Got MC problems?
See the Wood Dr. at
Wood Pro Expo Lancaster
FDMC columnist will also deliver Day 2 morning keynote.
Renowned wood expert Dr. Eugene Wengert will tackle some of the galling, costly and largely preventable
issues related to moisture content (MC)
in a presentation at Wood Pro Expo
Wengert, an industry consultant and
popular FDMC columnist known as the
Wood Dr., will present “The correct
moisture content for kiln-dried lumber:
Establishing reasonable MC targets and
measuring MC,” at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct.
18, at the Spooky Nook Sports complex.
“Just as machining accuracy is now
more precise, so is the ability to monitor
and control moisture content in wood,”
Wengert said. “A lot of woodworkers have
this idea that moisture content for hard-
wood should be 6 to 8 percent and that
they can get by using wood that is a little
drier or a little wetter, but that’s a fable.
The truth is we now talk about 6.0 to 6. 8
or 7. 2, for example, depending on the spe-
cies. Because our ability to measure mois-
Trying to get by using wood that is
not within the correct moisture content
range can lead to a whole host of prob-
lems including warp, raised grain and
open glue joints to name a few.
“Wood has not changed over the cen-
turies, but the manufacturing processes
and customer demands for quality have
changed considerably,” Wengert said.
“Too often wood product companies are
relying on someone else’s measurement
of moisture content and the supplier
might not understand what a particular
company needs. By defining moisture
content more precisely you can reduce
rejects. Rejects can be very expensive
because no value is added when you have
to spend time and effort to repair them.
“I worked with one company that had
About Wood Pro Expo
about 500 rejects due to moisture issues.
After they started to monitor incoming
lumber and removed pieces that were too
wet, they only had five rejects the next
Wengert recommends that woodwork-
ing companies invest in a portable mois-
ture meter “with the bells and whistles
that will result in getting an extremely
good read on moisture content values.”
In addition to discussing common
moisture related problems and how to
prevent them, Wengert will present a
statistical approach to monitoring the
moisture content of incoming loads of
lumber. “When you buy a load of lumber
with say 1,000 boards, how do you know
the moisture of every board, short of get-
ting out there and measuring everyone
of them? I’ll show attendees how they
can use statistics to find out what’s hap-
The moral of the story, Wengert said,
“Controlling moisture content will help
your bottom line and make the customer
Wengert also will deliver the keynote
speech to open day two of Wood Pro
Expo. The presentation, free to all WPE
attendees and exhibitors, is from 8 a.m. to
9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18.
Wood Pro Expo is a regional event for
woodworking businesses that brings
together suppliers and experts for a
localized presentation of equipment and
supply solutions. WPE includes a strong
educational program on best practices
for shop production – including CNC
basics, employee recruitment, finishing,
lean manufacturing, business manage-
ment, software, and shop safety – and an
expo floor with equipment and supplies
geared to small and medium-size shops.
The fall 2019 Wood Pro Expo takes
place Oct. 17-18 at the Spooky Nook
Sports Center in Manheim, Pennsylva-
nia, near Lancaster. For information visit
Wood Dr. Gene Wengert will discuss how
to measure and control moisture content to
improve your company’s bottom line.
by Rich Christianson