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View Full Version : DIY uke case/humidifier



UKESTAR
02-10-2008, 09:46 AM
Well I got tired of having to dig thru/shuffle my uke cases around to find the uke I wanted to play (I know...life could be worse...) My user-friendly/customitis syndrome (syndrome in which I must customize everything I own to make it better) got the best of me and I decided....what the heck..might as well modify a case that I already have for books to hold my ukes instead.......and hopefully humidify correctly!! Here it goes:

3 trips to Home Depot (wood etc etc etc)
1 trip to fabric store (black velvet)
1 trip to guitar center (not sure why..ha...they know nothing about ukes)
13 hours and $186.00 later.....almost finished!

Items purchased:
Oak plywood for back wall
Poplar wood to wrap carpet and then velvet for uke bottom rest
5 rubber hooks
Weather proofing to make seal
Clear caulking for seal of cabinet in other areas
1 oak post (vertical) to seal doors to
1 oak post (horizontal) to attach rubber hooks to
Lots o' wood screws and wood glue
Pull tight latch system to help seal doors shut

Still need:
Western Caliber III hygrometer (abt. $20)
Some sort of humidifying device (probably something used in a cigar humidor about the size of this cabinet I used)


Next task is to figure out this whole humidifying/hygrometer thing....

tripl3thr33
02-10-2008, 09:50 AM
nice job ukestar. i think ryan said that they were gonna do a how-to pretty soon on a humidifier. i see one problem with your case though..... what if you get more ukes :eek: lol. looks good though. i wanna make one now haha

NukeDOC
02-10-2008, 09:52 AM
i love it! now im going to go through all the furniture i have around the house to see if i can mickey mouse one too! only thing i think i would do different is to have some sort of glass front door so its actually a display also. but hey that works too! i may have to pick your brain a little once i get in gear and get it started.

UKESTAR
02-10-2008, 09:58 AM
i love it! now im going to go through all the furniture i have around the house to see if i can mickey mouse one too! only thing i think i would do different is to have some sort of glass front door so its actually a display also. but hey that works too! i may have to pick your brain a little once i get in gear and get it started.

Yeh, I sort of considered building glass doors with a wood frame. That would have been hours 13 thru 25 though...hahha. It really does look a lot nicer in person than in the pics too... Yeh..good luck on your DIY case nuker!

Howlie Boy
02-10-2008, 12:02 PM
Looks nice, Hows the Hummidity part workin so far? I onlly have one ukulele so its not practical for me right now but in the future its a deff. i couls also put my guitars inside.....:D

Didnt read all your post but what about a cigar hummidifier. they have the guages and everything on them.....

UKESTAR
02-10-2008, 06:23 PM
I have been looking at humidors for cigars since they are more similar to my cabinet set up. I came across a bunch of cigar afficionados who seem to like using viper's beads to regulate humidity for their humidors.

The only problem is that the lowest humidity the beads regulate at is 65% which I think is a bit too high for what is recommended for ukes/guitars.

I believe the best humidity for ukes is between 45 and 55%, although I think between 42 and 70% is OK...:eek:

Howlie Boy
02-10-2008, 08:45 PM
A buddy of mine, his dad owns a ciggar shop down here in long beach. ill see if i can get a hold of him and see if he knows were you can get a humidor to stay as low a 40% you might even try using a wet towel and putt breather holes on the cab. and i know you can get a himmidity meter at a local pet store they use them for frogs and lizards and stuff like that. i would get the towel wet and put it at the bottom and then get the whole down right before you put the ukes back inside. That might be a cheap route, just change the towel often so you dont get that musty smell. (shivers)

Howlie Boy

UKESTAR
02-11-2008, 04:38 AM
A buddy of mine, his dad owns a ciggar shop down here in long beach. ill see if i can get a hold of him and see if he knows were you can get a humidor to stay as low a 40% you might even try using a wet towel and putt breather holes on the cab. and i know you can get a himmidity meter at a local pet store they use them for frogs and lizards and stuff like that. i would get the towel wet and put it at the bottom and then get the whole down right before you put the ukes back inside. That might be a cheap route, just change the towel often so you dont get that musty smell. (shivers)

Howlie Boy

Thanks...yeh, ask him about that for me. I have noticed that cigar owners are concerned about mold and use anti-mold solutions that are added to the water of the humidifier sometimes. I wonder if the towel could lead to mold on your instrument....hmm?

