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Down Up Dick
06-22-2016, 05:37 AM
To all the UU NON-humidifiers out there (like me). Any warps or cracks or seam openings or explosions?

I recently got rid of my only solid wood Uke, a sixer, but my baritone has a solid spruce top, and it's okay.

Of course, though, we haven't had winter in So. Cal. for three or four years. :old:

janeray1940
06-22-2016, 05:41 AM
Santa Monica, CA uker here. I've never humidified, and have never had any issues with cracking. But then I live close enough to the beach that it's generally a bit humid here, and my house does not have central HVAC, so I don't have to deal with heat drying out the air. I've had my oldest uke for 8 years and - so far, no cracks, warps, seam openings, or all-out explosions.

JackLuis
06-22-2016, 06:02 AM
All of my uku's are laminates except my one spruce topped Ohana. Since humidity up here in the Great Valley runs about 20-40% I've been concerned for it. Will a gig bag hold enough humidity to help?

Osprey
06-22-2016, 06:05 AM
Living in Florida I don't humidify. I Have a couple of all solid Acacia ukuleles and have not had any problems to date.

bunnyf
06-22-2016, 06:14 AM
For 10 years my husband's Lanikai LU21B sat in a closet in the cold NE US, with heat, a/c and no case. When I decided to break it out and try it, it was still in fine shape. 10 more years later and it's still going strong (a son plays it now). I keep one laminate now, a soprano as my ultra portable, take anywhere, no worry uke. We've been in SW Florida for six years and it's so frigging humid that I never had to worry about humidity. My solid ukes have all been fine and I always have my ukes on hangers, ready to play anytime. Cases are just for traveling. We just moved to Cali and I was thinking that I'd have to start humidifying and using my cases for storage, and I hated that thought. I play on and off all day and want my ukes at my fingertips. Turns out we moved to the central coast and we have very moderate climate. We use very little heat, no a/c, and wound up by the beach, so humidity is good. So life goes on for me unchanged (ukes just got wall-mounted this week). If we had moved a little inland, into the deserty areas, I would probably be forced to keep my two best ukes humidified and in their cases, and only break them out for longer practice/playing session. I'd still mount my two beaters, one sop lam and one solid wood but well-worn, no nonsense Bari for all day long fun and the hell with worries about potential problems.

Mivo
06-22-2016, 06:30 AM
I don't humidify my ukuleles, but I do keep an eye on the hygrometer that's sitting in the same room as the ukuleles. I haven't noticed any low humidity levels, and the ukes are all fine so far. I have potted plants in the same room and the house is surrounded by greenery, which I imagine helps to keep the air ukulele- and human-friendly. It seems we like pretty much the same humidity levels. A real people's instrument!

mikelz777
06-22-2016, 06:31 AM
What is considered low humidity in southern CA and FL? When it's as low as it gets, how long does it stay that way? I'm guessing you guys don't have a lot to worry about. Here in MN I've had humidity levels in the house read in the low teens for weeks at a time. Even at their highest levels during the winter months, it's usually significantly below the "comfortable" range suggested for solid wood instruments. In my case, humidifying is much closer to a necessity than an option. Maybe nothing would ever happen if I didn't humidify but I'm not going to take that chance.

Rllink
06-22-2016, 06:33 AM
Two things, first of all, I don't think that the effects of drying out manifest themselves quickly. It take time for wood to get dried out and crack. So a couple of days, a week, maybe even a year or two, it happens over time. The second thing is, I wonder how many cracks and separations are actually flaws in the wood or poor construction and get blamed on a lack of humidity? I mean, there are lots of reasons wood cracks, and drying out is just one. That said though, how much of a burden is it to humidify your uke? Why would you not take the precaution?

janeray1940
06-22-2016, 06:36 AM
What is considered low humidity in southern CA...?

Southern California is really variable, full of little microclimates. For comparison - my weather app tells me that it's 69% humidity where I live today - and that's pretty typical. In Joshua Tree, which is also in SoCal but inland, it's only 17%.

Mivo
06-22-2016, 06:42 AM
That said though, how much of a burden is it to humidify your uke? Why would you not take the precaution?

I'm more concerned about mold in the cases if I humidified when it's not neceassary. If humidity dropped below 30% and stayed there for prolonged periods, I'd throw a humidifier in the cases. Or well, I'd do something about increasing humidity levels in the room since those low values aren't exactly good for us humans, either.

bunnyf
06-22-2016, 07:03 AM
SW FL is suuuper humid for most of the year. When I'd watch the weather, they usually gave the humidity as 100%. I'd wonder how it could be 100% and not be raining. Even in the winter, I don't think it dropped below 50%. I was also on the water, so I'm pretty sure I was always safe. Central coast Cali, along the beach is just so mild that I figure I'm good.

Down Up Dick
06-22-2016, 07:04 AM
It's been in the teens and twenties where I live, but it doesn't stay that way long. I don't how accurate my hygrometer is though, and I don't remember how to check it. The TV weather one seems to be all over the place.

