View Full Version : Do you keep your ukuleles in their cases or display them?

03-06-2016, 12:47 AM
Hi people,
I apologize if this topic has already been asked, I am wondering how you store your Ukuleles. I would like to hang mine on a wall in my home. However I want to make sure that displaying them is ok for solid wood ukuleles over time. I own a Amahi concert which is laminate, a Mya Moe myrtle concert and an Ohana 250g tenor which is solid wood with a high gloss finish. I live in Florida so we tend to have high humidity however I run my ac almost year round so that lowers the humidity in my home. I find that I play my instruments more when they are not stored in cases. Just wondering what is best for the instrument. Thanks for your input.

Croaky Keith
03-06-2016, 12:53 AM
Although mine are all laminates, they stay in their 'gig' bags for protection, except for 2 that are in regular use daily, one of which sits on a stand for instant grab & play/practice.

(I've read that real wood requires 50% humidity.)

03-06-2016, 01:09 AM
Cased and humidified when not in use- it is pretty dry in our high desert climate, Reno NV. When I practice I have one out at a time on a stand.

03-06-2016, 01:21 AM
Buy a couple of acurate hydrometers (mearsures humidity level). If you can keep the inside of your house between 40 - 60 % humidity level you can leave your instruments out.

I live in Canada and the winters are very dry so all my ukes live in their cases with a humidifier.

03-06-2016, 02:14 AM
Except one, my ukuleles all live in hardshell cases. I take them out when I practice/play and put them back when I'm done. The one that always sits on the desk or the couch is a laminate one with a solid top, just so I can noodle a bit on it while waiting for a call, a download to finish, etc. It's my most played and also cheapest uke because it's always readily available. :)

mm stan
03-06-2016, 02:30 AM
Aside humidity issues if you also get solid body ukes later, laminates fare well hung.
The thing about hanging ukes is convenience, but they do get dusty and grimey..also nicked..and may fall
Some like the convenience and use them as wall art too however
I prefer mine in the case..as i live in hawaii and no humidity issues, nicks, grime and dust.
I do however have cheap laminates on stands for convienience but they nick as well

03-06-2016, 02:35 AM
First of all, I do not display my ukulele.

For a long time, I didn't put it in the case and it sat on a stand in a room that my wife and I use as a business office. I liked the idea that I could just pick it up, thinking that I wouldn't play it as much if I put it in the case. But then I didn't like it sitting there where I might kick it around, so I got to putting it in the hard case when I wasn't playing it and stuck that on top of my filing cabinet. I don't think that I play it any less than I did when it was not in the case.

03-06-2016, 02:48 AM
My OXK is out on a desk stand or hanging on the wall all year. The Kamaka lives in it's case with a humidifier in the dry New England Winters and hangs on the wall in the Summer.

03-06-2016, 02:58 AM
Case and humidified, it's only on a stand when I'm playing and need to put it down.

03-06-2016, 03:48 AM
In a case or humidified plastic bin. But I do it for protection as well as humidity.

03-06-2016, 04:25 AM
I used to but now I keep them in a case with an Oasis humidifier.

03-06-2016, 05:26 AM
Keep it in hard case or gig bag would be better as the time of take it out is still easy ( If you don't lock it with keys) ;)

Ukulele Eddie
03-06-2016, 05:37 AM
I keep three on wall hangers, one in case next to where I play and the rest in cases. I keep my home humidified so don't mind leaving them out.

03-06-2016, 06:53 AM
I live in Florida and have my ukes hanging on wall hangers year round. They are out of the way, look nice, and are ready to be grabbed and played anytime. I have one solid wood, one laminate and one solid top and they have been out for over two years and no issues. I would not leave them on the floor or in a stand for fear of damage, but wall hangers work good for me. The current humidity is 42% and it's winter time, so no worries here.

03-06-2016, 06:53 AM
My wonderful wife has been kind enough to let me use a spare bedroom as a music room. She wanted to be able to see my instruments and convinced me to display them, so I purchased an old china closet and paneled the inside to make the darker instruments more visible. The case used to have 2 Martin Custom Shop guitars and a vintage Martin Ukulele. Times have changed and I miss the guitars, but enjoy the ukulele very much, so for now, the display has the instruments that I play most often.

I live in New Hampshire, so the display needs a little extra humidification during the winter months. I keep a few containers of distilled water inside along with a good Hygrometer. The humidity stays between 45 and 55%. The wooden case keeps the level right around 50% during the rest of the year. They are on a wall that does not get direct sunlight and the windows in the room are UV treated. It is nice to enjoy them as works of art as well as tools.

