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Prevent Your Sound Board From Cracking This Winter !


Noel Ways
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I have been using this excellent Humidifier (Humistat #1)

made by the Humistat Co. for a year now,

and have found it to work wonderfully:

 

http://www.humistat.com/Humistat_Model-1.htm

 

If you don't have a way to add some moisture

to your concertina this winter, this is an nice

investment. It does not leak. Made in USA.

Inexpensive. Fits nicely in the case. And it works!!

Edited by Noel Ways
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Hi Doug,

 

I use humistat #1. That's a good point,

I will edit my comments above !!

 

The larger one might work just fine as well,

but it was not a product option a year ago

when I got mine. If you email the president

of the company (David C. Berliner),

he is very prompt to reply

to all questions and comments !!

Edited by Noel Ways
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>I have been using this excellent Humidifier (Humistat #1) etc.

 

Very interesting. How do you use it - just pop it in the bag along with the concertina?

 

FWIW a quick search on Amazon reveals that these pieces of kit are currently unavailable,

at least in the U.K.

 

Thanks.

 

Roger Hare

Edited by lachenal74693
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I was worried about my Lachenal Crane, taking it to Colombia, but I've ended up in Bogota where it's eternally 50-70F and drizzly, basically an Andean version of Seattle. So as long as the apartment isn't too damp I don't fret it, though have a small dehumidifier tablet just in case.

 

 

If at some point I ever have a semi-custom box built, what kind of soundboard holds up well against environmental changes but still sounds okay? I thought someone mentioned at some point that one of the Afrikaaner concertina makers uses perspex (acrylic plastic?); does that actually work well? I'm debating having a small Wheatstone Duett-copy in Hayden made for me to take traveling for work, little 24-button or so mini, and having it made of climate-resistant materials would be awesome.

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>I have been using this excellent Humidifier (Humistat #1) etc.

 

Very interesting. How do you use it - just pop it in the bag along with the concertina?

 

FWIW a quick search on Amazon reveals that these pieces of kit are currently unavailable,

at least in the U.K.

 

Thanks.

 

Roger Hare

 

Roger, It is very simple, just open the closure and

put water into, now replace the closure. Place the

device into the concertina case in a place where there

is room to fit. You will see well enough when it is

time to put more water into it.

 

I ordered mine directly from the company that

makes it. You can do it from this link here:

 

http://www.humistat....tat_Model-1.htm

 

Best to you...

Edited by Noel Ways
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I was worried about my Lachenal Crane, taking it to Colombia, but I've ended up in Bogota where it's eternally 50-70F and drizzly, basically an Andean version of Seattle. So as long as the apartment isn't too damp I don't fret it, though have a small dehumidifier tablet just in case.

 

 

If at some point I ever have a semi-custom box built, what kind of soundboard holds up well against environmental changes but still sounds okay? I thought someone mentioned at some point that one of the Afrikaaner concertina makers uses perspex (acrylic plastic?); does that actually work well? I'm debating having a small Wheatstone Duett-copy in Hayden made for me to take traveling for work, little 24-button or so mini, and having it made of climate-resistant materials would be awesome.

Hi Matt, I am not a concertina construction

expert, by any means; but I know that sound

boards may be of

 

• good quality ply wood (button box concertinas for example)

These are far more humidity resistant than:

 

• solid quarter sawn wood (concertina connection)

 

Note, if you do get a solid wood sound board that

will be attached another piece of wood that will

serve as the action board, you will want to make

sure that the grain of the two boards is going in

the same direction.

 

My Peacock has the two solid wood boards going in two

different directions. And it is that way on both sides, which

predictably causes hugh changes in the

instruments performance; and has therefore

led me to do much research on climate control

in order to keep the instrument playable. If you

get an instrument build for you, ask to have the

grain of wood for action board and sound board

go in the same direction. In this way, they will

expand and contract together and there will be

less or no difference as air becomes more dry or

less so.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Noel Ways
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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought the Humistat #1 - Hygrometer combo. With all of the holes open, it only gets my case up to 38% humidity. I think this humidifier is too small even for a concertina case. Has anyone tried the larger humidifier?

