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Thread: Tips on working in low humidity

  1. #1

    Default Tips on working in low humidity

    As temperatures drop, my apartment is getting dryer and drier. I try to keep the humidity up but in Canada, levels over 30% are said to increase the likelyhood of mould growth in walls. In February, Iíll be lucky to keep it above 15%. I'm not a big fan of stale air anyway.

    I made my first uke last year and learned tip #1 - donít glue your braces in humid weather and then expect to be able to wait a few weeks before attaching it. My top turned into a dish when cooler weather came but I was able to salvage it by putting it into a plastic bag with a sponge.

    Would it be crazy to keep all the components in humidified bags?

    Any other ideas to make the process go smoother and reduce the risk of building an instrument that's going to tear itself apart when spring comes?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    2,493

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    if you glue a brace to a top (or back) and either or both pieces of wood are not humidified at the same %, it will never be right.
    Does Canada have some kind of mold problem? (How do the Canadian guitar makers all do it?)

    If you are building for only yourself, just build in the open- that is fine as long as the uke never travels anywhere- Perhaps wright on the label something special like "CAnada only- built at 10% humidity!"

    Best is to buy a humidifier- humidity at 45% is good for ukes and good for humans.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    347

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    If a space is not sealed properly the humidity can get in behind the insulation and condense on the cold wall and has resulted in black mold. Then there is the moisture getting into the insulation and turning into frost which melts in spring getting the wood damp and it sits around like that for a while. I would guess you have temperatures similar to ours where a reasonable amount of humidity for building would cause water to condense on windows. I have built a couple of guitars in 15-20% humidity dead flat and they developed their arch with the return in humidity. I am guessing that the two will not have any cracking problems down the road.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the input.

    I'dseen several cautions here about humidity during building but the gist I'm getting now is that it's more of a concern for professionals. Iíll go ahead and see how it turns out. I invested in some koa in the summer and have just gotten around to starting the project...I was worried that I might be wasting the wood by building in less than ideal conditions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brown County Indiana
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    11,950

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    Room humidifiers are great as Beau mentioned, they will also keep your skin from drying and getting itchy and the humidity also helps your lungs work better, lessening the chance of a respiratory infection. An aquarium adds a lot of moisture to the air, house plants even help.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/hoosierhiver

    UWC: no shirt, no shoes, no problem..

    Ukes questions should be emailed to mike@mainlandukes.com

    I know Gary Yoshida.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado
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    The BEST are something I don't have as they cost a lot and require hooking up to a water line- but they generate steam.

    Attachment 113980

    Attachment 113981

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