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UPDATE: Moisture content – Gary’s findings, lots of info

Home Forums Wood preparation UPDATE: Moisture content – Gary’s findings, lots of info

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    Marty Leenhouts

    Hi Marty,

    Finally starting to warm up down here in TX. Hope things are well up your way. Get a cup of tea…

    First, an update on my humidity box. I had an unfortunate incident occur with my first experiment that made me rethink the design a bit. As you may remember I used a dish rack and drainer in the box to keep everything up and out of the small amount of water I put in the very bottom. I kept the box under my workbench on a shelf. When I needed a piece of wood I would either open the lid an grab it if it was easily accessible or take the box off the shelf so I could dig to find what I wanted. Unbeknownst to me I was occasionally splashing a bit of water up onto the drain board. Oops! a few of the practice boards had a corner resting on the drain board. Apparently basswood is like a sponge. But, the water they sucked up started a regular mold farm in the moist environment. What a mess! Fortunately, I was able to clean everything up and it looks like most will be usable if I am clever. Suffice to say that I used a lot of hydrogen peroxide trying to get rid of some deep mildew stains.

    I really like how the wood carves when it comes out of the box so I needed to come up with something that would put humidity into the box without actually having water in it. Just so happens that I have an ultrasonic humidifier that I have never used down here. With a little “Macguyver-ing” I hooked up a flexible hose from the output of the humidifier to a hole I cut into the side of the box. But, I didn’t want to run it all the time so I powered the humidifier with a smart outlet and created a routine in Alexa that runs it 15 minutes a day. That seems to be working well since the hygrometer reads in the mid 70’s and the wood is all running about 12%. There may be a simpler solution, but I had the stuff so why not use it?


    Great info on moisture content. Moisture is important I now get it. I will be paying more attention to this and prepping my wood before I get cutting on it.


    thank you for the information. will have to figure out something and make it or let my son do some maquyver me something. he is good at that.

    Jon Gledhill

    I recently watched Marty’s video about putting wood peices in a cooler with a steaming pan of water.

    It worked well, and raised the moisture content each time from less than 6% to around 12%, which made a huge difference in carving!

    One thing i didnt take into consideration was that the boards that already had holes in them (a cribbage board) would take on a lot more moisture on the sode with holes than the other side. It caused a serious warp in the board.

    I’m hoping that the tricks in the warped board forum with at least take most of the warp out of the boards.

    Thanks for the great ideas and input!

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