If you read my previous post, you will know by now that significant changes in relative humidity (%RH) due to heating the shop likely caused the top of my workbench to get a dramatic high spot. The problem: I have no idea how much the RH changed, and when this change most probably occurred; as a result, I am now interested in monitoring %RH in the shop.
At least one person has suggested that the wood used to make the bench could have been wetter than it should have been when it arrived on our shores. This is a possibility.
My first reaction on finding the high areas was panic, followed by several phone calls to workbench gurus, other guru friends, online friends, etc. Then I started searching for reasonably-priced instrumentation to monitor relative humidity with some degree of accuracy. But absolute accuracy is not what I need – my main interest is in monitoring the trend in relative humidity. If I can get extreme accuracy, it will come as a bonus.
The trend in how RH is changing is key to me, to determine when to run a humidifier in the shop. This will help to keep lumber, and other wood artifacts in the shop, within some reasonable degree of moisture content. Doing this should help minimize dimensional changes in all wood in the shop.
Now I am finally set to monitor RH and temperatures with certain degree of accuracy. I bought a little Honeywell instrument called a “thermo-hygrometer”. It is a relative humidity (and temperature) monitoring system ; it features local and remote readings, using up to three remote sensors. It not only monitors relative humidity and temperature (both °F and °C), but it also remembers the high and the low readings, until reset. This unit is available from the Sandal Woods Store; I also provide a link below. Thank you for supporting this effort through your purchases!
From the User Manual, this unit:
- Economical way to monitor indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity
- Wireless sensor has transmission range of up to 100 feet
- Measures temperatures to as low as minus 38° Fahrenheit and up to 158° Fahrenheit
- Display features one-inch tall digital numbers
- Measures 4.33 x 4.86 x 1.08 inches (WxHxD)
I will place the main unit near the desk in the shop, and the remote transmitter (one is included) near the lumber rack. I am convinced that monitoring relative humidity will prevent additional surprises in the shop. And when I detect changes in critical items such as the workbench, I will be able to react, knowing with certainty why the changes occurred.
I would like to hear from you, to learn about your experiences in using this type of monitor. Of course, any anecdotes will provide an added bonus!