Protecting Your Guitar From Humidity

December 7th, 2012 dcornelius

Down here in Texas, winter is on the way and with it comes cold dry air. When the cold north fronts blow through, the relative humidity can drop to levels that are of serious concern for those who own nice high-end guitars.

 

According to the state map, Austin is at 34%. Get some moisture in your case, room and or house. Here in the shop, we have two floor humidifiers running and a central AC unit that feeds moisture.

 

It even gets so dry that we mop the floor at closing time and leave it wet. By Sunday evening, the forecast has the winds switching back from the southeast. With this comes tons of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, easily pushing the humidity level upwards of 65%. This cycle continues on and on making it difficult at best to keep your guitar in that optimum area of 45-50% relative humidity.

 

Not only does it wreak havoc on a finished guitar, it can make the building process a challenge as well. If you get a chance to take the Collings Guitars tour, ask Mark or Angela about the time and effort that went into controlling this issue. Under ideal conditions, the stress that your guitar is under when strung to pitch is enough. There is just no sense in adding to that stress, by subjecting it to extremes as in the following example.

 

Years ago, I had a customer return one of my Walkabout Dulcimers that had the back split along the joint line. When I asked about the environment in which he kept his instrument he responded with, “I hang it on the wall next to the wood stove”.

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