Wood Dr. Wood Pro Expo presentations available here
October 9, 2019 | 4:52 pm CDT

LANCASTER, Pa.  – Gene Wengert, the Wood Dr., will deliver the keynote speech to open the second day of Wood Pro Expo. Wengert’s presentation, free to all WPE attendees and exhibitors, is scheduled for 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, October 18.

Wengert will also tackle some of the costly and largely preventable issues related to moisture content in a presentation at Wood Pro Expo Lancaster. Wengert 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.

Copies of the presentation and a related talk on moisture content are available here.

Wengert said he will present the latest business impacts of many of the topics he regularly covers, including wood economic conditions and employee issues. He also plans to reserve time to field questions from the audience on technical challenges they encounter with their lumber and panel resources

Wengert said questions submitted by readers about moisture content, gluing and machining defects, and low material yields have long been staples of his column. He said he is seeing more management issues involving cost and profits, especially from managers that are new in the industry.

Wengert closely monitors North American woodworking industry trends and wonders aloud where things are headed.

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 woodproexpolancaster.com.


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Gene Wengert.    The Wood Doctor is “IN”



            Economic conditions

            Wood availability & quality

            Employee issues

            Manufacturing efficiency



            HOUSING STARTS as a predictor (yes and no)


            Hotel & Motel

            Population growth



            Past trend for imports

            Why can they control 60% of market?

            We should

                        #1 determine customer definition of quality

                        #2 prompt delivery

                        #3 control cost



            Loss of China markets

            Sawmill profit down

            Shortage of loggers and logs

            High capital & high value uses will pay whatever it takes to get enough wood

            We should

            #1 Get involved with forests, logging, sawing

            #2 Consider non-solid-wood options

            #3 Increase efficiency






            Purchasing Changes



            Measure Roughmill Performance - -             

                                    $ of raw material / sq. ft. of product

            Who controls your future?



Gene Wengert ,  The Wood Doctor is “IN”




Water is the lifeblood of a tree, so to speak.  A living tree can contain as much water as wood, by weight.  The bark is an excellent water barrier and keeps the water in the tree.  But once we harvest the tree, cut it into logs and then saw the logs into lumber, the exposed wood begins to quickly lose this water- -a process that we call drying.  We need to control this drying process so that the final product has the quality characteristics that we or our customer expects or needs.


Articles in IS&WM have discussed many important aspects of drying.  This month we will discuss one of the basics: moisture content.


Wood does not change its size or shape (that is, shrink or swell or warp) in use except when its moisture changes



Moisture Content.  In lumber and solid wood, the definition of moisture content (MC) is the weight of water in a piece of wood compared to the oven-dry weight of the same piece of wood.  (Oven-dry is assumed to be 0% MC.) The MC is always expressed as percent.  Mathematically,


                    (Current weight - Oven-dry weight)

          MC =  --------------------------------------------------   x   100

                              Oven-dry weight




                    Current weight

          MC = [--------------------    -1]   x  100

                    Oven-dry weight


The current weight, also called the wet weight or present weight, in these formulas is the weight at the time the MC is desired.


The oven-dry weight is obtained by putting the piece for which the MC is being measured into an oven at 215 to 217 º F until all the water is evaporated (the pieces stops losing weight).   A fan in the oven is desirable.  Oven-drying often requires 24 hours or more.


Final MC.  The moisture content when the lumber leaves a kiln or other drying system is called the final MC.  Hardwood lumber that is under 10% MC may be called kiln dried, especially by producers.  For most buyers and users of kiln-dried lumber, kiln-dried means lumber that is 6% to 8% MC, or perhaps 5% to 7% MC.  There is certainly some confusion about the exact definition.  It would be best to use the term “kiln-dried” along with a MC range, such as “kiln-dried to 6.8% MC plus or minus 1.0% MC.


RH     MC     EMC   Environment

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

100%  28%   28%   Very wet; foggy

 80     16      16      Tropical island; coastal climate; humid

 65     12      12      Exterior in most of North America; Interior in coastal areas

 50     9       9       Interior in summertime for most of North America

 30     6       6       Interior in wintertime for most of North America; dry

   0     0       0       Oven-Dry

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Exterior means outside climate, but not exposed to direct rain; Interior means inside an office or home.


Pin Meter                                                           Pin-Less MeterText Box: 75%

Range: 6.5%


 to 25% MC.                                   Range: 4.0% to 25% MC

Species: minor corrections with USA species.   Species: very sensitive to wood density changes

Temperature: + 1% MC for every 20 F cooler.  Temperature: minor effect

Measures one spot; can get gradient.                  Measures an average under the meter

Slow due to driving pins.                                    Needs air under the piece & Very fast




Text Box: 95%

Text Box: 90%


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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at karl.forth@woodworkingnetwork.com.