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View Full Version : Humidification Lessons Learned During this Harsh Winter



Stevelele
03-17-2015, 05:01 AM
This has been one of the worst winters in recent memory. Notwithstanding my best efforts, I experienced problems (I used a whole house humidifier, and included oasis humidifiers in my cases--instruments kept in the cases the whole time). This is what I learned from my experience--I'm hoping that others can benefit:

1) don't just rely on one hygrometer--readings vary wildly--you need to get multiple ones, put them in the same space, and throw out the one that doesn't agree with the others

2) just because you have the humidity at a good percentage outside of your cases doesn't mean that the humidity inside the cases is ok--the insides of your cases might have dried out, and by keeping your instruments there, you could be drying out your instruments. You have to monitor the humidity inside your cases by putting a hygrometer in there. If your case is super dry, then you should bring it into your bathroom, open it and let the shower run so that the steam from the shower can humidify your case to an appropriate level (this tip comes directly from Armitage customer support).

3) If you are using an oasis humidifier do NOT use tap water. Tap water contains minerals that can clog up the membrane through which water is supposed to evaporate. You know that white dusty stuff that ends on your your things when you run a cheap vaporizer? That is what could end up inside your humidifier, ruining it. Only use distilled water; not bottled water or spring water.

4) One humidifier may not be enough inside a traditional case. The problem with normal instrument cases is that they are pretty tight--that is good to protect the instrument from damage so it doesn't move around. But if you put a humidifier in the pocket between the neck and body, it might not do a good job humidifying the instrument. Put a humidifier by the neck and use one of those humidifiers that goes in the sound hole--just be sure that it doesn't drip. (BTW, there have been some reports that some oasis humidifiers occasionally do drip so be very very careful where you place them).

5) No fancy humidifier beats a normal sponge that is soaked in water and put in a plastic container with holes in it. I have tested it, and this is definitely the best. You can buy a small container at the container store and drill holes into it, put in a wet sponge and that is the best thing you can have--it will have the most immediate effect on the humidity in your case.

6) Consider an open display case--the kind that doesn't have any cushions--not good for carrying your instrument around, but better for circulation of humidity. If you don't want to spend the money to buy a display case, you can just buy a big tupperware container or something at the container store. You can spend $30 and it will create a closed environment where moisture can circulate.

7) If your instruments do get damaged, especially if they are custom instruments, you will be super depressed, but if you are lucky enough to have a luthier who will help you, their kindness and their generosity makes it so much better. And just remember, these things are meant to be played and enjoyed, and hey, look at Willie Nelson's guitar.

Hope this helps.

Rllink
03-17-2015, 05:08 AM
So, if you humidify your whole house during the winter. For me, I have a humidifier installed on my furnace. And if you keep the humidity at 45%, wouldn't it be better to let your ukuleles set out, rather than burying them in a case? Reading #4 would lead me to think that would be better anyway.

Stevelele
03-17-2015, 05:10 AM
If you are confident that your house is at 45%, then it's probably safe that way, but just be careful where you place them. Clearly keep them away from a heater, and be sure to put a hygrometer close to where you have your instruments so you can keep an accurate reading.


So, if you humidify your whole house during the winter. For me, I have a humidifier installed on my furnace. And if you keep the humidity at 45%, wouldn't it be better to let your ukuleles set out, rather than burying them in a case? Reading #4 would lead me to think that would be better anyway.

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 05:13 AM
Stevelele, every time I read a thread like this one, I re-vow never to buy another wooden ukulele. All this humidity stuff is just too much trouble for me.

From now on I'm a plastic or carbon fibre or steel man. I just don't wanna be bothered with all that stuff. :old:

Rllink
03-17-2015, 05:18 AM
If you are confident that your house is at 45%, then it's probably safe that way, but just be careful where you place them. Clearly keep them away from a heater, and be sure to put a hygrometer close to where you have your instruments so you can keep an accurate reading.I am careful to keep it away from the registers, but thinking about that, the humidifier on the furnace injects moisture into the duct as it comes through the heat exchanger, wouldn't it be more humid at the register? Spring, summer, and fall in Iowa is fairly humid. Puerto Rico is humid all year around. But there is a two month stretch, November and December, where we are in Iowa and heating the house. But also, won't the AC also lower the humidity in the house? I don't run the AC a lot, either in Iowa or in PR, but sometimes I do.

