Pin vs. Pinless Moisture Meters

Hi this is Ron Smith with Wagner Meters and I’m glad you’re able to view this video today. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of moisture measurement in your woodworking projects, whether you’re a hobbyist or you actually do this for a living. And the two key differences between technologies and moisture meters. 80% of the problems with wood manufacturing or with wood pieces, cabinetry, and so on, are related to incorrect moisture content. That’s why major manufacturers of flooring, cabinetry, and related routinely use hand-held moisture meters, or even systems, in their operations. And so you need to know that it’s very critical and if you’re not paying attention to that, you can be very disappointed downstream in what you’ve created. If you’re a hobbyist, then you’re not satisfied with the outcome. If you’re in business providing pieces to customers, in some cases high-end customers, you’re not only not going to be satisfied but your reputation can be tarnished and it could hit your pocketbook. So again, you need to really pay attention to using good moisture measurement principles in what you do in your woodworking projects or your business. Now, there are two basic types of technology in hand-held moisture meters for measuring the moisture content in your wood. These two different technologies are vastly different. The first one is pin-type technology where you actually poke holes in the wood with two probe, sharp probe, pin-type devices in a meter and you’re just measuring the resistance between those two pins and resistance varies depending on the moisture content. Technology’s been around for years and used quite a bit but there are a couple of real issues with using pin-type moisture meters. First of all, you are putting holes in the wood and that’s not a good thing. You don’t want to have holes in your pieces or you’re relegated to try and find areas of the wood that might not be seen. But you can’t just poke the ends of the boards and do that. That’s not a good way to measure moisture with a pin meter. But nonetheless, using pin meters put holes in the wood, damaging it somewhat, and not only that, it’s slow and it’s tedious and you don’t have time for that. Lastly, you’re measuring a very small part of the wood every time you’re taking a measurement; only a very thin line between the two pin electrodes. So this makes pin meters tough to use and not very appealing. On the other hand, using non-pin technology where you’re not putting holes in the wood but you’re easily scanning on the face of your lumber is a lot easier to do and Wagner has built a strong reputation for providing fast scanning, accurate, deep penetrating moisture meters that allow you to scan the same amount of wood 10 times faster. Much easier to use than pin meters and again very very accurate. So, what two takeaways, real important takeaways, do we have from all of this? Ok, the first one really is, you need to use good quality moisture management tools in your projects. Anyone who does woodworking, anyone who’s in the business especially of providing fine pieces: cabinetry, furniture, or whatever the case may be, you must use moisture measurement. It’s just one of the primary things that needs to be done. That’s the first takeaway. The second is, you want instrumentation that you’re really going to use and the best instrument is one you use and the one you’re going to use more is one that’s easy to use, it’s not damaging the wood, and you can measure all of your wood and not just a little bit for sampling purposes. So with Wagner technology, you’re not putting holes in the wood, you’re fast scanning your pieces, and you’re doing it accurately and you really giving yourself some real good quality control over your woodworking projects, or in your woodworking business. This is Ron Smith with Wagner Meters. Thank you for listening today.

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