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Thread: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

  1. #1

    Default Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    Hey cafegoers,

    A few questions about mandolin storage.
    I have a Poe Scout that I got from Andy about 5 months ago. I absolutely love it and I know that it will be my primary mandolin as I progress in the coming years. That said, I know very little about mandolin storage, but I do know that factors such as temperature, humidity, etc can be very important in maintaining the condition of an instrument.

    Until now I have been keeping my mandolin in its case whenever I'm not playing it. But I have a mandolin stand that I would love to leave it on (for easier access, since I play all the time). However, I have been fearful that leaving the mandolin out of its case will mean exposure to more temperature changes and changes in humidity.

    Soo... what is the protocol here?

    As I said, my mandolin was recently constructed. I have since travelled with it for the last four months along the mediterranean and now I have settled for the coming year in the southern part of France (Périgueux, somewhat near Bordeaux). I am not sure what the humidity is like here, though it seems somewhat dry so far. It does not get below freezing in the winter, generally, though it can be consistently cold and rainy throughout.

    Would it be harmful to leave my mandolin outside of its case on the stand?
    Need I buy some type of humidifier for the case?
    Is there anything else I should know about instrument care regarding temperature etc?

    I really love this mandolin and I want to make it last.

    Cheers,

    Quinn

  2. #2
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    I leave all my guitars and mandolins in there cases. Where I live the weather changes alot in a day everyday. Each one has a humidifier stem and also theres no risk of damage staying in the cases.
    But thats me.

  3. #3
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    Get a good hygrometer or two for comparison purposes. I generally keep at least 3 instruments on a stand (no children or pets at home) as I pick them up and play several times a day when home. My in-house humidity is usually around 50 to 55%. At these percentages I feel comfortable not casing my instruments.
    We travel and live about 7 months out of the year in an RV. When in our RV the instruments are always in a case when not being used as humidity varies greatly which I also monitor with two hygrometers. I have both dehumidifiers and humidifiers with me to use based upon need.
    Dehumidifiers for cases are less common but are of the type that you dry out by putting them in a 400 degree oven for two hours. You will not find these at popular music retailers but are available on Amazon.
    Hope this helps you determine how OCD you want to be.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Collings MT
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950

  4. #4

    Default Re: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    Okay, thanks a lot. Knowing next to nothing about humidity, what exactly am I aiming for here humidity-wise? And what would be a good humidifier to invest in?
    And is that to say that it's maybe not a great idea to leave it out on the stand, even if it is in a safe environment?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    I think the general rule is that if it's a comfortable humidity for you, then it's OK for your instruments. But to be a little more precise, I think I've seen the 40% to 60% range as being the OK range to be in.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Q's - Humidity, Temperature, Storage, etc.

    The closer to 50% the fewer the issues. Get down in the low 30s and most instruments will develop small issues over time. Some will develop major issues.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

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