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ukela
11-19-2010, 07:00 PM
It is highly possible another thread has already addressed this issue, but I dutifully did a search before posting this and couldn't find one. Apologies if this is a repeat.

I just bought an Oasis Ukulele Humidifier for my Mainland Classic Soprano Mahogany (solid mahogany construction), and despite all of the talk of "suspending" it from the strings, or it "hanging" in the sound hole, the bottom of the humidifier is clearly resting against the inside of the back of the ukulele when I attach it to the strings. Is this a problem? I assumed there wasn't supposed to be contact, otherwise you could presumably just drop it in the sound hole without needing to attach it to the strings at all.

Any advice? I live in L.A., which can get dry but is usually not that dry, so I'm not sure how necessary humidifying even is.

Dane
11-19-2010, 08:52 PM
It is highly possible another thread has already addressed this issue, but I dutifully did a search before posting this and couldn't find one. Apologies if this is a repeat.

I just bought an Oasis Ukulele Humidifier for my Mainland Classic Soprano Mahogany (solid mahogany construction), and despite all of the talk of "suspending" it from the strings, or it "hanging" in the sound hole, the bottom of the humidifier is clearly resting against the inside of the back of the ukulele when I attach it to the strings. Is this a problem? I assumed there wasn't supposed to be contact, otherwise you could presumably just drop it in the sound hole without needing to attach it to the strings at all.

Any advice? I live in L.A., which can get dry but is usually not that dry, so I'm not sure how necessary humidifying even is.

Off the top of my head I remember 40-60% humidity being ok? I live in santa barbara, and I have never used a humidifier because I think the humidity is fine especially with the proximity to the fog line. I used intellicast to find out my humidity before : http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Weather.aspx?location=USCA0638

Obviously you would want to check it when it's not raining haha...

beardco
11-19-2010, 09:40 PM
I went with the Oasis OH6. It attaches to the inside of your case in a couple of different ways. If your humidifier touches the bottom of your instrument then there could be pressure on that back plate when you close the lid. I personally didn't like the idea of a humidifier hanging from the strings and I couldn't find one that didn't touch bottom. Regarding the humidity issue, there are only a handful of areas in the U.S. where the average humidity drops below 40%. If you travel much by air you might want a case humidifier. I just traveled from Vegas (humidity well below 40%) to Kauai (rain capitol of the world) and it was reassuring to have the humidifier. I'm quite happy with the OH6 so far, but I've taken it out of the case while on da islands mon.

Ronnie Aloha
11-20-2010, 03:44 AM
Doesn't Oasis make a uke specific model? I thought I saw that somewhere. Is yours the guitar model?

I also live in LA but I'm near the beach. If you live inland then humidity could be an issue. With winter approaching and heaters going on, the humidity in the home could drop even though the outside humidity level is within the acceptable range. Thus, I tend to use humidifiers during the winter months.

cletus
11-20-2010, 04:03 AM
I just bought an Oasis Ukulele Humidifier for my Mainland Classic Soprano Mahogany (solid mahogany construction), and despite all of the talk of "suspending" it from the strings, or it "hanging" in the sound hole, the bottom of the humidifier is clearly resting against the inside of the back of the ukulele when I attach it to the strings. Is this a problem? I assumed there wasn't supposed to be contact, otherwise you could presumably just drop it in the sound hole without needing to attach it to the strings at all.

I have the same humidifier and it definitely rests against the uke while hanging from the strings. Pretty sure it wouldn't be a problem unless there was water leaking or dripping from the Oasis somehow.
Living in PHX, I top off the humidifier once a week. If I went 2 weeks, it would be dry, for sure.
I think you should humidify your uke for now and contact Mainland with questions about your situation. Their customer service is legendary.

ralphk
11-20-2010, 04:07 AM
I have one of the Planet Waves humidifier that, in a guitar, would sit in the sound hole supported by the strings. In a uke case I simply let it lay up in the headstock area.

Lori
11-20-2010, 04:58 AM
I live in LA too, and about 3 or 4 miles from the ocean. It can get pretty dry here when the Santa Ana winds kick up. I have seen my humidity gauge read 17% on some days. I keep all my ukes in cases, and the non-laminate ukes all have humidifiers. I have one mini-uke that is a wall decoration, and it is make of koa. In less than a year, it has developed small cracks at the bottom. I keep my oasis in the case... I have the kind with the magnetic strip. I don't have the kind that works hanging from the uke strings.