Stevelele
03-17-2015, 05:21 AM
I think the only way to know for sure where it's safe to place it, is buy three humidifiers and put them where you want to put your ukes. If at least 2 of the humidifiers read at 45% then you're good.


I am careful to keep it away from the registers, but thinking about that, the humidifier on the furnace injects moisture into the duct as it comes through the heat exchanger, wouldn't it be more humid at the register? Spring, summer, and fall in Iowa is fairly humid. Puerto Rico is humid all year around. But there is a two month stretch, November and December, where we are in Iowa and heating the house. But also, won't the AC also lower the humidity in the house? I don't run the AC a lot, either in Iowa or in PR, but sometimes I do.

Rllink
03-17-2015, 05:23 AM
Stevelele, every time I read a thread like this one, I re-vow never to buy another wooden ukulele. All this humidity stuff is just too much trouble for me.

From now on I'm a plastic or carbon fibre or steel man. I just don't wanna be bothered with all that stuff. :old:What is the humidity like in Southern California? Is it a dry climate? The only time I've ever been there is when I was at boot camp in San Diego, and that is so long ago I can't remember much about it.

Rllink
03-17-2015, 05:27 AM
I think the only way to know for sure where it's safe to place it, is buy three humidifiers and put them where you want to put your ukes. If at least 2 of the humidifiers read at 45% then you're good.
Right now, I don't worry about it much. I have a Makala laminate. Not much of an investment to protect there. But when I get home this spring, I'm going to upgrade to a sold mahogany uke, so I'm going to have to be a lot more careful in that regard.

Photojosh
03-17-2015, 05:41 AM
Oh man, every time I read this sort of stuff, I add another item to the list of reasons that I'm glad I live in the PNW. Sure, we get a cold dry spell once in a while. But generally, its really rare for our humidity to go below 40%.

I feel for those who have to deal with all this maintenance on their solid wood ukes.

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 05:41 AM
Rollie, it varies a lot where I live though it's seldom really high unless it's rainy which it seldom is. It goes very low though. Sometime into the single digits. I suppose it depends on how close one is to the deserts.

The weather in San Diego (my home town) is always beautiful. It's never very hot or cold--mostly 70s if I remember correctly. It doesn't rain much either, and it's mostly a misty rain. There was lots of fog though .That's how I remember it anyway. I haven't lived there for a long, long time.

We were thinking of moving to Arizona. I'll bet the low humidity there can bust a ukulele wide open! :old:

cpmusic
03-17-2015, 05:58 AM
What is the humidity like in Southern California? Is it a dry climate?
Most of Southern California is desert or semi-desert, so it's dry for the most part. I live in Orange County (near Disneyland, if that helps) and while humidity can go up when it rains, it doesn't rain often under the best of circumstances. Right now, just before 9:00 AM, my hygrometer reads 36%, which isn't too bad, but it can go lower. And when the Santa Ana winds blow, outdoor humidity can drop to 5% or lower.

Bottom line: a humidifier is a good idea in or out of a case.

wayfarer75
03-17-2015, 06:30 AM
This has been one of the worst winters in recent memory. Notwithstanding my best efforts, I experienced problems (I used a whole house humidifier, and included oasis humidifiers in my cases--instruments kept in the cases the whole time). This is what I learned from my experience--I'm hoping that others can benefit:

5) No fancy humidifier beats a normal sponge that is soaked in water and put in a plastic container with holes in it. I have tested it, and this is definitely the best. You can buy a small container at the container store and drill holes into it, put in a wet sponge and that is the best thing you can have--it will have the most immediate effect on the humidity in your case.

6) Consider an open display case--the kind that doesn't have any cushions--not good for carrying your instrument around, but better for circulation of humidity. If you don't want to spend the money to buy a display case, you can just buy a big tupperware container or something at the container store. You can spend $30 and it will create a closed environment where moisture can circulate.

