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Moxieuke
10-25-2013, 02:09 AM
It's getting chilly around here and today, my humidity meter (forgot what they are called) said it's around 47%. I think it's time to remove my ukuleles from their wall hangers and start putting them in their cases with humidifiers. But this being my first winter as a ukulele player, I have several questions:

1. What about my hybrid ukulele? (It's got a solid top and laminate back and sides?) Does it need to be humidified? I know my solid ones definitely need the humidity, and the laminate ones are low priority but was puzzled if the hybrid needed it.

2. By case, can I use a gig bag or does it have to actually be a "case" for the humidifier to work properly?

3. Assuming I can use the gig bag, where do I put the humidifier? All my gig bags fit pretty snugly and I'm at a lost to where to put the thing so the moisture can reach the entire ukulele.

Thanks in advance for any advice/tips/info!

wayfarer75
10-25-2013, 03:18 AM
I would humidify the "hybrid" one. I think gig bags are usually too "leaky" for humidifiers to work properly. I would either humidify the room they're in or put them in plastic storage boxes with humidifiers. There are several small humidifiers, if you're concerned about room.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Small-Instrument-Humidifier/dp/B00839Z3MA
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/HUMI.htm
And of course the Oasis that you can put in the instrument: http://www.amazon.com/Oasis-OH-18-Ukulele-Humidifier/dp/B0036FFKE2/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1382707094&sr=1-1&keywords=ukulele+humidifier

Brian W
10-25-2013, 05:56 AM
I would even recommend adding a humidifier to an all laminate ukulele, not to protect the body, but instead to prevent the neck from back-bowing and causing fret buzz. There are no truss rods in most ukes (except for newer tenor and baritone Ponos) to compensate for humidity and temperature changes that can cause both forward-bow (high humidity) and back-bow (low humidity). Gig bags do not work as well as hard cases at maintaining proper humidity levels, however they can, and do, offer decent protection for your instrument. I use a gig bag to store my Ohana and have had no issues with humidification. After placing your ukulele in the gig bag, there should be a gap of a couple of inches all along the back of the neck for you to store your humidifier; I recommend placing it close to the heel, so as to protect the body as well. You need to humidify the entire instrument (neck and body), and not just inside the soundhole, which is why I am not a big fan of using the Oasis, or at least using them exclusively. I prefer making my own case humidifiers from plastic pill bottles that I get from a local pharmacy. I poke a bunch of holes all around the bottle and place a damp sponge inside. If I need more humidification, I leave the top off, if i need less, then I screw the top on. These work great and are dirt cheap; in fact when I need one, I ask my local pharmacist if they have any extra, small unused pill bottles, and they have always been willing give me one no charge. The only cost then is just the sponge.

Uke Republic
10-25-2013, 07:16 AM
It's getting chilly around here and today, my humidity meter (forgot what they are called) said it's around 47%. I think it's time to remove my ukuleles from their wall hangers and start putting them in their cases with humidifiers. But this being my first winter as a ukulele player, I have several questions:

1. What about my hybrid ukulele? (It's got a solid top and laminate back and sides?) Does it need to be humidified? I know my solid ones definitely need the humidity, and the laminate ones are low priority but was puzzled if the hybrid needed it.

2. By case, can I use a gig bag or does it have to actually be a "case" for the humidifier to work properly?

3. Assuming I can use the gig bag, where do I put the humidifier? All my gig bags fit pretty snugly and I'm at a lost to where to put the thing so the moisture can reach the entire ukulele.

Thanks in advance for any advice/tips/info!
Good questions. Humidify the solid tonewood top for sure. Even the laminates would benefit as it would keep the fingerboard hydrated as well avoiding shrinkage during those dryer times. Condition those fingerboards as well.
We use Oasis. The humidifier rest on the strings in the soundhole allowing moisture to penetrate the unsealed interior and also allowing moisture to escape outside the soundhole as well.
A case will generally maintain a more balanced environment for your ukuleles but the best way to find out if your case or bag is well insulated is to put a hygrometer in bag or case being used.

OldePhart
10-25-2013, 09:21 AM
A gig bag is better than nothing, but not as good as a case. All that means is that you may need to fill the humidifier in the gig bag more often,.

John

Five Ways
10-25-2013, 09:56 AM
Living in the UK our weather is anyhow at times, I have quite a few ukes and I have a planet waves small instrument humidifier in each case, they a not really expensive but I believe very worth while.