How long does rehumidifying a top take?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by AfterDarkMusic, Feb 6, 2008.


  1. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Hey guys. Call me ignorant, but I just noticed how desperately dry my acoustic guitar is. The fretboard is bending inward toward the soundhole beginning where it meets the body and the top is as concave as the one pictured on 'fretnotguitarrepair.com'. The action is also very low. I get fret buzz on the 1st and 2nd strings between the 5th and 8th frets, as well as between the 11th and 14th frets. I'm going to get a soundhole humidifier on Friday (any recommendations as far as brand? I was thinking kyser, but how do the very inexpensive Planet Waves ones work?). I've loosened the strings in hopes that it will relieve some stress on the top for the time being.

    How long will it take to bring the top back to a healthy state with one of these humidifiers?

    Also, it has a UST and a battery powered onboard preamp. Do I need to worry about these at all?
     
  2. Stubee

    Stubee Member

    Messages:
    184
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    I use Kyser soundhole humidifiers, seem to work well. Used Dampits for years but the soundhole set-up lasts longer & keeps the moisture in the box.

    It can take a few days if not more to bring it "back", but you'll probably notice some difference in the first day.

    If it were mine & it was showing those signs, I'd do something right now, like put a damp (not dripping) sponge in the case pocket, hang a wet towel in the guitar room, something to keep it from really getting bad. That sounds like a guitar that's way too dry.

    I live in MI so can appreciate the problem.
     
  3. Peppy

    Peppy Member

    Messages:
    6,256
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Location:
    Mesa, Arizona
    It's not where you live geographically but where and how you live specifically. I live in the desert. I used to have a swamp box to cool the house. When that ran...straight...for five months none of my guitars needed humidifying much. Just leave 'em out and the cooler took care of it. In the dry desert. Now though with a/c I humidify them year-round...they stay in the case and with two humidifiers per guitar. No problemo.
     
  4. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Does that include the fretboard straightening out above the 15th fret?



    For something temporary I've taken the electronics out and poked a couple holes near the top of a ziploc freezer bag. I put moistened a towel in the bottom of the bag and stuck it in the soundhole so as the guitar is standing in its case the bag is at the bottom of the lower bout. I've checked several times for drips and everything is fine. This will have to do until Friday.

    As far as conditions go, my apartment has electric heat and it is extremely dry. I typically don't have problems with them, but my knuckles have been extremely dry and cracking this year. I should have taken note and paid closer attention to the guitar. I've not had an issue with it before this winter. We're planning on picking up a room humidifier for the apartment this weekend, too. Anyways, I hope my guitar is on the road to recovery.
     
  5. Stubee

    Stubee Member

    Messages:
    184
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    AfterDark: I don't mean to state exactly how your guitar will be "fixed" by humidity. I have noted a change in my own dry guitars (like seam separations starting to close up) after 24 hours of humidity. I've used guitar humidifiers since about '73, but still had one or two get away from me over the years.

    Yours appears to be very dry, it sounds like you know that. I doubt you'd see a complete "healing" overnight, but maybe note some signs of improvement, like the top starting to go back to "flat". It's also possible for things to happen from dryness, like glue letting go, that no amount of humidifying will fix. I believe Taylor Guitar's website has tip sheets & explanations on what you might be seeing, as do other sites. I hope re-humidifying clears it up for you, and it well might.

    Peppy is right. Dry is dry. But I'll tell ya, I'd trade about anybody summer in AZ for winter in MI anymore. I'm gettin' tired of this stuff up here!
     
  6. konavet

    konavet Member

    Messages:
    495
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    The Big Island
    I have the opposite problem with too much humidity, so I don't know if it works the same for rehumidifying as dehumidifying. It's been my experience with really wet guitars (not literally, just long exposure to high humidity) that it takes a week or more to really dry out and have the sound and action come back to where it was. Might take less time to soak it up than to dry it out, though.
     
  7. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    On fretnotguitarrepair.com he mentions having rehumidified a guitar for several weeks before deeming it ready to have the crack in the top repaired. So, I'm expecting it to take a month. Maybe this way I'll have a nice surprise in a week or two :).
     
  8. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    After reading all the articles on humidity on Taylor's website, it looks like a guitar in the state that mine is in will take about 9 days to return to normal.
     
  9. bynt

    bynt Member

    Messages:
    2,103
    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Location:
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Check this out if you have the time. http://www.taylorguitars.com/see-hear/There's a bunch of stuff on the Taylor website. Hopefully this will help? Anyway, I live in a very dry climate (a lot of people using woodstoves, too) and a luthier up here (first love: acoustics) swears by the Oasis. It's the best one I've tried. It lasts a lot longer than the Keyser. http://oasishumidifiers.com/index.html
     
  10. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Thanks for the links. I was checking out all that stuff on Taylor's website earlier. It's nice to find a guitar manufacturer's website with a wealth of useful knowledge.

    That oasis looks great. Very cool design. I doubt I'll end up with one unless I can get it locally though.

    EDIT
    Apparently I can get those locally. My local shop is listed as a dealer. Very very cool. I will probably pick one up on Friday. I'll report back and letchew know!
     
  11. chaz

    chaz Member

    Messages:
    1,560
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    :AOK + 1 I had all kinds of problems with my Gibson until I got one of these. It has been absolutely rock solid ever since. Great little device!
     
  12. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    I picked up an Oasis Soundhole humidifier today. My music store actually sold it to me for $15 instead of the $20 at which they had it marked. I can't comment on the humidity output yet as it's only been in the guitar for a couple hours at this point, but the thing is obviously high quality. It's compact, light, doesn't stretch the strings too far apart, and doesn't have any type of sponge to overfill and leak. :AOK

    I'm happy with it.
     
  13. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,336
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    A method that was explained to me seems to work. Wet a small to average size sponge the wring it out so it does not leak and put it in a travel soap container with few holes in it. Place it in the case with the guitar and close the case. Check it every 24 hours. For the first few days the sponge will most likely be dry when you check it as the dried out guitar is absorbing moisture. When you check the sponge and it is still damp after 24 hours the guitar should be properly humidified. From this point on you just need to maintain the humidity, A guitar is happiest at around 40% - 55% humidity.
     
  14. AfterDarkMusic

    AfterDarkMusic Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Yeah, It's been soaking in humidity, but the woods not looking too much better. It may have warped too much. I'm planning to buy a new guitar at this point. My girlfriend has been saying it was time for an upgrade for over a year and this has sealed the deal for me. :(

    Its probably for the best.
     
  15. Trego

    Trego Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    what a sad end to your story!

    Did it come back?
     
  16. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

    Messages:
    2,785
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    A soundhole humidifier will help maintain a good RH, but you probably need to give it some extra help over the next two weeks. A well wrung sponge in a perforated baggie, stuffed in the soundhole or case (make sure the baggie is dry on the surface) will help a lot. You can expect to notice differences in a week, and it'll be good to go in two.

    Check out the Taylor website ...
    http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/woods/humidity/default.aspx

    In the winter I use TWO Oasis humidifiers in each case. BTW - Tighten the strings back to pitch.
     
  17. PHLOW

    PHLOW Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    Have you tried anything other than in-case humidifiers? You might want to try a more intense approach (I have used this with a guitar that had a wide crack that I wanted to draw as close together as possible.) If you have a small bathroom or closet that you can use, put the guitar on a guitar stand, put a portable room humidifier in the same space, keep it there for several days, making sure to keep the humidifier filled with water. This will give all of the guitar a good moisture "soaking" and may help your thirsty guitar.
     
  18. jsm355

    jsm355 Member

    Messages:
    173
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    NYC

Share This Page