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 Post subject: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 25.05.2008, 08:08 
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Joined: 04.05.2008, 18:49
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I've read quite a bit regarding the hazards of low humidity and its relationship to cracked yidaki, but what is the case when humidity is too high??? The reason I ask this is because lately I've been noticing that my hygrometer reads 74%, and I think this is pretty high humidity for an indoor closet! I began storing my sticks in a small closet a couple of months ago and I invented a non-mechanical, non-power consuming humidifier, which appears to be working quite well. I'm just wondering if 74% is too high. What do you all think?


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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 26.05.2008, 09:09 
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Joined: 18.03.2006, 13:53
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Quote:
I'm just wondering if 74% is too high


Nope. Mine is slightly higher than that, and sometimes reaches 85% in the summer months.

However, as Ben said, a closet isn't ideal because the air circulation is virtually zero. It may mean you get problems with fungi.

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 26.05.2008, 16:28 
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Thanks guys. Looks like rapid and extreme variations in humidity is the main hazard, more so than the actual percentage. One thing I've always found odd is that the only cracks I have ever experienced happened while I was vacationing in summertime in a very high humidity woodland near a large body of water!


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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 27.05.2008, 07:17 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
Have you considered the possibility that it was the contrast between the humidity at home and the place you were on holiday ?

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 28.05.2008, 00:47 
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Joined: 18.04.2007, 23:34
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Location: Essex UK
Hi SpookyHollowSticks

Quote:
I invented a non-mechanical, non-power consuming humidifier, which appears to be working quite well.


I'm interested in your invention!!! any chance of a description??? could save me a fortune

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 28.05.2008, 15:16 
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Location: Bantry, Ireland
I saw "non-mechanical, non-power consuming humidifiers" in India 33 years ago. They were sheets of matting which absorbed lots of water, hung over deep trays slightly longer than the mats. The trays were filled with water. The mats were lowered into the tray to soak for a few seconds and then hung up on a piece of bamboo, suspended above the tray. The tray caught the drops of water, and any water that didn't end up in the air was ready for next time.

Any large wet surface area will work as a humidifier. I have an open aquarium at home and it's amazing how much evaporates sometimes.

Good in the colder months, when heating is on and the ambient humidity is at its lowest: trays placed over or near radiators etc. Not necessarily elegant, but effective.

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 29.05.2008, 20:57 
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Yeah I know I do stuff like that, leaving the doors open when cooking or running the bath. I even sometimes run a bath of hot water and then leave it all day, does wonders for the humidity. If I do have radiators on in the winter , which I try to avoid, I dry my washing on them etc so generally I manage to keep the humidity in my flat at reasonable levels. I only use my small humidifer as a quick fix if there is a sudden drop or if I must have the heating on. What I have found though and this is contrary to what is normally mentioned about humidity in the winter is that in winter in my flat the humidity levels are high as long as the heating is not on. Last year I often had levels of over 70% without doing anything!!! I did have one problem though with a yidaki that cracked after about 15mins playing and then left in my cold front room even though the humidity was ok. I must admit this instruments bore has very deep termite channels and there are plenty of places for the moisture to get trapped and soak into the wood. Pity I didn't think of this first!!! When I oiled it it took a few weeks to finally stop seeping oil onto the kitchen roll tissue it was standing on, I had to keep on swopping ends until nothing else came out. How do you get on over there in cold Switzerland playing instruments in the winter and then storing them and would you say it is ok to store instrunments in a cold room as long as you don't play them? I ask this as I am going to Australia for 5 weeks over Christmas this year and need to make sure my instruments don't suffer here at home.

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 31.05.2008, 20:07 
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ozmadman wrote:
Hi SpookyHollowSticks

Quote:
I invented a non-mechanical, non-power consuming humidifier, which appears to be working quite well.


I'm interested in your invention!!! any chance of a description??? could save me a fortune

Hey ozmadman. The setup I improvised is only good for a very small, enclosed space, like a closet. My closet is 3ft X 3ft X 8 ft. high. I only have 4 didges in there- each leans in a corner while the "humidifier" sits on a pan in the center of the floor. For a small space like this, a humidifier can be made out of a plastic one-gallon milk jug-- you simply fill the jug about half full of distilled water and jam a "wick" made of paper towels or light cloth in the top (bottom part of wick should go to bottom of jug to ensure it is always submerged. This "wick" portrudes from out the top of the jug and via simple evaporation slowly releases moisture into the air-- the rate at which it releases moisture is governed by the surrounding humidity level-- ie. the drier the air is, the faster water will wick upward and evaporate. When it is humid, it will draw less water. The reason for using distilled h2O is that tap water, over time, will clog the wick with minerals. Believe it or not, this crazy contraption actually works, provided that the closet is kept tightly shut and is reasonably airtight. Another drawback is that the closet needs to be kept shut all the time, and if you've opened it, it takes quite a few hours to get the humidity level back up. I read the others comments about mold, however, it has yet to become a problem for me since my humidity levels have been ranging in the 65-75% range. I suppose that mold would be more of a likelihood for people who heavily play their didges and then put them back into the closet when the bores are still moist. I just started using this homemade rig a few months ago, so it is still too early to tell if it going to be successful-- or if it even works. I would have to have an identical closet without the jug humidifier in it-- in order to measure and compare its effect. Anyhow, up to this point, I have had reasonable humidity levels in the closet. I'm looking forward to when the hot weather hits and the AC dries out the air. This will be the real test. I would recommend that anyone who has a small, airtight storage space like this, give it a try. It is much like the small guitar case humidifiers out there, just a little bit bigger. Let me know if it works for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 01.06.2008, 00:36 
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Thanks Spookyhollowsticks for taking the time to explain to me

Will give it a try. I have a small cupboard that I could put my sticks in (a few more than 4 though!!) when I go away. How long do you reckon a gallon of water will last? Maybe I can just put them in the bathroom (smallish) and leave a bath full of water for them to enjoy??

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 Post subject: Re: Humidity...too high???
PostPosted: 01.06.2008, 18:50 
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ozmadman- how long a gallon lasts depends a lot on the baseline humidity level in your storage area and surrounding household. It tends to evaporate off quicker in winter and summer when your home is using artifical heating/cooling-- both of which remove humidity from the air. More important than this is the need for your didge storage room to be both small, and as airtight as possible. Having a large crack between the bottom edge of the door and the floor either allows dry air in, or humidified air to escape. My homemade system is not a substitute for a good quality, AC powered humidifier, but if your storage space is small enough and well insulated, it is adequate. If you have a large collection of traditional instruments, and you travel a lot, I think investing $$ in a more sophisticated system would give you peace of mind. The jug system I described above does work well, but you should be there to periodically check humidity readings. Perhaps you could use the jug when you are at home, but switch to electric powered backup if you leave town for more than a day or two. Oh yeah to answer your ?, the h2O lasts for at least a couple of months- if you are using a one-gallon jug and fill it up about halfway.


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