–Lori

hoosierhiver
11-20-2010, 05:07 AM
Not a problem, I've never had one leak and often lay them inside the uke with the top end propped on the plastic part that you can hang from the strings. Try to always use distilled water or they can eventually get clogged up with minerals from the tap water.

ukela
11-20-2010, 07:51 AM
Thanks everyone! That is exactly the info I wanted. It seems odd that the Oasis box doesn't acknowledge that on sopranos the humidifier is going to touch the back of the uke when it is "suspended" from the strings, but oh well. If it doesn't matter it doesn't matter.

Ronnie Aloha, yes, this is the ukulele-specific model.

And thank you Lori and Ronnie for the L.A.-specific info. I was going back and forth between "L.A. is a desert, I need to humidify" and "L.A. has the best weather in the country, why would I need to humidify?" I will humidify.

Cletus - yes, Mainland's customer service is so good, they respond to threads I post on UU without my even having to contact them directly (thanks hoosierhiver!).

OldePhart
11-20-2010, 02:41 PM
The local weather outside is not really the issue in most cases (I guess if you're storing your instruments in the garage or attic the outdoor climate would be quite the issue - hopefully none of us do that). Most households with central heat and air tend to have very low humidity inside. And in northern climbs indoor humidity is often very low in the winter regardless of what type heating system is in use. For that matter, outdoor humidity is often very low where winters are harsh.

I recommend a hydrometer in the room where you store instruments and, if it consistently reads below 40 or 50 percent (say 50 to be safe) I'd use case humidifiers for your better instruments. Ironically, better instruments are far more likely to be damaged by low (or very high) humidity than mundane ones - even when we're talking all solid woods in both cases. Better instruments are generally built far more lightly; tops are sanded thinner, bracing is lighter, finishes are thinner, etc. Just for grins I just weighed my Kala all solid acatia pocket uke (10" scale, sopranino body size) and my new KoAloha koa concert - the much larger concert uke weighs exactly three ounces more than the pocket uke (11.5 oz for the pocket uke, 14.5oz for the KoAloha).

As for the tube-style humidifiers that clip in the strings - I did have some "near damage" from one in a guitar many years ago (different brand and much larger than the one's for ukes). The problem was I got it too wet and the tubing material was thin enough that the sponge could stick through the holes and let moisture wick to the unprotected wood on the inside back of the guitar. The damage wasn't terrible, a discolored spot inside the guitar and a loosened label - nothing that showed from outside, but I've been far more careful to put the humidifiers in just barely damp ever since. It means I have to check them more often but I've only got two (three, now) instruments that I need humidifiers for so it's not like it's a huge timekiller.

In the case of the KoAloha it seemed risky to feed such a long humidifer into such a small instrument with such thin wood. I store that case flat on a shelf anyway so I curled the humidifier below the headstock where it's not touching the uke. The "Uke Crazy" basket weave case that MGM included with the uke has plenty of airspace at the sides of the neck for the humidity to travel to the body - at least - I hope so cause humidity runs around 30-35% here in my home office. :)

Edited to add: Check the Taylor Guitars web site - they have a very good article on wet / dry guitar problems - at least some of that info is probably applicable to uke.
John

Dane
11-20-2010, 03:07 PM
Ah sorry, yeah we don't have air conditioning and we hardly ever use our heater, so windows open a lot, and I often leave my uke out (it makes me play more often)

Chris Tarman
11-20-2010, 03:14 PM
I have several of the "hanging uke" variety of Oasis humidifiers, but I always just stick them in the case up by the headstock. I was more worried about the weight on the strings than I was about anything leaking out of them.

ukela
11-20-2010, 04:08 PM
The local weather outside is not really the issue in most cases (I guess if you're storing your instruments in the garage or attic the outdoor climate would be quite the issue - hopefully none of us do that). Most households with central heat and air tend to have very low humidity inside. And in northern climbs indoor humidity is often very low in the winter regardless of what type heating system is in use. For that matter, outdoor humidity is often very low where winters are harsh.

I recommend a hydrometer in the room where you store instruments and, if it consistently reads below 40 or 50 percent (say 50 to be safe) I'd use case humidifiers for your better instruments. Ironically, better instruments are far more likely to be damaged by low (or very high) humidity than mundane ones - even when we're talking all solid woods in both cases. Better instruments are generally built far more lightly; tops are sanded thinner, bracing is lighter, finishes are thinner, etc. Just for grins I just weighed my Kala all solid acatia pocket uke (10" scale, sopranino body size) and my new KoAloha koa concert - the much larger concert uke weighs exactly three ounces more than the pocket uke (11.5 oz for the pocket uke, 14.5oz for the KoAloha).