This also keeps them dust free.

03-06-2016, 06:55 AM
I keep mine (all solid, various woods) hung on the wall. In SW FL it's super humid and even with AC on in summer, I still think humidity is good. 5 yrs and no problems.

03-06-2016, 07:04 AM
I keep them in a display case I made from a shelf in my bookcase, inspired by wickedwahine11. It has two water trays on the bottom shelf with covers that I slide open and closed to control the humidity using two hygrometers, one digital, one analog. Stays between 44-56% humidity at all times.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/1 Shelf1.jpg

Joyful Uke
03-06-2016, 07:04 AM
Case with humidifier. Even in humid weather, they stay in the case, since my dogs are likely knock them over, sit on them, or mistake them for a dog toy. (And I don't want to risk finding out that they play better than I do. That would be hard on the ego.)

03-06-2016, 07:43 AM
On the wall if our indoor humidity is above 40% on the wall hygrometer, under that and I put my good uke into its hardcase with a humidifier and small hygrometer (which is wireless and sends the data to the wall hygrometer).

03-06-2016, 07:51 AM
If they (solid or laminate) aren't being played, they are in their cases which are humidified during the winter months. I don't want to regret any potential accidents and having to remove them from their cases is not a deterrent to playing them.

03-06-2016, 07:55 AM
No humidification for me. All in bags. Hidden in various parts to avoid the wife knowing how many I have

03-06-2016, 07:56 AM
I'm near the beach in Southern California, and my house does not have central HVAC, so I've never bothered with humidification. But living in earthquake country, and having a mischievous cat who likes to knock things off shelves, I do keep all of my ukes in hard cases at all times unless they're being played.

03-06-2016, 08:59 AM
I keep mine in their cases to avoid any mishaps. I have an inquisitive poodle that I don't trust. During the winter when the forced air heat is on I place three buckets of water in the same room with the instruments to keep moisture in the air. So far, so good.

Inksplosive AL
03-06-2016, 09:25 AM
I keep a few containers of distilled water inside along with a good Hygrometer.

A mechanical humidifier along with my Autoclave sterilizer or and wet style car, motorcycle or boat battery requires distilled water to protect the device from minerals in tap water. It is overkill and extra cost for water trays used in such a manner. Its not good to drink or give to your pets either from what I read.

Just a heads up.

Inksplosive AL
03-06-2016, 09:28 AM
My ukuleles mostly sit in their cases or my jungle box consisting of a large plastic container with a couple of quality sponges dampened with water in open sandwich bags. My house is so dry in the winter I dont bother with a hydrometer. My Vietnam ukuleles are a great for measuring humidity or lack of humidity that is. ;)


03-06-2016, 09:45 AM
A mechanical humidifier along with my Autoclave sterilizer or and wet style car, motorcycle or boat battery requires distilled water to protect the device from minerals in tap water. It is overkill and extra cost for water trays used in such a manner. Its not good to drink or give to your pets either from what I read.

Just a heads up.

I appreciate the heads up, and you are correct. The containers are kept out of reach for the pets, because it is in the cabinet. Minerals are not my only concern whith tap water. We also have chemicals and some odder to contend with.

Inksplosive AL
03-06-2016, 10:07 AM
From what I read the chlorine in tap water evaporates in the first 24 hours. My plant water I leave in an open gallon container overnight for such reasons. We old school tattoo artists are a frugal bunch. I cant save the $$ on distilled water for the autoclave though. They have been known to explode with great force after the chamber is contaminated by minerals in water.

I'm not certain if the trace amount of chlorine would do anything. My jungle box is much smaller and I use only tap water in that. So far I see no damage after two years now. Pleasure chatting.


03-06-2016, 10:12 AM
In their cases with Oasis humidifiers. Reduces accident possibilities and regulates humidity. Only exception is a Fluke concert which is somewhat impervious to humidity, temperature, grandchildren, a golden retriever and Siamese cats.

