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Gadzukes!
04-01-2012, 05:13 AM
I live in Colorado, and have been fighting quite a battle trying to keep my ukes humidified. The air is incredible dry (sometimes as low as 10%), and we just wrapped up our driest and warmest month on record, with highs in the 80s in March with 0.000" of rain. March is usually our snowiest month. Ugh.

I have all my ukes in hard cases with humidifiers. The Kamaka has two humidifiers in the case and the humidity still drops to 30% at times, probably because the original hard case is rather flimsy. The humidifiers need refilling weekly. I'm about ready to seal them all up in plastic bags. Why does no one make an airtight ukulele case?

I have a house humidifier, but it merely laughed when asked to keep up, and my water bill agreed it was just a waste of time and money.

I expect we'll have water rationing this summer. Oh, how I miss Hawaii. :)

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 05:40 AM
Gadzukes, try my system. I just bought a second box and sponges due to more ukes, and they're stackable. Love it...55 percent for months steady without adding water. Was 70 percent, but can either vent, or add less water to sponges.

My first post explains it, and my 2/25 post has photos. I swear by it.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?57739-Tip-On-Inexpensive-amp-Extremely-Effective-(too-effective-)-Humidor

Cheers, friend. Steve

acousticjazz
04-01-2012, 10:51 AM
Hey Gadzukes!, I'm in Denver and I feel ya. I'm new to the uke and this forum, but a guitar player of 16 years, and I've found that two Oasis humidifiers in all my guitar cases (one in the sound hole and one near the headstocks, keeps my guitars at 40-45 year round. So with both my ukes I'm just using one Oasis in the sound hole and seeing how it affects the instrument, if I need two I'll do it. They are super easy to use, and are sealed (no worries about water leakage) and I've been using them since I moved to Colorado (2001) with no issues on any of my instruments. Elderly instruments has some of the cheapest prices on them that I've seen, give em a look.

efiscella
04-01-2012, 11:01 AM
Hey Gadzukes!, I'm in Denver and I feel ya. I'm new to the uke and this forum, but a guitar player of 16 years, and I've found that two Oasis humidifiers in all my guitar cases (one in the sound hole and one near the headstocks, keeps my guitars at 40-45 year round. So with both my ukes I'm just using one Oasis in the sound hole and seeing how it affects the instrument, if I need two I'll do it. They are super easy to use, and are sealed (no worries about water leakage) and I've been using them since I moved to Colorado (2001) with no issues on any of my instruments. Elderly instruments has some of the cheapest prices on them that I've seen, give em a look.

I'm on the east coast and still with the dry forced air heat, there is little moisture. I have a hygrometer in my cases and I have found that for my tenor size ukulele's two oasis works fine and keeps them between 40 - 60%. I keep one in the sound hole and one in the neck area of the case. I fill them each week with distilled water. Right now I have 5 ukulele's so I just make it a habit to top them off every Friday. Just as a matter or routine- like watering plants. It is really not a bother because these are beautiful instruments and taking care of them is something I want to do. The way I look at it, if I stop taking care of them, then I really don't need them anymore and once a week is not a real bother.

SailQwest
04-01-2012, 11:04 AM
Gadzukes, I feel your pain. We moved to the high desert of New Mexico almost a year ago after living on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands for over a decade.

We have gone from a place that was about 80F/80%RH year round, to a place where the temperature and humidity changes more in a single day than we're used to it changing during the entire year. And that's INSIDE MY HOUSE! The outside changes are even more dramatic, and humidity in the teens is not uncommon. (Right now it's 12%.)

We have been struggling to keep our ukes happy. I'm now very glad that we don't have any really high-end or custom ukes.

To help with the lack of humidity here, we purchased hard cases for our solid wood ukes, and have home-made humidifiers, along with Dampit humidifiers, in each of the cases. We try to keep the humidity in the cases between 35-45%, which requires refilling the humidifiers about every 5 days.

We run a humidifier in our bedroom pretty much all the time, and in the living room when the humidity is extra low (<20%). At it's highest, we've managed to get the house up to about 35%RH.

Aside from the effect that the lack of humidity has had on our ukes, it has dramatically changed my voice. Singing is much more of a struggle, and I've lost a significant portion of my vocal range at both the top and the bottom. I'm currently working through our old song list to see what I can still sing, what needs to be transposed, and what I just need to give up on. On the flip side, I have a gruffer, more bluesy-sounding voice, so a few songs I always wanted to do, but felt like I couldn't, sound kind of nifty.

Oh, how I miss the Virgin Islands.

Gadzukes!
04-01-2012, 03:41 PM
SailQwest, I grew up in Santa Fe—what a beautiful place! But yes, also very dry.

I already have an Oasis in with the Kamaka, in addition to another humidifier. I think the problem is the case, but I'm testing that now (have the whole thing sealed up in a garbage bag).

BeardedGent
04-01-2012, 03:57 PM
Have you ever considered getting a carbon fiber uke? :p

Keeping an all solid wood uke properly humidified scares the crap out of me. Honestly.


I live in Colorado, and have been fighting quite a battle trying to keep my ukes humidified. The air is incredible dry (sometimes as low as 10%), and we just wrapped up our driest and warmest month on record, with highs in the 80s in March with 0.000" of rain. March is usually our snowiest month. Ugh.

I have all my ukes in hard cases with humidifiers. The Kamaka has two humidifiers in the case and the humidity still drops to 30% at times, probably because the original hard case is rather flimsy. The humidifiers need refilling weekly. I'm about ready to seal them all up in plastic bags. Why does no one make an airtight ukulele case?

I have a house humidifier, but it merely laughed when asked to keep up, and my water bill agreed it was just a waste of time and money.

I expect we'll have water rationing this summer. Oh, how I miss Hawaii. :)

BlackBearUkes
04-01-2012, 04:07 PM
I would suggest using a small closet that you can keep your instruments in. Perhaps you could even build a small dedicated space in the basement or wherever. You can use a cool mist humidifier to moisten the air inside the structure. If the space is well sealed, doesn't have to be tight, and the temperature is fairly constant, it should be quite easy to regulate the humidity levels. Get a good hygrometer to keep the reading and keep the levels at 40-50%.

As a side note, most high end ukes are made by professionals who cure the wood properly and build in a level humidified environment. Most of these instruments will fair well if the instrument is sometimes in less desirable space for a period of time. Where you run into trouble is when your instrument is build in God knows where under unstable conditions using wood that is probably too wet, and I do mean imports.