Question about instrument humidifier

March 19, 2020, 3:05 PM · The humidifier I use in my case is usually used for guitars. Essentially, it’s a plastic box With small holes and a little sponge sits inside. Whenever I use it, the humidity in my case doesn’t change (I use the hygrometer that comes with my bobelock).

I realized that whenever I wet the sponge I ring it out to the point where it’s only slightly damp. Is this my problem? Should I not be ringing it out?

Replies (6)

Edited: March 19, 2020, 6:54 PM · The need for a case humidifier depends on your ambient climate and the condition inside your home and play venues.

When I lived in the California high desert for 33 years I ignored the climate the first 11 years and humidified my whole house (50% RH all year) for the next 22 years (playing in air-conditioned spaces really dried things out - I could tell by the way the loosened bow hair hung after I got home). Now in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 25 years I simply ignore the issue. I tell myself that violins were born and raised in the Italian climate similar to that of inland California but with no air conditioning, no central heating no humidifiers (and no plumbing)!

You should wring out the sponge, as you are doing.

Edited: March 19, 2020, 5:38 PM · What's the average humidty level where you live?
March 19, 2020, 7:38 PM · Sometimes the needles get stuck or don't work in the hygrometer in the bobelock case. Cup your hands around on it and breathe some hot air over it. If it doesn't move, it's not working right.
Edited: March 19, 2020, 10:03 PM · I use the same kind of humidifier. The dial hygrometers that are put in cases are usually junk. I bought a Calibre IV case hygrometer and I'm real happy with it.
March 19, 2020, 10:09 PM · As mentioned already, the hygrometers that come in cases are usually useless. You can purchase a better one fairly inexpensively, and if you want to be extra certain of the accuracy of the hygrometer, David Burgess sells some that he tests himself.

Your description of the technique for preparing your humidifier sounds good.

Edited: March 20, 2020, 9:39 AM · Advice on humidity (why and how to measure and humidify) from luthier David Burgess:

www.burgessviolins.com/humidity.html


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