A reminder to hydrate your acoustics.

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Chunkocaster, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's been getting hot here and I have had the air conditioner on most days. My acoustic lives on a stand in the lounge and I noticed the top had sunken quite dramatically last night. It looked like I had Karate chopped it right where my hand rests on the bridge. It also made a rattling sound similar to fret buzz when played aggressively and I had been playing it more aggressively than usual due to learning Bron y aur stomp and playing the hell out of it to work it up to speed.

    Anyway I have a bunch of those cheap plastic hydration devices with the foam in them you wet and stick between the strings in the sound hole. Covered with a piece of clear plastic and the top came back into shape and has a nice rise in it. Took about 3 hours to sort itself out. If like me you forget to keep an eye on things you might want to check your acoustic out and see how it's travelling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  2. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    I agree completely! They will appreciate the extra care.
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was concerned it might have popped a brace off but I think I got it just in time. It's the worst I have seen the top drop on it in the 5 years I've had it. No rattle or strange sounds when tapping the top over the brace so I think all is good.
     
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  4. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    It’s 7 above 0 Fahrenheit here tonight. I humidify and monitor humidity like a compulsive neurotic loony. It’s so dry right now.

    I love winter. I’m an avid downhill skier. When Mother Nature is rough you have to look after your guitars.
     
  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    We just got over a week above 40c or 104f. Most of the year the humidity sits around 50% so I get lazy and forget about my acoustics. The air cond really did a job on this one in just a few weeks. It was amazing how fast it absorbed the moisture and returned to normal shape.
    It went from a stoved in dented top to flawless looking in just a few hours.
     
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  6. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    hydrate yo-self, too

    8CupsH2O-impossible.png
     
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It does make you think about how much the air must be drying skin etc out too. Maybe I should consider stuffing a few of those contraptions in my sound hole. It might pop out my wrinkles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  8. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    I always monitor the humidity levels. Always between 40-60% year round. Humidify in the winter and dehumidify in the summer. :)
     
  9. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to have the luxury of a humidified room. Now I use the DiMarzio humidifiers in all my acoustic cases; I refresh the ones I'm not playing regularly, usually about every two months.

    For decades I've kept a slightly moistened kitchen sponge in the case with each of my electrics. Keeps their fretboards happy. As with the acoustics, the ones I'm not playing regularly get refreshed periodically.

    Never had a problem with mold or mildew from the moisture in any of 'em.
     
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  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think my humidifiers are the same as the planet waves branded ones only they cost about $2 bucks each from ebay and have no brand. The foam inside looks like the highly absorbent kind florists use on roses etc. The base of the plastic housing is kind of oval cup shaped so water cant escape through the bottom if overfilled. They work a treat. On worst cases such as wide cracked tops I have put a small bowl of water with saturated sponge in the body through the sound hole and let it sit for a few days as the guitar absorbs it all. It's cool to see large cracks close up when rehydrated too and very satisfying.:)

    Mine look like this only sealed and with more absorbent foam inside. They have worked well for about 8 years now and no signs of needing replacements.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  11. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    waterg.jpg
     
  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My nicest acoustic must have been overhydrated at some point because it has stunk of mold for 5 years now despite trying everything possible to de stankify it. It now smells of mold masked by bleach mold killer. If I play it for anyone I have to aim the soundhole away from them or it's beauty is overshadowed by its stench.
     
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  13. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    left my acoustic in its case in a store room for a few months once. When I got it back the strings were resting on the fretboard. Dry as Sunday.

    I humidified it, but frankly I could have just left it in my flat for a month or two. The humidity in here is always between 40 and 70 - has been around 60 all winter.

    But the OP is right. Watch out for this stuff. Especially if you leave guitars in studios etc.
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    For most of us in colder climes its winter when the heat is on that is damaging to our little boxes. Heating the air with anything except a steam radiator drys it - ironically its 75 percent outside right now but 20 to 28 percent in my house. My music room is a comfortable 40 and all my babies are in their cases with a sponge/baggie humidifier

    I'll add that I build and repair guitars, mostly acoustics. There are periods in the winter when I can't build because the RH is too low in my shop and all winter long I see a steady stream of cracked tops, sharp frets and wonky action.
     
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  15. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    Nice catch. It is pretty interesting to know that it took about 3 hours to reset. I've noticed my herd getting a little squirly lately, too. I've got one of those planet waves style humidifiers and also have been using the ones that are filled with gel. I like em but ya kinda gotta keep a syringe or something like that handy to keep from making a mess. I need to do a better job of humidifying the whole room, though. Also been meaning to get a decent barometer for a while now.
     
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  16. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Afflicted

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    I used the soundhole humidifiers for years. I always forget to re-wet them. Last year my wife bought a little humidifier. It keeps the room right about 46 percent. But I go days without going into my studio and frequently forget to fill it up too.
     
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  17. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    Good call on that. It's winter here and I have electric heating. My sinuses are dried out.. what did I do? Bought some humidifiers for my acoustics!
     
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  18. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

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    Screw that winter crap. Been hot & humid here all winter, & I like it that way. Guitars stay the same all year round, even my '77 Guild D-50.
     
  19. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have humidifier rated for 3600 sq ft in my guitar room next to my guitars that takes care of fret sprout and neck movement on my electrics. My acoustics and mandolin have additional in case humidifiers in them that I fill once a week. Forced air heat really dries the air out
     
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  20. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

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    We're in winter here too.

    26% RH today.

    Good reminder.
     
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