As for the tube-style humidifiers that clip in the strings - I did have some "near damage" from one in a guitar many years ago (different brand and much larger than the one's for ukes). The problem was I got it too wet and the tubing material was thin enough that the sponge could stick through the holes and let moisture wick to the unprotected wood on the inside back of the guitar. The damage wasn't terrible, a discolored spot inside the guitar and a loosened label - nothing that showed from outside, but I've been far more careful to put the humidifiers in just barely damp ever since. It means I have to check them more often but I've only got two (three, now) instruments that I need humidifiers for so it's not like it's a huge timekiller.

In the case of the KoAloha it seemed risky to feed such a long humidifer into such a small instrument with such thin wood. I store that case flat on a shelf anyway so I curled the humidifier below the headstock where it's not touching the uke. The "Uke Crazy" basket weave case that MGM included with the uke has plenty of airspace at the sides of the neck for the humidity to travel to the body - at least - I hope so cause humidity runs around 30-35% here in my home office. :)

Edited to add: Check the Taylor Guitars web site - they have a very good article on wet / dry guitar problems - at least some of that info is probably applicable to uke.
John

Thanks John! Sounds like you have some nice ukuleles - I just checked out the Kala solid acacia pocket uke: very pretty. I think I may put the humidifier up by the headstock, as you (and others) suggest. That seems easier, and I will see if the humidity manages to get to the rest of the instrument that way -- I assume it must, since there is a profile to a ukulele that the case can't go past (nut, saddle, strings), presumably leaving room for the moisture to travel around the case.

70sSanO
11-20-2010, 05:03 PM
I live in SoCal about 10-12 miles from the ocean. I humidify my guitars and my ukuleles from October through April. The Santa Ana winds can dry things out, but more than that, running a heater during the winter also reduces humidity.

Old pill bottles and high denisity foam works well. My weapon of choice is an old Airborne bottle filled with memory foam. I just put a few holes in the top and fill if with distilled water. I use mechanical or digital hygrometers. Walmart sells a digital one for around $7.00 that gives humidity and temperature. I just put the stuff under the headstock in the case and put a soft cloth over it.

John

Lori
11-20-2010, 06:18 PM
I have tried three different humidifiers, and I like the Oasis the best. After you fill it and the gel beads expand, the humidifier won't leak any water out. As the humidifier dries out, it collapses, and becomes quite obvious when it is time to refill. So, those two points, no leaking, and easy to tell when to refill, make it the most dependable system for me. It is easy to forget when to refill a sponge or clay based humidifier. But the shriveled up Oasis will always remind you when it's time. I have some cheaper Hercos that I also use, but only because I am reminded by the Oasis models when it is time to refill them all.

–Lori

mds725
11-20-2010, 06:35 PM
The local weather outside is not really the issue in most cases (I guess if you're storing your instruments in the garage or attic the outdoor climate would be quite the issue - hopefully none of us do that). Most households with central heat and air tend to have very low humidity inside. And in northern climes indoor humidity is often very low in the winter regardless of what type heating system is in use. For that matter, outdoor humidity is often very low where winters are harsh.

I agree that indoor humidity may be very different from outdoor humidity. I keep one of these hygrometers (left) in my cases so I know what humidity level the ukulele is living in, regardless of what the outdoor humidity is. I use an Oasis humidifier that clips onto my case.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=12148&d=1272060609 http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=15515&d=1282539113

dkcrown
11-21-2010, 02:02 AM
I have Oasis humidifiers in all of my solid body ukuleles, (not my Flea or Fluke), and have never had an issue with leaking. And they all touch the bottom of the uke. The yellow endcap that comes into contact with the uke never gets wet. Neither does the blue body for that matter.

