View Full Version : Had a bridge mishap

02-01-2013, 04:18 PM
Sigh, I hate Wisconsin winters and low humidity. I struggle to keep my smallish house above 21% RH (and yes I do run a humidifier).

Came home today and noticed a rectangular piece of wood on the floor. Picked it up and recognized it as a bridge. Hmmmmm. Looked at the ukes hanging on the wall and damn, the Mainland pineapple uke had lost the bridge.

I do not consider this a defect in the uke, it's simply a victim of my on-going humidity struggle. I've shot an email off to Mike asking for advice. There is a local luthier who works on ukes who could do the repair if needed.

Looks like I might have to start storing my ukes in Tupperware.

Oh, and it was "one of those days". Lost my checkbook and cell phone earlier in the day. Fortunately a Good Samaritan found my checkbook, called me and returned it. The phone can be easily replaced.

However, tomorrow I think I'll look both ways twice before crossing the street. ;)

02-01-2013, 05:00 PM
What a sucky day. :( Hope things get better.

Looked at the ukes hanging on the wall...
And there's likely your main problem. You know you have a humidity issue and yet you hang your ukes on the wall?

Running a heater (which I presume you must have to do frequently in WI, we run the heater enough as it is in SoCal) dries out the air.

I wouldn't recommend Tupperware, but storing your ukes in cases would be a good idea. :)

Rick Turner
02-01-2013, 05:31 PM
Keep the ukes out and HUMIDIFY!

02-01-2013, 05:39 PM
And there's likely your main problem. You know you have a humidity issue and yet you hang your ukes on the wall?

Running a heater (which I presume you must have to do frequently in WI, we run the heater enough as it is in SoCal) dries out the air.

I wouldn't recommend Tupperware, but storing your ukes in cases would be a good idea. :)

Ok ok. You SoCal folks might not believe this, but here in Wisconsin we have these things called a "furnace". I live in Madison (the state capital). We hire out-of-work legislative interns to shovel unused legislative bills into our "furnaces" over the winter. It helps cut down on landfill and keeps the employment level up between elections.

In *theory* the furnace cycles air in the home and obviously warms that air, altho not as much as the original bill material did in the capitol.

Unfortunately when the air gets down to oh-about 7 above freeze-your-ass (as it is right now) there isn't much humidity to begin with. That's why we fervently hope/wish/pray that with the warm air this "furnace" produces our pitiful humidifier *might* oh-just-might pump some more moisture up into our poor parched lungs.

But yeah, I need to figure out a better way to deal with our 20% to 98% humidity swings. ;)

02-02-2013, 12:59 AM
I never had a bridge pop off, but using a room humidifier, I used to have your same problem. It would be rated for a room twice as big, but running full tilt, I'd be getting 20% if I was lucky. So I put the ukes in cases with humidifiers. Last week, I got a humidifier like this one (http://www.ufox.fi/ilmankostuttimet). It doesn't spray cool mist, but is old school hot steam. It took a few days to get the room at a constant temp and RH, but now that thing works like a mofo. I got this brand on recommendation from a printer expert... since apparently office printers go on the fritz easily in too dry conditions, and this was the brand he had the best luck with. I don't know if it's sold outside Finland, but there would be other brands doing this same thing sold elsewhere.

That sucks about your bridge, and the bad day in general. There are humidifiers out there that actually work, it's just tough to find them.

Edit to add - Helsinki isn't as cold or dry as Wisconsin, but at this time of year the heaters are on full tilt all the time.

02-02-2013, 04:15 AM

Tupperware is precisely what you should do...good work, blender.

My set up above. House humidity in IL is like yours....20% or less. Big house, open design, cannot humidify whole house or single room, even with fancy system on furnace (investigated it already).

Under bed Sterilite box (set of four on Amazon, $74 incl shipping), or at Wal-MArt: $20 each.

Car wash sponges $2 each. One gallon heavy duty freezer bags, 25 cents each. Total per box setup: $25.
How many ukes per box? 2 tenor or baritones. 3 concerts or sopranos.

Easy access--flip lid and remove uke (much quicker than handling cases), stores under bed or stackable out in room, no musty cases (why slowly make a case smell like a gym sock just to humidify a uke?). When the car wash sponges get moldy (which happens to me only after about a year of use--tiny black spots on the sponges), you can either run them through the dishwasher once (works great), add a drop or two of bleach to them, or simply throw them away and buy a couple more. The cheapest ones at Wal-mart are 99 cents on sale....you'll be the one buying ten of them, and the girl at the check out counter will think you own ten cars!)

Best advantage over Oasis, Herco and other in case humidifiers: fill gallon Ziplock once, lasts for three months! (My old Oasis $18 case humidifiers lasted barely a week before back to the sink, back to the sink, back to the sink...)

Humidity inside the Sterilite...50%. Regulate it by how much you leave the gallon bag open (can half seal it, etc. No need to punch holes it it or anything, just leave the top open).

So, yea, you're right, blender. Tupperware. Yes.

Looks like you're off to Walmart! lol

PS Mainland Mike, if still under warranty, will help you. Mainlands have had bridge popping...search past threads to find other examples.

Cheers from IL to WI. Oh, and I do take my ukes out in the springtime when the heat goes off and humidity up...April showers bring May ukes on the wall. :D

PS I don't humidify my strings, but notice an Aquila packet by one of the ukes. It's empty. I put the empty string packet in the box next to the uke so I can remember what strings are on which uke. This is like a uke filing system, too! lol lol

02-02-2013, 05:29 AM
Are you the guy who is frequently posting this in response to low humidity threads? Or did the idea from the original maker catch on ;)

Overall, really great idea how to do it. Like the string packet reminder, I keep forgetting that with my ukes, too. May have to remember how you do it!

02-02-2013, 02:19 PM
Thanks for all the ideas, folks.And you know? In 6 months us Wisconsinites will be complaining about 90% humidity...

Skinny Money McGee
02-03-2013, 04:28 AM
Get a "whole house" humidifier. They don't cost very much and seem to work well. I use an Aprilaire 600. Keeps the house around 40%rh.