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experimentjon
06-30-2013, 09:24 PM
So now that I have one of those cheap humidity/temperature devices in one of my ukulele cases, I have looked into what a good number for humidity would be. It seems that the internet consensus is 45% to 55%.

Then I noticed that over the past few months, every time I looked at the hygrometer in my case, it is usually right around 60% (slightly above the recommended levels). So I looked online to see what the average relative humidity (RH) on Oahu is. It seems to be more moist than recommended, typically...but not way out of whack.
http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Hawaii/humidity-by-month.php

So I looked for some of the possible negative side effects of humidity.


What happens to my guitar at 60% humidity?

At 60% relative humidity or above symptoms may include tarnished frets and strings, corrosion to nickel, chrome or gold plating on tuning machines, swelling of the top, high action and loose braces and bridges.

Source: http://www.humidifix.com/

On my guitars and ukuleles, I've definitely had corrosion on frets, strings, and other metallic hardware...but thankfully, no major swelling of tops or loosening braces.

So the question now is whether I have anything to worry about. I'm leaning towards no, because I've played some old gold and white label Kamakas that seem to be holding up just fine after 50 years of relative neglect in closets. And I, myself have had ukuleles sitting in cases without any special treatment at home for about five years now with no negative side-effects. But if there is something to worry about, I'd probably go and buy some silica packets.

Any experts care to weigh in?

MGM
06-30-2013, 09:46 PM
So now that I have one of those cheap humidity/temperature devices in one of my ukulele cases, I have looked into what a good number for humidity would be. It seems that the internet consensus is 45% to 55%.

Then I noticed that over the past few months, every time I looked at the hygrometer in my case, it is usually right around 60% (slightly above the recommended levels). So I looked online to see what the average relative humidity (RH) on Oahu is. It seems to be more moist than recommended, typically...but not way out of whack.
http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Hawaii/humidity-by-month.php

So I looked for some of the possible negative side effects of humidity.


Source: http://www.humidifix.com/

On my guitars and ukuleles, I've definitely had corrosion on frets, strings, and other metallic hardware...but thankfully, no major swelling of tops or loosening braces.

So the question now is whether I have anything to worry about. I'm leaning towards no, because I've played some old gold and white label Kamakas that seem to be holding up just fine after 50 years of relative neglect in closets. And I, myself have had ukuleles sitting in cases without any special treatment at home for about five years now with no negative side-effects. But if there is something to worry about, I'd probably go and buy some silica packets.

Any experts care to weigh in?

After 50 years don't change a thing......By trying to fool with humidity its been at all these years would most likely cause a crack rather than prevent it

kkimura
07-01-2013, 04:01 AM
Please excuse my ignorance but shouldn't the temperature and humidity range in Hawai'i be ideal for ukuleles?

PedalFreak
07-01-2013, 07:51 AM
After 50 years don't change a thing......By trying to fool with humidity its been at all these years would most likely cause a crack rather than prevent it

Yep. I've got several Pre 1940 instruments. They've adapted to the humidity where I live (and changes in it), and have settled in. I've owned several of these instruments over a decade and they've never moved once, no swelling, cracking, etc.

Tootler
07-01-2013, 08:14 AM
Please excuse my ignorance but shouldn't the temperature and humidity range in Hawai'i be ideal for ukuleles?

My thought too.

Shazzbot
07-01-2013, 08:29 AM
Wood moves in response to changes in humidity.
If it is accustomed to dry, then damp will make it move and vice versa.
The more abrupt the change, the greater the chance of reaction.

hawaii 50
07-01-2013, 08:53 AM
Wood moves in response to changes in humidity.
If it is accustomed to dry, then damp will make it move and vice versa.
The more abrupt the change, the greater the chance of reaction.


I live in Hawaii and I agree with what you are saying..

experimentjon
07-01-2013, 10:18 PM
After 50 years don't change a thing......By trying to fool with humidity its been at all these years would most likely cause a crack rather than prevent it

Sweet. Guess I didn't have anything to worry about at all. :)

If they could only make more corrosion resistant frets now...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-01-2013, 10:57 PM
Sweet. Guess I didn't have anything to worry about at all. :)

If they could only make more corrosion resistant frets now...

That probably speaks to poor quality fret wire more than anything else. I live close to the water and have had ukes hanging on the wall for 25years and the frets still look pretty good. Some of the finishes on the tuners don't seem to do as well. If you're worried about it then keeping the uke in its case is your best defense against metal deterioration