As Lori stated, the shriveling of the tube as it dries is a great feature indicating when to refill. And hoosierhiver's tip about using distilled water is a good one.

musiccityuker
11-21-2010, 03:04 AM
OldePhart (John) and others on this thread are correct in saying it's the inside "weather" you need to watch. I'm a meteorologist and work with this sort of thing day in and day out. Modern home AC/Heating systems create an environment of their own... regardless of the prevailing outdoor conditions. I often visit Artisan Guitars in Franklin, TN (artisanguitars.com) a truly first rate stringed instruments shop. Through sad experience, they've learned to keep humidifiers running year round in their store... and we are in the steamy south! They keep their shop at a constant 48% relative humidity level. Since doing that they haven't suffered a single loss or noticed any cracks in any of their inventory. Perhaps this is a reference point that will help in this discussion.

cletus
11-21-2010, 05:20 AM
I have Oasis humidifiers in all of my solid body ukuleles, (not my Flea or Fluke), and have never had an issue with leaking. And they all touch the bottom of the uke. The yellow endcap that comes into contact with the uke never gets wet. Neither does the blue body for that matter.

As Lori stated, the shriveling of the tube as it dries is a great feature indicating when to refill. And hoosierhiver's tip about using distilled water is a good one.

That's why the Oasis works for me. I don't bother with a hygrometer in Arizona. I just ALWAYS keep the humidifer full.

callmemario
01-16-2014, 06:31 AM
Bought one...returned it!. WAY too big for a soprano uke and to slide and "stretch" in between the strings. I fully agree. Even wrote Oasis to share my experience with their product...they never wrote back.





It is highly possible another thread has already addressed this issue, but I dutifully did a search before posting this and couldn't find one. Apologies if this is a repeat.

I just bought an Oasis Ukulele Humidifier for my Mainland Classic Soprano Mahogany (solid mahogany construction), and despite all of the talk of "suspending" it from the strings, or it "hanging" in the sound hole, the bottom of the humidifier is clearly resting against the inside of the back of the ukulele when I attach it to the strings. Is this a problem? I assumed there wasn't supposed to be contact, otherwise you could presumably just drop it in the sound hole without needing to attach it to the strings at all.

Any advice? I live in L.A., which can get dry but is usually not that dry, so I'm not sure how necessary humidifying even is.

Brian W
01-16-2014, 07:04 AM
I tried the Oasis once, but didn't like it. I don't like the idea of just humidifying inside the soundhole only, without also considering what humidity fluctuations will do to the neck as well; and I still have yet to see any difference in performance between using a $20 store-bought humidifier and using a wet sponge inside an open ziploc bag. As far a s damage to the instrument, I wouldn't worry about it touching the inside of the body, however there are some reports on the web of them leaking and damaging the inside of guitars; thought to be fair, I do not know if they were improperly used.

OldePhart
01-16-2014, 07:44 AM
I tried the Oasis once, but didn't like it. I don't like the idea of just humidifying inside the soundhole only, without also considering what humidity fluctuations will do to the neck as well; and I still have yet to see any difference in performance between using a $20 store-bought humidifier and using a wet sponge inside an open ziploc bag. As far a s damage to the instrument, I wouldn't worry about it touching the inside of the body, however there are some reports on the web of them leaking and damaging the inside of guitars; thought to be fair, I do not know if they were improperly used.

I don't think an Oasis could leak, honestly, unless maybe if it got squeezed pretty hard to "wring" the moisture out of the crystals inside. The humidifiers that I know of that have damaged guitars, including light damage to one of mine years ago, were those long tubular ones where you basically had a piece of surgical tubing with holes in the side and sponge inside. If you got the sponge too damp those would leak and sometimes the sponge inside would protrude through the large holes far enough that it would come in contact with the wood and "wick" moisture straight to the wood - that's what happened with one of my guitars.

John

Brian W
01-16-2014, 08:17 AM
I don't think an Oasis could leak, honestly, unless maybe if it got squeezed pretty hard to "wring" the moisture out of the crystals inside. The humidifiers that I know of that have damaged guitars, including light damage to one of mine years ago, were those long tubular ones where you basically had a piece of surgical tubing with holes in the side and sponge inside. If you got the sponge too damp those would leak and sometimes the sponge inside would protrude through the large holes far enough that it would come in contact with the wood and "wick" moisture straight to the wood - that's what happened with one of my guitars.

John


John,

I agree. I think as long as you properly fill the tube with distilled water and let the crystals completely soak up all the water, you probably will not have an issue. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of the poster that there are reports out there of leakage failures; though it is possible they are all operator error. Was the damage to your guitar repairable?

OldePhart
01-16-2014, 08:21 AM
John,

I agree. I think as long as you properly fill the tube with distilled water and let the crystals completely soak up all the water, you probably will not have an issue. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of the poster that there are reports out there of leakage failures; though it is possible they are all operator error. Was the damage to your guitar repairable?

