December 2, 2018 at 12:59 PM #67062
Dreaded dry doldrums destroying de viddle & desperate to defuse da dilema.
I had a standard water filled tube type humidifier…until something went wrong & it leaked out, almost destroying my fiddle. So last winter I would just put a wet tissue in a plastic pouch & kind of use that to some degree. Then summer came. In winter our humidity will go below 10% a lot & the fiddle has to go on lithium to keep from cracking up. They have come out with some new type humidifiers & I just wondered if anyone has any words of wisdom from using any of these. You guys back east don’t have the problem we have out west/up north, with the super dry/cold air.
(Cricket…tree up? Already? We always used to do our shopping, get our tree, & put it up….on Christmas eve!)December 2, 2018 at 1:20 PM #67063
I have no intel on the tech you speak of, but, I know that in dire circumstances, you can fill a bathtub with water, and dunk your fiddle in. This helps greatly, as you will then be forced to see your friendly neighborhood luthier, which is what you needed in the first place.
Disclaimer: please do not use this advice on any musical instruments, functional or otherwise. I accept no responsibility for any damage to persons, fiddles, or any other object due to negligence either on the part of the company or wicked feline household creature etcetera etcetera. I also formally apologize for being utterly unhelpful, but hope this makes someone smileDecember 2, 2018 at 2:51 PM #67064
To be perfectly honest…no..I never even thought of keeping my fiddle in the bathtub. That would definitely solve the dryness problem, …but just maybe that would be a overkill. I might need some more advice from someone who has done that?December 2, 2018 at 7:29 PM #67068
Another solution, as opposed to a case humidifier, would be to build a small cabinet that would hold several, or all of your fiddles. Then you could hang all of them in it, and rig up some kind of humidifier for the entire cabinet. If you have several fiddles, that would be a lot better than having small humidifiers in every case.December 2, 2018 at 8:01 PM #67071
Yeah the bathtub solution sounds like the ultimate solution…lol…meaning…ULTIMATE..no further problems…lol. Well I know back east it doesn’t get the dry cold like what you guys get, but do you heat with wood? We always kept a kettle of water on the woodstove when we did. I miss doing that and now I run a humidfier that cost maybe 15.oo…it’s just a little thing…since I moved my fiddles upstairs, if i do a lot of cooking, which I normally do, plus washing dishes quite a bit and having hot water standing in the sink a lot…I think that helps with our situation. I’ve heard old timers talking about keeping apple slices in a fiddle case…supposedly the apple dries and gives off water…but I don’t know how that was actually done, or even if it was actually done. Maybe somebody else knows a good way.
Well Rodger, yeah, we got our tree up early. Our grandson, once he got the Tiny Tim part and started going to rehearsals, etc., then with the show starting right around Thanksgiving…he got bigtime into Christmas this year and came over one day and begged to let him decorate the tree…so we got our little poor ol plastic tree down and set it up so he could decorate it. We usually have a very quiet Christmas around here and nothing happens much, but this year with him being in the play, we’ve got old friends coming from afar and seeeing more people than we’ve seen since we moved up here 30 years ago…lol. So…yeah we got the tree all lit up and lots of stuff is happening.December 2, 2018 at 10:13 PM #67079
Dad always put an apple slice in his can of tobacco to keep it fresh. That might work just fine in the fiddle case also? Thanks for reminding me…December 2, 2018 at 10:41 PM #67083
Rodger I keep my violin cleaned and polished and I run a humidifier in the winter in my man cave where I keep my instruments if It drops below 30 on the humidity , I run the humidifier 24/7 , 30%to 50% is a ok zoneDecember 3, 2018 at 12:27 AM #67088
As far as house humidifiers…I have tried many, but they don’t work for long because we have a calcium/lime type deposits in our water that plug them up. My house has a lot of air flow …it’s not tightly sealed because I have a big fireplace going all the time, and it’s a challenge to keep it humid. Our humidity outside will drop below 10% at times during the winter, and I keep a bedroom window open a lot. It’s a big problem out here with extremely cold, dry air that bears little humidity.December 3, 2018 at 6:00 AM #67090
We have calcium in our water too, and if you find a solution I want to know it. I think what might help is storing your fiddle in a sauna out back. Or get a carbon fiber fiddle. I have a cf guitar and it’s great. Not sure how a fiddle in cf would beDecember 3, 2018 at 2:41 PM #67096
It’s such a pain to even bother with putting a fiddle in a case…take it out…put it in… all the time. If there was room where you could just humidify that room and keep it shut up tight, would be simple. But I do have to work out the case option. There are some jell packet type case humidifiers available now. Just wondered if anyone has used them…December 3, 2018 at 3:16 PM #67099
I know a lot of people have rooms that they humidify and keep instruments in there, which is (when possible) a good option. As to the gel packs, as long as it’s not silica gel….December 4, 2018 at 1:59 PM #67109
A friend , who has several stringed instruments, built a rack in his bathroom, where he keeps them when not playing. Highest humidity in the house. I’ve managed ok so far with a small water-bottle type humidifier in the case, even though our humidity is quite low in the winter.
