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ukuDaily
05-18-2010, 10:39 AM
I live in beautiful East Texas where it gets plenty warm, but it also always stays very humid too. My question is, in a place where it is 90 degrees and about 80% relative humidity, how bad is it to leave a solid ukulele in the car. Of course, I must point out that in the heat of summer, it will get to be about 140 degrees in a car, making the relative humidity closer to 50% relative humidity. There are lots of old wive's tales out there that say you should never do this or do that, but until Mythbusters takes it up we never know for sure. If anyone has had bad experience with hot, humid weather, I would love to hear about it.

I know it isn't ideal, but there are times like this weekend where I am travelling to a disc golf tournament and I want to bring a ukulele with me to play during my spare time, but surely don't want to if it is going to get destroyed in my car.

As a followup, am I right to assume that laminate ukuleles behave much better in such environments?

Mike
ukuDaily.com (http://ukuDaily.com)

pulelehua
05-18-2010, 10:47 AM
If I was in that car, I would die, and I like to think that a ukulele is not as hardy as me... Yes, laminates do better with changes. 140 degrees. Yoiks. Someone will say something intelligent, but my instinct is that it's a bad idea.

I would think that glue and binding and joints would dislike 140 degrees. One of our resident luthiers would know.

ichadwick
05-18-2010, 10:50 AM
Yes, laminates do better with changes
Nah. not really. Humidity and heat can separate plies. They all use the same sort of glue. Most laminates have the same fretboard woods, too.

luvdat
05-18-2010, 10:51 AM
This is not meant to be offensive but a simple question for everyone, including myself: why? Why leave any instrument, even a socalled beater uke or guitar in a vessel (in this case a car) where it's known the temp can reach 140 degrees? Frankly I wouldn't leave even lams in that heat...not to mention solid wood instruments. BTW, the tone of my post should indicate a previous experience way back (with a guitar) of trying to do it all and not taking the time...

I think though that your post points to another myth: that somehow relative humidty is the most immediate determining factor. It isn't. Instruments do not do well in extreme temps or with extreme temp fluctuations. The more common myth panic buttom for most people (humidiity) does not damage as quickly as people imagine...but it eventually does. This is not to say that RH is unimportant...

SailQwest
05-18-2010, 10:54 AM
High temperatures can cause the glue to melt. I had a bridge pop off that way.

The trunk of your car will not get as hot as the passenger area, and would be a better place to keep it.

This might also provide a great reason to give in to UAS. :D

HoldinCoffee
05-18-2010, 11:41 AM
Its not a good idea to leave a uke in the car. For starters, someone might be tempted by the ukes sheer awesomeness and thief your precious! As stated above, the temp and humidity levels are horrible for a uke.

However, I gave a uke (solid mahogany) to a friend who kept it in the back of her car for three months!!! After hearing this, I rescued the uke from the back-seat and to my astonishment, the uke was fine. No cracks, the bridge and frets are exactly where I left them, and it plays as sweetly as the day I got it. So really, its not necessarily the end of the world if you have to leave one in a car. However, there are better places to store one!

Here's an article on the subject from an expert:
http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenMaint/Heat/Heat/heat1.html

luvdat
05-18-2010, 11:50 AM
Its not a good idea to leave a uke in the car. For starters, someone might be tempted by the ukes sheer awesomeness and thief your precious! As stated above, the temp and humidity levels are horrible for a uke.

However, I gave a uke (solid mahogany) to a friend who kept it in the back of her car for three months!!! After hearing this, I rescued the uke from the back-seat and to my astonishment, the uke was fine. No cracks, the bridge and frets are exactly where I left them, and it plays as sweetly as the day I got it. So really, its not necessarily the end of the world if you have to leave one in a car. However, there are better places to store one!



Here's an article on the subject from an expert:
http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenMaint/Heat/Heat/heat1.html

You forgot to say she had a Herco in there the size of a kitchen trash can.

Pippin
05-18-2010, 12:44 PM
The trunk of a car can get as high as 180 degrees. Because the area involved is less cubic volume, and surrounded by metal, it heats up higher and faster.

Chris Tarman
05-18-2010, 01:00 PM
Hey ukuDaily,
I didn't play ukulele or anything else back when I lived there, but when I was a kid we lived in Conroe, TX, and my maternal grandparents lived in Mt. Pleasant until my grandfather died a few years back and my grandmother moved to Katy to live with my aunt. My dad grew up in Longview. As a kid, I never thought anything about the humidity. It was all I knew. When I visited as a college student after living in Wyoming for several years, I thought "Good grief! How do human beings LIVE here???".
I don't believe I would leave a ukulele in a car there, even a laminate. I suppose if you really wanted to take it with you, you could take it out of the car and carry it around or ask if you could leave it inside somewhere. I don't think the humidity would hurt it nearly as much as the temperature.

Teek
05-18-2010, 03:27 PM
I once got off a plane in San Antonio at 10pm somewhere around the end of May or so, and thought I was gonna have a coronary before I could walk 50 feet to the gate. Seriously, I thought Crap! I figured Hell would be HOT, but who'd a thought it was so DAMP! And that was like 15 years ago and I was really strong and hardy then.

Brah, leave the uke at home and just take a picture of it with you, it will last longer. ;)

Bradford
05-18-2010, 03:50 PM
The rH in this case is unimportant. Most instrument glues start to release at about 130 degrees F, and will completely let go at 150. Does not matter whether it is a laminate or not.

Brad

pulelehua
05-19-2010, 04:41 AM
Nah. not really. Humidity and heat can separate plies. They all use the same sort of glue. Most laminates have the same fretboard woods, too.

You've pretty casually dismissed one of the most cited benefits of laminate ukuleles.

Bradford
05-19-2010, 07:36 AM
The most cited benefit to laminate ukes besides cost, is they are not as prone to cracking as solid wood instruments due to rapid changes in relative humidity. In this case however, the issue is excessive heat, which will cause any uke to come apart, laminate or not. They use the same glue to hold the parts together and lutherie glues are designed to release with the application of heat, so you can disassemble things if necessary.

Brad