Edited by RWL
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I should also mention that the room's relative humidity is running about 28%, so the humistat #1 only raises the case interior by 10%. I've got an email off to the inventor / seller, David Berliner to see if there's possibly something that I should do differently.

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I recently purchased two more of these so I now have three, so that when it gets real dry I'll have several going. It's probably better to have more control this way. Also, it may make a difference having the water touching the felt and not just having the water on the bottom of the tube so that the vapor can make it's way into the chamber - In other words, have it on it's side or "upside down". Perhaps David might be willing to add to this post at this point ?? -- I'll ask him ...

 

Oh, one more thing, if your case is not air tight, you will need to add more humidity to compensate for loss.

Edited by Noel Ways
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  • 2 weeks later...

I should also mention that the room's relative humidity is running about 28%, so the humistat #1 only raises the case interior by 10%. I've got an email off to the inventor / seller, David Berliner to see if there's possibly something that I should do differently.

 

Have you adjusted the screw at the bottom? It allows for varying levels of humidity. I might guess that your case is leaking humidity to the room, outside.

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I have been doing some work at the Chapel I attend, looking at insulation and condensation issues, in the UK a dry day is probably around 50 -55%, and a damp day 90% plus. In the chapel where I play some times I have seen humidities if 88% and the 500 mm thick solid stone walls running in condensation (hence my project)

 

This gives you an idea of the climate that these instruments were developed and built in. what humidities would be a good idea, say 60%??

 

Dave

Edited by d.elliott
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It appears that the humidifier needed about 2.5 weeks to get the case and instrument to absorb enough moisture to raise the humidity in the case to 44%. The current relative humidity in my house is around 28%, so the Humistat #1 is now doing the job. It may be that the larger Humistat #3 would be better if you need the humidity raised sooner, if you have enough room in your case.

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Hi...I'm David Berliner (the same one mentioned in posts above) and I'm delighted to join you as a concertina.net member and as a participant in this discussion. As a general comment, I would venture to say that it would--if it were possible--take a lengthy and thorough survey of musicians who play the same instrument before you could find more than a handful (if any) whose instruments were maintained under the exact same conditions. There are so many variables, from--as Bob (RWL) observed--the density of the wood, to the configuration and material of the carrying case, the number of times the case is opened, the ambient humidity (which can be affected by the weather, indoor heating, and air conditioning), the care given to the instrument, etc.

 

Thanks, Bob, for being willing to conduct tests. Of course I'm delighted that your efforts and patience allowed you to find the solution.

 

Thanks, too, to Noel, for sharing your experiences with Model No.1 and for your other informative posts. (Placing the humidifier so that the felt is always in contact with the water is not necessary, but is a good idea if you have a choice. If filled and closed according to the instructions, it won't leak regardless of the position.)

 

Which model to use (Model No.1, the smaller, tube-like unit, or Model No.3, the larger, circular unit): As noted in the discussion (and in my first paragraph), it depends on so many factors, and only you know yours. Based on feedback, I would say a minimum of two No.1's or a No.3 if space allows. (You can get the dimensions by going to http://www.humistat.com/Humistat_Model-.htm and http://www.humistat.com/Humistat_Model-3.htm. If you're interested in adding a hygrometer, go to http://www.humistat.com/Humistat_Hygrometer.htm.

 

To SQZBXR's suggestion about tobacconists: To my knowledge, you won't find our products sold there...unless, unknown to me, one of our distributors is re-selling to that market.

 

Again, thanks. If you have any questions about HUMISTAT-brand products, please don't hesitate to contact me, either through this forum or the site, or by writing to me at humistat@gmail.com. And I'm certainly very open to any suggestions you may have about the website or anything else.

 

A very happy, healthy, peaceful, and musical year to you all!

 

-- David

 

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