Moisture meter & slabs

So, with the Andy Rooney video fresh in our minds, I took my wife to the woodworking show we had here last weekend. There, she forced me to buy two slabs of wood as follows:
1. Black walnut crotch, abot 4' x 2' 1.75" (ends waxed). 2. Cherry burl about 32" dia x a little over 2" thick. (both surfaces waxed)
They are both destined for table tops. So I have two questions.
Question 1. I intend to put plastic down on my basement floor, then some sticker material, then a slab, then some more sticker material, then a plywood panel and some weight. This is to allow the material to dry before I use it. Is this the best approach? Did I miss something?
Question 2. I wish to solicite recommendations on an affordable moisture meter so I know when I can start to make the tables. Suggestions, please.
Thanks
Bill Leonhardt
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In article

Why the weight?

I have this one:
<http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p2548&cat=1,43513,45788>
I'm happy with it.
--
Woodworking and more at <http://www.woodenwabbits.com

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On Nov 18, 9:31 pm, Dave Balderstone

The only concern I have with that meter, in this particular instance, is that you may not get an accurate reading to the center of a 2" slab. I use a much beefier pin meter with a slide hammer to get the pins in a full inch or more at work. But my preference lately is to use a pinless meter, as it seems to paint just as clear a picture with much less hassle. Good ones are pricey though. I think one of the ww'ing mags did a review recently, maybe FWW... In any event, I'd go pinless, and I'm a fan of buying the best and only crying once. JP
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On Nov 18, 9:31 pm, Dave Balderstone

With thinner stock, some weight might help minimize the twisting etc..., but I agree that with 2" planks you'd need an awful lot of it to do any sort of good in that regard. And I'm wondering if any movement you do restrain with weight during the initial drying won't just show up again after the wood starts fluctuating with seasonal humidity changes. Where's my Flexner...
If those slabs are green, you're going to have to air-dry them for a coupla years I think.
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On Nov 18, 9:31 pm, Dave Balderstone

Glad to hear you're happy with the Lee Valley unit. It seems affordable and I expect Lee Valley to stock good stuff.
I mentioned the weight because the guy I got the slabs from suggested. As someone mentioned, I would need a lot of weight to make a difference. I will eliminate the weight. Also, I'm thinking that I will be tripping over these slabs in the basement (where my shop is). I'll now dry them in the attic, laying on ceiling joist so I don't need to sticker them.
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I'll now dry them in the attic, laying on ceiling joist so I don't need to sticker them.
=================== That is not recommended as attics get quite hot in the summer and the accelerated drying rate causes a higher risk of cracking the slab. Art
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And your joists may not be flat either.
You not only risk checking, but case hardening. And that will destroy your wood. Attics are too hot to dry wood. They are fine for wood that is already dry though... (interesting isn't it). The basement is fine. Put a fan on a timer and run it for 1 hour a day. Just to move air. I disagree about the weight. bags of sand will keep the wood from moving. You choice though. I wouldn't risk not weighting it. I dry all my wood with weight.
On 11/19/2011 3:40 PM, Artemus wrote:

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Here's an alternative that works for me:(It's especially useful with thicker lumber.)
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Here's an alternative that works for me (it's especially useful for thicker lumber):
Weigh the piece and record the date at (say) three month intervals. When there is no more significant change, the amount of moisture in the wood has stabilized.
Joel Jacobson
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I don't find floors very level. I recommend you build a frame 2x4 on your workbench using (straight lumber) The put that frame on the floor and shim ... this also takes you off the floor more where moisture exists. Cover with ply, then stack and sticker. cover with ply (on top of stickers) if you want and weight. Use sand bags...
Keep it away from the walls where moisture is normally present.
I have a Lingnomat pinned meter. I think pinned or not is fine. I have a preference for air dried wood... I just buy and store until I need it. If I had to buy another meter, I might buy a non-pinned meter. So I can move the meter around with out all the pinholes. Most of the time they are not a problem, but sometimes I have had a spot that when you plane it down you realize that the area with holes is gorgeous. You can't tell that from rough cut wood all the time. When you can you avoid.
On 11/18/2011 3:53 PM, Bill Leonhardt wrote:

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