You woodworkers with more experience doubtless know this, but I just learned it and thought I’d share.
I recently bought a slab of walnut for the countertops to go on some office file cabinets I made. I bought it at a local (south-central TX) mill. They buy logs from other states, mill and dry them in a kiln. I found a slab that was perfect. Right length, width – almost no waste. I asked if the slab was “dry” and they said yes. I neglected to inquire about the moisture %. I assumed it was 6-8%.
I then bought some walnut boards for another cabinet at another place. This place just sell boards – they don’t mill their own. I ordered a pinless meter and checked both. The boards are around 7% moisture content and the slab is over 12%. Now I know why the slab is cupping a bit. I know no one will notice but me, but still it irks me.
I won’t leave my moisture meter at home when I buy wood again.