Maintaining Humidity

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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prawnheed
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Re: Maintaining Humidy

Post by prawnheed » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:29 am

amezcua wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:33 pm
A very useful humidity controller is unfired clay . Japanese traditional houses have internal walls made of clay and the humidity control is about 45 to 65 % which is very healthy for them . A cabinet with several small , close shelves at the sides can hold the clay . It will absorb moisture above the ideal level and release moisture if the air gets too dry. Occasional checks and a bowl of water will provide a safe environment . There is plenty about unfired clay and humidity buffering on the net. The science is pretty solid and basic and saves energy too .

Wood is even better.

The answer is therefore simple - more guitars.

amezcua
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by amezcua » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:24 pm

Maintaining humidity is also called humidity buffering. That`s what museums call it .For instruments , paintings and furniture .

tonhalle_zrh
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by tonhalle_zrh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:19 am

johnd wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:19 pm
How do you maintain the humidity for you guitar(s).

1. In it's case.
>>> Refuse to pay for a case humidifier, so I simply cut a small sponge, put it in a little plastic cup or bottle with holes small enough to fit my case, and dampen it. Check it from time to time, and always measure using the hygrometer which came with my case.

I see people here are maintaining 40-45%? I was advised to keep my Kohno at 50-60%, also on their website:
http://www.kohno-guitar.org/faq/index_e.html

Anyone can explain the difference?

BellyDoc
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by BellyDoc » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:13 pm

I'm maintaining 43% based on 2 considerations. One is that I'm avoiding large swings in the humidity exposure the guitar experiences, because the ambient humidity in the house is usually in the 30's. I really think stability is valuable. The other consideration is just that it's just a very convenient point I can stabilize using potassium carbonate solution.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

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Gorn
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by Gorn » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:59 pm

Image

This is an inside wall of my living room on São Miguel island, Azores (for those who don't know where THAT is: 1'500 km west of Lisbon). No direct sunlight, window on the north side. The humidity in the house is never below 60%. As soon as it's 80% or more, I'll start the dehumidifier. A luthier told me that a permanent RH of 75% will be the maximum what a guitar can stand without severe damages. In wintertime there can be longer periods of rain, so the dehumidifier will run many hours a day. Temperature changes are negligible (2-4° C between day and night and 10°C between winter and summer). No problems so far!

KamHon Leung
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by KamHon Leung » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:25 am

I have a Panasonic dehumidifier (model F-YCM33H) in my guitar room. It has an automatic function which allows you to preset a target humidity and the room has RH 50% (or any value you prefer) all year round, except maybe a couple of days in which the outside RH drops below 40% (really rare from where I live). If it goes that low,, I just use an electric kettle to boil a pot of water and this is enough to raise the RH close to 50% for a whole day. If your place has RH lower than 50% most of the time in the year, you can use a humidifier and I have seen models that can cutoff the vapour when the RH reaches a preset value.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:00 am

tonhalle_zrh wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:19 am
johnd wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:19 pm
How do you maintain the humidity for you guitar(s).

1. In it's case.
>>> Refuse to pay for a case humidifier, so I simply cut a small sponge, put it in a little plastic cup or bottle with holes small enough to fit my case, and dampen it. Check it from time to time, and always measure using the hygrometer which came with my case.

I see people here are maintaining 40-45%? I was advised to keep my Kohno at 50-60%, also on their website:
http://www.kohno-guitar.org/faq/index_e.html

Anyone can explain the difference?
Try using the stuffing of a (un-used) baby diaper instead of a sponge. It holds a ton of water and won’t drip.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
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simonm
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by simonm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:15 pm

tonhalle_zrh wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:19 am
johnd wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:19 pm
How do you maintain the humidity for you guitar(s).

1. In it's case.
>>> Refuse to pay for a case humidifier, so I simply cut a small sponge, put it in a little plastic cup or bottle with holes small enough to fit my case, and dampen it. Check it from time to time, and always measure using the hygrometer which came with my case.

I see people here are maintaining 40-45%? I was advised to keep my Kohno at 50-60%, also on their website:
http://www.kohno-guitar.org/faq/index_e.html

Anyone can explain the difference?
A few generalizations.

Lots of people who built guitars like to keep their workshops at 45%-50% as it means that the guitars can be sold to almost any market regardless of the local humidity.

In English the phrase "maintaining humidity" implies that these people live in locations where the humidity is prone to dropping very low. So in the context of the thread no-one is suggesting 40%-45% as a target humidity. Rather it is the lower limit of safety.

