Got MC problems? See the Wood Dr. at Wood Pro Expo Lancaster
September 10, 2019 | 12:05 pm CDT
"Too often wood product companies are relying on someone else’s measurement of moisture content." -- Dr. Gene Wengert

LANCASTER, Pa. – Renowned wood expert, Dr. Eugene Wengert, will tackle some of the galling, costly and largely preventable issues related to moisture content (MC) in a presentation at Wood Pro Expo Lancaster.

Wengert, an industry consultant and popular FDMC columnist known as the Wood Doctor, will present “The correct moisture content for kiln-dried lumber: establishing reasonable MC targets and measuring MC,” at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at the Spooky Nook Sports complex.

“Just as machining accuracy is now more precise, so is the ability to monitor and control moisture content in wood,” Wengert said. “A lot of woodworkers have this idea that moisture content for hardwood should be 6 to 8 percent and that they can get by using wood that is a little drier or a little wetter, but that’s a fable. The truth is we now talk about 6.0 to 6.8 or 7.2, for example, depending on the species. Because our ability to measure moisture is more precise, instead of talking in general terms we talk in specific terms.”

Trying to get by using wood that is not within the correct moisture content range can lead to a whole host of problems including warp, raised grain and open glue joints to name a few.

“Wood has not changed over the centuries, but the manufacturing processes and customer demands for quality have changed considerably,” Wengert said. “Too often wood product companies are relying on someone else’s measurement of moisture content and the supplier might not understand what a particular company needs. By defining moisture content more precisely you can reduce rejects. Rejects can be very expensive because no value is added when you have to spend time and effort to repair them.

“I worked with one company that had about 500 rejects due to moisture issues. After they started to monitor incoming lumber and removed pieces that were too wet, they only had five rejects the next year.”

Wengert recommends that woodworking companies invest in a portable moisture meter “with the bells and whistles that will result in getting an extremely good read on moisture content values.”

In addition to discussing common moisture related problems and how to prevent them, Wengert will present a statistical approach to monitoring moisture content of incoming loads of lumber. “When you buy a load of lumber with say 1,000 boards, how do you know the moisture of every board short of getting out there and measuring everyone of them? I’ll show attendees how they can use statistics to find out what’s happening.”

The moral of the story, Wengert said, “Controlling moisture content will help your bottom line and make the customer happy.”

Wengert also will deliver the keynote speech to open day two of Wood Pro Expo. The presentation, free to all WPE attendees and exhibitors, is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Friday, October 18.

View the full Wood Pro Expo education agenda and register.

About Wood Pro Expo
Wood Pro Expo is a regional event for woodworking businesses that brings together suppliers and experts for a localized presentation of equipment and supply solutions. WPE includes a strong educational program on best practices for shop production - including CNC basics, employee recruitment, finishing, lean manufacturing, business management, software, and shop safety - and an expo floor with equipment and supplies geared to small and medium-size shops.

The Fall 2019 Wood Pro Expo takes place Oct. 17-18 at the Spooky Nook Sports Center in Manheim, Pa., near Lancaster. For information visit

For exhibitor information contact Lewis Goldman at or phone 800-969-2212. 



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About the author
Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.