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Inexpensive Wood Moisture Meters (possibly useful for SBC)

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  • Rob Tom
    Last week, in a Princess Auto flyer that came in the weekend paper there was wood moisture meter for $25 CDN (about $20 USD). It s the type that has two
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2005
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      Last week, in a "Princess Auto" flyer that came in the weekend paper there
      was wood moisture meter for $25 CDN (about $20 USD).

      It's the type that has two nail-like probes that one jams into a piece of
      wood and then through the magic of electronic circuitry, it spits out a
      moisture content reading.

      A similar type wood moisture meter was recommended for use with the
      CMHC-style wood block sensors which are implanted into bale walls, where
      wires from the wood blocks are run out to two screws at the surface of the
      plaster to be read by the wood moisture meter.

      The recommended moisture meter is a "Timber Check" and costs about $100
      CDN.

      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32548&cat=1,43513,45788

      Obviously, a $25 meter will not be the equivalent of a $100 meter but it
      may suffice for the task of checking the health of SB walls and the price
      is cheap enough that most baleheads probably would not hesitate to acquire
      it whereas they may be reluctant to fork over $100 for a single-purpose
      gizmo.

      ie The range of the $25 meter is limited to only 8-22% moisture content,
      +/- 1% accuracy.
      Frequently, bale walls in trouble will yield MC readings in excess of 30%.
      Obviously if the readings are off the scale (ie >22%), then the walls are
      wet enough that there may be problems that need attention.

      I don't know enough about electronic gadgetry to evaluate the utility of
      the $25 meter and suggest any necessary modifications to make it suitable
      should modifications be necessary but I'm thinking that there are many on
      these Lists who may.

      If any gizmologists should get one to play with and finds that it is
      suitable, I think they'd be doing the SB universe a BIG favour if they
      reported their findings to the Lists.

      www.princessauto.com plug item number 8063323 into the "product search"
      box.

      And if a gizmologist needs further info on the CMHC-style wood block
      sensors in order to understand the problem, there are a couple of PDF
      files in the FILES section at SB-r-us that may help:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SB-r-us/files/Moisture/CMHC-style%20Moisture%20Sensors/

      or in HumanSpeak

      --> FILES section
      --> MOISTURE folder
      --> "CMHC-style Moisture Sensors" sub-folder

      --> Habib Fab Inst.pdf (file size 70 kb)
      (Habib's Fabrication & Installation notes )
      and/ or

      --> RobJollyFabInst.pdf (file size 59 kb)
      (Rob Jolly's Fabrication and Installation Notes)

      or if the gizmologists need to discuss any of the nuts & bolts issues WRT
      to the wood block sensors and these el-cheapo meters, they're welcome to
      contact me of-list. Whether or not it'll do any good is another matter.

      Okay ? Okay.

      === * ===
      Rob Tom
      Kanata, Ontario, Canada
      <ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
      (winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)
    • Chris Green
      ... I looked around and found either that unit, or a fairly similar one, for sale through Amazon.com. The PSI MD-2G is marked down $10 to $29.95 US. This model
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1, 2005
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        Rob Tom wrote:

        > Last week, in a "Princess Auto" flyer that came in the weekend paper
        > there was wood moisture meter for $25 CDN (about $20 USD).
        >
        > It's the type that has two nail-like probes that one jams into a piece
        > of wood and then through the magic of electronic circuitry, it spits
        > out a moisture content reading.
        >
        >
        I looked around and found either that unit, or a fairly similar one, for
        sale through Amazon.com. The PSI MD-2G is marked down $10 to $29.95 US.
        This model is rated for 6-24% and it looks like the LED lights jump
        every 2%, so with a 1% error in reading, that gives a +/- reading of 3%.
        Close enough for now, I guess. It's something like this or buy a $250/
        $350 Wagner extended range unit with the digital readout. The range on
        most of the digital wood moisture meters is only up to about 20%, except
        for the extended range ones, so 22 or 24% is respectable.

        There must be a honkin' big rush on these things because it has jumped
        from #497 or #379 in Tools and Hardware sales in the past two days.

        Princess Auto is a OK outfit, for those who aren't familiar with them.
        They sell some strange surplus stuff from time to time, like the 35mm
        film "strike record" cameras from old fighter jets....
        The PSI brand might be a "house brand", like the Kenmore fridges sold by
        Sears, but which are rebranded Westinghouse products. (Guess who had to
        buy a new fridge recently..)

        Cheers,

        Chris Green.





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