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Humidifying my new J45 RW...opinions


ktasker

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I never humidified my other acoustic and over the years I did end up with some cracking due to expansion and contraction. When I picked up my beautiful J45 RW a couple of months ago, I bought one of those planet waves humidifers where you soak it in water, ring it out and then stick it in the sound hole while the guitar is in the case or stand. I haven't used it yet, but know I probably should be.

 

It seems to me that this release of moisture right beneath the strings would rust the strings just over the sound hole. For any of you using humidifiers, do your strings become effected by the moisture.

 

Thanks,

 

Keith

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I've never noticed any rusting of my strings. I live in a dry climate during the winter and on some guitars I use the Planet Waves for the body of the guitar and a modified soap dish for the head stock and neck. I always store the guitars in their cases.

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Hi ktasker and welcome to the forum. Yes in dry climates like where I live, Minnesota, I humidify in the case all winter long. If my furnace is running, my guitars are humidified. In the summer when the RH in my house is between 45 to 55% humidity, I can leave them out but that range is where solid wood guitars are comfortable. I have never had a problem with strings rusting either. I use Elixir strings which are coated so maybe that helps protect them somewhat from moisture.

 

I have various ways to humidify. In my Taylor cases, I keep a soundhole humidifier in the guitar, a baggie with sponges and holes in it by the neck heel and a Glad container with holes punched in the top up by the headstock. My hygrometer tells me that that cases stay between 45 to 50% humidity all winter that way. I check and replace the water once a week. With my Gibson, I have more room in the case and keep two Glad containers, one by the head stock, one by the heel, in each case along with a soundhole humidifier. It is very dry here so three humidifiers in each case is necessary. Your situation may vary. Go to Walmart and purchase a small hygrometer for about $10 and check your room for a couple days and your guitar case with humidification for a couple days. Try to keep it between 45-55% RH and your guitar should stay perfectly comfortable for years. It takes only a short time to fill them, wring out the excess water and put them back in the case. To me it is worth it as my guitars play best when humidified and I never have to adjust the action on a seasonal basis.

 

Here are my homemade humidifiers in my Gibson case. For about $5.00 you can buy the containers, a few sponges and make enough humidifiers for 3 cases like I did.

 

PICT4570.jpg

 

PICT4567.jpg

 

PICT4568.jpg

 

PICT4569.jpg

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I recently got a Honeywell 4 gal room humidifier and it keeps the room at about 50%. I have to say that it is easier to keep track of one humidifier rather than checking 4 different sound hole units. I just fill it up every couple days and forget it. I got the idea of a room humidifier from a prior forum string. I wish I would have done this a long time ago.

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PwrPpr, for approx. 40 years in humid areas (Long Island, Miami and Houston) I used for my one and only Gibson - clay flower pot shards in a sock in the string compartment. A luthier told me a couple of years ago that the LG1 was in perfect shape and to keep doing exactly that. It spent 95% of its not-played time in it's cardboard Gibson case. The clay stabilizes the humidity I guess. Absorbs and releases. G'luck.

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Powerpopper,

 

I live in the same area as you. Humidity here is high, on the average between 65-79%, so no humidification is necessary.

 

RH in my house is about 60%, and in my cases the same. I bought a new guitar last fall and called the maker to ask if that was too high and if I should use a dessicant in the case. They said that it was OK and to not worry about it. I'm not. My guitars sound and play beautifully, and I'm not noticing any of the tell-tale signs of a wet instrument.

 

When we get Santa Ana winds, and humidity drops to the single digits outside, I leave doors and windows open to lower the humidity in the house some. It can drop to about 40% at those times. I might even leave the cases open at that point too.

 

Generally, I leave my guitars in the case when they are not being played.

 

No problems thus far.

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Powerpopper' date='

 

I live in the same area as you...No problems thus far.[/quote']

 

I'm doing pretty much the same things you are right now (which is mostly nothing). When you say "no problems thus far," how long have you had the guitars in question in Southern California? And if problems are going to show up because of lack of humidification, how many years would it take for such issues to manifest themselves?

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I've bought my Gibson in this area in 2005, the year it was made, and have had it here since I got it. I don't believe that I'll have problems due to lack of humidity, since humidity in my home and cases is at a steady 60%, when recommended RH is usually 45-50%, depending on the maker.

 

I keep a hygrometer in my case and one in the same room with my guitars to monitor the situation. It's pretty stable.

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I recently got a Honeywell 4 gal room humidifier and it keeps the room at about 50%. I have to say that it is easier to keep track of one humidifier rather than checking 4 different sound hole units.

 

In my case, the whole room humidifiers are the only option. If I humidified in the cases, something would surely get forgotten or neglected.

 

I have a Honeywell Quiet Care - it was $80 - and it has a permanent washable filter. The previous model I owned was a Vicks and it needed a new filter every two to three months at a cost of $15.

