- Humidity -
It is most commonly beleived that humidity is an issue that needs to be addressed with acoustic guitars however this is an important topic for solid bodied instruments as well. Both types of guitars are made of wood, a material that expands and contracts depending on humidity. Solid bodies are not as fragile as say a flat top but the fact still remains that the wood will still shrink and swell with humidity changes.
The ideal environment for consistent setup and playability of an instrument is humidity between 40% and 50%. If you can keep your instrument environment in that range year round you will notice more consistent setup and playability of your instrument. An easy way to control the humidity of your instrument is to remember that when you turn on your winter heat in your home that's the time to start humidifying your instruments. A good rule of thumb is that if your skin or lips are dry and cracking then the wood that your guitar is made of is also drying out and cracking. There are many different ways to humidify your instrument and they all produce the same execllent results.
- Treatments -
Large room Humidifier- This is a great way to humidify all of your instruments at once and it’s good for your body too. If you don't want to humidify your whole house you can place all your instruments in a single room and use a smaller room humidifier.
In Case Dampits – Dampits come in all different shapes and sizes but all work basically the same. They are sponges that you wet and place inside of your cases to increase humidity in the case in order to keep the wood properly humidified. These are very effective and inexpensive. Keep in mind these need to be rewetted periodically based on how humid your environment is, but they must ALWAYS stay moist.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your neck also needs moisture so avoid dampits that close off the sound hole or you can also include an addional dampit for your neck.
- Consequences of Under Humidification -
When you deprive the wood of moisture it shrinks which can cause your instrument to crack, binding to pop off, and changes in your neck’s straightness. Although these are all common repairable issues the repair cost can add up to a significant amount and in most cases could have been avoided by one of the treatments listed above.
The Rock N Roll Vintage repair shop can repair cracks in your guitar, please give us a call for details !