View Full Version : Cold weather uke building-- non climate controlled woodshop question

12-24-2011, 01:56 PM
My woodshop is in a barn. It is not climate/humidity controlled and whatever temp it is outside, it is in the shop. I have a woodburning stove in there to warm it up while I work, but I was curious as to what the best thing to do with my wood overnight was. I noticed after thickness sanding that my wood was warping some, and I wondered if it was at least partially because of the dry, cold temps. Now that the top and backs are braced they aren't warping anymore but it was quite pronounced before bracing.

Should I bring the wood I am building my uke with inside overnight? I was debating if it was better to have it at room temp overnight then have it get cold again during the day while working, or if it was bad to fluctuate the temps that much and I should just let it stay at consistent cold and dry temps, since that is where I will be working on it.


12-24-2011, 05:13 PM
The wood you are working with needs to be at a moisture content of 6%. If the climate is extremely cold the wood will react. The building climate and environment need to be stable with a reading of 42%-50% on the hygrometer and an inside temp of 60-70 degrees. Building in a barn is going to be problematic. Putting the wood through the temperature fluctuations you describe is not going to be good for building. I would try to find something more suitable.

dave g
12-25-2011, 02:31 AM
Same situation here. I made an insulated cabinet with a little thermostat controlled heater inside. Work in progress, the glue bottle, other things that don't like to be frozen go in there when the wood stove isn't burning.

12-25-2011, 03:47 AM
I have a few trees outside and some of them are crooked it must be due to the temperature fluctuations :)
(just having some fun :) )
if you have electricity out there maybe you could run a humidifyer https://www.google.com/search?q=humidifier&tbm=shop&hl=en&aq=0&oq=hu#q=humidifier&hl=en&tbs=cat:613,p_ord:p&tbm=shop&sa=X&ei=ojf3TurwJJSXtweS5q3KBw&ved=0CA4Quw0oAQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=52df8168783f867f&biw=1164&bih=529
check out this link

Michael Smith
12-25-2011, 05:41 AM
I control the humidity but not the temperature in my shop. I do live in a temperate area we do get into the high teens at times but not often. My shop doesn't go below 40 degrees F. I haven't had any problems with low temps other than being uncomfortable. I wouldn't glue at 45 degrees F but all other shop operations are ok. I don't know how you would build effectively without some control of humidity.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-25-2011, 05:58 AM
I would throw up a couple of walls in the corner of the barn and partition off a small room in the barn in which to work. It can then be sealed and climate controlled. it's not a good idea for an instrument in progress to be going through the extremes you are talking about.

12-26-2011, 12:47 AM
I normally don't build in the cold season..The last two winter's at this time of year the temperature was down to -16 C in some areas:( ........ but this year it's + 14 C..warmest Christmas for years:) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/23/christmas-weather-unseasonably-warm

12-27-2011, 04:09 AM
Great idea by Chuck but I also know a fellow that does his machine work in an unheated garage but does everything else inside his home. He heats the garage to a comfortable temperature makes his cuts then brings everything inside for assembly. The downside to this is that you have to be careful working on cold equipment.