Time to beat another dead horse-Humidity!

Bob M

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I’m spending my first winter in a different house. My previous house had a whole house humidifier and I never really worried about humidity and had guitars hanging on the walls. I am unpacking slowly and stumbled on a humidity meter. I turn it on and the humidity measured 21%. I kind of panicked and bought a room sized humidifier. In one day the humidity went up to 34%. I have converted a room to an impromptu guitar room and feel much better about leaving my guitars out. I’m still a little handicapped and really don’t want to have to store my guitars in cases.

How are you guys in cold climates dealing with this?
 

uriah1

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yep. Mine went from mid 40s Summer, fall to 32 this freezing week. Turned on guitar humidifier
and it went up to 34 lol. I have to have my wife turn off her dehumidifier now..too..I forgot..lol
 

Boreas

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Console humidifier. When it's cold, I add about 5 gallons of water every 2-3 days.
Take longer showers with exhaust fan off and bathroom door open.
If their dryer is in the general living area, some people will disconnect the exhaust duct and exhaust the moisture into the living area in winter.
 

Telekarster

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I guess they don't make the exact ones we have anymore, but essentially we run 2 of these in our home and refill them twice a day. They keep our home well humidified. The only maint. they take is, occasionally, we have to clean out the scale left behind on the heater with some distilled vinegar, but it's not a big deal to do. Anyway, it's a much cleaner and safer way vs. putting a pot on the stove etc.

 

scook

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I try to monitor RH daily to prevent rapid fluctuations too. I find this can be as bad as any specific percentage you’re trying to avoid. The meter I have measures current RH as well as the high and low for a 24 hour period.

Not major fixes but things I’ve found that help out: house plants, fish or other aquatic tanks in the house and pet bowls of water can all help somewhat.

As stated above, keeping exhaust fan off during shower and letting that air out into house is good also. Lots of stovetop cooking that uses boiled water.

I’ve found cheap vaporizers to work better than localized humidifiers and tend to not have the cleaning issues of most them. Way cheaper too. I try to run the fan on the HVAC in the “On” position so that moisture is distributed somewhat evenly in the house. Disregard this step if you’re only worried about one room.
 

telemnemonics

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Yeah I run a humidifier and lots of house plants but no hygrometer to monitor results.
You can figure how many gallons of water evaporate a day or week and make sure some gallons go into the air. More SF needs more gallons and of course colder conditions etc.
Years ago I had half measures like a pot of water on the wood stove but that wasn't putting gallons in the air.
I also Monitor by how wet the windows get, can't see out means humidity is pretty good.

Then there's warped necks and fret sprout but that meter is a day late and a dollar short!
Maybe because I got into guitar repair around the same time as guitar playing, I learned that maintaining essential humidity is one of the basics of being a used of musical instruments made from wood.

In the long ago it seems like musicians with quality wood based instruments learned and knew about caring for the tools of their trade?

Today despite massive info input, it seems like learning is rife with cognitive dissonance, so many players don't bother or even claim they don't know about the humidity requirements?
Actually I remember we used to have tons of fret sprout debates here some years ago but that seems less prevalent now?
Many would emotionally insist that they shouldn't need to or couldn't be bothered to take care of this basic need and some claimed fret sprout was a manufacturer defect.

Even the common knowledge that you need to adjust your truss rod(s) every spring and fall assumes you don't bother with humidity.
That's maybe half true and some necks still seem to gain relief in winter despite my running humidifier/s.

But fret sprout indicates the worst possible neglect.
In 45 years I've never had an acoustic instrument crack or shrink to the point of badly warping, and it hasn't been that hard to manage.
 

Freeman Keller

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Every guitar stays in its case with one of these in the headstock area. I check and dampen the sponge weekly, forces me to rotate thru playing each guitar.

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Guitars in my workshop stay in their cases unless I'm working on them, my wood is stored in a corner of my basement where I keep a few bottles of nice wine - wood and wine like the same environment.

I've given up trying to maintain stable humidity in my house, the sponge/baggies work fine for the guitars
 

Freeman Keller

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I posted this three weeks ago


Heard from the owner the other day, guitar is playable again and no longer buzzes. I want to wait a couple more weeks and I'll tweak the setup and file the fret ends. Meanwhile it stays in its case with the sponges inside unless he is playing it.
 




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