Best way to humidify cabinet that will hold ukes?

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Hi, All,

Apologies if this has been covered in another thread. It's been very dry where I live lately, and I've had to keep the ukes in cases with their humidifying devices, which annoys the heck out of me. I found a display chest on craigslist that is the perfect size to house 3-4 of my ukes. I'd like to keep the ukes in there (out of their cases), so I can open the door, pick one and play. So... how to humidify?

I've considered placing a bowl of water in the cabinet, or some of those Bovida packs, or maybe some kind of mini-mist humidifier. I'd like to keep the humidity constant and have it be as hassle free as possible. Does anyone have experience with this and recommendations as to what might work best?

Thanks in advance.
 
I have 2 wall mounted uke display cases, one holds 2 ukes the other one. They were built to be humidified which means they have gaskets on the doors to make them kind of air tight. Each has 2 racks on the bottom consisting or 3 bars of wood and each rack has a Planet Waves Humidipack on it. They maintain ~ 46-51% humidity inside the case in a house that in the winter runs ~ 35-40%. When I open the doors the humidity drops fast! Summertime levels stay about the same in the cases. When the humidity starts to drop (about 2 months, I exchange the packs and put the old ones in an open plastic tub floating in water inside a larger tub with snap and lock top. By the time the packs need changing again the 1st set is refreshed. I've run a couple sets of packs like that for a couple years. A larger case would take 3 or 4 packs. That takes care of the display cases, the rest of my ukes live in a closed bedroom with a humidifier running all winter. It's set on 50% and maintains it easily. I refill it about once a week.IMG_8715.jpgIMG_8716.jpg
 
I converted a shelf in my bookcase to a humid display case, sealed all the seams with weatherstrip foam tape, had lexan doors cut at Lowe's, attached them with piano hinges, put two trays at the bottom with slip off lids that I keep filled with water every few months, sliding the lids to expose more and less water as needed, not very often. I screwed in brass hooks above and hang the ukes from them with those Martin headstock leather wraps that slide over the tuners. I have two hygrometers, an along on the back panel and a digital stand up on the water tray. Been working great for about 6 years.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 16 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 40)
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

Shelf 7 ukes 1024.jpg
 
I have 2 wall mounted uke display cases, one holds 2 ukes the other one. They were built to be humidified which means they have gaskets on the doors to make them kind of air tight. Each has 2 racks on the bottom consisting or 3 bars of wood and each rack has a Planet Waves Humidipack on it. They maintain ~ 46-51% humidity inside the case in a house that in the winter runs ~ 35-40%. When I open the doors the humidity drops fast! Summertime levels stay about the same in the cases. When the humidity starts to drop (about 2 months, I exchange the packs and put the old ones in an open plastic tub floating in water inside a larger tub with snap and lock top. By the time the packs need changing again the 1st set is refreshed. I've run a couple sets of packs like that for a couple years. A larger case would take 3 or 4 packs. That takes care of the display cases, the rest of my ukes live in a closed bedroom with a humidifier running all winter. It's set on 50% and maintains it easily. I refill it about once a week.View attachment 138892View attachment 138893
You have some beautiful ukes there. Thank you so much for this thorough explanation. It's very helpful.
 
I converted a shelf in my bookcase to a humid display case, sealed all the seams with weatherstrip foam tape, had lexan doors cut at Lowe's, attached them with piano hinges, put two trays at the bottom with slip off lids that I keep filled with water every few months, sliding the lids to expose more and less water as needed, not very often. I screwed in brass hooks above and hang the ukes from them with those Martin headstock leather wraps that slide over the tuners. I have two hygrometers, an along on the back panel and a digital stand up on the water tray. Been working great for about 6 years.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 16 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 40)
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

View attachment 138894
Thank you also for your photo and explanation. Your ukes are beautiful as well. Do I also see some sort of mandolin? As to the lids, do you just open and close as needed?
 
my hat's off to you guys. That is so much work. I appreciate the dedication. I just put an Oasis humidifier down my soundhole and re-fill every 10 days or so which takes about 30 seconds. You way is so much more elegant; I just don't think I have it in me.
 
