Last month we met at Bob’s shop. Bob had us answer a perception survey as to lightest to darkest of colored M&M’s. There was consensus to the lightest (yellow) and the darkest (brown). The colors in between had some varied answers. The most answers were for the order of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and brown. There was many alternatives to the red, green, and blue order. It all depended upon how you perceive the colors.
Mike brought a slab of laurel oak, milled from a tree from his yard. John and Craig tested their moisture meters on the oak and came up with similiar readings. The readings varied from 8 to 10% up to 12 to 14% depending upon where on the board the meter was placed. Bob submitted some information regarding the calibration of moisture-meters.
“All meters are calibrated to read the MC of Douglas fir at about 68
degrees F (The Timber Check is the only exception; it is calibrated for
“Some meters have built-in species correction (allows you to select a
wood with the user interface) and some have built-in temperature
“We think that built-in species correction is a feature you can live
without unless you typically need to take readings on a large quantity
“A rule of thumb states that the average MC of a board can be found at a
depth equal to 1/5 to 1/4 the thickness of the board. For example,
5/16-in. pins are long enough to get an average MC reading on a
1-1/2-in.-thick board and 1/2-in. pins will work for 2-in. stock.”
“A range of 7 to 20 percent is all you need to check air-dried or
“You can pay extra for a meter with a range that exceeds 30 percent, but
keep in mind that accurate readings higher than 30 percent are
impossible because there is just too much water in the wood.”
“At the low end of the MC scale, pin meters are accurate down to 7
percent and pinless, down to 5 percent. Readings below these levels are
unreliable because there is just too little water in the wood.”
Show and Tell
Bill brought his box with an exceptional marquetry of a tiger on the lid. The inside was lined with felt.
Pete brought his stool made from pine that was done in the style of Michael Fortune’s table.
Craig showed a photo of the floating shelves he made for his office. They are made from 1/4″ maple plywood edged with curly maple.
John made a plaque for his neighbors. He carved the national flower of Cambodia (Rumdul) and the state flower of Connecticut (Mountain Laurel) into it.
John K. brought an end grain cutting board he made out of walnut. He oriented four pieces of sapwood to make the lighter colored diamond shapes. He then soaked the entire board in mineral oil. It was glued up with Titebond III.
John also completed his inlay box with the spring released drawer.
Bob showed his current project of making shelves for his new lumber storage container. He is gluing up pieces of plywood using new panel clamps from Peachtree Woodworking. He is planing the cauls to camber the ends.
Jay received a present from Bob following his presentation on coopering.