interior of the shop. Even though lumber may be kiln dried, by the time you get it the MC may be up, technically it is still kiln-dried lumber but the MC has changed towards the level in its current location. If you then move it into a drier environment or one that provides heat to one side of the lumber such as sunlight through a window it will lose moisture unevenly. You need ot ensure that there are no uneven sources of heat or moisture in your storage area. 
                            billh

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                            • #15

                              Re: Moisture Meter - Probe vs Contactless

                              Originally posted by billh View Post

                              It probably was correctly dried but what has happened to it since then is giving the current result. Plywood's manufacturing process inherently makes it dry. If it is warping then one side has more moisture than the other. This can be remedied by lightly wetting the concave (dry) side and laying flat. There iis a lot of info on the web on doing this. Ply leaning against an outside wall can absorb more moisture than the side facing the interior of the shop. Even though lumber may be kiln dried, by the time you get it the MC may be up, technically it is still kiln-dried lumber but the MC has changed towards the level in its current location. If you then move it into a drier environment or one that provides heat to one side of the lumber such as sunlight through a window it will lose moisture unevenly. You need ot ensure that there are no uneven sources of heat or moisture in your storage area. 
                              billh
                              This all sounds great but I can go out, select a piece of wood that appears not warped, bring it home, process it, finish it (Poly/oil), and the next day it has a warp. 

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