If I sweat a lot, it's high. If not, it's low. It's highest when it rains (twice a year). :old:

kohanmike
06-22-2016, 07:10 AM
I'm in LA near the Beverly Center, in the seam north of Beverly Hills and south of West Hollywood. As I've posted on various other threads about humidity, I was pushed into converting a bookshelf into a humidity controlled display case when at that time the humidity was down around 10% or less and discovered a big crack in my solid top monkey pod Lanikai tenor from the bridge back to the tail. All my ukes are solid top. I keep two trays of water on the lower shelf with covers that I slide open and closed to varying degrees as the humidity changes. I use two hygrometers, a digital and an analog to check the humidity, which stays between 43% and 57% at all times.

cpmusic
06-22-2016, 07:49 AM
I'm in north Orange County, CA, and humidity can vary a lot. The LA Metro area used to be dry most of the time, but lately there have been some days when it's been muggy. Still, humidity can drop to 5% when the Santa Ana winds blow.

I'm not as careful with my solid wood instruments as I could be. I've had good luck with solid wood guitars, but I had a hammered dulcimer that developed a soundboard crack.

hendulele
06-22-2016, 10:52 AM
In Central North Carolina, I put my two solid-wood ukes in cases with humidifiers in the winter when the furnace is running. The rest of the year, they stay on music stands or in wall mounts. My ukes with laminate bodies and solid tops stay out all the time. I did not humidify one winter, and my Ohana soprano hog developed a small crack at the sound hole and had to be repaired by a luthier. Lesson learned.

macfish
06-22-2016, 11:10 AM
Central Ohio here, where it can be 90% humidity in the summer and dry in the winter. I keep my solid wood uke in the case, but have not had to worry much about humidity in the past 9 months. I do check it once a week, but my admittedly cheap though salt calibrated hygrometer stays between 40 and 60, in the winter months and now during AC season. We do have a humidifier attached to the furnace though, so that has helped. I'm not very concerned about it at all.

robinboyd
06-22-2016, 11:48 AM
I bought a humidifier just in case, but the weather report usually says I live in a fairly humid location, and the little hygrometer I stuck in the case confirms this, so I haven't bothered using it.

bnolsen
06-22-2016, 12:02 PM
I only have laminates and an HPL, but I very recently picked up a cordoba mini-m with solid spruce top. It's been okay and it hasn't been humdified. The previous owner didn't humidify it either. Earlier this spring I picked up a whole house humdifier I have yet to install which I think should deal with the biggest risks caused by forced heat in the colder time of year. I should check into using that humdifier in the summer with just the furnace fan (without activating the A/C which we rarely use). My 3 neighbors all use their AC a lot, I hear the compressors run even at night which tells me they must be setting their thermostats well below 70F, crazy people.

Tootler
06-22-2016, 12:20 PM
I'm in the UK and humidity is not a problem. The hygrometer in my house generally reads about 55%. At the moment it's 60% but we have been expecting rain today though it's not materialised yet. Rain is very common in the UK so low humidity is never a problem.

bnolsen
06-22-2016, 12:59 PM
Oh if you have *too much* humidity a trick with a piano is to hang an incandescent bulb inside.

Nickie
06-22-2016, 01:42 PM
SW FL is suuuper humid for most of the year. When I'd watch the weather, they usually gave the humidity as 100%. I'd wonder how it could be 100% and not be raining. Even in the winter, I don't think it dropped below 50%. I was also on the water, so I'm pretty sure I was always safe. Central coast Cali, along the beach is just so mild that I figure I'm good.

Bunny, sometimes the relative humidity is 100%, but then as it starts raining, it will drop below 100. Go figure.
We live in Tampa Bay, we don't humidify, not even the plastic ukes!

strumsilly
06-22-2016, 02:28 PM
If it gets really dry, humidify, if not fogetaboutit.

wayfarer75
06-22-2016, 02:34 PM
Bunny, sometimes the relative humidity is 100%, but then as it starts raining, it will drop below 100. Go figure.
We live in Tampa Bay, we don't humidify, not even the plastic ukes!

Right now, it's dehumidification time in Ohio. I imagine in Florida, that's almost always the case.

Nickie
06-22-2016, 02:36 PM
Right now, it's dehumidification time in Ohio. I imagine in Florida, that's almost always the case.

Yep, Laura, that is half the work an AC unit does. Ours takes a lotta moisture outta the house. It winds up on the ground. I wanna figure out how to water plants with it.

Mivo
06-22-2016, 06:29 PM
I open the windows and the door when it gets too humid in the house. ;) (ACs in private homes are very rare here, never seen one outside a public building.)

dkp
06-22-2016, 08:21 PM
I live in a desert that has low humidity most of the year. I was vacationing in Hawaii a couple weeks ago and bought a Kamaka H3 at Hilo guitar and uke store. Was concerned what the home environment might do to the Kamaka but it's holding up fine after two weeks in the desert. No point in humidifying here because all my ukes are within reach all the time. If dry is a problem it is a problem with no solution. If can, can. If no can, can't.

I have a custom uke that was built by a local luthier here in the desert and I do know that when I visited notoriously damp Seattle with it there were some minor but noticeable changes in it that reverted when I returned to our desert. It made one loud crack noise that made me thing the fan bracing on the top let go slightly. Spruce top, maple back and sides, cocobola fretboard and binding.

Down Up Dick
06-23-2016, 08:05 AM
I open the windows and the door when it gets too humid in the house. ;) (ACs in private homes are very rare here, never seen one outside a public building.)

It's not high humidity that's the main problem, it's the dryness of LOW humidity. :old: