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Does anyone have experience/recommendations regarding the in-case humidity control packs made by Boveda? This system was recommended to me by a violinist friend.  It's a sealed pack that fits inside a fabric pouch, and either absorbs or gives off moisture to keep the humidity in the case in the 45-55 % RH range.  Where I live in Canada we have very humid summers, and very dry indoor air once the furnace comes on the the winter.  I'm thinking of trying it in a double case where I keep my Morse and Wally Carroll.  Previously I have used a unit which needs to be filled with water, but had a near miss when it started to leak.  The company website doesn't mention concertinas or other free reed instruments- only stringed and woodwind instruments.

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I use these for my Lachenal Edeophone 56 keys...ebony ends. I keep two of the humidity packs inside a flight case from Button Box, one for each side of the concertina...but not touching the instrument. They seem to work well in the rapid variaions of humidity and temperature in West Virginia.   RJ

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These "in case" devices no doubt help.  However, I think of these as a "static aid".  Each year I usually remind concertina players that playing their instruments in humidity poor environments is in effect drying them from the inside out as the dry air gets pumped through.  I like to think a more dynamic approach to helping a concertina through the winter is to actively add humidity to the playing environment.  

 

I recommend a small room humidifier in the area where the concertina gets played most often.  I've found that while concertinas can adjust to lower humidity over time they seem to prefer 50-60% relative humidity.  Your skin and respiratory system might enjoy the increased humidity in the music room as well.

 

Greg

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Thank you Greg! I also keep a humidified room, as I have fretted instruments. My wife calls it The Jungle, as it is warm and humid...though perhaps she is also referring to the happy absence of tidiness.

 

This creates another question-worthy scenario, as many room-humidifiers blow out a  fine white dust, even when using distilled water. The distraught musician seems to do less practicing than he/she does cleaning-up. But those old British concertinas certainly sound best when they remember the damp of London, where they breathed in fog as they were played.

 

Robert

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One thing to keep in mind is that woods lose moisture to the air at a much higher rate than they regain it.  This is especially true for thin wood like violin plates.  In concertinas, the pad boards are generally one of the thinner parts, with the reed pans being next.  The ends if wood, are commonly laminated and are less vulnerable.  
   Room or house humidity control avoids the sharp changes of in case to out.  In case humidifiers are a second best, but still worthwhile bit of insurance.  
   I have used a large console evaporative humidifier for a long time for my shop to aim for that 50% rh level  in winter with no white dust,  they have their own problems, but don’t make a mess.

   Cooler temperatures reduce the need for extra humidity.

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I live in Wisconsin with forced air heating which can get pretty dry in winter.  I’ve been using a Venta brand room humidifier. It consists of a slowly rotating plastic drum with multiple fins which is partially immersed in water as a fan blows the air above it.  It puts about a gallon of water per day into the room air where I practice.  It’s able to keep the RH at about 40%, but that’s about it.  There’s no way it could reach 50% unless I bought another one.  The nice thing about it is that there are no pads to change and no dust problems.

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