It is not enough to use lumber at 6-8% moisture content when producing cabinets and furniture. Lumber interacts with the surrounding air so a product may not stay within that range if the surrounding relative humidity is not kept between 30-50% at around 70F. Changes in moisture content are often accompanied by shrinking, warping and cupping.

Using a combo meter, which offers pin-less, pin and RH measuring technology, will cover all applications to measure moisture and humidity, helping avoid moisture problems and tracking when they occur.

Handheld moisture meters check for the correct moisture content when the lumber comes out of the dry kiln and before it is used in production. Pin and pin-less meters are available. Pin-less meters usually measure 3/4-inch deep and need a flat surface. They work great on flat boards up to 6/4-inch thick and allow for checking a large number of boards quickly. For thorough testing of boards over 6/4-inch thick, or round and irregular shaped pieces, pin meters are recommended.

Relative humidity also needs to stay within the recommended 30-50%. Thermo-Hygrometers, multi-mode moisture meters or data loggers can keep track of the relative humidity, with data loggers tracking the history of any change. The wood moisture is affected by persistent higher or lower relative humidity, which a data logger can confirm.

There are meters on the market that can record 16,000 data sets for temperature and humidity and can be set for out of range audible alarms. For further analysis of moisture content and relative humidity there are also data loggers available which record MC and RH. The instrument shows how relative hu-midity affects the moisture in wood.

Source: Lignomat USA. For more information call (800) 227-2105 or visit


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