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Do they make humidifiers that make the humidity in your home LOWER than the outside humidity' date=' or de-humidify? I very seldom have to worry about it being too low. [/size']

 

 

 

Yes, you can get a quality dehumidifier. I own Two - one Simplicity and one Danby - $180 and $150 respectively. Don't trust the hygrometers in them, however, as they are not very accurate. You need to get a separate hygrometer to monitor the room and then find what setting on the dehumidifier actually gets you a proper result.

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Hey All,

 

Thanks so much for the great responses on this. Great ideas and great dialog here. I'm pretty new to this forum, but I've got to say, I find it to be about the friendliest group of people I've come across in a forum. I guess Gibson brings out the best in everyone!

 

Thanks again,

 

Keith

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  • 1 month later...

I live in the Bay Area about 8-10 miles from the bay, I've got a hygrometer and it goes up and down a lot. It's at 60% right now and by mid day tomorrow it'll hit 45%-50%. It get's as low as 30-35% on summer days and 40% at night. I don't think I've had any problems from low humidity but sometimes worry about over humidfying my guitars during winter, it can be as high as 65% for a few weeks. I've asked Frank Ford about it and he says we should be fine in this area. He's the man out here so I trust him.

I do know that a good 60% of the year it's just about 70 degrees and 40% humidity which is what Gibson's shop is at so it all evens out.

I have noticed a little ridge develop on my neck where the ebony fret board meets the neck wood on one of my guitars, it evens out after a few good days at 40%. Probably not the greatest thing in the world but it's perfect right now!

Any thoughts, am I being careless?? I've got a pretty good amount of guitars to care for.

I would love some advice.

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I live in the Bay Area about 8-10 miles from the bay' date=' I've got a hygrometer and it goes up and down a lot. It's at 60% right now and by mid day tomorrow it'll hit 45%-50%. It get's as low as 30-35% on summer days and 40% at night. I don't think I've had any problems from low humidity but sometimes worry about over humidfying my guitars dring winter, it can be as high as 65% for a few weeks. I've asked Frank Ford about it and he says we should be fine in this area. He's the man out here so I trust him.

I do know that a good 60% of the year it's just about 70 degrees and 40% humidity which is what Gibson's shop is at so it all evens out.

I have noticed a little ridge develop on my neck where the ebony fret board meets the neck wood on one of my guitars, it evens out after a few good days at 40%. Probably not the greatest thing in the world but it's perfect right now!

Any thoughts, am I being careless?? I've got a pretty good amount of guitars to care for.

I would love some advice.[/quote']

 

If Frank Ford tells you something... believe him! He's the guitar repair God!

 

Secondly, if, you have to heat your home at all during the year, and you've got numbers of guitars, use a warm mist room humidifier with a built in hygrometer setting. Fill it with distilled water and set it to 45% RH and you're done. No mucking about with sponges and dampits and between string doohickeys. AND your guitars are out and ready to play.

 

I've been using one of these to protect my herd and it is easy and no worries:

 

550a4710-7192-4fe2-b3ed-b57bc0b834a9_300.jpg

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Hmnnn,.. there are actually several posters from the bay area here. You, me, Wily, the estimable Rar and Amp.... Maybe we should have our own Gibson admiration and tankard lifting gatherings?

 

Yep, the bay area does seem to be quite moderate on the humidity front, depending on exactly how close you are to water. I don't do any humidifying to speak of, though I do leave some water in the bathtub in the winter when the heat is on. I keep a few hygrometers strewn about to make sure it doesn't get too extreme. Just lately it has been unusually humid and the action on all these relatively new guitars I have has gotten higher. I've been leaving the truss rod covers off this spring because of all these humidity swings.

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I've asked Frank Ford about it and he says we should be fine in this area.

 

I went into Gryphon once and asked what kind of discount they could give me on a half-dozen Planet Waves humidifiers. They quoted me a nice price, but asked why the heck I wanted a half-dozen humidifiers given that I live around here. (My answer was "Annual trips to Bozeman in the summer with a vanload of guitars," which was considered acceptable.)

 

-- Bob R

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Hmnnn' date='.. there are actually several posters from the bay area here. You, me, Wily, the estimable Rar and Amp.... Maybe we should have our own Gibson admiration and tankard lifting gatherings?[/quote']

 

Sounds like a great idea. I nominate you as organizer, and Anne seconds the motion. All in favor?

 

-- Bob R

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I don't do any humidifying to speak of' date=' though I do leave some water in the bathtub in the winter when the heat is on. I keep a few hygrometers strewn about to make sure it doesn't get too extreme. [/quote']

 

 

I've thought about trying this, when it gets warmer I am going to do it and see how it works out! Thanks again.

 

Please keep me up to date on any Bay Area gatherings.

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The hygrometers that they sell in pet stores to put in reptile tanks and so on are very cheap and work as well as some of the more expensive ones the same size (about like a pocket watch) which are sold for guitar owners.

 

Like this case hygrometer:

 

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It's probably the exact same thing as they sell in pet stores for 2 or 3 bucks.

 

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3 bucks at petco.

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