Hope this helps.

I'm definitely thinking that next winter I'll get a big plastic container to put both of my solid wood ukes in, and use sponges to humidify. Seems to be the easiest way except for humidifying a room--but I don't have that many ukes.

Spring is here and we all made it through another winter. May none of our ukes need a trip to the luthier!

jer
03-17-2015, 06:52 AM
I like the idea of using one of those plastic containers with a closed lid, although I've never tried it.
I usually just use the Planet Waves Humidipak system. It takes all the guess work out. If you live in a place where the humidity is really low for a long time, I do realize that could cost some $$ due to having to replace the paks.
This winter I used an inexpensive sponge humidifier in the case WITH the humidipak stuff. That'll make your humidipaks last a bit longer..and if it gets too wet in there the humidipak will still suck out the excess moisture.

Just to note: When this system first came out they did have some leaky pouches. All that seems to be taken care of now, as that was quite some time ago. Also, I've seen reviews of some people complaining about them not lasting long enough. To me, that's a stupid complaint. If they dry up it's because they're doing their job and putting the moisture into your instrument...saving you money in the long run for repairs. It is what it is.
I can usually get one set of 3 refills to last me an entire year then some...but I only have 2-3 months where low humidity is a concern at all. I've taken them out for this year and sealed them in a plastic bag so they'll be ready to go again next year ideally.

hendulele
03-17-2015, 07:18 AM
We were thinking of moving to Arizona. I'll bet the low humidity there can bust a ukulele wide open! :old:

A colleague's friend who lives in Colorado Springs insulated the open space beneath his staircase and installed a humidifier to store and protect his (extensive and expensive) guitar collection. If we still lived out west, I'd have some sort of enclosed space humidified year-round, too!

NatalieS
03-17-2015, 07:36 AM
It's stories like this that make me grateful for the humidity of Florida. My uke and guitar also live in the same room with my 125 gallon aquarium, so my humidity always hovers around 50%.

katysax
03-17-2015, 08:19 AM
Living in SoCal I did learn a few lessons about humidity and ukes a couple of years ago. And, even laminated ukes can develop problems if too dry. You don't need to worry about the top cracking but you do need to worry about fretboards shrinking and braces coming loose. However, I have a system that seems to work fine.

I use one of these http://www.amazon.com/PureGuardian-H1510-100-Hour-Ultrasonic-Humidifier/dp/B00G7VNO4K/ref=sr_1_39?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1426616055&sr=1-39&keywords=humidifier , a Pure Guardian room humidifier - although any similar one would work. I keep it on all the time in my bedroom, where I store my ukes putting out a fine mist. It does tend to clog up so it is really important to keep it clean - I use vinegar and sometimes denture cleaner - to clean out the calcium deposits. Using this humidifier I don't need to use an Oasis or wet sponge.

I used to use a humidifier with a hygrometer but it didn't work all that well. Keeping a fine stream of moisture in the air in a room does a great job of keeping the air humid for ukes.

Not only does it keep my ukes humidified but I cough less at night and suffer less from dry skin.

hawaii 50
03-17-2015, 08:29 AM
I am careful to keep it away from the registers, but thinking about that, the humidifier on the furnace injects moisture into the duct as it comes through the heat exchanger, wouldn't it be more humid at the register? Spring, summer, and fall in Iowa is fairly humid. Puerto Rico is humid all year around. But there is a two month stretch, November and December, where we are in Iowa and heating the house. But also, won't the AC also lower the humidity in the house? I don't run the AC a lot, either in Iowa or in PR, but sometimes I do.


I would always put your uke back in the case...why take a chance...I can look at it when I am playing it....:)
I am lucky the RH in Hawaii between 45%-70% almost every day...but I still put my ukes back in case when done...

my 2 cents

Dan Uke
03-17-2015, 08:36 AM
As I read this thread, I realize I have a uke on my sofa where I was playing last night...hope it's ok.

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 08:41 AM
A colleague's friend who lives in Colorado Springs insulated the open space beneath his staircase and installed a humidifier to store and protect his (extensive and expensive) guitar collection. If we still lived out west, I'd have some sort of enclosed space humidified year-round, too!

