Why a Moisture Meter Is Essential for Wood Furniture Makers
A space doesn’t quite feel like home until it has beautiful, high-quality furniture in it. It’s even better when that furniture contributes to your client’s (or your own) overall design style.
But your wood furniture will only stay functional and beautiful if it’s set up for success from the very beginning with the proper moisture content.
That’s why this article is all about how a wood moisture meter will keep your products looking fantastic and working as intended. And boost your business’s reputation.
Plus, you’ll learn about some popular furniture designs so you can find your specialty or add different styles to your repertoire.
Keep reading to learn:
- All about popular furniture designs
- Why a moisture meter is essential for wood furniture manufacturers
- Benefits of using a wood moisture meter for furniture
- The best moisture meter for wood furniture makers
Let’s get started by covering some of the most beautiful and iconic furniture designs.
All About Popular Furniture Designs
We’ll briefly talk about the following designs, highlighting their characteristics:
- Arts and crafts
- Mid-century modern
Shaker is a classic, simple, and functional design for furniture. Its clean lines and minimal ornamentation make it accessible to a variety of interior design styles. Usually, shaker-style furniture is made from reliable hardwoods like cherry, maple, and ash.
Consider mission-style furniture your minimalist, practical furniture. This style is beautiful in its simplicity. It exhibits straight lines, flat panels, and a lot of oak wood. With a no-nonsense approach and emphasis on functionality, mission-style furniture brings a sense of efficiency and elegance to any space.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts style furniture is all about that handmade charm. It has intricate details like exposed joinery and hardware, which give it a unique and authentic feel. You’ll often find geometric patterns gracing furniture surfaces, along with warm and rich colors that add a cozy touch to any space. This furniture is usually crafted from sturdy woods like oak and cherry, ensuring durability and a timeless appeal.
Like mission-style furniture, Scandinavian style is very minimalist and will suit a space that has a similar aesthetic. Light woods such as birch and pine are common, giving this furniture a bright and airy vibe. With its understated design, this style effortlessly blends into any modern home.
This style of furniture is especially trendy right now. It’s sleek with a retro yet timeless appeal. Woods like teak, rosewood, and walnut bring natural beauty and add a touch of warmth to any room. If you’re a fan of the iconic mid-century interior design, this style of furniture is a must-have for your (or your client’s) home.
Now that you know a bit about some of the furniture styles, let’s talk about the primary way you can keep this furniture looking great for years and years to come: using a moisture meter.
First, let’s answer the “why” question behind it all.
Why Is a Moisture Meter Essential for Wood Furniture Manufacturers?
Whether you have a large-scale operation or are working out of your garage, a moisture meter is an essential tool when making wood furniture because it helps to ensure the beauty, functionality, and longevity of a product. It also ensures that you produce a high-quality product, giving you a stellar reputation and helping your business grow.
How does it do all that? The ticket is measuring moisture content (MC).
It starts with the nature of wood itself. Wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning that it doesn’t just sit there statically after it’s cut from the tree. Rather, it reacts to its environment, expanding and contracting based on how much moisture is or isn’t in the air. Changes in humidity and temperature (which together make up the equilibrium moisture content—EMC—of a given location) will impact the wood.
This also means that if wood furniture is made from wood that is too wet or too dry, it can warp, crack, and more (we’ll talk about this in the upcoming section).
Any warping, cracking, or splitting could hurt your product and your reputation, which is why we’re going to highlight some of the benefits you can get (and the problems you can avoid) by using a wood moisture meter.
Benefits of Using a Wood Moisture Meter
We’ve already talked generally about why you need a high-quality, reliable moisture meter for wood furniture manufacturing, but now, here are some specific benefits of using one:
- Preventing moisture-related damage in furniture
- Keeping furniture functional
- Saving money from reduced wood waste
Let’s go over each point.
Preventing Moisture-Related Damage in Furniture
The only way to prevent moisture-related damage in wood furniture is to use a moisture meter.
When wood that is too wet or too dry is placed in a space that is low or high in humidity—respectively—then that wood will become misshapen. Or, in other words, wet wood in a dry environment will contract when it releases moisture, and dry wood in a wet environment will expand when it takes on moisture.
So if two pieces of wood that don’t have the right MC for their final location are screwed or joined together, then over time, those pieces could begin to twist and warp.
Eventually, they may cause the screws or joinery to detach, ruining the piece.
When you use a moisture meter to confirm the MC of a piece of wood, you can ensure that the MC matches the EMC of the final location. Once the furniture is in place, the MC should remain the same, meaning that your product stays beautiful and your client stays happy.
Keeping Furniture Functional
Using a moisture meter keeps furniture functional in the same way it keeps furniture beautiful: by preventing warping, cracking, splitting, and more.
Imagine the following scenario.
Your product gets delivered to its final location. It’s a sideboard that’s been carefully crafted to last generations. A few weeks later, your client calls with a complaint: the drawers stick when trying to open them, and once open, they are difficult to close.
Here’s another one. You deliver a beautiful table you hope will bring family and friends together every Christmas. Then, you get a call a few months later: the table is warped, and that beautiful Christmas tablescape just isn’t going to look right on a warped table.
Both of these scenarios can be completely avoided simply by using a moisture meter. Measuring MC doesn’t just keep things looking nice—it keeps them functional too!
Saving Money from Reduced Wood Waste
Using a moisture meter during the wood-purchasing process can save you a lot of money by keeping you from buying wood that is too wet or too dry for your project.
Because acclimating wood is either a very long or very expensive process, buying wood with the wrong MC often means that it can’t be used for a piece of furniture. It must either sit and acclimate (which costs time) or be taken to a kiln to dry (which costs money).
However, when you take a pinless moisture meter with you to acquire lumber, you can scan it and ensure the MC of the wood prior to purchase. No wasted wood, and no warped projects.
All of these points work together to improve the quality of your product and your reputation.
Lastly, let’s cover the best moisture meter you can use as a wood furniture maker.
The Best Wood Moisture Meter for You
The best wood moisture meter for you is one that will get you the results you need. That means you need a high-quality product that gives accurate readings. Here are some things to consider.
First of all, the price of a moisture meter is usually directly related to its quality. So even though it might make a dent in your wallet, it will eventually save you money. Buy quality; buy once.
Next, a pinless moisture meter is likely the best choice for you, particularly if you want to use the meter when you are shopping for wood. You wouldn’t want to poke holes in several boards of lumber while measuring MC. Not only will it take longer, but you could make the lumber seller unhappy.
Buy a Quality Moisture Meter and Save Yourself Headaches, Time, and Money
If you’re a wood furniture maker, a quality moisture meter is going to save you time, money, and a lot of headache because it’ll prevent moisture issues like warping, cracking, and splitting. You’ll be able to give your clients the style and quality they’re looking for. And this great quality will help boost your sales and reputation.
So get a Wagner Meters Orion pinless wood moisture meter, and set your business up for success.
Wagner Meters is a family-owned American business that aims to provide solutions in moisture measurement technology that will enhance the quality and value of each customer’s project. With an almost 60-year legacy of innovation, Wagner continues to be a resource for both individual craftsmen and high-performance commercial endeavors.