Why does wood shrink?

Wood shrinks in width. This is because it looses moisture (water) as it dries.Moisture content in lumber for framing houses is usually 19%, and furniture grade lumber is dried to 6–8% moisture content.

This illustrates how the grain direction further changes wood as it dries.[1]  (Note:  Wood in Long Lengths can shrink as well, but not as much as in the width).
Dimensional Changes – Wood changes
To detect the moisture in wood, you need one of these meters:
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