Living in San Diego, that is not super high or low on the RH scale, I am still not sure if I even need to humidify the cabinet or not. The AVG. RH outside in SD yearly is about 70%.

Ideally, you want something between 45 and 55% for your wood uke.

Now I need to buy a hygrometer to measure what is going on inside my house and cabinet system.

Something that Aldrine did not mention in the DIY humidifyer article was the use of both heating and air conditioning inside your house and what that does to your instruments...........bad news if not careful!! Heating and AC can change the humidity level extremely fast and is very dangerous to your uke because your uke does not even have a chance to respond to the quick fluctuation in RH levels.........:rolleyes:

Ukulele_Junkie
02-11-2008, 05:12 AM
Aldrine just hit up with a new uke minute and shows how to make a case humidifier with a Pez dispenser haha. about a 4 dollar cost. But has anyone ever seen a Planet Waves Small instrument humidifier at their local stores. I got one and it was only 15 bucks at my local store, some stores when i googled sold them for 10 bucks online don't know about S/H tho. but heres a pic. just thought i'd share.

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/0/1/7/251017.jpg
http://www.planetwaves.com/Resources/JDCPLW/Images/prodpics/pw_hts.jpg
The Guitar humidifier Comes with a sensor also

UKESTAR
02-11-2008, 11:48 AM
Aldrine just hit up with a new uke minute and shows how to make a case humidifier with a Pez dispenser haha. about a 4 dollar cost. But has anyone ever seen a Planet Waves Small instrument humidifier at their local stores. I got one and it was only 15 bucks at my local store, some stores when i googled sold them for 10 bucks online don't know about S/H tho. but heres a pic. just thought i'd share.

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/0/1/7/251017.jpg
http://www.planetwaves.com/Resources/JDCPLW/Images/prodpics/pw_hts.jpg
The Guitar humidifier Comes with a sensor also

I have heard the sensor or hygrometer on the planet waves is not reliable. I have read a lot of positive reviews on the Western Calibration III hygro if it matters to you at all...:)

Howlie Boy
02-11-2008, 11:51 AM
One thing i was also thinking about was if the wood on the cabinet you have isnt sealed up and all the air gaps arent tight you might get alot of outside himmidity and it might be hard to keep a constant level...

Just A Thought

Howlie Boy

NukeDOC
02-11-2008, 11:53 AM
One thing i was also thinking about was if the wood on the cabinet you have isnt sealed up and all the air gaps arent tight you might get alot of outside himmidity and it might be hard to keep a constant level...

Just A Thought

Howlie Boy

he used weather stripping to create a seal and a latch to hold the doors shut. so i think he's got that covered.

UKESTAR
02-11-2008, 11:59 AM
One thing i was also thinking about was if the wood on the cabinet you have isnt sealed up and all the air gaps arent tight you might get alot of outside himmidity and it might be hard to keep a constant level...

Just A Thought

Howlie Boy

Yep...used weather stripping to create a seal....also used clear caulk to seal the seams of the doors...hope it works. I also want to be able to run heating and AC throughout the year at my house and not have to worry about what it is doing to my ukes...

Overall the RH in San Diego is on the good side for wooden instruments....pretty high in a.m. hours of the summer months (82% in July).
Never really gets too low here in SD though which is good.

Why would I humidify then? Well, maybe the RH is much lower INSIDE my house and again, if I ever run the heat or AC....all bets are off...ha. I need to find out if it is...say....75% RH OUTSIDE, what is it going to be INSIDE the house with NO AC or heat at all??

Also, the case simply serves as convenient storage for ea. uke.:D

koa
02-11-2008, 04:37 PM
Ukestar, very nice case.

Winters up here require case humdifiers. Ended up with the PlanetWaves and Humistat case humidifiers. Also use Dampit in the body humidfier squeezed pretty dry. Ukestars concept of a dedicated cabinet is the way to go for home storage.

Is Aldrine using floral shop foam in his Peezz humdifier? Looking for a foam similar to the PlanetWaves that can hold a significant amount of water without dripping. The DIY humdifier foam looks similar to the PlanetWaves.

