The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts





Author Topic: Do you use a moisture meter?  (Read 2887 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uplander

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Southern Indiana on the Crawford Upland
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Do you use a moisture meter?
« on: October 08, 2014, 06:57:50 AM »
 Yesterday I bought a moisture meter at lowes. I had been reading on another forum that you just cannot
fully fulfill your obsession with firewood without one. Seems like it will be handy around the lumber pile
for furniture making also.

 When I got home last night I took the maul to some of the red oak firewood that I cut, split and stacked late last February. when I checked the moisture content I was pleasantly surprised that it was at 20% or less moisture content with the unit's pins in line with the grain.

I had always read that oak takes 2 years to season down to that level. These tress were storm damaged and had been down since the previous summer so maybe that had something to do with it.

 Do you use a moisture meter on your firewood?
Woodmizer lt40G28.  A kubota L4600 with loader and forks.
Various Stihl saws and not enough time to use them!
 Finished my house finally. Completely sawn out on by band mill. It took me 7 years but was worth it. Hardest thing I have ever done.

Offline Corley5

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 8268
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Wolverine, Michigan USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Wolverine, Michigan
    • Share Post
    • Whittaker Farms
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 07:02:03 AM »
No  :) ;D
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline North River Energy

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 846
  • Age: 52
  • Location: ME/NH
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 07:45:55 AM »
I did, now I don't.

One thing to keep in mind regarding seasoning time, and conversations pertaining to, is that not everyone splits to the same block dimensions, and climates vary by locale.

A meter is good for gaining insight/resolving curiosity, and establishing a baseline for your drying operation. 

In the end, the flames don't care about a few percentage points one way or the other.

Offline 101mph

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Location: Northern Lower Michigan
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 08:27:12 AM »
I ordered one (still waiting on it) that I will be trying out soon.

Yes I'm curious and really have to know how my wood has been drying (fell most of the trees this past summer). My wood is stacked in quite a bit of shade too so I want to know as a baseline how it has been seasoning (especially since this is my first year in this location).

I'm hoping it will give me an idea for the future on how long it will take (yes I know there will be variables). I'm a little concerned about burning the "green wood" in my fireplace and getting creosote build up.

Offline ely

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2700
  • Age: 52
  • Location: atoka okla.
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 08:42:33 AM »
no I do not, not even for woodworking projects, I also do not have one...would be useful at times.

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 29447
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 08:43:04 AM »
I feel getting the wood in early,split,stacked and under cover goes hand in hand with a meter. Not that I really do any of the above.  ;D
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline doctorb

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4300
  • Age: 68
  • Location: Glyndon, MD
  • Gender: Male
  • Unofficial Team Physician
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 09:57:06 AM »
Yes, I use mine.  I agree with the comments above that if your wood is split and stacked appropriately ahead of time, you do not need a moisture meter to know that you have well seasoned fuel.

On the other hand, if you buy your wood, it's nice to know the starting point, in terms of dryness, of your fuel.  Most species cut, split and stacked a year ahead of time will be at 20% or below in a year.  The moisture meter did change my method of stacking, however, as I found that the wood stacked on the inside of a stack (3 - 20" pieces end to end leaves an "enclosed" part of the stack).  Wood that is split and piled may have some greenish wood at the center of the pile.

In the end, it all will burn, so what's the fuss?  Well, my gasifier stove likes dry wood and works less hard when the fuel is dry.  So it matters to me. 

I know this all sounds very compulsive, but I'm not out ther monthly checking on the progress of the seasoning.  It's something I do with purchased wood, and something I do at the beginning of the heating season to see which of my separate stacked areas are driest.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline beenthere

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 26932
  • Location: Southern Wisconsin, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 10:10:55 AM »
Don't use a moisture meter either. Have on occasion weighed some split-out samples and oven-dried them.

IMO 20% is not ready for burning, and prefer 12%. Takes more than a year stacked/covered for oak to reach that. That just comes from experience over 35 years and on occasion bringing in some two-year seasoned oak and knowing I wasn't getting the same heat as the three-and-more year seasoned oak.

Now am burning white ash almost exclusively and two years is great. Easy to burn ash.

