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Author Topic: Humidity solutions for leaving a guitar at home in the winter  (Read 3796 times)
bluesman67
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2014, 02:55:03 PM »

Yeah you don't really know with a sponge.  I use this one, it has kept my guitars in a good range, I've only used short-term.  My guitars are kept in a closet with it's own room humidifier and I rotate taking a guitar out for a few days to a week at a time and hang on a wall in my living room to play daily...that's the guitar that I keep the Kyser Lifeguard on.

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bluesman67
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hadden
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2014, 08:43:10 PM »

Guitarists can obsess about humidity. As long as you do something to keep it from cracking. You'll be pulling you're hair out trying to get a scientifically controlled environment. I bet the factory system to create a steady temperature/humidity level (with instruments that truly measure and maintain this out -- not household grade stuff--) is pretty sophisticated.
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L-03 Italian Spruce
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2014, 09:22:36 PM »

You have to pay attention to your instrument.
Watch for changes in the way it looks and feels.
Check to see if the grain is separating. Can you feel the surface of it getting rough, or see it lifting?
Look to see if the top between the neck and the bridge is starting to sink.
Are the fret ends protruding?
These are all fairly serious indications that your guitar is drying out.
You can't just set a home or room humidifier at 48%RH and walk away from it.
If you do that, you will have black mold growing in your house when the temperature outside hits 10ºF (-12ºC).
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2014, 10:02:05 PM »

Just seems to me like an inefficient and maybe risky method of humidifying. Good for the short term or for inexpensive guitars if you've got nothing better, I suppose, but in the long run not ideal. Also it occurs to me that it's too easy to forget to refill them. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. I'm thinking one can get a decent room humidifier and a pretty good hygrometer for under a hundred bucks. Why would you not invest in them when you've spent a couple grand or so for a guitar?   
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bluesman67
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 02:36:34 AM »

Most humidifiers come with a built in hygrometer these days. Maybe I'm wrong but I would be more concerned with a collapsed sound hole that a crack. It really affects playability and then your saddle would have to be cut wicked low and the tone would take a substantial hit. Like duck says its not very scientific but it doesn't need to be either. As long as your doing something and then let your eyes and hands tell you what's really going on then you'll be ok. Its worked for me!
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bluesman67
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2014, 09:36:09 AM »

Just seems to me like an inefficient and maybe risky method of humidifying. Good for the short term or for inexpensive guitars if you've got nothing better, I suppose, but in the long run not ideal. Also it occurs to me that it's too easy to forget to refill them. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. I'm thinking one can get a decent room humidifier and a pretty good hygrometer for under a hundred bucks. Why would you not invest in them when you've spent a couple grand or so for a guitar?   
+1
Especially if you've got more than a couple of guitars.

Get a decent hygrometer and adjust your room humidifier's output by that instrument instead of relying on the humidifier's built in instrument.  Learn how to interpret the difference between the two.  Go for 45 to 50% if you can achieve it.  I have days every winter when it's hard to maintain 35%.  The biggest factor I have found is how cold it is outside and thus how much the furnace is running.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Queequeg
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2014, 12:56:33 PM »

Just seems to me like an inefficient and maybe risky method of humidifying. Good for the short term or for inexpensive guitars if you've got nothing better, I suppose, but in the long run not ideal. Also it occurs to me that it's too easy to forget to refill them. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. I'm thinking one can get a decent room humidifier and a pretty good hygrometer for under a hundred bucks. Why would you not invest in them when you've spent a couple grand or so for a guitar?   
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend the sponge as a singular or only solution. I use it in combination with a large room humidifier and 3 digital hygrometers distributed around my home.
My guitar cases are lined up vertically in a double closet. Every two weeks I open them up and dampen the sponges. These guitars are important enough to me that I do not forget or neglect this quick & simple task.
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hadden
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2014, 01:09:59 PM »

Have you guys ever done a reliable method to get the indoor dew point like wet dry bulb and then calculated the actual humidity in your homes? Not that it matters but averaging a bunch of cheap hygrometers doesn't seem promising. I've concluded most hygrometers below a certain point are not much good. Even the expensive one need recalibration all the time.

Having just one guitar right now all I do is re soak the sponge every 3 days. Keeping a bunch of them happy would be a pain no matter what method. For me it is a kind of extra mental clutter, but I am a little odd that way I guess.
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L-03 Italian Spruce
Queequeg
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2014, 01:34:27 PM »

Have you guys ever done a reliable method to get the indoor dew point like wet dry bulb and then calculated the actual humidity in your homes? Not that it matters but averaging a bunch of cheap hygrometers doesn't seem promising. I've concluded most hygrometers below a certain point are not much good. Even the expensive one need recalibration all the time.

Having just one guitar right now all I do is re soak the sponge every 3 days. Keeping a bunch of them happy would be a pain no matter what method. For me it is a kind of extra mental clutter, but I am a little odd that way I guess.
Having 3 digital hygrometers which all read very close gives me the confidence I feel that I need.
If they are all reading ~45%, give or take, I believe I'm in the safe zone. What I want to avoid is the 25%RH. Here in SE Michigan the temperatures have been unusually cold for a few days so keeping the indoor RH% at 45% just isn't recommended. And it is especially for days like this that I am happy to have sponges in all the cases. Takes me 10-15 minutes every two weeks to maintain. My guitars are worth it.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2014, 08:53:31 PM »

My humidifier, running constantly at low output, is keeping my music room at around 50%. If I leave the door open for any length of time it drops quickly to around 30%. I use the open/close door method to control the room humidity if it rises much above 50%. I have to refill it every morning.   
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2014, 08:06:15 AM »

My humidifier, running constantly at low output, is keeping my music room at around 50%. If I leave the door open for any length of time it drops quickly to around 30%. I use the open/close door method to control the room humidity if it rises much above 50%. I have to refill it every morning.   

Very similiar to my setup and works well for me.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
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