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Old 01-19-2011, 05:17 AM
Haldo Haldo is offline
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Default How do you humidify your guitar(s)?

Hi all, been reading and learning more and more about guitars and have came across keeping the guitar in a humid environment. I had no idea that an acoustic can dry out so much and will crack/distort if the surrounding environment is too dry.

How do you guys look after the wood? I'm thinking of getting these when i get my guitar:

Bob Taylor On Humidipak

Is this only a problem with all solid acoustics or should these precautions be taken even with a solid top only guitar?
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:48 AM
firstsign firstsign is offline
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Haldo,
in this forum you will find a lot of threads about humidifying guitars and also the Taylors recommended Humidipak. Use the search function - you will find a lot of knowledge and ideas about this issue.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:51 AM
whiskywheels whiskywheels is offline
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See also the recent post here.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:51 AM
doublescale1 doublescale1 is offline
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hang an Oasis humidifier between the 4th & 3rd strings - then check to see if it needs a re-fill every 5 to 7 days. best one I've seen or used in a long time - under 20 bucks. I have one in my Gibson Advanced Jumbo and Taylor 710 - also get one of those Radio Shack (or any other vendor of your choice) digital hygrometer's - those are not a lot either, and you can track what the humidity is in your case - I used velcro, stapled the hook stuff to the outside of the wall of what is the interior storage pocket in the area that holds the body of the guitar - then used the adhesive to stick the fuzzy part on the back of the hygrometer. It is held firmly in place regardless of which way the case is sitting. Michigan winters keeps the furnace running a lot - in spite of having a "whole house" humidifier on the furnace, the basement still gets really dry. had the Oasis for two winters now and no issues at all.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:28 AM
Dr. Jazz Dr. Jazz is offline
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When you acquire a number of guitars, or have a music room that you can keep humidified, buy a large drum or wick type humidifier (Sears has some good ones) - remove the two refillable tanks and install a float/valve assembly and feed it from a cold water pipe. A non technical or even non-handy person can do this in a couple of hours for a total cost (including the humidifier) of under $300.00. Then, you never, ever, ever have to worry about humidity. I did this 10 years ago. Once a year I clean the valve assembly. The rest of the time it is fine.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:44 AM
Tunes Tunes is offline
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The "other" method is simply a damp sponge that is put inside either a plastic baggie or a plastic soap dish - both with holes cut or drilled to allow the moisture to escape.

Serach on plastic soap disk and you will likely find many posts, even including a "how to" guide, although it's pretty straight forward.

The expense of replacing several Humidipacks in several guitar cases a couple of times a year just seems a little wasteful to me, not to mention environmental concerns (no, I am not a tree hugger ). What the heck is in those things anyway?

If your going this way, it helps to get those "mildew resistant" type sponges that do seem to be available in any large grocery store. The soft plastic soap dishes are easier to drill holes in than the hard plastic ones. I have been using the current small squares of sponge for well over a year, and they don't smell yet!

I have also "tested" this with a known good hygrometer in my cases, and for whatever reason the humidity levels land squarely in the safe zone.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:05 AM
kosulin kosulin is offline
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While I use Oasis myself (OH-1 and OH-6 together for classical, sole OH-6 for solid body Strats, and also have a couple of OH-5 as backup), I've read about some folks recharging almost dried-out Humidipacks by placing them into very humid environment for few days. This works only if Humidipack has not fully dried out. Try to google for details. If this is true, then you may need only two packs per guitar for years.
For most places where humidity rarely tops 60% for more than couple days, Oasis is still better.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:18 AM
58MOD 58MOD is offline
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I converted a glass front gun cabinet into a guitar humidor. My Breedlove & Gibson live in there. For humidity I use a big carwash sponge in a large tupperware container (no top). It keeps it at about 48%RH when the rest of the house is at 30% in the winter. (edited to add...I just checked and the rest of the house is at about 25% right now. It's a fairly large OLD house and we just use humidifiers in the bedrooms)

The sponge is large enough to bring it right back up to 48% after I pull a guitar out or put it back in. I also sealed the doors with weather stripping and the hinged faces with duct tape.

It's a very nice looking setup and I always get comments on it when people come to visit.

