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Guitars stored in cold attics ?

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  • Guitars stored in cold attics ?

    Hi there ,i brought my Fender Jag down from the attic after a two or so years storage up there and for the last couple of months has being hanging on my living room wall, i took it down to play it yesterday and the action seemed to have gone quite high and the neck seems to have bowed in with the pull of the strings farther than i remember ,i tried to counter this with the truss rod and it has done to a degree but the truss seems to be tightend pretty much to the end and i don`t want to push it much more.
    Do you think storing guitars in an attic in England where temperatures could get to near freezing is a bad idea.
    Last edited by catscurlyear; 02-09-2018, 04:08 AM.
    Consternoon Aftable

  • #2
    It is more likely the heat in summer over that couple of years rather than the cold. Unventilated British Attics get incredibly hot in heat waves.

    Note the quote "temperatures to be in excess of 125 on a 90-degree day"
    http://www.dailypress.com/features/f...tic-story.html
    .

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Chordite View Post
      It is more likely the heat in summer over that couple of years rather than the cold. Unventilated British Attics get incredibly hot in heat waves.

      Note the quote "temperatures to be in excess of 125 on a 90-degree day"
      http://www.dailypress.com/features/f...tic-story.html
      thanks for that ,i did wonder about the black tiles on the roof absorbing the heat but i didn`t think it would cause damage i had a few guitars up there all were in proper hard cases whereas the jag was in a soft gig bag which ended up coverd in mildew or mold and was also on the jags rosewood fret board, mmm! not looking good
      Last edited by catscurlyear; 02-09-2018, 05:08 AM.
      Consternoon Aftable

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      • Chordite
        Chordite commented
        Editing a comment
        The other thing you might find with gear in attics and garages is things getting covered in little white dots which are actually daddy longlegs spider droppings. Ultimately they will come off with a wet sponge but not instantly.

      • catscurlyear
        catscurlyear commented
        Editing a comment
        you learn something new every day.

    • #4
      The big problem with bring a guitar from a cold setting into a warm room is that depending on the finish, it might "craze" or crack or get kind of hazy looking. Lacquer is particularly bad about this. Its also a potential problem if you have a guitar shipped to you this time of year - most people recommend letting it come to room temperature in its case (and shipping box).

      As far as the action going wonky, it is also possible that is caused by humidity swings - particularly an acoustic or hollow body. Let it stabilize in the new humidity situation (hopefully around 40 percent) then do whatever setup needs to be done.

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      • #5
        That environment would be very bad for an acoustic instrument but electrics do tend to be much more durable.


        From your description It sounds like the worst issue is long term storage with it tuned up. That's over 100lbs pull on the neck and the expansion and contraction of the strings, truss and wood can do a real number on a neck. You could apply clamps and apply heat to accelerate getting the neck straight again, but I'd simply give it a few months to see if it comes back on its own first. You can even slack the strings and simply allow the truss to work overtime straightening it.

        You just want to avoid over tensioning the truss because it can actually bruise the wood inside the neck channel and loose its effectiveness straightening the neck. What Keller says about the cosmetic issues with the finish are important too. If its a poly finish you shouldn't have as big an issue though I have seen some that can develop cracks. Its usually the lacquer finishes that can yellow and checked. Some can even liquefy into a gell and get sticky depending on what kind of wax was left on there.

        In any case, if you plan on storing it again, keeping it at room temp is a closet is much more suitable and slack the strings. Basements can be the worst due to high humidity and mold. A garage isn't much better then the attic or being out doors in an unheated wood shed.
        Last edited by WRGKMC; 02-09-2018, 04:22 PM.

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        • #6
          Sounds like it was hot and moist, and under tension. Not a good thing for wood.
          Listen...

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          • #7
            thanks for your reply`s chaps ,yes i`ll take the strings off and loosen the truss back to how it was and just leave it in the living room for a few weeks and see what happens.
            Consternoon Aftable

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