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View Full Version : Humidity, cases and Ukulele



carbi1p
06-29-2009, 11:00 AM
So I got my first ukulele this past weekend which also happens to be my first stringed instrument and i know not to leave the case in a hot/cold car. SO i have 2 questions. One, i watched the video where aldrine shows how to make a humidifier for a case. So i was wondering is it helpful/necessary to build one if you leave the insturment inside. And two the case that came with the uke has a hygrometer in it, so does anyone know whats a good percentage for that to be reading? Thanks a lot

upskydowncloud
06-29-2009, 12:38 PM
So I got my first ukulele this past weekend which also happens to be my first stringed instrument and i know not to leave the case in a hot/cold car. SO i have 2 questions. One, i watched the video where aldrine shows how to make a humidifier for a case. So i was wondering is it helpful/necessary to build one if you leave the insturment inside. And two the case that came with the uke has a hygrometer in it, so does anyone know whats a good percentage for that to be reading? Thanks a lot

Hey where in the world are you? That'll help with knowing whether you need an humidifier or not! I know MGM sells them on eBay for a really low amount so it might be worth buying one unless you have the equipment to buy one.

My case has a meter too and I think the best level is between 40 and 50% humidity. If it goes below that you need to get a humidifier, if it goes above that you need to get some sort of desiccant like silica gel to get rid of the moisture.

I hope that helps a bit, with more info we'll be able to help out.

Also is your uke a solid wood instrument or laminate?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-29-2009, 04:25 PM
Since you're new to all of this it may not be obvious that Winter time can be real rough in stringed instruments in most parts of America. The air, being colder, can't hold as much moisture as warm air does then on top of that you've got your home heating system which makes matters even worse. Upskydowncloud (boy that's long!) gave good advice and it certainly would be helpful to know where in the world you are.

carbi1p
06-29-2009, 06:59 PM
I live in michigan, So we get hot summers around 80-90 degrees which just about all is humidity, and pretty cold winters. and the uke is solid mahogany.

Spooner
06-29-2009, 07:07 PM
I live in michigan, So we get hot summers around 80-90 degrees which just about all is humidity, and pretty cold winters.


One thing to note...just because the weather channel says it's XX amount of humidity outside does not mean that is what the humidity is in your house.

You have a hydrometer in your case and that's great! Your uke should be fine to play on a normal basis outside of it's case but whenever in it's case you either have to humidify or dehumidify accordingly. Your hygrometer will let you know which way to go.

One last thing, REAL wood instruments are the ones you need to be concerned with. Laminates are not something you need to go crazy over.

So you need to know:

1) If you have a real wood or laminated uke.
2) The humidity level in your house and/or case...depending on how you store your uke.
3) Pythagoras' theorum :p

If you find you need to humidify, get yourself a Herco Humidifier, a Humitron or just make one from scratch like the tutorial. A sponge and a ziploc bag with some fork holes poked through will also do the trick.

Gcow55
06-29-2009, 07:30 PM
If it is a solid wood instrument, definitely get a humidifier. Keep it stored in the case when you are not playing it. This will help keep it at a stable humidity. I've heard that 45-55% is a good humidity to keep it at.

pickerpete
06-30-2009, 12:40 AM
All of the above is exactly right, imho.
Just be carefull not to get your uke wet. Many players do not like dampits or similar humidifiers that go inside the instrument for that reason.
I always run a humidifier in the room I keep my instruments in. I have a humidity gage and keep the humidity between 40% and 50%. More than that invites mold and other problems.
Taking care regarding humidity levels is very important. A few Aprils ago I stoped by my luthier's shop and asked him how important it is to maintain proper humdity. He showed me a shop full of instruments that had cracked due to a Winter's worth of improper care.

Yuki to Miso
06-30-2009, 05:22 AM
Hello!
I live in Japan near Tokyo. It is very humid here all the time so is that ok? Is it ok to play it outside when the humidity is 70%?:confused:

ukebrudder
06-30-2009, 06:17 AM
You can make a humidifier out of just about anything that'll hold water and wont leak anywhere. I got a plastic bar of soap container and a small sponge and cut holes in the top of the container. And it seems like it would hold much more then a pez dispenser.