Yeah, but, the idea of one having his/her stuff in humidified boxes and/or bags and only taking it out for an hour to play then hiding it away again, turns me off. I think I'd rather just have one Uke in a case with a humidifier in it. Most people who play an instrument do it that way. They open the case, take out the instrument, play it and put it away. I don't know why we ukists have to have so many. If I were starting over, I'd do it a lot differently.

Well, so much for my know-it-all preaching. Buy lots of Ukes, humidify them and make some nice music. :old:

katysax
03-17-2015, 08:45 AM
As I read this thread, I realize I have a uke on my sofa where I was playing last night...hope it's ok.

In my experience it takes an extended period of time for the uke to dry out - not being left out overnight. I had an inexpensive laminate in a case that sat for about a year and a half. When I took it out to play the braces were rattling. I tried other ukes I had and found similar problems. Ironically I've had far more issues with damage from dryness to ukes that are laminates. Braces coming loose and fret ends extending have been the two biggest areas. I only had one uke - a Koalana - develop a crack. Usually keeping the uke in a well-humidified room has reversed the problem. It's a myth that a laminate won't be hurt. The top will be less prone to cracking but that isn't the biggest problem with ukes getting too dry.

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 08:54 AM
We oughta all move to Florida or Washington State or Houston Texas, or some other humid place. We could maybe take up a brass instrument.

Ahhh, well--que sera, sera . . . :old:

dkcrown
03-17-2015, 08:54 AM
I use an Oasis in body and two Herco humidifiers in each of my cases and don't have a problem.

janeray1940
03-17-2015, 09:34 AM
What is the humidity like in Southern California? Is it a dry climate?

Really depends on where one lives - I'm near the beach (average annual humidity 76%, if I can believe what I read online) and my ukes have been un-humidified for going on 6 years now with no problems. I also lack central heat/air in my little house, which I think actually has more of an impact - I've had a couple of friends who do have modern luxuries like that, and they've had issues with cracking, particularly on the fretboard. Personally I have to be freezing to even turn on my little room heater, and when I do my hands immediately start drying out, so I can imagine if I had to do that every day the ukes would suffer as well.

Icelander53
03-17-2015, 10:09 AM
Stevelele, every time I read a thread like this one, I re-vow never to buy another wooden ukulele. All this humidity stuff is just too much trouble for me.

From now on I'm a plastic or carbon fibre or steel man. I just don't wanna be bothered with all that stuff. :old:


problems are pretty rare from what I've actually seen and heard so I think it's safe to go with wood.


I keep my ukes at 30-47 percent humidity without issues to this point.

Rllink
03-17-2015, 10:18 AM
I would always put your uke back in the case...why take a chance...I can look at it when I am playing it....:)
I am lucky the RH in Hawaii between 45%-70% almost every day...but I still put my ukes back in case when done...

my 2 centsIt has nothing to do with looking at it actually, it is because I don't think that I would play it near as much. I'm a very spontaneous person, and if I had to go take my uke out of a case every time I played it, I probably would end up doing something else on the way. It is like that with everything for me. I change direction pretty easily, and the more obstacles in the way, the more likely I am to be distracted by something else. I am concerned with taking care of my uke, but at the same time, I want it handy when the urge strikes me. Like everything, I will find a balance, and it will be fine. I mean, what is the worst that can happen?

Doc_J
03-17-2015, 10:37 AM
This has been one of the worst winters in recent memory. Notwithstanding my best efforts, I experienced problems (I used a whole house humidifier, and included oasis humidifiers in my cases--instruments kept in the cases the whole time). This is what I learned from my experience--I'm hoping that others can benefit:

1) don't just rely on one hygrometer--readings vary wildly--you need to get multiple ones, put them in the same space, and throw out the one that doesn't agree with the others

2) just because you have the humidity at a good percentage outside of your cases doesn't mean that the humidity inside the cases is ok--the insides of your cases might have dried out, and by keeping your instruments there, you could be drying out your instruments. You have to monitor the humidity inside your cases by putting a hygrometer in there. If your case is super dry, then you should bring it into your bathroom, open it and let the shower run so that the steam from the shower can humidify your case to an appropriate level (this tip comes directly from Armitage customer support).

