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I was thinking of getting a moisture to help figure out when my rough turned bowls are ready to finish turn. Does anybody here do that and if so what meter do you use?
I bought this one off Ebay some years ago and I think it cost about 20.00 Ozzie dollars. I've no way of checking it's accuracy but that doesn't matter, once you can do a turning that feels right just use that reading all the time. I'm not suggesting that it is inaccurate, I don't know but it is well made.
 

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The only problem with that is it would probably take a year or two where if I rough turn and then dry it only takes a few months.
I have to agree with Tom when he said "Wouldn't it be better to get the moisture right BEFORE turning?" Which is what I do.
 

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Theo
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The problem with getting the moisture right is that green wood turns so much easier than dry wood.
Green wood is also a lot more apt to twist and such, as it is drying after it is turned. I don't worry about any of it, after I found out the only thing I liked to make on a lathe is carving mallets, made a bit over a dozen of all types of wood, sizes, and weights, then sold my lathe, kept the mallets. However, am contemplating making a custom lathe, one that would only be able to turn carving mallets.
 

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The problem with getting the moisture right is that green wood turns so much easier than dry wood.
I couldn't agree more, that's why my early bowls which might have started out to be 8" dia ended up more like 6" because of all the dig-ins. That's when I was taught how to sharpen my turning chisels, using a low speed grinder with 80 grit wheels which is very quick and produces little or no heat and use straight off the grinder. Though this stopped the dig-ins, I had to touch up the chisel part way through, but it was so fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I couldn't agree more, that's why my early bowls which might have started out to be 8" dia ended up more like 6" because of all the dig-ins. That's when I was taught how to sharpen my turning chisels, using a low speed grinder with 80 grit wheels which is very quick and produces little or no heat and use straight off the grinder. Though this stopped the dig-ins, I had to touch up the chisel part way through, but it was so fast.
I agree Harry. I bought a good name brand 1/2” bowl gouge and low speed grinder with sharpening jig and it has made a world of difference.
 

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What I usually do is rough out a bunch of bowls, weigh them and bury them in a toter filled with wood chips. I then weigh them after a few months and keep track of what they weigh, After they stop losing weight I put them back on the lathe and turn them to their final shape. As far as a moisture meter I got mine at Harbor Freight for about $6 dollars. I have nothing to compare it to so I only look at the number to see if it is going down as the lumber sits in a stack.
 

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Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will stick with weighing them. I will just have to learn to have more patience.
AH, patience, that is something I sadly lack. All through my 50 year career in electronics I worked at the double and expected my technicians to keep up with me and for that I looked after them very well financially.
 

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