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firewood moisture meter reviews

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by oaky, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Trapper_Pete

    Trapper_Pete ArboristSite Operative

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    15% and under i get no hiss lights easy
    16 % put it in on a hot bed of coals or with some <15% wood and it burns

    if 16 hisses and is harder to light I just try an avoid anything any higher .

    but I am in a small to medium indoor free standing epa stove.
     
  2. kevin j

    kevin j Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When you use a meter, it needs to be fresh split, reading inside the wood. Reading the end I can get up to 10% lower. Dries quick the first inch or two on the ends. But a whack with the Fiskars and reading the inside surface is a truer indication.
     
  3. moresnow

    moresnow ArboristSite Operative

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    Agreed with above. Additionally your test split should be brought up to room temp before being re-split and tested on the freshly exposed inner face. Any other spot tested means virtually zilch! Apparently most testers are calibrated to read accurately at room temp 70 ish F. This routine should really be a sticky.
     
  4. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    Great advice here. Two thumbs up!

    I have also noticed that you sometimes get two different readings on opposite ends of the log, even when both ends are recent bucks cuts. Best bet seems to be to go to the center of a split side and take two readings. Also, if you have any frozen fog or dew on the log, the reading is usually worthless.
     
  5. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    one of the reasons room temps are specified.
     
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  6. GVS

    GVS ArboristSite Guru

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    AMEN!
     
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  7. Husky Man

    Husky Man Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A GOOD mix of woods in a wood pile is desirable, any SINGLE type of wood comprising the ENTIRE wood supply is going to have some drawbacks.

    Cedar makes a WONDERFUL kindling, and having burned it as sustaining wood seriously for the first time this year, it did better than I expected of it, it is NOT a long burning over night wood, but while watching movies in the evening with the Wife, where I can keep the stove tended, it does a good job of producing BTU's, and I was Very Happy with the very small amount of ash it produced.

    Cottonwood is much the same, GET IT DRY, and it will produce BTU's, without too much ash in my experience, but it isn't an all night wood either.

    Around us, D Fir is the MVP, that gets the most court time, it is simply THE Most abundant wood around here, along with Hemlock and Alder, Tamarack isn't as abundant but prized as firewood as well, Properly seasoned, D Fir puts out Good Heat, it lights and burns easily, and the draft can be closed down for longer overnight burns on large splits, It's what we have, and works well.

    We see Some Maple, very little Oak, and Locust? Osage Orange? Hickory? Nothing but Myths and Hersey, where we live:(:(:(

    I diversify my wood pile as much as I can, but I sure wood LOVE to have a much greater percentage of Hardwoods available, especially for the longer burns over night, or while at work. fortunately, my Wife's Hair Salon is less than 10 minutes from the house, so if she gets a break between clients she can often get home to restoke the the stove, but she is learning how to load the stove and adjust the draft for longer burns.

    The Cedar, Cottonwood and D Fir, work well for getting a cold stove up to temp, the Cedar and Cottonwood also work well for early in the season, before the hard freeze of winter sets in, and I try to keep some around for starting fires, the D Fir and Better woods are our deeper winter woods, it all has it's place and use.

    When I am driving 45+ minutes each way to the forest, and am only allowed a maximum of 5 cords per HOUSEHOLD from the Forest Circus, I am targeting better wood than Cottonwood, I scrounge that closer to home, and not fill my Forest Circus permits with Cottonwood, plus that weed is much less common at the elevations that we normally cut at, 3,500-6,000', that is generally Conifer country, with some hardwoods at the lower elevations, and thinning as you go up, near 6,000' it is pretty much D Fir and Hemlock.

    I am Jealous of the Hardwoods many of you take for granted on here, but we still heat our home well with what we can get, some of you guys take things like Osage Orange and Locust for Granted, I hadn't even heard of Osage Orange before joining AS, never mind had any to cut or burn, Hickory?, here that comes in little bags of chips for Smoking Fish and Meat:rolleyes:

    I will admit though, when I've got the 36" bar on my 3120XP BURIED, or nearly so in a Nice D Fir, I'm SMILING:):):):):):):):):)


    Doug :cheers:
     
  8. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    20181226_093012.jpg 20181226_093001.jpg 20181227_140033.jpg 20181227_140027.jpg Since inquiring minds need to know I did this highly technical test :laugh:. I took a half round of ash that had been split about a year and split it in half. The first 2 pics are as soon as I brought it into the shop yesterday morning . The next 2 are at 2 pm today.
     

