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shelly0312

Humidity Control

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...so, I've gone back and read past postings about humidity control for our instruments (for the dry winter months). I have been experimenting with low-tech methods without too much success. I have tried Dana's suggestion of 35mm film sleeve and even added a small bowl of water in addition. I am using a sort of clear tupperware sort-of-tall storage box that I can get 2 concertinas into it. Now in 36 hours I still do not have humidity in that box over 32%. Our house is pretty cool, we heat with woodburner stove , so away from the stove it is probably about 60 F. I wondering if the next step is to put one of those desk top coffee mug warmers in the box (to encourage evaporation of water) with a source of moisture sitting on it?. Of course why don't I just buy one of these: "Humistat 3" for $15-20? But that would take all the sport out of it. I also wonder if this Humistat is passive or has some sort of battery to warm the water a little to encourage evaporation?? If it is passive why would it be more successful than the plastic holder and pan of water? Thoughts from the crowd?? shelly

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Unless you are having trouble with your instrument, general humidity that is comfortable for you should be enough. The real enemy of wood is central heating, especially forced air. I live in a dry area (semi-desert) that can get cold and have no problems with my instruments so long as I keep the humidity in the house comfortable for me (no static and no dried out hands). Been a while since I lived with wood heat, but if you are doing the "pot of water on the stove" routine, and the humidity is comfortable for you, then it should be ok, especially as humidity is relative and your place is cool.

 

I use a portable Kenmore cold-mist humidifier (thrift store buy) in the house, and that does the trick for me, 1800 sq ft house, temperatures down to about -10 F when an arctic high leaks into the valley, and we keep it at about 69 F.

 

I am leery of putting a concertina in a humid container as you have described. Old style glues and steel reeds may not be happy if over done.

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We use a wick-style cold air humidifer in the room with the musical instruments.

 

If you decide to use a cold air ultrasonic humidifier, you'll want to use distilled water; the ultrasonic humidifiers will disperse a fine mineral dust if you use normal (and especially if you use hard) water.

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I thought all you inhabitants of the very dry winter areas of the USA had some sort of a Room Humidifier, especially the Musicians.

I recall having a session in Benedict Koehler's house, in Vermont, and we pipers sat around the Humidifier which had been running all afternoon blowing cold steam into the room. The Pipes can have far greater problems with changes of humidity and in some areas it is not possible to play during the dry months.

 

I am also suffering from Humidity problems with two of my Concertinas (they are both larger than the normal size) and the larger reeds can get tightly squeezed by the wood of the Reedpan... it is as if the wood has shrunk due to low humidity which has made the reed fitting slots smaller and then when I play in a more humid atmosphere the wood swells again and this causes the slots to squeeze that bit more tightly and the tingling noises of the reed tongues touching the frames alerts me to the problem.

 

Of course when we play our concertinas we are squirting ambient air onto the surfaces of the internal parts. This can have a Hair drier or water hose effect on the wood.

 

My 'normal' sized concertina never shows any of these problems... but then it is often played in a Hall full of sweaty dancers, in the winter, as it was last night, for nearly five hours virtually non stop! :o

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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....ummmmm. I'll have to remember that technique: fill house with sweaty dancers.....

Yeah, this storage box thing I'm not sure about. This was what I was thinking; you play for a few hours in the dry house and then stick the concertina back in the humidified storage box, is there enough "leach" action to get that air inside the concertina, which I would think is where it is critical?--or do you have to let it also take a couple gulps of humidifed air from thestorage box before you drop it in? I just dread the upkeep of a whole-room humidifier; but am thinking this might be the better way to go. I'm still listening to suggestions.

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So, what symtoms are you instruments displaying ?.. Hmmm that sounds so "medical proffession".....

 

One of my concertinas spent a long time in the USA, or perhaps Canada, and it is, so far, the stable one. My other main EC has lived in Australia for quite a few years and there it was played in the hot and dry, though perhaps not "Air Conditioning" .... it is quite stable most of the time and suffers from one or two reeds buzzings during the winter.

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I am also suffering from Humidity problems with two of my Concertinas (they are both larger than the normal size) and the larger reeds can get tightly squeezed by the wood of the Reedpan... it is as if the wood has shrunk due to low humidity which has made the reed fitting slots smaller and then when I play in a more humid atmosphere the wood swells again and this causes the slots to squeeze that bit more tightly and the tingling noises of the reed tongues touching the frames alerts met to the problem.

 

This is exactly the description Greg Jowaisas diagnosed a T/T that visited with me for a couple of months. He has been been pretty gentlemanly about not pointing fingers, but more and more keys were not voicing. The T/T and I never really "bonded" and it has gone back by Greg as a foster home until it finds its new "forever" home (snicker). (attention people! it is a lovely T/T with metal raised ends--I had hoped it would be my go-to for the daily stuff being smaller and lighter than the TED) The road of discovery for me was I truly missed the 4 bottom notes of my TED. Greg feels my TED stays more stable because it is from the ‘50's and of plywood construction. I may have to send a signed affidavit of house humidity before he lets me play with his baritone. I must solve this problem. Hence the continued probing discussions. shelly

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I use a small tube in my case that violin players put in their cases. It seems to work really well.

 

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Hello Shelly,

These may be worth your consideration:

 

Oasis OH-5 Plus+ Humidifier - The Plus+ is the same size and shape as the original blue Oasis, but is made of a different material that provides 50% more humidity output.

 

http://oasishumidifiers.com/plus.html

 

They are marketed for stringed instruments, but I've replaced all of my Stretto violin humidifiers which I used for my concertinas with these. (Also do work great for ukuleles and mandolins.)

They fit very neatly in the corners of a case.

I live in Colorado and use two in my duet concertinas which are larger than the standard English or Anglo and one in my Wakker E-4 Soprano. I refill them all once weekly. Very easy to use and quick to refill. A lot less fuss than the Stretto system.

 

I use the plus (+) ones which is the link supplied.

 

Amazon seems to be the least expensive retailer that I've found.

 

Dan

Edited by danersen

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Hello Shelly,

These may be worth your consideration:

 

Oasis OH-5 Plus+ Humidifier - The Plus+ is the same size and shape as the original blue Oasis, but is made of a different material that provides 50% more humidity output.

 

http://oasishumidifiers.com/plus.html

 

They are marketed for stringed instruments, but I've replaced all of my Stretto violin humidifiers which I used for my concertinas with these. (Also do work great for ukuleles and mandolins.)

They fit very neatly in the corners of a case.

I live in Colorado and use two in my duet concertinas which are larger than the standard English or Anglo and one in my Wakker E-4 Soprano. I refill them all once weekly. Very easy to use and quick to refill. A lot less fuss than the Stretto system.

 

I use the plus (+) ones which is the link supplied.

 

Amazon seems to be the least expensive retailer that I've found.

 

Dan

 

I use these as well .. and it should be pointed out that they come in two versions, one designed to go into the F-hole on a violin, the other has a magnetic strip inside the unit and comes with an adhesive-backed steel plate you mount in the case. Of course the adhesive doesn't work well on fuzzy stuff inside the case, so I bolted it on with a couple of tiny M2 flathead machine bolts and nuts.

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