Tech Tips

TFS Guitar Tech Brian Dawson
Tech Tip #1
02/01/2012

HUMIDITY

 

With the winter months upon us, greater care must be made to keep an eye on your instrument for the adverse effects of low humidity.  With the drier air of this season, humidity levels in our homes can drop to dangerous levels.  Most instruments like to see a relative humidity (RH) of 45%-50%.  Homes with fireplaces or woodburning stoves can drive RH levels into the danger zone VERY quickly.  Players with acoustic instruments in particular should keep their instruments in their cases to slow down any changes in temperature and RH.

 

We carry hygrometers here at the shop that will monitor your RH levels.  This can help prevent costly repairs in the form of sharp fret ends from shrunken fingerboards to cracks forming in acoustic instruments due to the wood shrinking across the grain.  All of these issues can be prevented through the use of a humidifier with your guitar in it’s case.  I recommend the Planet Waves Humidipak, which is maintenance-free and poses no risk of harming your instrument through overuse.  It will keep the interior of your case at the optimum 45%-50% RH level automatically.  If your instrument’s setup seems to have changed (neck bowing, buzzing, harder/easier to play, etc.) humidity loss could be to blame.

 

Please give me a call with any questions, or stop by the shop and I’ll have a look.

 

Happy Pickin’!

-Brian