I picked up a General MMD4E moisture meter at Lowes the other day, and was
curiously running around measuring the moisture content of various items
around our home. I'm sure this meter isn't the most accurate, but it does
give very repeatable results. Of course, this left me with more questions
I always heard wood should be dried to 8% to 10% for woodworking.
My meter shows 12% to 14% for lumber (various species) that has been stored
indoors for over 10 years. In fact, I got that same reading from the
cabinets I have in the garage, wood trim around the doors, and even from
the sheetrock. How could I ever expect to reach 8-10 percent if everything
is at 12% to 14%?
Out of curiosity, I measured some "green" 2x4's I picked up today for a
remodel project and they came out around 14% to 16% on average too.
For that matter, measurements of my deck railings, and plywood siding came
out around 14% to 16%.
My seasoned firewood averaged around 16%.
The only wood I got a higher reading with was my rotting wood chopping
stump that registered around 30% moisture. :)
Admittedly, we have had a very wet spring here in the Pacific Northwest, so
maybe 12% to 16% is just to be expected?