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  #1  
Old 06-13-2021, 08:10 AM
SColumbusSt SColumbusSt is offline
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Default Humidity Question

From internet research it appears the ideal humidity level for building guitars is between 40% and 50%. I'm building in my basement in super humid Virginia and finding it impossible to get below 50% since it became AC season even with a dehumidifier running full blast (I'm emptying three tanks a day). My humidity range these days is typically between 50% and 60%.

I've got the top and back braced and carved and the rims put together and am ready to assemble the box. Should I wait until fall when the humidity is lower? I'm just building the guitar for me so there is no customer waiting impatiently for the guitar and I've got nothing but time.

Thanks for any advice.

Keith
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:03 AM
Glen H Glen H is offline
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If you have already braced your back and top, there is no advantage to waiting until the humidity drops in the fall. Closing the box is less critical than bracing the top and back. I would go ahead and complete the guitar. Since it is yours alone, just be aware of what humidity the guitar lives in going forward
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:05 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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In my opinion, the critical steps that are most affected by humidity are gluing the braces to the top and back. It sounds like you've done that.

If you always keep your guitar in an environment where the RH is around the same as it was when you glued your bracing on you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:35 AM
SColumbusSt SColumbusSt is offline
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I should be good to go. I glued the braces on back before humidity became an issue and the guitar will be living here. Time to close the box!

Keith
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:37 PM
Simon Fay Simon Fay is offline
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The humidity of the top when you glue the braces on is "locked in" at that point. You then want to try and keep the humidity at that same level throughout the build process.

The industry chooses a lower RH of 43% for building because guitars sound better when they have lower moisture content and it is also a good middle ground for sending the guitar to various environments that the guitar will likely experience. The guitar you've built will almost certainly have severe structural issues when exposed to a fairly dry environment. However, keep it right around 50% RH and it will be just fine. And generally speaking, try to keep the RH within a 10% RH range of the guitars "locked in" RH and the playability and structure will be fine.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:31 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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The above contradicts what I know, to the best of my knowledge main stream manufacturers try to achieve a 50 percent humidity throughout the build process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SColumbusSt View Post
My humidity range these days is typically between 50% and 60%.
After a guitar has been built, warranty extends to main stream manufacturers guitars maintained between 40 and 60 percent humidity, beyond those ranges warranty is typically voided, so you should be fine in the building phase
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:47 AM
redir redir is offline
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I built my first guitar in the suburbs of Washington DC in Virginia in about 1992. Then I had to reset the neck a couple years later. And it was all becasue of the exact same thing you are going through now. Like Simon said, expect to have problems with that guitar. Having said that I STILL have my first guitar and I love it and it plays and sounds great. So anything can be fixed in the future.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:28 PM
SColumbusSt SColumbusSt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I built my first guitar in the suburbs of Washington DC in Virginia in about 1992. Then I had to reset the neck a couple years later. And it was all becasue of the exact same thing you are going through now. Like Simon said, expect to have problems with that guitar. Having said that I STILL have my first guitar and I love it and it plays and sounds great. So anything can be fixed in the future.
That's where I am in Virginia. The DC area is known as the swamp for more than one reason!

Keith
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2021, 06:21 PM
Simon Fay Simon Fay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
The above contradicts what I know, to the best of my knowledge main stream manufacturers try to achieve a 50 percent humidity throughout the build process.
I believe you are incorrect - I have never heard of anybody building at that RH but I'm not 100% certain. Taylor says they use 46%. Most other factories I've heard are around 45%. The lutherie community uses 43% on average. As a general rule, I bet 45% is probably a reasonable average among established builders and manufacturers.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2021, 06:50 PM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SColumbusSt View Post
That's where I am in Virginia. The DC area is known as the swamp for more than one reason!

Keith
Ha! True. It can be brutal there but it's still not as bad as Richmond, in terms of RH.
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  #11  
Old 06-15-2021, 04:17 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Fay View Post
I believe you are incorrect - I have never heard of anybody building at that RH but I'm not 100% certain.
As I said, the original comment contradicts what I know, 43 IMO is low, I do warranty repairs either direct or through their distributor for many manufacturers - Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Fender, Yamaha, Prs to name just afew.

I could be incorrect and its like 47.5 or some other crazy close number, 43 is definetly not a number i set my workshop at for builds or repairs.

Steve
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Last edited by mirwa; 06-15-2021 at 05:51 AM.
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