View Full Version : Portland ukers: do you use humidifiers?

01-25-2010, 08:24 PM
The whole humidity issue confuses me. I searched a bit, and still am unsure as to what is the best given my area. It rains all winter and not much in the summer. Dang, I've got a quarter inch of moss on my driveway right now. Anyone in the Pac NW who can pass on some advice? Thanks!


Kala Mango Concert (KA-MC)
UAS setting in big time...

01-25-2010, 09:11 PM
My Eugene luthier thought they were not necessary. Normal care, common sense (not near a heater, leave in case when not in use, don't leave in car, etc.) So I do not.

01-26-2010, 12:25 AM
Don't live in Oregon, but relevant to this: there's a broader acceptable range of RH than what sometimes gets declared...with a few provisos.

If the instrument was built in an environment around 50% RH, you'll do OK between 40-70%. Around 40% go with a Herco or something. Around 70%, maybe your place could use a dehumidifier.

If you have a uke equivalent of a Taylor guitar...that range might not work out so well. The uke equivalent of a Martin (yeah, the S-O is thinner wood...so careful everywhere with handling) but I'm talking here the not so thinner wood offerings usually not handmade and not as touchy. Somewhat overbuilt as they say in modest priced solid wood offerings? Yeah, with loss in resonance but maybe better for more knocking around, less touchy, less fragile. Tonewoods and construction matter. Frankly I'd be more careful with a koa than a mahogany since when a koa gets dry...not as easily resuscitated, hydrated. Also, the rate of moisture loss for a wood instrument? Not rapid, not arguing for abuse, and yes the smaller uke has a shorter dry out time but it's not 3 days at a moderate room temp.

I still maintain that temperature is the dealbreaker and unless it's a uke case designed by NASA you can't expose the uke to prolonged temp extremes...and always with solid woods, let the case adjust before opening to changes in temp.

Hey Josh, you can always do what what I do: play only sopranos and mostly lams and not all solid woods, LOL. In short, cheap out. Ever heard a truly "lush" sounding soprano? Not me. I don't see a Martin 5K in my future...or even an entry-level Kamaka. Believe me, my wife also shares that vision.

01-26-2010, 04:35 AM
I don't worry about it unless we get one of those really brutal cold spells with the nor'easter. That's when violin goes back in case with Dampit inside. Don't keep ukes near a heater or heat vent, etc. I'm guessing that Portland is more or less the same clime as Bellingham.

01-26-2010, 04:46 AM
I have a humidifier just in case we get one of those cold spells mentioned above. I have my solid wood instruments hanging on the wall. Most of the time, the humidity sensor reads between 45-55% in my house. I think you should be fine.

01-26-2010, 07:22 AM
Jeez. Maybe I'll get a cheap hygrometer to see what the enviro is inside. We run a dehumidifier during the winter months, so who knows what it is like in my house...

01-26-2010, 07:37 AM
This may be a dumb question, but if you put the hygrometer in the accessory case will it get an accurate reading? You can get pet hygrometers for lizards and stuff for super cheap at petco, but they don't affix to the wall of a fuzzy case well. (I just got one of the fuzzy tweed cases for my Kala concert, and I didn't get the version with a hygrometer built in.) Thanks for helping a newb.