Wood Moisture Meter?

Pete from MN

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I do some cutting and drying of small logs of unusual woods, such as buckthorn. I also buy rough milled boards from one person and hobby operations. I don't have a moisture meter and am thinking about getting one. I'm looking for recommendations of what and where to buy a meter. Thoughts?
 

Mike1950

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I have a General pinned from Lowes also have a non pinned spendy one somewhere?? general has survived my abuse for 7-8 years. pretty accurate
 

djg

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I was afraid to rely on the General being so cheap, so I went with the more expensive Lignomat (sp?). However, I've heard good reviews on the General model.
 

Arn213

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I have been using a pinless moisture meter and have net accurate results- Wagner and a Delmhorst. I have 2 as one is a back up. I am able to make correct read outs from the center and the ends of a long board. I have a pinned Lignomat, but it doesn’t get much love.
 

Mike1950

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I have been using a pinless moisture meter and have net accurate results- Wagner and a Delmhorst. I have 2 as one is a back up. I am able to make correct read outs from the center and the ends of a long board. I have a pinned Lignomat, but it doesn’t get much love.
I mostly dry burl- my pinned goes deep in spalted. and if I am in doubt I cut to check inside. used to check with ligno- but they are close enough. now I do not remember where it is
 

Arn213

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Mike it comes down to a matter of preference and convenience. The “pin” type will do it’s job. There is no right or wrong type of moisture meter, whether it is pin or pin less. Some folks want an accurate read out and some just want a general read out depending what type of work they are doing.

The “pin less” type is just more convenient for me for luthierie as it will give me a quick read out and record as the moisture content drops down as it seasons. Since back and sides set are processed to .125” and soundboards at about .185”, there isn’t enough material to apply the “pin” type at the end of the panels. The pin type also leave holes at the end every time you want to do a read out and that means filling it with anchor seal to seal the ends. I also find that the middle part of a slab will have a slightly higher read out than the ends- so the pin less for me works and I jot down the “median” and put a date on the board.

Let me follow up with part 2 on post #4. The Wagner has a digital read out and the Delmhorst has an old school “needle” on the panel meter. I prefer the “needle” on the panel meter just because I can see if it is working when the needle swings. I also have mentioned I bought 2 to have one as a back up, but I used them both on “rotation” and sometimes to double check each unit to make sure what I am reading is correct. Having said that, the Delmhorst went down first and what the President of the company initial take was that is a “calibration corruption” in which the “panel meter is damaged and need replacing.” It wasn’t worth getting fixed as it was between $ 95-125 and they just came out with a newer one (Wagner was around the same ball park if their moisture meter needed repair). The nice thing the President offered me at the time was to offer me the newer model for $ 125! They retailed for over $ 400 several years back then. I thanked him and fortunately decline because my Wagner was just reliable and accurate (and have the pinned type Ligno Meter as well)- it is still going and working as we speak!
 
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Pete from MN

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your information. It has been very helpful. I bought a Mini-Ligno from Rockler. Looks like it will serve my purposes quite well.
 
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