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Patrick Brown

Summer Storage Suggestions

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With the coming of summer, issues of humidity loom over my head and my pretty concertina. Any suggestions for keeping a concertina in top condition in a humid environment?

 

Patrick

Atlanta, GA

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Move to Britain ? :)

 

Well perhaps the British climate is what you are trying to emulate.

 

Robin Madge

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I save the bigger silca gel envelopes that come packed with things like computer monitors, etc. In damp weather I always keep one or more in my concertina case. There are just small enough to slip in a lower corner or between the blocks on the side.

 

Be sure to pick up a humidity guage strip at a music store and stick it in the inside of the lid to monitor the situation. I believe you can also buy the bags of silca gel on the Internet. Then don't leave your concertina out of the box except when playing.

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I live in (swampy) Louisiana and beyond keeping the instrument (a Crabb) in its case, I do nothing to protect it. To be sure, it is very humid outside, but I only rarely play the instrument outdoors unless there is no humidity issue. This is to protect my own comfort, not the concertina. The instrument appears to me to play the same from season to season and seems to be as good as it was when I got it some 15 years ago.

 

I used to live in Illinois. The story (and the tina, an older Lachenal) there was very different. The Lachenal changed wildly from season to season and generally declined over the years. In the winter time the instrument would dry out due to the low humidity brought on by cold weather and dry heat. It was awful. The instrument leaked badly in the winter. Some reeds got free air and would speak without opening the valves. It was hard to play more than a measure without changing bellows direction (a duet). By the end of 10 years the instrument had had it and I always considered its demise to my not being able to control the humidity. But by that I mean, keeping it humid.

 

The move to Louisiana also meant I could afford to replace the earlier instrument. That makes this little tale confounded by clime and instruments, but I offer it as my experience such as it is.

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We keep one room (where all the instruments live) humidity controlled. Since the house is air conditioned, the humidity isn't too problematic in the summer (at least not so far), but it was very arid during the winter.

 

A humidifier, and a hygrometer (to monitor the humidity in the room) have made it very easy to keep things under control.

 

--Dave

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The Button Box sells serious case case dehumidifiers. They're about 2"x4"x1/2" and are "reusable" by drying it out in an oven. I have one that I keep in my paper drawer (2'x3' "blueprint" paper) which has made an incredible difference these past couple of summers in the print quality I can now achieve.

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Patrick,

 

I have a Jefferies anglo that I bought in 1984 or 85. I was in California then, relatively low humidity. I have carried that instrument with me throughout many years of living and working in many countries including the western deserts of Pakistan, South India, Sri Lanka, Sumatara, West Africa, Swaziland and many areas of the United States. Other that not leaving it in hot cars or exposed to the elements, I just keep it in its case in my various domiciles and/or hotel rooms. I have never worried too much about it, just showing it the respect a quality instrument deserves.

 

The only problem I seem to have had is that the glue on the original pads would sometimes give way with the humidity changes, but those were easy to repair. I'm not suggesting you ignore the conditions, just to trust that a quality built instrument should be able to handle a range of conditions without trouble. I would guess if conditions are comfortable for you, the instrument should be comfortable also.

 

regards

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Thanks y'all for the responses,

I'll check into getting a humidity gauge strip for my case.

When it first rained here after it got warm, a couple of the

buttons on my concertina started to buzz. It went away

though the next day and hasn't happened since (and its

rained to bit more since then.) The concertina is quite

new (I bought it in March from Bob Tedrow, who had

only finished it a few weeks earlier) and its been behaving

beautifully. Could the buzzing incident been the concertina

settling or something?

 

thanks

Patrick

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