But bottom line,  higher moisture wood will burn... just that it doesn't give the heat, .. which is the main point when heating with wood as I see it.
But different strokes for different folks.. as long as we are happy. ;)
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline NHMike

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Central New Hampshire
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 04:09:43 PM »
I picked one up just to keep tabs on my wood. I spit everything back in April and May.

I just checked random pieces from different piles last week. I split the wood and took the readings.  Most of my readings were ranging from 14% to 17%.

I also checked it on a tree that I had dropped this weekend.  I got 48%.

I will still season the wood at least 7 months, but it is nice to have for a reference.

Offline Ivan49

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 277
  • Location: Lake City Mich
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2014, 07:29:49 PM »
 As far as I can see a moisture meter would be almost worthless for fire wood. The pieces of wood are to thick to get a center reading. Look at the depth they read and to get one that goes deep is fairly costly. I have one myself and I use to use it on my sawmill mainly as a CYA. Mine was around 400.00 when I bought it and I think it only goes 1 inch deep

Offline beenthere

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 26932
  • Location: Southern Wisconsin, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 07:43:47 PM »
Ivan
They say they split the wood and take a reading for the inside MC.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Ivan49

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 277
  • Location: Lake City Mich
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 07:53:12 PM »
Even if they split it it would have to be in thin strips and it would not be accurate unless they averaged the whole pile which would be time consuming

Offline Al_Smith

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 10331
  • Location: Northwestern Ohio in the center of a giant corn field
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 08:14:41 PM »
IMO a moisture meter for firewood is akin to a tachometer to set a chainsaw .You don't really need it .

Offline uplander

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Southern Indiana on the Crawford Upland
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 07:05:53 AM »
 I like to split big. It lasts longer in the fire box. I took a 8x8 inch split and worked it down into 4 smaller pieces. It had a consistent reading of 20% moisture content no matter where I took the reading at.

It is true that if you have properly gotten ahead of your wood needs that do not need a device like a moisture meter for firewood, you would know simply that for the time it has been split and stacked that it has to be at the correct dryness for burning to provide heat.

 By late January last year I had burned all the wood I had put up. I never anticipated the severity of the winter we had. I vowed to myself never to let that happen to me again and as soon as the weather broke I started cutting with the goal of getting three years ahead. I am not there yet but I will be.

 Bottom line, the meter let know how close my wood is to being optimal for producing heat without wasting BTU's to change the state of water in it. The price for it was worth it to me.
Woodmizer lt40G28.  A kubota L4600 with loader and forks.
Various Stihl saws and not enough time to use them!
 Finished my house finally. Completely sawn out on by band mill. It took me 7 years but was worth it. Hardest thing I have ever done.

Offline M Cook

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Age: 62
  • Location: HHarrison, MI
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2014, 11:16:16 PM »
I used a meter for a couple of years, best way to measure is to cut a piece in half then you can get readings form the outside all the way to the center.  Oak dries the slowest, so we try to provide a good mix of Red Maple, Ash, and some cherry with oak, we keep our species separated so we can cut any blend needed.  When we run out of seasoned wood (like this year) we cut and split wood to put on our cemet pad, the atmosphere is a lot drier in the winter and surprised me how much it will dry.  Our pad is in a wide open area exposed to a lot of wind and our wood tends to dry rather quickly.  If it sits for 6-8 weeks in the winter and mixed with ash it's burnable for most stoves.  To load it we have a HMC wood tumbler that does a good job of removing any snow or loose material while loading wood into truck, takes about 15 minutes to load 10 face cords.  We can put around 500 face cords on our pad and try rotate wood so it has longer time to dry.

Doesn't matter how green our wood is, it all sells before spring we seldom have much left by then.

Mike Cook
Mike Cook

Offline M Cook

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Age: 62
  • Location: HHarrison, MI
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2014, 11:18:23 PM »
I used a meter for a couple of years, best way to measure is to cut a piece in half then you can get readings form the outside all the way to the center.  Oak dries the slowest, so we try to provide a good mix of Red Maple, Ash, and some cherry with oak, we keep our species separated so we can cut any blend needed.  When we run out of seasoned wood (like this year) we cut and split wood to put on our cemet pad, the atmosphere is a lot drier in the winter and surprised me how much it will dry.  Our pad is in a wide open area exposed to a lot of wind and our wood tends to dry rather quickly.  If it sits for 6-8 weeks in the winter and mixed with ash it's burnable for most stoves.  To load it we have a HMC wood tumbler that does a good job of removing any snow or loose material while loading wood into truck, takes about 15 minutes to load 10 face cords.