3) If you are using an oasis humidifier do NOT use tap water. Tap water contains minerals that can clog up the membrane through which water is supposed to evaporate. You know that white dusty stuff that ends on your your things when you run a cheap vaporizer? That is what could end up inside your humidifier, ruining it.

4) One humidifier may not be enough inside a traditional case. The problem with normal instrument cases is that they are pretty tight--that is good to protect the instrument from damage so it doesn't move around. But if you put a humidifier in the pocket between the neck and body, it might not do a good job humidifying the instrument. Put a humidifier by the neck and use one of those humidifiers that goes in the sound hole--just be sure that it doesn't drip. (BTW, there have been some reports that some oasis humidifiers occasionally do drip so be very very careful where you place them).

5) No fancy humidifier beats a normal sponge that is soaked in water and put in a plastic container with holes in it. I have tested it, and this is definitely the best. You can buy a small container at the container store and drill holes into it, put in a wet sponge and that is the best thing you can have--it will have the most immediate effect on the humidity in your case.

6) Consider an open display case--the kind that doesn't have any cushions--not good for carrying your instrument around, but better for circulation of humidity. If you don't want to spend the money to buy a display case, you can just buy a big tupperware container or something at the container store. You can spend $30 and it will create a closed environment where moisture can circulate.

7) If your instruments do get damaged, especially if they are custom instruments, you will be super depressed, but if you are lucky enough to have a luthier who will help you, their kindness and their generosity makes it so much better. And just remember, these things are meant to be played and enjoyed, and hey, look at Willie Nelson's guitar.

Hope this helps.

So sorry to hear of your humidity problems. But, thanks for the advice and lessons learned. In Georgia, can also see the reverse problem in the summer, keeping the humidity down to 50%.

Ukejungle
03-17-2015, 11:47 AM
We oughta all move to Florida or Washington State or Houston Texas, or some other humid place. We could maybe take up a brass instrument.

Ahhh, well--que sera, sera . . . :old:

Here in Houston, my home office is 52% but I still keep my 5K in it's case with a humidity pack.
Trey

Kayak Jim
03-17-2015, 12:21 PM
All good points Stevelele. I'll just add a couple....


I think the only way to know for sure where it's safe to place it, is buy three humidifiers and put them where you want to put your ukes. If at least 2 of the humidifiers read at 45% then you're good.

... and put all the hygrometers in the bathroom after a shower to make sure they respond to a change in humidity and aren't "stuck" on one reading.


I think there is an advantage to keeping ukes in their cases, in the properly (45-55 % RH) humidified space. The wood and padding will absorb moisture and help stabilize the humidity the uke experiences.

Cornfield
03-17-2015, 03:40 PM
I took a 1928 Martin Tenor Guitar to my luthier and he noticed that I had been keeping it over-humidified. He said that the glue had nearly come undone. I never considered over-humidification previously. Now I fill my case humidifiers every other week in the Winter with just enough water so they are still damp when the schedule is up again. I also have a whole house humidifier keeping the place 30-35

hoosierhiver
03-17-2015, 03:56 PM
Keeping the humidity above 50% in your house will help your lungs to work better, lessen the chance of you getting sick and keep your skin from getting too dry. Room humidifiers and aquariums are great, houseplants also help.

Ukejenny
03-17-2015, 04:06 PM
So sorry to hear of your humidity problems. But, thanks for the advice and lessons learned. In Georgia, can also see the reverse problem in the summer, keeping the humidity down to 50%.

Alabama stays pretty humid, too. And the most reliable hygrometer I know of is my hair - it really goes berserk when the humidity is up.

Jerwin
03-17-2015, 09:25 PM
I've recently done some humidity measurements, after discovering a small crack on my girlfriend's Kala Acacia Concert. We curently live in a block of flat which tends to be pretty dry during winter. From what I have measured, when the heating's on the humidity goes to 35%. The humidity in the case with home made sponge humidifier is around 45%. The main reason of making some measurements is my new Pono isntrument - the manufacturer says the material is stored at 40-50% humidity. I suppose 45% in humidified case should be fine.

