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Thread: Is humidity a problem in the UK?

  1. #21
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    Jan 2009
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    West Midlands GB
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    FWIW, I read recently that nowhere in the UK is more than seventy miles from the sea. That's as the crow flies. I confess, I didn't know crows are in the habit of visiting the coast.

    John Colter

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ross-on-Wye, England
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    It’s one of those classic YMMV things. Many people hopefully may never experience it with any of their ukes - I just wanted to raise the point that it does happen. Sometimes I think it’s due to ukes coming from very humid climates or not drying properly. Before I had my own shop I bought two K brand ukes from a well known respected U.K. supplier and both had fret sprouting from a dry neck. It wasn’t too bad but the frets had broken the finish slightly where they had poked through. I’ve seen it on several friends ukes too - they presumed it was a finish issue but I could see where the fret was poking at the finish. I also know people who say they get ‘sharp frets’ in the winter. The same problem is causing this. It goes away in the summer.
    forestukuleles.com
    theukeroom.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ross-on-Wye, England
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    761

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    FWIW, I read recently that nowhere in the UK is more than seventy miles from the sea. That's as the crow flies. I confess, I didn't know crows are in the habit of visiting the coast.

    John Colter
    It should be ‘as the seagull flies’! ��
    forestukuleles.com
    theukeroom.com

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London
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    736

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    28.9 degrees in this room right now with 45% humidity. The D string on my Kanile'a Baritone just snapped with a loud bang. Sounded like a gunshot. It is on a stand just behind me, I've not played it since last week.

    As a precaution I've just moved them all downstairs where it is a lot cooler and humidity is 6% higher. They will all go into their cases until this mini heatwave passes.
    Kamaka HF-4DC - Kanile'a SUS B DLX - Kanile'a K-1B - Pono MGTP5-PC

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    I don't live in the UK. I live in Wisconsin where the spring and summers can be downright muggy, and the very cold winters dryer than the Sahara--literally.

    All of my ukuleles are solid wood. Some are very sensitive to changes in humidity, others shrug it off without a problem. I keep them mostly in their cases with a Boveda/D'Addario HumidiPak. The HumidiPak keeps the humidity level in the case at about 45 percent according to the hygrometers. They absorb excess humidity and release moisture when it's too dry. The only downside is having to replace them every year.

    The wood inside of your uke, and the fretboard is usually not finished. They breathe. Taking in moisture and losing it. It doesn't usually happen rapidly. And, the denser the wood, the slower the process. If the wood is properly dried and aged, it becomes pretty stable. But all wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. And to a lesser extent temperature. Extremes in either are a problem. Rapid changes are a problem. Steady, consistent humidity and temperature is the ideal.

    Don't worry, if you leave your uke out of its case for a couple of days, or even a week or two in the warmer, humid months, you shouldn't have a problem. In the hot sun, or a hot car, or a desert, you might.
    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.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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