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ukeinfused
07-05-2017, 02:38 PM
A couple Christmas's past, I purchased each of 5 neices a starter uke along with a tuner and book, and told them that if they learned to play I would buy them a nicer instrument. Two are now playing.
I then snapped up two of the Kala KA-ASOV-S that were offered at a bargain a few months ago.

Trouble is, when I had "the talk" with them about humidifing a solid wood uke in our dry MN winters, both admitted they're not ready to give that kind of attention to a new instrument.
Back to the drawing board. *EDIT: I will NOT be giving them the solid wood instruments.*
My question for this community: does a solid top with laminate sides require humidity to prevent cracking just as much as an all solid instrument?
Your advice appreciated!

Choirguy
07-05-2017, 02:44 PM
They should be humidified, but you should be okay until October. I know one teacher who doesn't humidify their solid mahogany ukuleles, and so far, they are doing okay. I don't worry about our laminates, but our school Bonanza and four Mainlands are in cases, humidified over the winter months. Incidentally, we went from 16% relative humidity in my office to 80% at one point in the spring before they turned on AC.

And I don't even want to know what the humidity level is for you and I (we live relatively close) today!

So...buy some cheap cases (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-21-Standard-Deluxe-Soprano-Ukulele-Hard-Case-tweed-Yellow-/401055532238?hash=item5d60c5c4ce:g:uegAAOSw7aBVHfl R) and some of those Herco humidifiers before the cold of the fall.

ukeinfused
07-05-2017, 02:53 PM
See my edit, I won't be giving them solid wood ukes until they're ready to care for them (hence my question about solid top only). The winter dryness is brutal in MN.

I teach newbies here to start humidifing when the leaves fall off the trees and to stop again when the trees are budding in the spring. :)

besley
07-05-2017, 03:10 PM
My question for this community: does a solid top with laminate sides require humidity to prevent cracking just as much as an all solid instrument?

Absolutely. Having laminated sides and backs isn't going to change the shrinkage (and eventual cracking) in the solid wood top as it dries out.

Choirguy
07-05-2017, 03:23 PM
Yep..caught that they were solid tops...I was just using the example of the educator not humidifying 100% solid ukuleles. I would still case/humidify.

Incidentally, our laminate Caramels show a lot of response to lack of humidity, mainly in the neck & fret board . I end up filing fret ends in the depths of winter, which in theory should mean that the fret ends aren't exposed at any point of the year.

I have a Lanikai UkeSB and I am not sure if the sides are laminate or solid, but I know it has a spruce top. I keep that one in a case and humidified, too.

actadh
07-06-2017, 02:53 AM
I also bought one of the Kala ASOV's with the idea of handing it (and my Luna solid spruce top) off to grandkids in the future.

The Herco is probably the best option with instructions to soak it while they brush their teeth on a particular day of the week - Sunday night might to be a good day.

To me, that is little maintenance. It would be the equivalent of oiling a baseball glove, cleaning up art supplies etc.

jer
07-06-2017, 12:52 PM
Even most all laminated instruments need to be humidified properly, if you want to really take care of them and be on the safe side. The reason being, they often have solid wood fretboards as well as solid wood braces. I was told this by a Martin rep once, when I was asking about whether or not I'd have to humidify one of their HPL instruments. They specifically mentioned the wood bracing as the main reason to humidify when needed.

There are plenty of stories of people saying they don't humidify their laminated and they've been fine, but it's up to each individual whether it's a worthy risk or not. I don't pay quite as much attention to laminates myself, but do take some care.

PTOEguy
07-06-2017, 01:48 PM
I've become less concerned about cracking and more about neck profile changes over time. This may be misplaced, but I've seen a lot of ukes become unplayable for neck issues here in the dessert. In fact, one local music store told me he doesn't order baritone ukes any more because they just don't hold up in our climate.

This is why I spent a little to get my kids fleas and a fluke. They are pretty durable and I haven't had any problems with the plastic fingerboard in the dry weather. Downside - the friction tuners are hard for younger kids.

Choirguy
07-06-2017, 07:02 PM
I've become less concerned about cracking and more about neck profile changes over time. This may be misplaced, but I've seen a lot of ukes become unplayable for neck issues here in the dessert. In fact, one local music store told me he doesn't order baritone ukes any more because they just don't hold up in our climate.

This is why I spent a little to get my kids fleas and a fluke. They are pretty durable and I haven't had any problems with the plastic fingerboard in the dry weather. Downside - the friction tuners are hard for younger kids.

I'm curious...does your Pono Baritone have a truss rod?