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-11-2008, 06:29 PM
very very nice case u made there and i like aldrines pez humidifier, its sweeeeeeeeeeeeet as i dont even have a ukulele case to begin with.

UKESTAR
02-12-2008, 04:39 AM
Ukestar, very nice case.

Winters up here require case humdifiers. Ended up with the PlanetWaves and Humistat case humidifiers. Also use Dampit in the body humidfier squeezed pretty dry. Ukestars concept of a dedicated cabinet is the way to go for home storage.

Is Aldrine using floral shop foam in his Peezz humdifier? Looking for a foam similar to the PlanetWaves that can hold a significant amount of water without dripping. The DIY humdifier foam looks similar to the PlanetWaves.


Yeh....he is using floral foam.

koa
02-12-2008, 10:39 AM
Thanks Ukestar. Have to eventually convince a friend ($$$$..speak) who makes nice custom furniture to build a case. Fine woodworking & me means creating lots of expensive firewood. Real waste of a precious resource. Figured an oversize version of the Peezz DIY humidifier would work in keeping the RH up during winter.

Regarding the PlanetWave hygrometers. No way to calibrate. I have couple sitting in the junk drawer. Neither matched up to a room hygrometer that is accurate. Used them to check for relative RH in the cases. Got tired of replacing expensive toxic batteries. Replaced them with the Humistat analog dial hygrometers that can be calibrated with a screwdriver, are relatively accurate, no battery needed, smaller and inexpensive.

UKESTAR
02-13-2008, 09:54 AM
So....I logged on to UU and the first thing I see is a cabinet/uke case that looks A LOT like mine.......wait.....that is mine....ha. I'm famous...haaha.
Anyways...the case is working great...way more convenient than having many different cases piled up in the corner of my office.

The objective, again, is to have a convenient place for each of my ukes and also to maintane the humidity levels while being able to run AC and heat inside my house...which, in case you were not aware,....is very damaging to wood instruments.

I have a Western Caliber III hygrometer on the way (which is one of few that get decent ratings) to see what the heck the RH really is inside the cabinet..

peace..:D

robgonzo
02-13-2008, 01:18 PM
I posted this on another page but I guess this is the more correct place...

The only thing he might want to be careful of is prolonged exposure of the vinyl coating on those U-hooks with his instruments finish. Vinyl reacts with some instrument finishes in a very bad way.

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenMaint/Vinyl/vinyl.html

UKESTAR
02-13-2008, 02:36 PM
I posted this on another page but I guess this is the more correct place...

The only thing he might want to be careful of is prolonged exposure of the vinyl coating on those U-hooks with his instruments finish. Vinyl reacts with some instrument finishes in a very bad way.

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenMaint/Vinyl/vinyl.html

Yep...I plan on covering the hooks with something...just have not figured out exactly what. I don't have my ukes in the cabinet yet all the time. I am still looking for a solution. I may just end up using wood pegs.

salukulady
02-14-2008, 07:37 PM
Hello' I live in Huntington Beach, CA.....is a humdifier important? Please someone that knows more let me know...I've spent more $$$ than I should have on these damn things and I dont wanna ruin them. (I LOVE THIS SITE! THANK YOU!)

UKESTAR
02-15-2008, 07:30 AM
Hello' I live in Huntington Beach, CA.....is a humdifier important? Please someone that knows more let me know...I've spent more $$$ than I should have on these damn things and I dont wanna ruin them. (I LOVE THIS SITE! THANK YOU!)

Yep....a lot of us have spent more money than we ever anticipated...haah. Ukes are just WAY to easy to collect....haaha. Well, I just got my hygrometer (I am in San Diego) and inside my house, it reads 56% rel. humidity...which is great. Right now, in February, I do not need to humidify. Now, if I was to run the heater in my house, it would quickly dry the air in my house and I would want to lock my ukes up in a case with a small humidifying device, such as a clay Herco case humidifier.

UKESTAR
02-15-2008, 07:41 AM
My new Cal. 3 hygrometer is telling me that the RH in my house (San Diego) office is 56%. I am not using the heater or AC at the moment.