I am browsing for an air humidifier to get the humidity to acceptable level for other health purposes.

As for the humidifier, I use the bigger Tic-tac box with sponge. Easy, fast, cheap. The size is appropriate for uke cases.

AndrewKuker
03-17-2015, 09:58 PM
Thanks Steve for sharing. I wanted to add a few points. Oasis says to use distilled water. This is different than filtered water or bottled. Also there is a humidifier they carry that releases about 3 times the amount of moisture as the OH-18. It's the OH-5 and made for those with humidity below 25%. You can see that at their website HERE (http://www.oasishumidifiers.com/plus.html). They also have a good hygrometer and system for getting a pretty accurate reading that can be seen at their website HERE (http://www.oasishumidifiers.com/hygrometer.html).
The home made systems can be the most effective but you have to be careful water is not leaking or you can end up with a moldy case or an over humidified uke. That goes for any humidifier actually. Personally, if I had to heat my home I would either build display cases or use the type of under bed storage containers like THIS (http://www.amazon.com/GSC-UB2042-Under-Bed-Wheels-Clear/dp/B002KMILKC).

Osprey
03-18-2015, 03:35 AM
It is amazing to me how many ukulele owners are still uninformed about the importance of proper humidification. A woman from our Uke group retired and moved from Florida to Nortern Ohio. A week ago she took her favorite ukulele out of its case and found it badly cracked, she had not used a humidifier in her case or in her apartment. She is blaming Kala, but I feel the problem was low humidity.

Rllink
03-18-2015, 04:19 AM
Keeping the humidity above 50% in your house will help your lungs to work better, lessen the chance of you getting sick and keep your skin from getting too dry. Room humidifiers and aquariums are great, houseplants also help.And it keeps static electricity from building up and getting shocked every time you touch something metal in your house. I had to put in a new furnace a couple years ago and I had them install a humidifier as well, and it really helps in the winter.

Down Up Dick
03-18-2015, 04:52 AM
Winter? What's winter? Furnace? Do they still install those? :old:

DownUpDave
03-18-2015, 08:09 AM
Stevelele, every time I read a thread like this one, I re-vow never to buy another wooden ukulele. All this humidity stuff is just too much trouble for me.

From now on I'm a plastic or carbon fibre or steel man. I just don't wanna be bothered with all that stuff. :old:

News flash brother DUD your signature shows you own two ukes with solid spruce tops. Tops are the thinnest and most suspectable part of the uke for cracking. If you don't have problems with those not much to worry about with future purchases.

Down Up Dick
03-18-2015, 08:29 AM
News flash brother DUD your signature shows you own two ukes with solid spruce tops. Tops are the thinnest and most suspectable part of the uke for cracking. If you don't have problems with those not much to worry about with future purchases.

Yes, Bro, I was iggorant when I picked 'em. Lernin' is sometimes a painful process. Ever herd of "live 'n lern?" Mebbe I'll muddle through with my wooden ones. The ones you pointed out are hangin' on the wall in my music room. I don't have any humidifiers, but I do have a hygrometer. It usually reads in the thirties or forties, though it gets much lower here sometimes. Que sera, sera.

I'm now looking at Fleas and Flukes and also Luna Resonators. The Blackbird will have to come later. :old:

Icelander53
03-18-2015, 09:17 AM
I've had ok luck with wood at %35+. Anything below that I'd be humidifying. When you are ready for a Fluke I have a Black with wood fretboard in tenor size that I'm going to sell. It's in perfect shape.

Down Up Dick
03-18-2015, 09:26 AM
Ok, Icelander, I'll keep ya in mind. I dunno yet. :old:

bnolsen
03-18-2015, 09:44 AM
I'm just a laminate guy. Having that policy mostly keeps the UAS at bay, since I think only the blackbirds really run into some serious dough.

sam13
03-18-2015, 10:54 AM
This is a great thread and I have learned a lot from it.

I use the Oasis18 all the time in my cases with my Ukes in them, except for playing due to children running about ... and to protect them from lack of humidity.

