Moisture Content in Wood

Moisture Content in Wood
April 4, 2017 Dennis Moor

Moisture Content in Wood

Question:  I have recently noticed that the wood that I am getting from the local lumber yard seems dry and brittle when I am carving.  I did some research and found a source that said the ideal moisture content for carving is between 10% and 12%.  Do you know if this is correct?  I purchased a Delmhorst Wood Moisture Content Meter, and checked the moisture content of the wood that I am using for carving. It is all between 5.6% and 6.5%. I guess this would explain why it seems so dry and brittle when I am carving, LoL!  Is there anything that I can do to change this?  I was considering putting the wood in a tupperware container with a damp sponge, but I don’t really know what that will do to it.  Do you have any suggestions?

Moisture Content in Wood

Answer:  Yes, 10 to 12% is the ideal moisture level for woodcarving.   I can’t believe you would have gone to the expense of buying a ’ Delmhorst Wood Moisture Content Meter” .  They cost hundreds of dollars!  Wow!  You are obviously very serious about this!  Using your Tupperware and a sponge is the right idea –and it will work nicely.  In fact if you place such your simple home-made humidor outdoors in the sunlight it will work like a sauna and do the job quicker.

In the future keep you wood in your garage or shed (assuming you don’t live in Arizona).  Failing that, keep it in a closed container away from heat or air conditioning.
Hope that helps,  Dennis

 

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