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Thread: Tips for maintaining a solid wood uke in 60-75% humidity climate (Australia)?

  1. #1

    Default Tips for maintaining a solid wood uke in 60-75% humidity climate (Australia)?

    So I was all set to place an order for a KAKA/ENYA EUT-MAD when I decided to look up the care instructions for ukes.

    A lot of sites refer to tips on how to maintain humidity with Oasis sound-hole humidifiers, but I will be faced with the opposite problem. I don't have any heating or cooling where I live, and the building I am in has no insulation - so it's at the mercy of the elements.

    Here's the climate for my area:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averag...w_040405.shtml

    So what I've read suggests to buy a hygrometer and a case (de)humidifier to maintain the humidity levels. Would this even work in a soft case, or would I also have to buy a hard case?

    I though the D'Addario Humdipak would do the trick as it is coined as a "two-way humidity control system"

    http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProduct...5-f267c3ac19b4

    But then toward the bottom of the page - "This product is not intended for de-humidification in high humidity environments."

    I'd already extended my budget a bit because I love the look and sound of the EUT-MAD, but it looks like the actual cost to maintain one will add a lot more to that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by azairvine View Post
    So I was all set to place an order for a KAKA/ENYA EUT-MAD when I decided to look up the care instructions for ukes.

    A lot of sites refer to tips on how to maintain humidity with Oasis sound-hole humidifiers, but I will be faced with the opposite problem. I don't have any heating or cooling where I live, and the building I am in has no insulation - so it's at the mercy of the elements.

    Here's the climate for my area:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averag...w_040405.shtml

    So what I've read suggests to buy a hygrometer and a case (de)humidifier to maintain the humidity levels. Would this even work in a soft case, or would I also have to buy a hard case?

    I though the D'Addario Humdipak would do the trick as it is coined as a "two-way humidity control system"

    http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProduct...5-f267c3ac19b4

    But then toward the bottom of the page - "This product is not intended for de-humidification in high humidity environments."

    I'd already extended my budget a bit because I love the look and sound of the EUT-MAD, but it looks like the actual cost to maintain one will add a lot more to that.
    If you are trying to dehumidify you can always try those little packets that come with electronics and shoes, etc.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    If you are trying to dehumidify you can always try those little packets that come with electronics and shoes, etc.
    Thanks AQUATOPAZ. I've found a few options for dehumidifying similar to what you suggest. What I'm still trying to figure out is whether that would work in the softcase that the EUT-MAD comes in (I would assume that air would be able to get in and would therefore "kill" the dehumidifier pretty quickly), or whether I would really need one at all.

    The vast majority of information refers to areas of low humidity, and where I am isn't exactly off-the-charts when it comes to humidity levels. I'm hoping that I'm just over-reacting and it won't be an issue where I live. I definitely know I won't have any cracking issues at least

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    320

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    What's the relative humidity for Hawaii? If it were like 90%-100% humidity I might be more worried, but overall I think having a little over the 65% threshold is probably fine. If you're in the 20-30% RH, I think you would be in trouble.

    I would enjoy the instruments and not worry too much. If it gets too humid, you can put them in cases until the high humidity time passes.
    Last edited by ghostrdr; 09-09-2019 at 08:24 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    465

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    Here in Honolulu humidity tends to fall between 60 and 70% and none of my instruments have suffered any problems whatsoever all these decades. Once in a while it wanders into the 80% or higher range but still no problems even with my European made guitars and ukuleles, but I keep them in cases. The only time I had humidity problems was in Washington state during winters where it was 10-20% and the finish on one of my guitars cracked all over.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,060

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    I’m in Nova Scotia now. My first summer wal pretty humid. Usually 75%. I use humidit pack, oasis sound hole. I’ve been fine with ukes in case. I did buy dehumidifier for basement. Placed himidstats on both floor. I seem to maintain about 65% ukes are fine. Not sure what winter will bring. I don’t think 65-75 % is an issue.

  7. #7

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    Baz is giving me a few tips in another part of the UU forum. He referenced Hawaii (which of course I didn't even think of). I had a look at a humidity chart and got this:
    Hawaii humidity.jpg

    I'd defer to you though gochugogi as you live there!

    I'm definitely never going to have issues of low humidity, and I feel like even if outside does go beyond the aforementioned threshold, inside I'm assuming it would be a little less. I would also assume after more reading and feedback that you'd really need a long exposure to the higher humidity to really impact the uke. As Baz stated, extreme variances (taking out of AC car into the sun) would likely have a greater impact than a constant humidity.

    My concern was basically spending more money than I'd budgeted on a solid wood uke only to discover the climate would damage it - whereby I'd have been better with a laminate. It's seeming to quickly becoming less of an issue!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    518

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    Most guitars and ukes would be very happy at mid 60% humidity, low humidity is much more dangerous or extremely high (>80%) on a prolonged basis. Also if the humidity changes a lot from day-to-day can impact stability of tuning.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    485

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    Well I don’t think you have anything to worry about. My Enya EUT-M6E, the solid wood version is living in similar humidity at around 70ish% in Singapore. I always kept it in the gigbag, out of sunlight.
    Kamaka HF-1 || Martin S-1 Uke || Eddy Finn EFTS-20-S || Kala KA-SLNG || Martin C1K Uke
    Check out my ukulele themed paintings in UU forum thread

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    1,317

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    The soft cases are more likely to lose moisture faster than hardcases. Especially the canvas ones. The cloth on the sides of the zipper also breathes.

    The wood in some hard cases absorbs and loses moisture. As will, to a lesser degree, the materials in the case like the cloth and the foam.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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