Thank you also for your photo and explanation. Your ukes are beautiful as well. Do I also see some sort of mandolin? As to the lids, do you just open and close as needed?
It's a custom made mandolele by Bruce Wei Guitar in Vietnam. Yes, I just slide the lids to expose more or less water in the tray.
 
Update. The cabinet is pictured below. The humidity in the room has been at 15% for weeks. iIt's a dry winter here in Southern CA.

  1. First, I tried water bowls in the cabinet. No go. They did very little.
  2. Next, I tried the D'Addario/Boveda packs, which were somewhat better, but even with like 6 of them, I couldn't get humidity above 37%.
  3. Next, I tried these. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C4KFDLO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. (Useless.)
  4. Finally, I got an actual humidifier with an automatic humidity level function. I drilled a hole through the bottom of the cabinet to plug it in. Now, I have the ukes at between 40% and 60% at all times. It's definitely a stress reliever, and the ukes sound better and play more in tune.

P.S. The little Stagg stands work well inside because they're compact but still a bit weighty on the bottom so they don't budge.

P.P.S. Now, I need to come up with an excuse to tell my wife so that I can get another cabinet. :p

Thanks, everyone, for all the helpful comments in this process.PXL_20220225_073815583.jpg
 
I had that same problem when I was living in Las Vagas. Here is what I did. A simple solution that worked well. I got a bunch of water beads. Any kind will do, but these look like fun: https://smile.amazon.com/MarvelBead...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Then, I selected an appropriately sized pyrex dish for the bottom of my cabinet. I put the beads in the dish, hydrated them, and just let them sit there in the cabinet. I could see them slowly shrink as they gave up the water they were holding. After a couple of weeks or so, I would re-hydrate the beads, and would be good to go again. It worked like a charm. You can easily adjust the humidity by adding or subtracting beads from the dish. And, it looks pretty cool sitting there in the cabinet.
 
Update. The cabinet is pictured below. The humidity in the room has been at 15% for weeks. iIt's a dry winter here in Southern CA.

  1. First, I tried water bowls in the cabinet. No go. They did very little.
  2. Next, I tried the D'Addario/Boveda packs, which were somewhat better, but even with like 6 of them, I couldn't get humidity above 37%.
  3. Next, I tried these. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C4KFDLO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. (Useless.)
  4. Finally, I got an actual humidifier with an automatic humidity level function. I drilled a hole through the bottom of the cabinet to plug it in. Now, I have the ukes at between 40% and 60% at all times. It's definitely a stress reliever, and the ukes sound better and play more in tune.

P.S. The little Stagg stands work well inside because they're compact but still a bit weighty on the bottom so they don't budge.

P.P.S. Now, I need to come up with an excuse to tell my wife so that I can get another cabinet. :p

Thanks, everyone, for all the helpful comments in this process.View attachment 139189
Nice decorative cabinet.
A few thoughts for you to consider. Everything in that cabinet is being "humidified". From two perspectives...not only is/are the fabric items being humidifies -taking away available moisture, but they are BEING humidified themselves! Be very aware that humidity levels at 60% can lead to mold and mildew. And if you're using tap water the likelihood increases. (Better to use distilled water, regardless). I would consider removing any other absorbent items and keeping the cabinet for only ukes.
Also, the wood surfaces of the cabinet interior might also absorb or accumulate moisture, promoting molds, etc. I would check frequently and occasionally wipe down the surfaces with a solution of water with 10% chlorine.
Those of us with basements in our homes know that interesting stuff can grow on the painted surfaces :) which is why we spend $$ running DEhumidifiers down there...
Just some thoughts...
 
