View Full Version : Cold Rooms & ukuleles

11-19-2011, 05:05 AM
Okay this may be a dumb question but.... I have one or two ukes out at all times since the humidity is not an issue where I live. Now that winter is here my house gets down to 55 degrees at night and remains between 64 to 68 degrees during the day. In the mornings my ukes are cold to the touch and I have to slightly tune them whereas in the summer I rarely need to tune them. So the question is... is keeping them out at night bad for them? Should they go to bed in their cases and store away in the closet. I need to check the temperature in my uke closet, I assume it is cool with less fluctuation in temperature since it is protected from old drafty windows. My humidity is an all time low of 45 % this morning. Normal humidity is between 50 and 65%.


11-22-2011, 07:52 PM
What you're seeing is normal expansion and contraction of the wood based on fluxuations in temperatures. I would not be concerned with the ranges you mention. It doesn't take much wood expansion or contraction to translate into having to fine tune the instrument. The strings move a bit also i guess based on temperature.....

In the northeast, i store a lot of my acoustic instruments upstairs where the only heat on is what rises up from the main living area on the 1st floor thru the cealing, and up the staircase. I have a humidifier going all the time downstairs from about october thru april to replace what the forced hot air heating is pulling out. The humidity level upstairs is always about 5% or a bit higher than downstairs, and i don't have to humidify anything additionally upstairs because of not directly blowing hot hair up there.

...........when i get an instrument down to play it,....fine tuning is usually required and they feel a bit cooler than what's downstairs. Has been this way for the 7 years i've owned this place. Get used to it! :D

11-22-2011, 08:37 PM
Thanks for your reply. Particularly since I have figured out my closet isn't any warmer then the rest of my house at night.

mm stan
11-22-2011, 09:02 PM
I live in hawaii and for me the cooler tempertures some of my ukes sound better and tuned, I believe when my uke sits some may get the tuning to get less tuned a bit, but the colder weather accomadates for that and make them tuned...I noticed that the +10 in the tunings difference in cooler weather...where as in rainy days I notice
those same ukes sounding dull and flat....as mentioned above, I also believe that is the normal fluxuations of the wood, materials, strings... from temperture or humidity....

Liam Ryan
11-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Temperature is not the issue. Humidity (and lack there of) are the concern.

The degree to which a uke will move around with humidity fluctuations is a function of how light it's built (the best ukes are built light), what the uke's made from, and the humidity levels during the uke's construction.

I wouldn't be too concern with your scenario.