View Full Version : Itís -20c where I am (-30c with wind chill). Is my solid uku slowing being ruined?

01-01-2014, 09:46 AM
Iím of course very thankful the heating is on, but I am running two room humidifiers in a closed room and only achieving 34% humidity. It's been like this for days. Everywhere I look online 45% to 55% is the recommended humidity level for solid bodies to avoid cracking.

I'm starting to think that cold country residents are condemned to have their solid body ukus kept out of sight in cases with Oasis humidifiers. I now live in fear of playing the instrument and thinking that going forward I should only buy laminates. Am I overreacting?

Patrick Madsen
01-01-2014, 10:04 AM
I live in Pacific Northwest so not much concern on humidity. I feel it's a good idea to keep in case when not playing. If you're concerned, put a humidifier in the case to keep around 40-55.

Welcome, I'm sure those in the colder, drier climates will know better and will contribute.

01-01-2014, 11:32 AM
Then ( I was going to say "now") is the time to put a humidifier in your case. I like the Oasis and the Humistat. Not the Oasis uke humidifier, doesn't do the job, in your area probably the Oasis +. The Humistats are nice as well, those do the job and are a little cheaper. Use distilled water, the minerals won't gunk up the sides of the Oasis or the pad of the Humistat. A gallon will last you a few years with one uke as well.

But, yes, you're over reacting. 34 won't kill your uke, but better above 40. Yes, you should keep your uke in the case with a device, but feel free to play it for hours out of the case, long term is the problem. It took till February for my friend's Gibson B-25 he'd had for 40 years and a Favilla uke to get cracked. This is 3 and a half months of neglect. And it was a particularly cold winter to start with, and central heating, and no humidity in the house, and none for the guitars/ukes.... you see where this is going.

01-01-2014, 11:47 AM

tonights forecast......

3:35 PM AST Wednesday 01 January 2014
Wind chill warning for eastern half of Restigouche County continued

Wind chill values of minus 35 to 45 are expected tonight.

This is a warning that extreme wind chill conditions are expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements.

A cold Arctic airmass and light to moderate westerly winds will give extreme wind chill values between minus 35 and minus 45 across northern regions tonight.

This is a warning that extreme wind chill conditions are expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements...............

I always keep my ukes in cases except when they are out being played, they are often out for hours at a time. I use oasis case humidifiers when the room humidity hits 35 or 40 or less for extended times. good luck


Kayak Jim
01-01-2014, 12:03 PM
For the past few weeks when not playing them, I've been keeping my 3 solid ukes in their cases in a closed cupboard (lower part of a bookcase). In the cupboard, a damp sponge in a small tupperware with large holes in top. Humidity in the cupboard steady at 50-55% while the house runs in the low 30s.

01-01-2014, 04:45 PM
...and don't play outside in the wind!

Johnny GDS
01-01-2014, 05:21 PM
I've seen low humidity damage happen over the course of even a few days to a week. I think the way the wood is cured and if it has been properly dried for long enough is a big factor in how it reacts to humidity shifts.

I run a 2500 square foot room humidifier 24 hours a day (in a 600 sq ft space). I've found that if the wicking filter thang gets old it won't be very effective so I change it every 3 weeks. I've also found that the humidity can differ by 10% or so between floor level and ceiling level. I set the humidifier so that the fan never turns off. Every time the door opens the humidity drops by 10-15%.

I would suggest keeping the ukes at floor level, keeping the doors closed, changing the filters very frequently, and setting them so the fans are always on. If this doesn't help get a few oasis humi's and keep your instruments in the case. It's very hard to come back from humidity damage. If it drives you nuts go for a winter-time laminate uke and keep the solids in the case! There are a lot of great sounding laminated ukes out there at very affordable prices.

01-02-2014, 05:02 PM
Many thanks to everyone for the great replies. They have made me feel much more confident about the situation. I am putting in place many of the tips provided. Stay warm!