Wood Moisture Video Series for Woodworking
Hosted by Charlie Phillips, Assistant Professor of Wood Technology, Pittsburg State University
Understanding the relationship between wood and moisture is critical for everyone who works with wood. In this popular and well-received webinar, Charlie Phillips tells you what you need to know.
Proper detection and management of wood moisture content will help you avoid costly mistakes that show in the quality of your work.
Topics included are:
- What exactly is meant by wood moisture content and how do we determine the acceptable moisture level of a piece of wood?
- How does moisture content affect products?
- Why do woods need to acclimate to their environments?
- What effects does high or low moisture have on the wood?
- How should wood be stored?
- How is high or low moisture content corrected?
Summary of Wood Moisture Management Video Series
Wagner Meters is proud to present a special video series on wood moisture management. This series covers the all-important relationship between wood and moisture. Knowing and understanding this relationship is critical for anyone who works with wood, from professional woodworkers and wood floor installers to hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers.
Hosted by Charlie Phillips, a wood technology instructor at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, the series begins by defining what is meant by wood moisture content. Charlie also explains how to go about measuring the amount of moisture contained in a piece of wood and determining when the moisture content is at the right level.
Charlie then answers the question: How does moisture content affect wood products? He covers what happens to wood when moisture content is either too high or too low, and he explains the importance of why wood needs to acclimate to its environment so as to reach the correct moisture content. No wood project should proceed until this acclimation (or equilibrium) occurs.
If wood for a project has not acclimated to its environment and hasn’t attained the correct moisture content, Charlie addresses how one goes about correcting the wood moisture content so that the wood is ready for use. He also presents the basic facts about the relationship between wood and moisture, and explains how wood easily swells or shrinks due to its ability to gain or lose moisture. This is something no one who works with wood wants in a finished wood product.
Charlie then talks about another critical relationship: that of relative humidity and moisture. The relative humidity in the air affects the moisture content of wood. In fact, wood will continue to lose or gain moisture until it is in equilibrium with the humidity and temperature of the air.
It’s also important to understand what happens to the moisture content in wood when it’s shipped from the manufacturer to the end user. Charlie explains that wood typically gains or loses moisture once it leaves the manufacturer, depending on the environment and geographic location, which is why moisture content in wood always needs to be measured before using.
Charlie drives home another critical point: Wood (even kiln-dried wood) must be stored properly and at the correct moisture content level to prevent undesired changes in the wood, especially in finished wood products. For example, wood products intended for indoor use should never be stored outside or in an unheated building or shed since the wood will easily absorb moisture.
A key take-away from this video series: Avoiding costly mistakes when crafting a wood piece or installing wood flooring depends on identifying the moisture content in the wood, especially before and during the process.