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Care for a new Gibby


uncle fester

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Folks,

 

Dreaming of the day i bring home a new Gibby. Was sitting in the living room thinking how nice they'll look lined up against the wall in stands - ready to be grabbed at any moment.

 

The but... i've read lots of folks keeping their guitars in humidity controlled rooms, or having a humidifier in the case.

 

1) Is it a big no no to keep them in the open air?

2) Any other special treatments anyone does to care for a new, or an existing guitar.

 

(PS - I already sing lullaby's to my existing guitars before going to bed)

 

Thanks for any input.

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Mine all hang on the wall. The only time they're in a case is when they travel. I have another wall with the mandolin and the 1961 Melody Maker. And another wall of amps/p.a. gear. If the humidity gets below 35% I freak a little and have science projects to rectify. I also don't trust hygrometers and have several in the room.

 

QOytNQd.jpg

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Mine all hang on the wall. The only time they're in a case is when they travel. I have another wall with the mandolin and the 1961 Melody Maker. And another wall of amps/p.a. gear. If the humidity gets below 35% I freak a little and have science projects to rectify. I also don't trust hygrometers and have several in the room.

 

QOytNQd.jpg

 

Your room would suffice as my 'Happy Place' - thanks for sharing! ...needs a red sox banner though ; )

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Thankfully, Murph answered for me. I've taken enough abuse for hanging all my old guitars. Extreme swings in temp/humidity are the worst enemy, so you wouldn't, for example, take a guitar from a cool room or porch into a hot dry wood stove heated space or vice versa. One thing people are still surprised by is the damage that occurs when they receive a guitar in the mail in cold weather, that has ridden across the country in an unheated truck, and then pop the case open, tune up and start picking. You can sometimes hear the cracks forming and braces rattling.

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I started monitoring the humidity in my home back in March of this year. All spring, summer, and fall (including a couple of weeks of hurricane Harvey), my humidity in my home stayed between 52-58%. This last week with the cold weather finally finding East Texas, it has dropped down to the 45-50% range. I rotate my guitars from their cases to the stand and do not think I will have any problems with humidification.

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Humidify or die.

 

 

After opening the Gibby case and finding this:

 

 

LNYlBIlh.jpg

 

 

(caused by extreme temp and humidity changes, according to my luthier before he made a new bridge...)...... I now have the precious ones in Hiscox cases, each gets wiped by a cotton cloth before going in the case, and then accompanied by a Humidipak 2 way humidity system, some in the soundhole and another in the headstock area of the case:

 

 

 

O4UGO6Qh.jpg

 

 

 

Lowdens all come in Lowden branded Hiscox cases, ( and Elixir strings), so I may as well just buy Lowdens! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

 

 

Sfu4Pr5h.jpg

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Since you live in New England, your biggest worry is a guitar drying out in the winter. A lot depends on the type of heat in your house, and whether or not you have air conditioning in the summer. At the very least, you need to invest $50 or so in a high-quality hygrometer, probably mounted on a wall in the room where your guitars live.

 

If the humidity in that room gets below about 35%, it's time to start humidifying either the room, or the individual guitars. When the humidity gets high--say, over 60%--the guitars will go sharp in pitch from expanding wood, the action gets higher, and some guitars sound muddy, but there is usually no permanent damage.

 

Low humidity is the killer.

 

My guitars all live in their cases, mostly standing on end in my music room/office. For one thing, my house is pretty dusty due to constant ongoing renovations. For another, I can be pretty clumsy, and could easily knock a guitar off a stand in my crowded space.

 

We live in Florida now, after an adult lifetime in New England not far from where you live. The air conditioning is on here for at least six months of the year, maintaining a humidity of about 42-50%. In the winter (now) humidity is generally higher except right after a cold frontal passage, sometimes topping out in the office at 65% or a little higher. I take no extra precautions other than leaving the guitars in their cases. We're in a cool spell right now with windows open, and the conditions in my office are a temperature of 68F and a humidity of 52%, which is pretty good.

 

For less controlled environmental conditions, I have a carbon fiber guitar which is both a traveling guitar and a boat guitar.

 

When I was younger, I was pretty casual about the old guitar (1948-'50 J-45) that I've had for the last 50+ years. It lived in its case in an unheated storage unit in New England for six years while my wife and I sailed around the world, and survived that with nothing more than perhaps a little additional lacquer checking, which isn't a big deal on a guitar more than 65 years old.

 

The bottom line is to pay attention, but don't fret too much unless the humidity gets really low. Keep them away from heat sources like fireplaces or hot water radiators.

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45-55% RH is the aim. I’m currently paying the price for excess humidity as my Dove is in the shop with a swollen top and unplayably high action. Being in the UK, low humidity is rarely an issue as we’re basically a tiny island surrounded by salty soup.

 

I use a hygrometer and a dehumidifier which has to run pretty much 12hrs a day to keep the humidity in check.

 

Most of my guitars aren’t affected in any way by excess humidity bar sounding a bit dull (my humble little EL-00 gets very sad about too much damp and sounds SO much better when at 45%RH) but the Dove is super sensitive.