My other Guitars live in their cases with oasis humidifiers.

I'm not sure how this summer will work as far as dehumidifying but I will come up with a solution when the time comes. Either dessicant or a mini dehumidifier wired to a humidistat.

Some find it fun to sneer at the pains we go through to give our guitars a healthy home but I tend to ignore that. My old washburn with the cracked top is all the proof I need that humidity (or lack thereof) matters.

Last edited by 58MOD; 01-19-2011 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:23 AM
BrookTrout BrookTrout is offline
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I have a glass and chrome parmesan cheese shaker that I put in the gap left by the cut away on my taylor. I fill it with chunks of kitchen sponge (no mold). I expected it to corrode and get funky but it has held up perfectly for years.

I got it at a pizza joint after ordering a bunch of pies. They didn't even flinch when I asked. I guess they buy them in bulk for next to nothing.

It fits perfectly in my case and my strap keeps if from rubbing and rattling on the guitar body.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:39 AM
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kscobie8 kscobie8 is offline
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I use a room humidifier and a Dampit (without the plastic soundhole cover-thing) for all of my guitars in their cases. Since it's plenty dry inside with the furnace kicking on all the time I need all the help I can get. I would probably be fine with just the Dampits in the cases with the guitars, but I like not having dried out skin so I use the room humidifier, too. It keeps the room at around 45%, give or take a few, so I can leave my guitars out on stands for easy playing access. No pets or kids to worry about knocking them over.

With laminates (and electrics) the need for proper humidification is still great. Even though the body of the guitar is less prone to humidity-related changes the fretboard IS going to be heavily affected. So bear in mind that a soundhole humidifier may not be as effective on the soundboard as a whole-case unit (such as the homemade, sponge-type) or a room humidifier. The fretboard will take longer to react to the changes as the soundboard, so keep that in mind as well. A short time away from "safe" levels will not be detrimental to your guitar.

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:58 AM
theotigno theotigno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunes View Post
The "other" method is simply a damp sponge that is put inside either a plastic baggie or a plastic soap dish - both with holes cut or drilled to allow the moisture to escape.
That's what I use. I use two smaller ones in a baggy closer to the body ...



... and one large one under the headstock ...

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:05 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Play it in the shower?

Seriously, I try my best to keep the music room as close to 40% as I can get it during the winter by running vaporizers. When it dips below 38-39% for any extended time I put the instruments in their cases each which has a damp-sponge-in-baggie thing.

I do own a couple of Dampit (tm) sponge-in-rubber-snake contraptions but hardly ever use them as the sponge is more effective and more convenient.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:07 AM
Andromeda Andromeda is offline
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Here is how I humidify my guitars. You can see the humidifier on the floor near them. The room they are in is small and I keep it closed off during the winter and the humidity stays around 50%.

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haldo View Post
...Is this only a problem with all solid acoustics or should these precautions be taken even with a solid top only guitar?
Hi Haldo…
Humidifying is not a problem, but a process. It is as necessary for guitars which have only solid tops as for all-solid.

Also the fingerboard and bridge of most guitars is unfinished and solid wood as well...so even all-laminate guitars benefit from proper humidifying.

I humidify the room my guitars hang in and the kitchen/family room as well and use simple evaporative to do it.



In addition I keep sponge/ziplock humidifiers in the cases.



Though you cannot see by the picture, the ziplock has slits cut into it (rolled it up from the bottom and made 5 slits across the roll with kitchen scissors).

And lastly in desparately dry times I use Kyser Lifeguard soundhold humidifiers in the guitars both in the room and in the case…



And I monitor the humidity levels with a hygrometer ($6-7 Walmart). I keep them in the room and cases as needed.



Hope this helps...


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Old 01-19-2011, 08:39 AM
TwoMartinMan TwoMartinMan is offline
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I have a large guitar collection, many of which were not being played because they were stored in their cases with Oasis soundhole humidifiers. Two years ago I installed a whole house humidifier into my home heating system. Now I hang most of my guitars on the walls of a dedicated music room. They all get lots of playing time, and the climate of the house is much better year round for people as well as guitars. A worthy investment.
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