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Old 02-21-2010, 11:58 PM
smctunes smctunes is offline
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Default Setting up shop - Seeking advice about humidification

Hey there!

Well, my brother and I have been hauling ***** to get our shop set up in his garage. I will get some pictures up here soon, but as of right now we've fashioned a huge workbench, set up shelving, and done a ton to get the place cleaned as it has been used previously for auto-work (which, if you've been in a garage full of car parts, you know how filthy it can get).

Anyway, we're in Woodland, California, and the one thing I'm worried about at this point is humidity. I am going to get a hygrometer, but I'd like to know what methods are feasible for controlling the RH once I get that set up, whether conditions end up being too humid, or too dry. If it's too dry, then sure, get a humidifier and run it once in a while. But, how do you deal with it if it's too moist? And, how do you control it if there are rapid changes? See, the area nearby is farmland and I suspect (but don't quote me) that at night, especially during spring and summer, the humidity is going to spike.


Anyhoo, as always, any and all advice is welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:41 AM
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taylorcc taylorcc is offline
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The humidifiers I'm familiar with have a built-in humidistat. Set it to the number you want and just keep adding water. For a shop which will be dusty anyway I would consider a cool mist unit. They have a white powder byproduct if the water has minerals, but that shouldn't be objectionable in a woodworking shop with all kinds of dust flying around.

For dehumidification I use a Sears floor unit. Again, they work automatically. Just keep on emptying the bucket or rig up a way to automate the emptying process. They are essentially a set of refrigerator coils with a fan blowing on them so they will use about the same electric power as a small refrigerator to run. Blow the coils off periodically to keep them clean and efficient.

Depending on your shop size and moisture barrier you may need several units to keep up with the problem.

Wild swings in outdoor RH shouldn't be a problem so long as you keep your shop closed up.

You will have to fiddle with the appliance settings so they do not both run at the same time.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:26 AM
Brackett Instruments Brackett Instruments is offline
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What Taylorcc said. I'm not familar with the climate in Woodland CA, but I've got a HUGE humidifier, and HUGE de humidifier in my 12' x 20' shop. I also have a small fan running 24/7 to circulate the air. This time of year the humidifier works pretty hard because the heat dries the air out. During the spring and fall the de humidifier does most of the work, especially if it's rainy. The first step is an accurate hygrometer.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:32 PM
smctunes smctunes is offline
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What do you guys recommend for a hygrometer? I am considering an Abbeon 167. From what I've read they seem to be very nice. Any experience with them?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:46 PM
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taylorcc taylorcc is offline
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Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Abbeon. I have an old (20 + years) Edmund Scientific and a Venta. Neither were cheap. Both work well. The $6 version at Walmart is often recommended on this forum.

I do think it is reassuring to have more than one hygrometer. If they both indicate the same humidity (+ / - 5%) it's likely the number is accurate.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:03 PM
smctunes smctunes is offline
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I just went out and bought two identical cheapy hygrometers from Lowe's. Hopefully they can give me enough of a ballpark estimate to work with.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:27 AM
smctunes smctunes is offline
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Alright, so the hygrometers seem to be reading accurately. Both are within 3% of each other. Unfortunately the RH today was 75-80% due to the rain.

About that - I am guessing it would be unwise to do any gluing with such a high RH, right? I wanted to join the tops, backs, as well as the headstocks to the neck blanks today, but I held off because of the high humidity.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:17 AM
WhistlingFish WhistlingFish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smctunes View Post
Alright, so the hygrometers seem to be reading accurately. Both are within 3% of each other. Unfortunately the RH today was 75-80% due to the rain.

About that - I am guessing it would be unwise to do any gluing with such a high RH, right? I wanted to join the tops, backs, as well as the headstocks to the neck blanks today, but I held off because of the high humidity.
The accepted range for gluing jobs such as those you describe seems to be 42% - 48%. In the range you're currently experiencing there would be very gluing jobs I'd attempt.

For the ultimate in sophisticated hygrometers, it would be hard to go past the one described here:
http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?t...ght=hygrometer

Before you pass it off as a joke, consider that many expensive shop-bought hygrometers (mine included) rely on the hygroscopic nature of human hair!
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:18 AM
axmaster axmaster is offline
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Because I did not want to/can control the humidity in my shop (which also serves other purposes - e.g. laundry! a really bad combination) I built a dedicated cabinet for my woods. It allows me to control the humidity at a desired level (in my case 45 - 50%) by either switching on a light bulb, or putting in a soap dish with a small amount of water in it.

Maybe not as good as a humidity controlled shop, but an acceptable second best solution.

Regards,
Peter
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