My Keli'i Super Soprano developed a surface crack on the back lower bout, and another was slowly developing a crack in the upper left back bout ... I am getting a bunch of gear to whack this problem for next year.

Icelander53
03-18-2015, 11:06 AM
Ok, Icelander, I'll keep ya in mind. I dunno yet. :old:

But but... you have so few ukes? Anyway I'm too lazy to put ukes up for sale so I'll likely still have it if you ever get ready. I have about four I'd like to rehome but I can't seem to get off my ass and do it. It's the result of having money. When I was poor (most of my life) things got sold as soon as I was over them.

Down Up Dick
03-18-2015, 11:31 AM
Well, Icelander, it's just that I think having a whole bunch of the same kind of Ukes is kinda silly. I tell myself that there is a special purpose for each of my Ukes, but that may be so much smoke and mirrors.

I like to buy them as much as anybody else, but, if they're all the same, it's sorta dumb. I already have two tenor Ukes, one in hi-GCEA and one in hi-DGBE.

I think it might be better to buy a few very nice Ukes instead of a bunch of less expensive ones. :old:

Icelander53
03-18-2015, 12:23 PM
That's what I've done also, so now I have a lot of expensive ukes lol.

If it was me I'd keep those ukes and make a simple humidity cabinet for them. I did it and the cost was under $50 and that includes the humidifier. (two sponges) and a humidity gauge.

But hey I'll help you out with your UAS. My fluke is not for sale to anyone with your handle. You'll thank me later.

Down Up Dick
03-18-2015, 02:48 PM
Icelander, I could maybe make a Uke cabinet, but I don't have anywhere to put it. My wife and I decided to move to a smaller place this time, but then we started buying a bunch of stuff. Now, we're kinda crowded. Ahhh, well . . .

Nothin' ever works out, does it? :old:

JJFN
03-22-2015, 06:09 AM
Just installed the hygrometer app for my iPhone. Has anyone any experience with this app? Is it accurate? Right now I am in Siesta Key, FL and I am getting a reading of 80% humidity, inside an air conditioned condo. Obviously no humidity problems here. However my Koala could rust!!! LOL It was free at the app store. Free is good.

Freeda
03-22-2015, 06:33 AM
I have an old entertainment center I'd like to convert into a humidified uke storage area. Ideas?

hawaii 50
03-22-2015, 06:35 AM
Just installed the hygrometer app for my iPhone. Has anyone any experience with this app? Is it accurate? Right now I am in Siesta Key, FL and I am getting a reading of 80% humidity, inside an air conditioned condo. Obviously no humidity problems here. However my Koala could rust!!! LOL It was free at the app store. Free is good.


haha...the only way to check your app is to get a hygrometer to double check....:)

the reading seems high as air conditioning like a heater in the winter dries out the air.....so I would think the relative humidity would be much lower....IMO

JJFN
03-22-2015, 06:36 AM
I have doubts about the accuracy of the Apple App Hygrometer. It reads 80% humidity inside an air conditioned condo and 79% outside. Doesn't seem possible. I guess you get what you pay for.

Kayak Jim
03-22-2015, 08:04 AM
Without some sort of additional plug in module I can't for the life of me understand how a smart phone could determine humidity level. It could possibly identify your location and then display the humidity as reported by the weather channel for that location. That would explain your identical readings inside/outside.

Icelander53
03-22-2015, 08:45 AM
Icelander, I could maybe make a Uke cabinet, but I don't have anywhere to put it. My wife and I decided to move to a smaller place this time, but then we started buying a bunch of stuff. Now, we're kinda crowded. Ahhh, well . . .

Nothin' ever works out, does it? :old:

Sometimes things work out but we quickly forget about it and focus on what isn't working.

I'm moving into a much larger place in a few months and you can buy it from me and store it here. :D

JJFN
03-22-2015, 10:28 AM
You may be right. There is a statement on the app, "This is the outside hygrometer to measure humidity. Does not measure the room humidity". So maybe the information (humidity) is gathered from the Weather Channel or something similar.