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My advice is to take a deep breath and step back from the edge. You are worrying about something you do not even yet have in your hands.

 

As noted though, everything depends on where you live. The only thing I really take extra care with it to humidify the things properly. If you keep them hanging on the wall then you at least have to have something going in the room. I keep mine in cases in a closet in an unoccupied room. While not there on hand, it is not all that much trouble to walk up the stairs and fetch one or two. I also use the Bovida humidpacks but those things ain't cheap. So others get the old plastic travel soap boxes with holes drilled in them and a damp sponge stashed under the headstock. I have tried the Planet Wave sponge humidifiers but they have to be attended to way too often.

 

The only time you have to be careful about keeping guitars in cases is when they are old and have celluloid binding and pickguards. That stuff off gasses like crazy. If left in a case for long periods of time the celluloid can literally "melt." And once it gets on a guitar top there is no way to remove it.

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In Winter I keep all my solid wood guitar(s) in Cases (when not playing them).

I do the same in Summer...

 

But if I'm home all day or evening.. I keep one out most of the time

... But at night I will throw them back in case (we both sleep better this way).

 

First things first..

Check the room's relative humidity using a "Hygrometer".

I bought a simple one from Amazon a while back for under $25.

 

It's called the Caliber IV

hAoV3mBl.jpg

 

I try to keep my office/music room between 40-45%.

I do run a room "Humidifier" and it helps to keep things in great shape.

 

I got this one for $75 on Amazon. I fill it 1 time a day in Winter.

AIRCARE MA0800 Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002AQUK9S/ref=asc_df_B002AQUK9S5299743/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B002AQUK9S&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167158153658&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12243518084095739480&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009690&hvtargid=pla-274997368945

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If it never leaves the living room then yes, it will need more attention than your 92 year old uncle.

 

If it goes out for fun nights with the fellas then no, it doesn't need anything, it can sit in the car for days, under peoples sofas for weeks, kicked, dropped, cleaned sporadically, never fretboard oiled, never humidified except for when it sits out in the car during monsoon rains and you don't feel like retrieving it or you forgot about it.

 

Funny how it works like that.

 

rct

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I live in Boston, humid in the summer, very dry in the winter - especially w/ the fire going. Probably the winter is when i need to worry about - and that would be from a 'too dry' perspective.

 

I live in Boston too. When I got my J-100 Xtra new in the Fall of 1995 I kept it on a stand within easy reach and admired its inviting beauty and my vast wisdom in buying it. Once the heat kicked on in the winter it took about two months before *PING* a crack opened up between the fingerboard and the sound hole that needed to be repaired and cleated. I've been a faithful humidifier of my acoustics ever since - with a sound hole Dampit - and now I keep them cased. Lesson learned.... painfully.

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I have a question that I don't know the answer to. I have mostly electric guitars. Do they have some of the same issues with humidity as acoustic guitars or is it less.

 

The reason I ask is that a few of my electrics have been in, played in, traveled in and subjected to varying degrees of head, cold, humidity and dryness and they all seem quite alright. I only have one acoustic guitar at this time which is a classical guitar. It stays in its case most of the time when not being played. I've had others over the year and known people who have had others over the years and I've not known anyone personally checking the humidity and keeping it at a certain level. I'm in the Midwest, so if there's any kind of weather to get, we get it. Rain, heat, snow, humidity, etc.

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Now, the hyrgometer is a whole issue on its own!

 

 

Oh joy of joys, when recently buying some more humidipak systems from StewMac, I also picked up...gasp...a battery free Hygro/thermo - it currently resides next to my work desk, but while largish, I have taken my guitar out of the humidified case, slipped the hygro in and shut the lid of the case for the duration of my practice and checked the figures when I put the guitar back. Recommended 48% RH, thanks Humidipak!

 

It seems to be very close to the online temp/humidity figs, whereas don't get me started on those battery eating hygros - I did the 'salt test' and repeated it because a couple of the big name ones were.....14% wrong. I wrote the % in white felt pen and guessed...until one of them wouldn't work at all, new battery or not. Binned... [cursing]

 

So I am very pleased with the StewMac one - a real honest evaluation of conditions - doesn't matter if it a little out. (though I don't think it is!)

 

 

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Measuring/StewMac_Hygrometer_Thermometer.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=2017-12-gp&pref_currency=F&shipcalc=AUS&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxsnau7CF2AIVjyQrCh0OTgD-EAYYASABEgJy8PD_BwE

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I live in Boston too. When I got my J-100 Xtra new in the Fall of 1995 I kept it on a stand within easy reach and admired its inviting beauty and my vast wisdom in buying it. Once the heat kicked on in the winter it took about two months before *PING* a crack opened up between the fingerboard and the sound hole that needed to be repaired and cleated. I've been a faithful humidifier of my acoustics ever since - with a sound hole Dampit - and now I keep them cased. Lesson learned.... painfully.

 

Noted!

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