Learning Wood Moisture Content: Case Study

Group PhotoWagner Meters Teams Up with McKinleyville Middle School Program

Potential wood flooring experts or woodworking hobbyists in the classroom will now have hands-on experience with accurate wood moisture measurement.

As Wagner Meters knows, accurate moisture content readings play a key part in the success of any woodworking or wood flooring project. So in April, Wagner Meters donated the MMC220 – their best-selling “Extended Range” pinless moisture meter – to the McKinleyville Middle School Woodworking Program.

The program, headed by teacher Rand Hall, began three years ago when he was offered the chance to teach woodworking to 7th and 8th graders. “A life-long woodworker, I was thrilled with this opportunity,” says Hall. The catch? “There is no state funding [in California] for such a program… everything I offer must come from donations.”

Benches

The McKinleyville Middle School Woodworking Program benefits regularly from donations of lumber and different wood types for their students to use when learning woodworking skills. “Easily-worked wood species are important for the success of my students,” says Hall. “I try to offer pine, redwood, poplar, cherry, walnut, and fir. I also have a small amount of maple, ash, and oak, though these woods prove too difficult to work for most of the students. Cherry and walnut are the most popular, but also the hardest for me to get donated.”

With the support of businesses both local and further afield, Hall has seen over 400 12-to-14-year-old students have a chance to learn life-long woodworking skills and gain the self-discipline and self-esteem that the program also fosters. And the results have been remarkable.

With the donation of their “Extended Range” moisture meter, Hall states that Wagner Meters has given two very important advantages to his students. “Most wood I get donated is not KD’d [kiln dried], so having the meter will allow us to select project wood that is dry, ready to use, and set aside the boards that need more air drying time,” explains Hall. “This will help ensure successful projects that will last, without the wood movement problems inherent with wet wood.

Wagner’s wood moisture meter also moves the knowledge Hall teaches about moisture content from theory to practice. “By using the meter, my students can see direct evidence of moisture differences in wood. They can measure wet and dry wood of the same species, note the weight differences, and also the dimensional measurements,” says Hall.

3 Girls Using MMC220 Wood Moisture Meter

“With the meter I can capture their interest, and they are able to understand this process. Without the meter the moisture content becomes theoretical, much more difficult for the students to grasp.” Now more than just tools and tasks, moisture content knowledge combines a number of the students’ other fields of study with real-world application in the woodworking program.
Wagner Meters consistently provides clear and concise information to the wood flooring and woodworking industries through their informative videos, articles and demonstrations. And now they’ve taken it to the classroom so that students can also learn the importance of moisture content measurements when working with wood.

With advanced technology, accurate measurements and now a 7-year standard warranty on all MMC & MMI Series moisture meters, Wagner Meters are a solid investment as an essential tool for your workplace or classroom.

If you’d like to donate to the McKinleyville Middle School, go to http://www.edline.net/pages/McKinleyville_Middle_School