Nice decorative cabinet.
A few thoughts for you to consider. Everything in that cabinet is being "humidified". From two perspectives...not only is/are the fabric items being humidifies -taking away available moisture, but they are BEING humidified themselves! Be very aware that humidity levels at 60% can lead to mold and mildew. And if you're using tap water the likelihood increases. (Better to use distilled water, regardless). I would consider removing any other absorbent items and keeping the cabinet for only ukes.
Also, the wood surfaces of the cabinet interior might also absorb or accumulate moisture, promoting molds, etc. I would check frequently and occasionally wipe down the surfaces with a solution of water with 10% chlorine.
Those of us with basements in our homes know that interesting stuff can grow on the painted surfaces :) which is why we spend $$ running DEhumidifiers down there...
Just some thoughts...
Thanks so much. I actually very much appreciate the advice on this and have been considering these same issues.
 
Update. The cabinet is pictured below. The humidity in the room has been at 15% for weeks. iIt's a dry winter here in Southern CA.

  1. First, I tried water bowls in the cabinet. No go. They did very little.
  2. Next, I tried the D'Addario/Boveda packs, which were somewhat better, but even with like 6 of them, I couldn't get humidity above 37%.
  3. Next, I tried these. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C4KFDLO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. (Useless.)
  4. Finally, I got an actual humidifier with an automatic humidity level function. I drilled a hole through the bottom of the cabinet to plug it in. Now, I have the ukes at between 40% and 60% at all times. It's definitely a stress reliever, and the ukes sound better and play more in tune.

P.S. The little Stagg stands work well inside because they're compact but still a bit weighty on the bottom so they don't budge.

P.P.S. Now, I need to come up with an excuse to tell my wife so that I can get another cabinet. :p

Thanks, everyone, for all the helpful comments in this process.View attachment 139189
Hi, can You tell me what humidifier you bought and is it still working for you?
 
Thx. I will check it out. I’m planning on buying a glass display cabinet and sealing it to keep my ukes where I can look at them. Hate having to hide them in their cases! I tried a large humidifier for the room but my house has an open floor plan and it’s a tri-level so it didn’t keep humidity up enough. Also, after only a few months of using it the filter was moldy.😬
 
I had the same sort of issues. I have dogs, so the doors through the house are open. I could not keep the room at 50%. But with a humidifier in a cabinet, it works -- so long as the humidifier has a sensor to shut off when it has reached the desired percentage.
 
I converted a shelf in my bookcase to a humid display case, sealed all the seams with weatherstrip foam tape, had lexan doors cut at Lowe's, attached them with piano hinges, put two trays at the bottom with slip off lids that I keep filled with water every few months, sliding the lids to expose more and less water as needed, not very often. I screwed in brass hooks above and hang the ukes from them with those Martin headstock leather wraps that slide over the tuners. I have two hygrometers, an along on the back panel and a digital stand up on the water tray. Been working great for about 6 years.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 16 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 40)
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

View attachment 138894
I have a few digital hygrometers but would like an analog also. Can you recommend one that has been reliable for you? Thx much
 
I have a few digital hygrometers but would like an analog also. Can you recommend one that has been reliable for you? Thx much
I found it online about 8 years ago, Caliber 4. In my opinion, they're all reliable, do a search and a bunch should come up.
 
I put together a cabinet from Ikea, sealed it with foam weather stripping and put containers of water beads with a plastic cover on each shelf.
I won’t really know how well the beads work until the humidity level goes down as it’s rainy. But when I first set it up I had to cover the beads because the RH went way up so they definitely added moisture.
 

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I put together a cabinet from Ikea, sealed it with foam weather stripping and put containers of water beads with a plastic cover on each shelf.
I won’t really know how well the beads work until the humidity level goes down as it’s rainy. But when I first set it up I had to cover the beads because the RH went way up so they definitely added moisture.
Very nice! I think you have room for about 4 more ukes in there
 
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