Doesn't matter how green our wood is, it all sells before spring we seldom have much left by then.

Mike Cook
Mike Cook

Offline 32vld

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Location: Long Island, New York
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2014, 12:44:42 PM »
I started splitting fresh cut wood July 16th. Mostly Red Oak. I split the wood and get mostly 3"x4" pieces.

Wondering how long it would take for the moisture to drop I bought a low cost moisture meter. The Oak had a 54% moisture reading when it was first split.

First week of September I re split a piece of Red Oak and the moisture was at 27%. Reading always taken from along from the fresh split face. Not from the end.

It seems the first of my wood will be ready to burn this winter. Though we have to see how weather, temperature, and less daylight effect the drying as the year goes on. I think the wood split in September will dry slower and as the Fall moves forward the wood split in October should take longer. Looking forward to see the moisture meter readings through the Fall and Winter.

My wood gets stack 4' high 8' long and in a single row of 16" +/- . With about 32" between the rows so I can pass through with a wheel barrow and to allow plenty of air flow between the rows. Also when it rains the cover goes over the pile. No rain the cover is taken off.

Offline beenthere

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 26932
  • Location: Southern Wisconsin, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2014, 02:13:52 PM »
Quote
It seems the first of my wood will be ready to burn this winter

Not "ready" to burn, but it will burn. ;)  Next winter it will more likely be "ready". 
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline CTYank

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 74
  • Location: CT Panhandle
  • Gender: Male
  • Ain't he cute?
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2014, 06:02:27 PM »
I ordered one (still waiting on it) that I will be trying out soon.

Yes I'm curious and really have to know how my wood has been drying (fell most of the trees this past summer). My wood is stacked in quite a bit of shade too so I want to know as a baseline how it has been seasoning (especially since this is my first year in this location).

I'm hoping it will give me an idea for the future on how long it will take (yes I know there will be variables). I'm a little concerned about burning the "green wood" in my fireplace and getting creosote build up.

Some folks, elsewhere, have said that it's good to have firewood up around 20% MC for disposal in a fireplace. (I've done some of that, too.) Keeps things from just blazing up in a big rush.

OTOH, all my experimental evidence indicates that for a modern stove, drier is better. Water won't burn.
'72 blue Homelite 150
Echo 315, SRM-200DA
Poulan 2400, PP5020, PP4218
RedMax GZ4000, "Mac" 35 cc, Dolmar PS-6100
Husqy 576XP-AT
Tanaka 260 PF Polesaw, TBC-270PFD, ECS-3351B
Mix of mauls
Morso 7110

Offline 32vld

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Location: Long Island, New York
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Do you use a moisture meter?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2014, 09:11:08 PM »
Quote
It seems the first of my wood will be ready to burn this winter

Not "ready" to burn, but it will burn. ;)  Next winter it will more likely be "ready".

My wood went from 54% to 27% in six weeks/month and a half. So
you are saying that my wood will not drop another 7% from First week September to the first week November?

I have read that wood is ready to burn from 14-20%. I do not have your experience. So I will have to wait and see what my moisture says. 


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
moisture meter

Started by xlogger on Drying and Processing

7 Replies
941 Views
Last post January 23, 2017, 05:00:13 AM
by xlogger
xx
DIY Moisture Meter

Started by lowpolyjoe on Drying and Processing

7 Replies
17963 Views
Last post June 17, 2013, 12:45:24 PM
by lowpolyjoe
question
Moisture Meter?

Started by CHARLIE on General Board

12 Replies
2332 Views
Last post January 28, 2002, 09:47:06 AM
by CHARLIE
xx
Which moisture meter ?

Started by Seaman on Drying and Processing

6 Replies
1195 Views
Last post August 25, 2014, 09:45:47 PM
by darinputman
 


Powered by EzPortal