The 50%-60% is more a recommendations for players. It is quite conservative. Plenty of guitar live happily enough in 70%-80%. What you don't want is sudden swings in humidity. Winter heating in cold climates and hot spells in warm arid climates are at the big dangers - in both cases humidity can go to 20% or less very quickly which is what causes top cracks.

Neil Stewart
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by Neil Stewart » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:09 pm

Hi, My guitar studio, AKA the dining room that I have removed the table from also houses my tropical fish tank, which does seem to regulate the room humidity at around 51% and of course looks great as well.

mannybu
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by mannybu » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:34 am

I apologize for the late contribution, but I have bee busy trying to find the best way to humidify 4 (four) guitars, get a replacement guitar to star my lessons (new member) and get a decent price to fix the lifting bridge on my Cordoba C7, resulting from too low a humidity level this winter.

Purchased both Humidipaks and Oases, and did not get the in-case humidity increase (levels) needed. Purchased a room humidifier, and it has done the trick. It even help a bit with the sharp fret poking out the board on the C7, although it did not correct it completely--guitar now at shop, being repaired.

To me, it makes sense to purchase a room humidifier that shuts down when the relative humidity reaches a level you pre-set, let's say 55%; that saves power, extends how long the unit works without reliving, and avoids over-humidifying. This may also allow you to make the area as weather-tight as you like, and keep condensation, etc., to a minimum, if the weather becomes more agreeable. Obviously, for those who do not have a whole-house humidification system, stand-alone room humidifiers are like pets, that, ideally, should be fed and cared-for all the time, even on those occasions when we must see Mom, etc., or pay the consequences, on both sides.

In spite of the less than sterling results, I am keeping the Humidipaks, because they promise to keep humidity at 55% max, and one of my guitars suffered from over-hydration the first year I got her. The Oases are not as versatile, but they show you when they need to be refilled, and are less expensive to maintain, since they only require more water--non-distilled in my case, since my tap water is pretty soft.

The lessons on the effects of humidity on the health of guitars has been an expensive one for me, making it unforgettable:

1. All solid wood guitars do not react the same way to the same levels of humidity. One out of four guitars began to disintegrate at RH averaging 30%.

2. Pay attention to changes in your instrument, no matter how subtle. My C7 began to show shoe fret points before I noticed anything else.

3. Drastic changes can be taking place without you noticing. Although the bridge had begun to lift under the strings, the guitar could be tuned to perfect pitch, and it would sound as if nothing was happening.

Hope some of all of this rambling helps.

JohnB
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by JohnB » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:24 am

Much has already been said about humidity in general and about humidipaks in particular.

My summary is:

Buy at least one decent hygrometer. The Caliber IV is relatively cheap and I found the two that I have are very accurate when I tested them at 33%, 43% and 75% (other examples might differ).

If you start using humidipaks in a guitar case the system will initially struggle while it is humidifying both the case and the instrument. D'Addario sells special "conditioning" packs for this initial ... err ... conditioning.

I find the Humidipak system very effective but I also provide background humidity with a room humidifier - so that they don't have to work too hard.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

Podobin
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by Podobin » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:16 am

Boveda packs in the cases and large evaporative humidifiers in the rooms. Works great.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Maintaining Humidy

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:56 pm

BellyDoc wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:57 pm
It's about time I solve the image hosting issue. Thanks for the kick in the butt. ;)

Here's my cabinet:

Image

Here's the "humidity stabilizer":

Image

The current RH inside is 41%, after having the door open to take that pic. It's 31% in the room.
That cabinet looks cool. How many guitars does it contain? Could you pleas post the measurements? Thanks...
Last edited by rojarosguitar on Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BellyDoc
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by BellyDoc » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:35 am

Thanks!!

It's about 78" tall, 48" wide and 22" deep. It currently holds 6 guitars: 3 classical, 1 acoustic, 1 electric and 1 3/4 size nylon string kid toy. The rack is made with two rails at the bottom covered with cork and a series of modular neck supports I made with heavy duty tool hangers covered with a wrapping of microfiber cloth. I have 32 predrilled/threaded holes for the neck supports. I have 6 in play and two left. I think I could fit another full bodied and another electric guitar, if I wanted to, by moving the supports but it would be tight.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Maintaining Humidity

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:51 am

Thanks for the information ...
For Europeans: h x w x d: 1.98m x 1.22m x o.56m :D

Could it be a bit lower without loosing its functionality? like 70"?

Could you say something about your door sealing system?
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

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