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Humidifiers for my guitars

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  • Humidifiers for my guitars

    I have some nice acoustic, electric & bass guitars in my basement studio among other wooden instruments. Recently I bought a new Fender Telecaster to add to my sound. I played it about 5 times and then was attacked by a joint disease that kept me from playing for about 6 months. In the mean time the maple neck of the Tele shrunk & I had to have a tech file all the frets. I bought some guitar hole units with the sponge, etc., but I would like an electric stand up type that would take care of the entire studio so I could keep some of my guitars out on their holders & to keep from messing with the hole humidifiers for my acoustics all the time. At the same time I don't want to get to much humidity in the room to harm any of the other electronics, recording equipment, amps, etc., in the studio. It's a small room about 375 sq. ft. so it doesn't have to be a big. I talked to a good guitar tech that told me to look for a humidifier that utilizes warm mist, is programmable, has ultrasonic technology & has a built in hygrometer & UV light to help purify the water & does not use filters. Trying to find something like that has been interesting. Anyone using a humidifier in my situation that is working well & if so what type? Thanks a bunch.

    Markus

  • #2
    The first thing you need to do is know for sure what the humidity range in the room is. Depending on where you live, that can vary widely year-round. Buy you a good quality room temperature and humidity meter. A good one can be had for about 25 or thirty bucks.

    In a well temperature-regulated and closed off interior space, all you may need to humidify a space that small is something extremely simple and inexpensive like this:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Blueston...0009/206923095

    Or you could just set a bucket of water in the room. Drape a small towel into the water over a stick laid across the bucket to help the water evaporate.

    If your space has poorly insulated exterior walls or windows, a lot of humidity will condense out of the air onto these surfaces during cold weather. An inexpensive electric evaporative type humidifier available for well less than $100 will likely keep a room like this humidified, but be aware that all that condensation can cause mold, rot, or other problems.

    Regardless of how you humidify, an occasional drop of Chlorine bleach in the water will prevent mold and mildew.
    Last edited by FretFiend.; 02-18-2018, 11:08 AM.
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    • #3
      Markus, I have a small room in my house (maybe 20 by 15) that I use as my music room. Several years ago I bought an inexpensive room humidifier from one of the box stores. it has a one gallon tank which I fill with tap water once or twice a day. It has no closed loop controls - I simply turn it on (and off when I want to do something in that room, it has a fairly noisy fan). I have a cheap hygrometer on a shelf in that room, it has been calibrated by the saturated salt/water method but I won't say it is highly accurate. I have another hygrometer in another room (which has not been calibrated). During the winter the humidity in my house seems to vary from 25 to 40 percent most of the time. The humidity in the music room stays closer to 40 percent most of the time - that is my goal. I loosely monitor it but honestly don't worry about it as long as its between 35 and 45%.

      My local music store (medium sized building, tall ceilings) has a humidifier built in to their HVAC system and it does have closed loop control. I have been told that it goes thru about 20 gallons a day during the coldest part of winter (I live in the PNW where it can be 80+ outside, but it is still dry inside). It is interesting that last year the humidifier at the music store failed for a week or so, they did have damaged guitars.

      I'll add two more things to this dialog - I am an amateur repair person and I do get to see a lot of humidity damaged guitars during the winter. It is my policy to not work on anything that is obviously dry until it has been brought back to stability. I'll also say that even with my attempts at humidifying the room where I keep my guitars, each one stays in its case with a cheap sponge/baggie humidifier in the case. Good luck with your situation, let us know if you learn anything specific.

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      • #4
        Thanks guys for the info. I really appreciate it. I'm looking on other sites so if I see something interesting & useful I'll let you know.

        Markus

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        • #5
          Last comment. I am in the process of leaving for a 3 week vacation. One of the last things I did was open each guitar case and soak its sponge in some water, then tuck them all away in the closet. With the heat off in the house and the cases closed the sponges should last close to that long - I'll miss my babies but they should be fine.

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          • #6
            Flat trays of water work, too, if you have an out-of-the-way place to put them. (On radiators works really well.)

            And you might invest in a humidity gauge.
            Del
            www.thefullertons.net
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            Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
              Last comment. I am in the process of leaving for a 3 week vacation. One of the last things I did was open each guitar case and soak its sponge in some water, then tuck them all away in the closet. With the heat off in the house and the cases closed the sponges should last close to that long - I'll miss my babies but they should be fine.


              I keep my guitars in their cases, and use a travel soap tray with holes drilled in it. Take a sponge, cut it to side and wet it up. It's easy to humidify a smaller compartment than it would be to do a room.

              It's about a dollar for the travel soap trays at Target or Walmart and a bag of sponges are really in expensive too.

              They will and do last at least 2 weeks

              I have had room humidifiers too. Some recommend distilled water and the table top one will need to be filled sometimes twice a day.

              Happy travelin and vacation.


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              • #8
                375 sq. ft. is equal to a square 19' 4 3/8" on a side. That's about as big as my living room and dining room combined so "a small room" is relative. I leave my "good" guitar in its case with a Dampit snake soundhole humidifer. I do have a beater that sits out because I don't really care that much about it. The last couple of days the humidity in St. Louis has been fairly high and this morning before worship the tuning on both my guitar and the church's bass was noticeably sharp, a sure sign they had been affected.
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                • Freeman Keller
                  Freeman Keller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Why do you think they go sharp when under humidified? I have never understood that phenomenon.

                • DeepEnd
                  DeepEnd commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I dunno. I mean, wood shrinks when it dries out, right? And I'm guessing different woods respond differently (i.e., rosewood vs. maple or mahogany)? Presumably the geometry of the guitar is affected by all that shrinking, which would affect pitch.

              • #9
                Originally posted by Mikeo View Post
                I keep my guitars in their cases, and use a travel soap tray with holes drilled in it. Take a sponge, cut it to side and wet it up. It's easy to humidify a smaller compartment than it would be to do a room.

                It's about a dollar for the travel soap trays at Target or Walmart and a bag of sponges are really in expensive too.

                They will and do last at least 2 weeks
                This is what I do. I use two of these units per each acoustic guitar case, but I live in a pretty dry region of the country. I also use distilled water exclusively to wet the sponges, and I make sure they're completely wet but not dripping so they don't leak and damage the guitars.

                I also use sponges that are treated with hydrogen peroxide (3M O-cel-o brand) which resist bacteria, mold and mildew.

                http://www.harmonycentral.com/articl...se-humidifiers
                **********

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Musichead View Post
                  . . . It's a small room about 375 sq. ft . . .
                  Small?!

                  My basement music room is about fifty square feet. Not counting the unfinished basement, the whole house is less than nine hundred square feet. Your music room is Olympic-size!

                  But to answer your question, most music stores here in Maine (which has very dry winters) just use off-the-shelf humidifiers that shoot mist into the air. Bigger stores have more than one, stationed strategically. If you want a hygrometer, too, mine was about ten bucks. When it reads below 40%, I humidify.
                  Last edited by Delmont; 03-14-2018, 07:41 AM.
                  Del
                  www.thefullertons.net
                  ( •)—:::
                  Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

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                  • #11
                    I've been trying to find someone from a dry climate to set up a humidipak exchange with me. Mine are always saturated. I tried using rechargable silica gel, but I've found it only works for a few cycles..
                    http://thekiltlifters.com

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                    • #12
                      Just got back from my trip and opened one of the guitar cases. Sponge is still nice and damp after 2-1/2 weeks, guitar is happy. Btw temp in the house was about 45 to 50 F the whole time I was gone, don't know what the humidity was.

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