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  9. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    I did about the same thing with a Proster this morning with the outdoor temp at a measly 12 F. I had a 16% reading outdoors at 6 pm yesterday, brought the log in, and let it sit indoors until noon today. Then it read 10% on the same log. So, my results tend to validate Farmer Steve's. If a dry log has any surface moisture on it at all, the reading is way high.
     
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  10. bfrazier

    bfrazier ArboristSite Operative

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    Steve, thank you for the tests. Nobody has to read this stuff, so I guess all of us are here because we ARE interested!

    And so I see your test, and I would like to know, was that the existing surface of that half round, or did you split it off from something larger to get those numbers? I'm hearing from some that to get an accurate reading you have to split a piece and immediately test it. True? Or not? I would not think interior moisture contents would change very much in one day, but surface moisture contents would... and be misleading. (??)

    I'm rolling around the idea of a moisture meter myself. Last week I sawed some little axe wedges from a green log, tossed them in a plastic bag and looked at them today - the entire inside of the bag was dripping wet with condensation. I guess a ten pound block of wood at 40% moisture has four pounds of water in it - hard to imagine, isn't it?

    Throw some light on this, guys... Steve, Doug, Blades, Kevin, T.Pete, Wood Dr. everybody... tell us what you know.
     
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  11. B Brown

    B Brown ArboristSite Member

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    Speaking of moisture, you'r pretty close i bet on the amount of water in a 10lb block of wood. The last wood i got was mostly fir, and a little maple as a bonus. Some of the fir was so wet, that when i'd put the splitter to it, it would literally ooze water out of it. And, it had been down for a couple of months and in a clear cut. We're in the same state and not that far from each other. I've got the general moisture meter myself, its interesting to take readings a couple of days apart. I leave the wood, loose piled in the sun/air, facing south, for as long as i can before i stack it. Pretty neat to watch the moisture % go down depending on the heat of the day. All this week, we're supposed to be in the mid 60's not perfect wood drying weather, but, better than rain, or snow. I'll be taking my tarps off my wood, and exposing last years wood to the sun/and wind here probably tomorrow. Might even start keeping records on the moisture content , i just started actually putting the dates on my stacked wood. And, where i cut it from, just to keep tabs on it.
     
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  12. bfrazier

    bfrazier ArboristSite Operative

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    Yeah! I had some green doug fir this spring after the big snow just oozing! It is now in rows with 6" space between rows and it is amazing how cracked from shrinking it is - already! No covers for me, but I do have piles sitting on tarps too - sorta worry about them.

    As I'm researching this I'm learning that sapwood has more moisture than heartwood, so (for instance) whether a 10 pound block of green Douglas Fir has 4 pounds of water in it actually depends on how much of that block is sapwood as opposed to heartwood. (And I'm shocked I didn't already know that!)

    Sunshine this week? Oh yeah!
    [​IMG]
     
  13. bfrazier

    bfrazier ArboristSite Operative

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    Here is a table of common wood moisture contents. I had not understood that the moisture content could exceed 100% - just look at Cottonwood, so the moisture percentage is expressed as a function of the weight of the wood that holds it.
    [​IMG]

    Another interesting aspect about this is how heartwood and sapwood vary, so in the same split you could (I'm sorta guessing here) get two very different moisture levels. Right?
     
  14. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    If i recall (CRS) i split the 1/2 round and and checked the fresh split side and the old split side immediately. It sat for about 24 hrs. in the shop to bring it up to room temp. It was sitting about 5-6 feet from the wood stove. the fresh split test will give you a more accurate idea of what your burning. I take mine along when i go the local firewood auction just to see what guys are selling. of course i can't split it there so readings can be all over the place on just one load.
     
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  15. Trapper_Pete

    Trapper_Pete ArboristSite Operative

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    apparently you sent your rain east , we had 4 inches of snow Saturday, it melted yesterday when it hit 50 and sunny but that only lasted to early afternoon when it clouded over , about 6 it started raining light then heavier and now the next 10 days they think there might be 1 or 2 cloudy but mostly rain free days.

    I probably have 7 cord sitting on my driveway needing to be split.

    at least my wife isn't complaining about that wood sitting on the drive way.
     
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  16. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    I am disappointed in you guys.....





    Two and a half pages of discussion about a moisture meter, and nobody has mentioned Whitespider......



    ;)
     
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  17. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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  18. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    Much better
     
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  19. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    :laugh: I figured he was out shopping for bias tires.:omg:
     
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  20. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    He is too busy arguing with fools over in Political.....he didn't even visit when I tagged him in the bias ply post!
     
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