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RawrGazzawrs
10-16-2013, 07:22 PM
So is it really necessary to humidify wood while building? especially if this will be over the course of maybe 2-4 weeks? (I won't have so much time in a workshop). How would you do it when the pieces aren't even cut or bent yet? I read that you have to keep the wood flattened by sandwiching it between two flat surfaces. So wouldn't that be a little harder to humidify?

Sorry if this questions sounds kinda dumb but it's just something I'm a little curious about. I'm only trying to prepare the best I can for when I start building.

Chris_H
10-16-2013, 07:43 PM
if you live in the Atacama, and you are building for a client in Hanalei, you should probably run a humidifier with careful consideration during your build process.


If you are buying wood from most suppliers, and living almost anywhere, you will likely have to let the wood continue to dry. If you live in the islands, local builders would tell you best, if you need to consider a DE-humidifier.

Moisture content of wood is a critical factor in working with wood


If you only have 4 weeks, is it possible to buy local? from a local maker? Search it out if it is important to you..

BlackBearUkes
10-16-2013, 08:09 PM
The wood you build with should be stable at no more than 6% moisture content. To test this, you should have a quality moisture meter.

taylordb
10-17-2013, 12:38 AM
The wood you build with should be stable at no more than 6% moisture content. To test this, you should have a quality moisture meter.

Could you suggest a make / model of a good quality moisture meter? I'm thinking something of a reasonable cost. Doesn't have to be the cheapest....just good value.

BlackBearUkes
10-17-2013, 03:50 AM
You can look on Amazon, they have many to choose from. Just be sure it is made for checking the moisture contact in wood and is the two prong type.


Could you suggest a make / model of a good quality moisture meter? I'm thinking something of a reasonable cost. Doesn't have to be the cheapest....just good value.

mzuch
10-17-2013, 04:01 AM
Here (http://www.amazon.com/Lignomat-USA-LTD-mini-Ligno-Mini-Ligno/dp/B000VIMGIA/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1382018383&sr=8-16&keywords=moisture+meter) is the moisture meter I use. Avoid the cheaper ones; they are worse than useless.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-17-2013, 06:40 AM
I prefer a pinless type. Not only doesn't it damage the wood, it takes a deeper reading. I have a Wagner, about $200.

Timbuck
10-17-2013, 07:43 AM
They look good Chuck is this like your's ?.
http://www.wagnermeters.com/l620.php

hawaii 50
10-17-2013, 07:51 AM
I prefer a pinless type. Not only doesn't it damage the wood, it takes a deeper reading. I have a Wagner, about $200.

Hey Chuck...

you must of gotten your's a while ago..I looked on-line and the cheapest one is $790.00....

AlaskaTheo
10-17-2013, 08:47 AM
How about this one? http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=60013&cat=1,43513 at $385

its something I'm in the market for too:)

dofthesea
10-17-2013, 09:33 AM
a few links for a moisture meter, I personally have the Wagner higher end unit, however if your a hobby builder the lower end non wagner types will probably work fine. You also might want to go on some Guitar oriented Luthier sites as there will be a lot more advice as to which model to buy. FYI for every Uke builder there are Hundreds of Guitar builders.

http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search.aspx?query=moisture%20

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=moisture+meter&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amoisture+meter

Dan Uke
10-17-2013, 10:26 AM
You also might want to go on some Guitar oriented Luthier sites as there will be a lot more advice as to which model to buy. FYI for every Uke builder there are Hundreds of Guitar builders.

That means a lot more opinions and BS. :p

mzuch
10-17-2013, 11:00 AM
None of this discussion about moisture meters answers the OP's questions.


So is it really necessary to humidify wood while building?
Yes and no. It is necessary to keep the relative humidity constant in a moderate range. Most say 40% to 50%, but it depends on where you are. You may need to humidify or dehumidify.


especially if this will be over the course of maybe 2-4 weeks? (I won't have so much time in a workshop).
Wood moves with changes in humidity, so the parts you cut on Monday may not hold their shape by Thursday. I started taking humidity seriously when an unattached arched back went flat over a matter of days.


I read that you have to keep the wood flattened by sandwiching it between two flat surfaces. So wouldn't that be a little harder to humidify?
What you read is not quite right. It is customary to "sticker" roughly thicknessed plates between small slats that allow the air to circulate.

Wood needs to be dried to 6% moisture content before it is used. If you have access to a lumber yard with a drying kiln, you may be able to speed up the process. Otherwise, be patient as it takes time for even thin slices of wood to air dry.

Hope this helps.

RawrGazzawrs
10-17-2013, 12:21 PM
So then i have to keep the relative humidity around it 40% - 50% to keep it from changing shape? I could just keep all my pieces in a box with an instrument humidifier whenever I'm not working on it right?

Allen
10-17-2013, 10:58 PM
You need to know what the RH is in your working envorioment.....and in some cases, where the instrument is destined to live. Although in most cases, where the instrument will end up is far less of a concern that at what RH you are building at.

The safest range to build at is between 40 and 50% RH.

That means that the wood you are working with needs to be well seasoned (dry) and stored at that RH if it's close to dimension for a week or more preferably.

While you are working on the parts, they need to be kept at as stable of RH and in that 40 - 50% range as possible. Once you have the body closed up, then while you don't want wild fluctuations in RH, you are pretty much safe.

While much of the wood work in building an instrument is relatively straight forward, getting those parts to work together, and within the very close tolerances required is much more difficult than most would believe. Understanding and controlling your building environment should be the very first thing that anyone undertaking lutherie should come to grips with.

Ignore it at your own peril. The success of your build, and it's longevity are in the balance.

Tarhead
10-21-2013, 06:59 PM
Cracks and warps happen when the humidity changes and the wood expands or shrinks. Make sure the wood is acclimated to the environment it will be kept in. Since you are on a tight schedule I would forget the meter and weigh the rough cut wood stack with an accurate scale (I use a postal scale). Then acclimate it in the area it will be stored by stacking and stickering it with a fan blowing through the stack. When it stops loosing weight (it was too wet) or stops gaining weight (it was too dry) it's ready. Shouldn't take more than a few days if you're dealing with thin wood.