Moisture meters are nice, but for those who want to make only a couple of bows,
it is a large expense.
When you make a bow, you want to make sure that the bowstave reaches a moisture
content that is in equilibrium with the environment before you start final
tillering. Some places are very dry and wood can go below the 8 percent range
and still make a strong bow, some places are extremely humid and good bows can
be made from wood above 10 percent (for those of you who are curious, the 8-10
percent range for moisture content is considered the standard for most bow
When the wood stops losing weight, it is no longer losing mositure - that is
equilibrium with the envorinment.
It is a quick and dirty, low-tech (actually probably period) method of
determining the season of a stave - I learned it from the Traditional Bowyers
Bible and it has been an outstanding method so far for me. But meters work as
well - just don't damage the stave with the probes.