03-06-2016, 10:48 AM
In San Juan, I am always battling the salt air. I'm a block off the ocean. When it evaporates, it leaves a salt film. It corrodes everything. The open tuners are the worst to deal with. I've often times brought my uke back from the beach, and run fresh water from the tap over the tuners. A dab of 3 in one oil, brushed into them regularly is the best I can do. Every once in a while I clean them up with strips of scotch brite. Right now, I have both of my ukuleles down here. I don't take the Mainland out on the beach, and I keep it in the case when I'm not playing it. Actually I keep both of them in the case, but the one I take to the beach is in a gig bag, and the gig bag has been subjected to a lot of salt air, so it probably is impregnated with it. So far, so good, with the Mainland. The other one, well, it lives down here all the time, and I suppose some day I will lose the battle and it will just die here. Until then, I'm having a lot of fun playing it. I don't expect either of them to last forever.

Big Bird
03-06-2016, 12:43 PM
I'm lucky, have a dedicated room in the house with a humistat controlled humidifier set at 45%. My guitars and Ukes are hung up or in one of the stands. My oldest all solid wood guitar (about 12 years/Artista Moreno classical) has lived it's life in this environment and is doing very well. I have cases for all but they are stacked in the closet. I am not a performing musician... Even referring to myself as a musician is a stretch. I have six guitars and two Ukes that are "out" in that room and that room smells fantastic :-).

03-06-2016, 01:05 PM
All in gig bags or cases with humidifiers. I took one to work thinking it could be left out. Unlike my house which I rarely clean, our office areas are cleaned Monday through Thursday and it is much more climate controlled than my house. It still got dusty and started buzzing on one string. so, it is coming home to be re-hydrated, and a different cased ukulele will go back to work with me.

03-06-2016, 01:10 PM
In the case with a humidifier during the winter. I live in NH where things can get pretty dry.

03-06-2016, 01:55 PM
In the case with a humidifier during the winter. I live in NH where things can get pretty dry.
It is nice to see another New Hampshire player on here. What part of New Hampshire?

03-06-2016, 02:03 PM
Lebanon area. Close to Vermont. Ukulele is pretty new to me.

03-06-2016, 02:25 PM
No humidifiers, but I keep them cased/bagged. I have two very active boys and three very active pets and it gets crazy around here.

03-06-2016, 06:14 PM
Currently working on several areas to display my ukes where they can stay humidified but access will be easy so I play them. I recently acquired an old indoor planter box that when I take the legs off will work great as a display case. Just need to put a glass door on it. (:

03-07-2016, 03:35 AM
I'm lucky enough to have a spare bedroom/office, where I can hang my instruments in the wall. No direct sunlight, two hygrometers and a humidifier. Humidity kept 40-50% all year.

I currently have my Larrivee Lv09, Martin 0-15sm custom, Martin 000-18ge, Lanikai monkey pod tenor, and Pono cedar/macassar tenor hanging, and my G&L tele sitting on a stand. Also have an iMac, and an m-audio interface, apogee mic 96k, and zoom h2n, for recording if I get a wild hair.

I keep my Rain Song APLE sitting on a stand on a corner shelf in our main floor - out of the way, and no worries about temp or humidity.

I like keeping them out, and easy to grab. In their cases, they get lonely and don't get as much attention.

03-07-2016, 04:11 AM
I hang them on a wall rack, and humidify my whole house.

Dry air feels bad..... Why feel bad when you don't have to?
Humidifier.. is not just for Ukuleles.

03-07-2016, 05:26 AM
The ukes that I'm currently playing hang on the wall. I rotate them with other ukes in cases.

I have a whole room humidifier, and when in cases they get a pill bottle with a soaked foam sponge inside the pill bottle, placed in the case, hanging from the strings in the sound hole. This humidifier lasts about 2 weeks in the winter before it needs a refill.

One 1950s Harmony baritone, which is solid mahogany, and needs the bridge reset is in a nicer case with several of these home-made humidifiers. This uke was given to me by my grandfather and is considered a family heirloom.

Using a calibrated Caliber IV digital hygrometer, case humidity with the sponges is never below 50%, even when the sponges have little-to-no water at the end of a 2-week period, and room himidity with the whole room humidifier stays around 30% in the winter, and this is the best I can do right now.

I have no other solid-wood ukes other than the Harmony, but keep them humidified any way.

Currently there are no domestic perils like wild children or crazy pets to damage anything, if there were, likely all ukes (and guitars) would be in cases, safely in the closet.

One day I hope to construct a cabinet like what Kohanmike has done, and just keep everything in there.

03-07-2016, 05:57 AM
My laminates (even the ones with solid tops) stay out all the time. Three on wall hooks, the Martin on a stand, the Fluke on the hearth, the Flea in my office. My two solids stay in cases with humidifiers from October-April and come out to rest on stands the remainder of the year. I plan to convert a bookcase into a humidified cabinet (like kohanmike) sometime this year.