It wasn't major damage. It caused a discolored/stained patch roughly the size of a business card or a little larger. However, only a tiny fraction of that area was penetrated deeply enough that it showed under the finish from the outside (and it was on the back). I didn't bother to try to get it refinished or anything because it wasn't that valuable a guitar, but I did quit using those "worms" when I discovered it.

John

callmemario
01-16-2014, 04:15 PM
I really gave those Propylene water jelly balls a try (or whatever they're called) I had to have 3 to 4 plastic pill bottles full of them in my uke case but they never let out enough humidity to reach the proper level according to my incase hygrometer. So I went the other way, pill bottles again 3 to 4 each containing a brand new/never used square piece of sponge rolled up filled with distilled water with excess water having been squeeze out and now it perfect for many many days!! Voila! :-)


It wasn't major damage. It caused a discolored/stained patch roughly the size of a business card or a little larger. However, only a tiny fraction of that area was penetrated deeply enough that it showed under the finish from the outside (and it was on the back). I didn't bother to try to get it refinished or anything because it wasn't that valuable a guitar, but I did quit using those "worms" when I discovered it.

John

OldePhart
01-16-2014, 04:42 PM
I really gave those Propylene water jelly balls a try (or whatever they're called) I had to have 3 to 4 plastic pill bottles full of them in my uke case but they never let out enough humidity to reach the proper level according to my incase hygrometer. So I went the other way, pill bottles again 3 to 4 each containing a brand new/never used square piece of sponge rolled up filled with distilled water with excess water having been squeeze out and now it perfect for many many days!! Voila! :-)

I've been using my own homemade humidifiers for about three years now. I use tubes that glitter comes in from wall mart. Drill a bunch of 1/16" holes and use the fine "water crystals" from the garden section at Lowes. Work great and I've recently gotten a chance to compare them with Oasis and they kept the same case at about 50% vs about 60% for the Oasis. They aren't as large as the Oasis so they do have to be filled more often - about once a week.

John

callmemario
01-17-2014, 02:58 AM
Hi John,

Yes I was using those water crystals but they just weren't producing enough humidity somehow...even with my pill bottles with holes punched in all over. I even think it was you who had given me/us the tip on these water crystals. So I had to find an alternative.
I guess it's whatever works. Thanks!


I've been using my own homemade humidifiers for about three years now. I use tubes that glitter comes in from wall mart. Drill a bunch of 1/16" holes and use the fine "water crystals" from the garden section at Lowes. Work great and I've recently gotten a chance to compare them with Oasis and they kept the same case at about 50% vs about 60% for the Oasis. They aren't as large as the Oasis so they do have to be filled more often - about once a week.

John

clayton56
01-17-2014, 11:31 PM
I don't think it's necessary to put a humidifier inside the uke, anywhere in the case will be enough. I tried testing with a hygrometer inside the case, and a small humidifier inside the case. Position in the case didn't matter, the moisture gets around. I'm also in LA area, SFV, and in the house it's almost always 50%-60% anyway. Because of this I stopped putting any humidifier in the case, to avoid mold forming on the wood. I try to let moist air from the bathroom circulate into the closet where the instruments are (that's what Jobim used to do). I would not let a moist sponge get close to the wood.

mikelz777
01-18-2014, 02:56 AM
Humidifiers weren't made for users whose environment is already at 50 to 60% RH. It's made for those of us who are in colder, drier climes where RH levels in the house can reach 15% or lower. My experience with positioning of the humidifier differs from that of the poster above. Experiments in an empty case as well as a case with a ukulele in it have shown me that the positioning of the humidifier does matter. Imagine this on a larger scale. If you wanted to humidify your living room, you wouldn't put the room humidifier in the dining room. Your living room might benefit in higher humidity because of its proximity to the dining room, but you're not going to get the higher (desired?) RH levels you'd be experiencing in the dining room.

callmemario
01-18-2014, 04:03 AM
I fully agree.
__________


Humidifiers weren't made for users whose environment is already at 50 to 60% RH. It's made for those of us who are in colder, drier climes where RH levels in the house can reach 15% or lower. My experience with positioning of the humidifier differs from that of the poster above. Experiments in an empty case as well as a case with a ukulele in it have shown me that the positioning of the humidifier does matter. Imagine this on a larger scale. If you wanted to humidify your living room, you wouldn't put the room humidifier in the dining room. Your living room might benefit in higher humidity because of its proximity to the dining room, but you're not going to get the higher (desired?) RH levels you'd be experiencing in the dining room.