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Thread: polyfoam cases and humidifier

  1. #1
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    Feb 2017
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    Default polyfoam cases and humidifier

    I have always had solid cases made of wood for my instruments, but I am currently considering a polyfoam case for my new uke.

    My only concern is whether or not it is solid enough to provide an stable environment for a humidifier. I don't want the humidity to just pass through the case.

    Does anyone have any experience in this?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
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    Minneapolis, MN, USA
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    I have kept my uke in a foam case for the last 9 years. I occasionally stick a dampit in the sound hole when I think it is getting dry. I have no science backing up the foam case, I don't use a hygrometer, I just stick in the dampit when my nose twitches or something.

    I guess I like light cases, and have never considered a heavier one.
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2013
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    My understanding is that you need a hard case to keep in humidity. I have not tested this myself, so don't know it to be true, but it makes sense to me given the materials.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

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  4. #4
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    My paranoia over humidity levels in MN had me experimenting and comparing humidity retention in a hard case vs. the zippered foam case. The differences were significant. The zippered case allows for air flow and significantly less humidity retention. I would only use the zippered cases on all-laminates.
    Ohana CK-42R - all-solid concert, sinker redwood top, rosewood body, maple binding, Ltd. Edition
    Kala KA-FMCG- solid/lam concert, spruce top, spalted flame maple body, mahogany binding
    Ohana CK-120G - all-solid concert, 5A acacia top sides and back, mahogany binding, Limited Edition
    Ohana SK-30M - all-solid mahogany long neck soprano (concert scale)
    Romero ST - solid/lam concert, spruce top, mahogany body

  5. #5
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    This goes somewhat away from the topic, but I'm curious if you guys and girls use any room humidifiers. The heating season has started here and now it is possible to have outside at nights below freezing point already.
    I my apartment I have central battery heating and air is changed by machines. So it is very dry at winter.

    I have in my living room 2 acoustic guitars and 2 ukuleles, not in cases. While they are not solid, except maybe the classical one, the dryness affects their action. Plus it irritates my skin, eyes and my nose gets stuck.

    So I took a steaming humidifier in use, https://www.verkkokauppa.com/fi/prod...-ilmankostutin
    It steams in hot water principle about 5 liters of water at half power setting/day, but I use it only at night times about 12 h, to save electric power consumption (150W, but I measured it being just about 120W).

    The difference between dry day time and humidified night time does not I think cause any bad effects to the instruments. I will also sort of almost close the living room door where there is no air exit because I many times fall asleep in the couch there after watching the TV, so it is mostly used for that maybe 25 m2 room space and should be enough.

    Perhaps could be fine for solid wood instruments too?

    The cold air comes inside to the room from above the window and it then goes downward. The humidifier does the opposite thing, so they should somewhat compensate each other. I also usually at winter minimize the air incoming gap, because the suction takes care of enough fresh air coming in anyways.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    This goes somewhat away from the topic, but I'm curious if you guys and girls use any room humidifiers. The heating season has started here and now it is possible to have outside at nights below freezing point already.
    I my apartment I have central battery heating and air is changed by machines. So it is very dry at winter.

    I have in my living room 2 acoustic guitars and 2 ukuleles, not in cases. While they are not solid, except maybe the classical one, the dryness affects their action. Plus it irritates my skin, eyes and my nose gets stuck.

    So I took a steaming humidifier in use, https://www.verkkokauppa.com/fi/prod...-ilmankostutin
    It steams in hot water principle about 5 liters of water at half power setting/day, but I use it only at night times about 12 h, to save electric power consumption (150W, but I measured it being just about 120W).

    The difference between dry day time and humidified night time does not I think cause any bad effects to the instruments. I will also sort of almost close the living room door where there is no air exit because I many times fall asleep in the couch there after watching the TV, so it is mostly used for that maybe 25 m2 room space and should be enough.

    Perhaps could be fine for solid wood instruments too?

    The cold air comes inside to the room from above the window and it then goes downward. The humidifier does the opposite thing, so they should somewhat compensate each other. I also usually at winter minimize the air incoming gap, because the suction takes care of enough fresh air coming in anyways.
    I have a humidifier attached to my furnace and I start out at 45% over the course of the winter though, the problem is when it really starts getting cold, I get condensation on my windows at 45% so I take it down a notch or two. I have one laminate ukuele, one laminate with a sold top, and one solid mahogany ukulele. If my house starts getting down to around 35% I put the solid mahogany one in a case with the Oasis. But I don't worry about them too much. But the point is, when it is ten below F outside, I have to bring the humidity down pretty low to keep from getting condensation on my windows, and when that happens, I go to the Oasis in the case. So whole house humidification is not necessarily the answer.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  7. #7
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    From everything I've read, the better the case is sealed, the better the humidifier will work. You can run the air conditioning with a screen door on your house, but it will be better with the door closed.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    From everything I've read, the better the case is sealed, the better the humidifier will work. You can run the air conditioning with a screen door on your house, but it will be better with the door closed.
    I'm not the most experienced when it comes to humidifying as I am pretty lax in that department, but do you think that it wouldn't be particularly good to seal a ukulele up so that there is no air circulating. Two reasons I ask that the first is that one summer I threw my oasis in a waterproof plastic box full of odds and ends, I got in there a month later and everything in the box was soaked. Secondly, my friend is crazy anal about things, and he had a classical guitar in a sealed case with a humidifier in it. Over a period of time it started to get mold inside of it. He had a heck of a time with that. I think that some of the glue even softened up and bracing came loose. Frankly, he was so worried about it that he was putting an Oasis in with his guitars when the outside humidity was seventy percent. I wondered if a little air circulation would have helped. I know that people seal their ukes up when the humidify them and don't mention it.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    But the point is, when it is ten below F outside, I have to bring the humidity down pretty low to keep from getting condensation on my windows, and when that happens, I go to the Oasis in the case. So whole house humidification is not necessarily the answer.
    My thoughts too. Even if I have windows with 3 glasses, and even if it is then maybe warmer to not get condensation to the inner window surface, there might be some places in the outer walls inside that are cold enough to get structural damage or build mold.

    So like in -20C (which is quite cold in here, but not rare at all at midwinter) I'm sure the relative indoor humidity should stay below even 30% at typical too high indoor temperatures like 23C I have. And thus not humid enough for solid wood instruments, but better than nothing and might prevent crack damages.

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