03-07-2016, 08:38 PM
I didn't realise that ukulele playing was a hobby that required that kind of home improvement :-\
In Denmark very few homes have any kind of air conditioning, and mine is no exception. I never saw a humidifier in any danish home. I saw a de-humidifier in a basement once.
I hope that means humidity is not an issue here.

In my current small appartment the ukes are stashed on top of my closet, in the soft cases I got them in. I was hoping to display them on the wall when we move to a house with more space. Rigth now I only have a couple of cheap laminates, so I am not that concerned about them, but I consider buying an expensive one with a hard case at some point. Will be a pity to keep the pearl of the collection bagged up as the only one.

03-07-2016, 08:51 PM
I didn't realise that ukulele playing was a hobby that required that kind of home improvement :-\

I don't think it does, unless you live in a place with climatically rough conditions such as extreme temperature and humidity changes, or prolonged periods of extreme dryness (of the air). This doesn't apply to most of Europe.

Like in Denmark, here in Germany private homes don't typically have humidifiers or even air conditioning, just normal heating in the winters and open windows in the summer. I bought a hygrometer (€10) and have been watching my living room's humidity throughout the year. and the humidity is nearly always between 40% and 60%, which is excellent for both humans and ukuleles. If you store your ukuleles in an uninhabited room without plants and windows, it be pretty dry, and not the best of places for long term storing of wooden instruments, but rooms where people hang out, other than the bathroom, should be perfectly fine.

There is no harm in getting a small humidifier and stick it in the case, though. They cost a few euros only, so even for cheapish ukuleles made of solid wood it's a good investment. But I don't believe it's necessary in our region, just something for one's peace of mind. I had a solid soprano that I never put in a case, and it was fine for years - until I sat down on it. :) So personally, I put my ukuleles into their cases not because of humidity-related reasons, but to reduce the chance of them getting damaged by my clumsiness and carelessness.

Still Water Weapons
03-08-2016, 09:38 AM
I display mine in a humidified cabinet I built, easy to get to so I find I practice more.

http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b548/CHRISALLTECH/ukecab_zps8bqtias6.jpg (http://s1291.photobucket.com/user/CHRISALLTECH/media/ukecab_zps8bqtias6.jpg.html)

Croaky Keith
03-09-2016, 12:21 AM
Nice cabinet........... but only one uke?! :)

03-09-2016, 01:59 AM
My Blackbird Clara stays out on a stand within arm's reach. The others (all solid wood) reside in cases in a room closet with an humidistat-controlled air-o-swiss room humidifier. I leave a stretto hygrometer in the closet to verify and occasionally tweak the humidifier's settings.

I own some nice ukes. A couple of winters ago one started to separate between the back's book-matched sides, which led me to adopt this setup.

03-09-2016, 08:14 AM
Humidity, too much or too little is only one of the problems with exposure. Direct sunlight, dust, cooking grease, smoke or being kept against an outside wall can also damage an instrument, including laminates. Mine are kept in a glass front china closet, (see my page 2 post for reference), with stable humidity. This eliminates the environmental problems, not counting sunlight. The wall that the cabinet is on is North facing and does not receive direct sunlight. The windows in the room are UV treated and there are curtains on them as well.

03-09-2016, 08:35 AM
I didn't realise that ukulele playing was a hobby that required that kind of home improvement :-\
I think it can be taken to an extreme, but some people enjoy taking things to the extreme. So if that is the case, go for it. I keep an eye on the humidity, and if I notice that it is getting low, I stick the Oasis in. Most of the time it isn't an issue.

03-09-2016, 08:49 AM
I had this beautiful cabinet custom made for my collection. It has an active humidity system--just set the humidity level desired. The instruments are protected, but within easy reach.


03-09-2016, 10:32 AM
Stored in cases, on a stand that I made for them.

03-09-2016, 11:11 AM
In a case or humidified plastic bin. But I do it for protection as well as humidity.

Smart thinking! I was trying to think of what I could do to keep my ukes in a good environment without humidifying the whole room all the time. I didn't think my Fluke would need humidity and now it has a couple of tiny hairlines on the sound board...although maybe they're just in the finish (?). Luckily it still sounds good. Thanks for the idea!

The OP- Mine are always in their cases...sometimes humidified. (ugh, I'm a bad UkeParent).