JoeDecember 4, 2018 at 10:42 PM #67126
I use the Dampit humidifiers. We are really dry here now, my daughter’s Martin developed a crack this week. We are now running a humidifier in the music room.December 4, 2018 at 11:01 PM #67132
Ouch…a crack in the Martin? What year is that guitar? I got my first Martin, several years back…my husband and daughter bought it for me online for some birthday…long time ago…when she was still in college I think it was…anyway…I didn’t have it long until I noticed a crack…then I contacted Martin because I figured it had to have been there when I got it, but just didn’t notice. They were like…nope that’s your fault because you should humidfy your house. I’m like…well I don’t even have central heat, and it’s damp here most of the winter, so I do run a little room humidfier from the drugstore unless I’m cooking a lot and the windows are steaming up, etc., plus I’ve got 7 other guitars, some of them old Fenders, one of those old Fenders never having had a case and having been carried around in all kinds of weather in a pillow case, etc., subjected to wood stove heat, etc., and it ain’t got no problems…etc. Well, Martin says to me too bad…then, I read on a Martin guitar players forum there had been a warehouse fire back around the year I got my D-18…and to save money, Martin used that wood that had been in the fire to make guitars and they were subject to cracking. Of course if that was true, Martin would not want anything to do with that. I got fed up and sold that guitar…really traded it for a good guitar case and a hand-made dulcimer…i know I got the low end of that deal, but I was fed up with the Martin company…the ONLY guitar I’ve ever had that cracked.December 11, 2018 at 12:39 AM #67394
The Martin is only about five years old. She actually fell off the bed with it and cracked the top right off the bat, so another crack just adds flavor.December 11, 2018 at 8:30 AM #67413
Oh gosh…does she fall to sleep picking on the guitar? I read that Chet Atkins did that growing up.December 11, 2018 at 9:22 AM #67414
I developed a crack in my Martin the first winter here in TN. Martin fixed it under warranty (twice) but after the second time they said I had to find a moisture solution. The case humidifiers weren’t working. I had a 6 x 3 foot cubby corner in my Man Cave/music room that I had a cabinet make build a large, glass fronted case. I sealed the doors with weather strip and put a room humidifier in there set at 50%.
December 11, 2018 at 9:33 AM #67417
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by goettjp.
Wow! Love it! Now those are some pampered instruments!December 31, 2018 at 2:37 AM #68051
Cricket reminded me about the apple humidifier trick we always used back home, so I’ve been slicing an apple then set it back together & keep it in my case. It has turned out to be the perfect case humidifier. Keeps my fiddle at it’s optimum humidity and sounds great & not at all brutal playing double stops. Don’t have to worry about it leaking out, and it smells great too. One apple lasts quite a while doing it this way, or you can use just part of it & eat the rest. No joke this works. The water tube I used before leaked out once & would have ruined my fiddle if I didn’t catch it in time. But the tube thing had it ups & downs & that causes stress on the fiddle. This apple way is amazingly consistent.
(goettjp’s cabinet is ….”WoW”)December 31, 2018 at 8:44 AM #68052
Good to hear the old solution is still the best! It’s been so wet and damp here I’m not doing anything…I don’t keep mine in cases anymore, but I’ve got the storebought little vaporizer thing ready in waiting…except it’s been a very wet year and still so wet and swampy out there I’m afraid if I ran the vaporizer now we’d get mold…lol. But it’s good to hear the old timers just knew how to do things. We can look back to their ways and find some ingenious solutions.
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