By Dr. Eugene Wengert – Copyrighted material.
Used with permission by Wagner Meters
Moisture content of wood components should be monitored to assure that unnecessary gain or loss of moisture hasn’t occurred. Once the moisture content changes appreciatively, it will take a long time to restore the wood to its correct moisture. In fact, it’s a big waste of time and money to process wood that’s at a wrong moisture content.
Proper handling through out the manufacturing process will assure this doesn’t happen. Wood components, parts, or even final products that are too dry, under 5% moisture content, are difficult to restore to their previous quality.
The best procedure is to put the wood in a room that’s perhaps 1 percentage point above the intended EMC. The room should also have several fans to stir the air and pass it across the wood surfaces, then wait for as long as it takes for the moisture content to adjust; several weeks or longer.
Wood parts or components that are too wet can often be re-dried successfully. However, it’s difficult to successfully re-dry a finished product. If the high moisture content is a result of poor storage conditions, the wood can usually be placed into a warm room that has an EMC 1 or 2 percentage points drier than the required moisture content. A little heat will speed up the process of drying. The wood needs to stay in this room until the core has achieved the correct moisture content and not just for the time required for the outer layers to achieve the correct moisture content.