Just had a big ash tree trunk cut into boards. (Mostly quarter sawn). All stacked, stickered and drying in a basement corner. Probably should invest in moisture meter. Don't want to spend a fortune but want one that will work well. Never had one or needed one til now. Even though this log sat on the ground for two years it's probably not ready for use for a year or two. Need some commentary here. Thanks in advance.
You can find pin and pin less type meters for less and more money that will give you ball park readings.
Using a meter and bathroom scale to weigh your boards until they stop gaining & losing weight your boards are at EMC (equilibrium moisture content). A start meter & scale reading tells where you are at, and whenever you check again will tell you how much moisture boards have lost.
I have one of those General meters like Wildwood linked and really like it. The one chance I had to check it's accuracy was against one the Serv-Pro guys came to the house to clean up a small water leak we had. My unit was reading the same amount his moisture meter was. The General is switchable between wood and building materials (like drywall) may it a little more useful.
Being a jeweler I have an alternate method that seems to work well.
I drill a small hole and save the chips.
I weigh the chips on a diamond scale; accurate to 0.01miligram.
Put the chips in a little aluminum foil pan and bake in the oven at 250 degrees for an hour.
Then weigh again.
The difference in weight is the basis for calculating the exact moisture.
The scale I use costs about $40, so it is no more expensive than a moisture meter, but I have other uses for it.
This method is absolutely accurate and gives the true moisture content all the way through the board.
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