JJFN
04-03-2015, 08:49 AM
To make a long story short, I was away for 4 months. Leaving 3 solid top ukuleles at the mercy of the southern coast of New Jersey winter. As you know we had the winter form hell. I have forced air heat, thermostat set at 55 degrees while we were away. A whole house humidifier is not an option. After consulting with HMS and other sources I placed four buckets of water around my study and shut the door. And hoped for the best. We returned on Thursday, the 2nd and thankfully the equipment was none the worse for the wear. To ease my mind I'm going to interview several more heating/ac guys and plumbers and maybe one of them can configure a whole house humidifier. Hope everyone else with similar problems didn't sustain any damage.

PS: How about the finish, is either matte or gloss more suseptible to cracking? Any thoughts?

kohanmike
04-03-2015, 05:50 PM
After a dry few days in Los Angeles early last year, my Lanikai solid top monkey pod cracked as I was procrastinating converting a shelf into a humid control display, I then scrambled to finish it. Now it stays between 40 and 60% all the time. I sealed all the inside edges with weather seal tape, placed two water trays on the lower shelf with covers that I slide around to expose more or less water surface, and can remove one or both covers as needed. I have two hygrometers inside, one analog and one digital. I also have a digital hygrometer outside the shelf unit.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/1 Shelf.jpg

captain-janeway
04-08-2015, 08:54 AM
I never knew humidity or lack thereof could be a problem either. Never thought of it. Had a mandolin for year that was never humidified and never had a problem. Are ukeleles different that much, or was I just lucky with my mandolin? I live in CA Bay Area. I'll have to keep an eye out for humidity out here. What's a good range?

wayfarer75
04-08-2015, 05:59 PM
40-50% humidity is what you want. And that's inside where your uke is kept, not outdoors.

hoosierhiver
04-09-2015, 02:45 AM
To make a long story short, I was away for 4 months. Leaving 3 solid top ukuleles at the mercy of the southern coast of New Jersey winter. As you know we had the winter form hell. I have forced air heat, thermostat set at 55 degrees while we were away. A whole house humidifier is not an option. After consulting with HMS and other sources I placed four buckets of water around my study and shut the door. And hoped for the best. We returned on Thursday, the 2nd and thankfully the equipment was none the worse for the wear. To ease my mind I'm going to interview several more heating/ac guys and plumbers and maybe one of them can configure a whole house humidifier. Hope everyone else with similar problems didn't sustain any damage.

PS: How about the finish, is either matte or gloss more suseptible to cracking? Any thoughts?

The inside is not finished, so I'd guess they are both equally susceptible to damage. Try a fish tank, it'll add a lot of water to the air.

strumsilly
06-13-2015, 05:03 AM
We oughta all move to Florida or Washington State or Houston Texas, or some other humid place. We could maybe take up a brass instrument.

Ahhh, well--que sera, sera . . . :old:
Washington is a large state and it's only wet on the coast. Over on the "other " side of the cascades it can be mighty dry. I use a room humidifier where I keep most of my ukes, and rotate my wall hangers.

as others have said, ukes don;t dry out in a few hours of "dry" play. it takes a while , unless you are in a kiln. I try to buy ukes that are pre cracked so I don't have to worry about them cracking.

sculptor
06-13-2015, 09:01 PM
Oh man, every time I read this sort of stuff, I add another item to the list of reasons that I'm glad I live in the PNW. Sure, we get a cold dry spell once in a while. But generally, its really rare for our humidity to go below 40%.

I feel for those who have to deal with all this maintenance on their solid wood ukes.

I'm new to this but I've read various things about humidity requirements. One being
the humidity should be between 40% and 60%. I've seen another where the upper limit is 65% and yet another with a "best range" upper limit of 52%. To me this definitely sounds like there can be too much humidity too.... :(

sculptor
06-13-2015, 09:08 PM
I have doubts about the accuracy of the Apple App Hygrometer. It reads 80% humidity inside an air conditioned condo and 79% outside. Doesn't seem possible. I guess you get what you pay for.

If you leave the "fan" in your AC always on you end up evaporating much of the condensation from the AC so the moisture goes right back into your condo...