6 months ago, I moved from South Carolina to Arizona. Naturally, I took my 3yr old Blueridge BR-160, with me. I never gave any consideration to the effects of the climate change to my guitar. The severely dry climate here has caused my BR-160 to develop a top crack from the sound hole to the strap end of the guitar. The neck has warped and causes string buzz above the third fret. Thinking I could “re-humidify” the guitar, I put it in the bathtub and filled the sound hole with water, then finished filling the tub until the water just covered the entire instrument. I had to hold it down with a cinder block. 24 hrs later, I removed my guitar from the tub and drained it. Today has been one week since the soaking, so I tried to restring it. The neck is now so warped the I can shoot arrows from it and the body glue seems to have broken down. The scallop bracing is just hanging on and the top crack is wide enough to slip a pick through. I feel that i was cheated some. It should have been able to float at least one cinder block.
Hi Gary, Sorry for your loss. The upside is you have good reason to buy a new one.
This is either really sad or deserves to be a comedy skit…maybe both
Thanks for sharing your story Gary. If something like this ever happens to me I will skip the bathtub/cinder block procedure thanks to you.
Mental Note: guitar + cinder block + bathtub + water =
I don’t think banjo’s like bathing much either
Archie, You’re right! I’ve just ordered a room humidifier with hygrometer, for the music room. I have a Stelling Golden Cross Banjo, a Eastman “A” style Mando, a Yairi-Alvarez (1976) guitar and a Autoharp. All of these instruments seem undaunted by the dry conditions here, but why take a chance. It’s kind of like installing an alarm system after you have a break in. My Blueridge is still playable, but the string buzz is annoying. I am over 100 miles from any music store and finding an acoustic Luthier is out of the question. I may send it to Ben.
You gotta take care of that little bundle especially the Golden Cross, here in Scotland we don’t see high temperatures, mostly rainy days but this week some pretty cold weather is heading our way across Europe from Siberia. Good luck with the repairs.
Maybe I’m a little slow but I’m still trying to figure out if this is a joke or not.
It’s not just you Jeff, I was wondering the same thing.
OK Guys… I confess… I did not put it in the bathtub. The first part about moving, top cracking and string buzz is true. It, sometimes, helps to lighten a bad situation by twisting it a bit.
Yay! A bathtub was not involved.
Get it some humidity and that will resolve a bunch of the problems. I use a big house humidifier, but for when it is real dry, I also use in-case humidifiers. You can buy them, but you can make them with a sponge and a zip lock. Cut a sponge to fit in a snack or sandwich size zip lock bag. Poke some little holes in the bag. Moisten the sponge and squeeze out the excess water. Put the sponge in the bag, zip it and put it in the case with the instrument. Refresh that sponge every couple of days and it will start to recover.
BTW, Jake would have to get the humidity up in the instrument for a crack repair if you send it, so you may as well get that going. It can take a few weeks to get the wood back to normal sizes.
Thanks, Mike. The rehydration process began a few days ago with a “rag-in-a-bag” DIY humidifier. I will get a hygrometer so I can confirm the humidity is where it should be (about 50%). I think they make them to use in an instrument case.
That was a good one… but it’s a serious issue I never thought about until now, so thanks!
Have you guys seen these? I just Googled “Musical Instrument Humidifier” and found a BUNCH of solutions, this one looks like one of the best:
Here’s another type:
Thanks Bob. I, too, have done a ton of research on this issue. I wondered why someone doesn’t make a hard-case with humidity control built in. Guess what… HumiCase does! Who knew?? here’s the link… http://www.humicase.com/
I found the humidistat for violins to be practically worthless, and the hygrometer that came with it didn’t work…
I also use the Oasis model for guitar and it works very well.
I live in Canada with cold, dry winters.
I bought one of those digital hygrometers on Ebay for $3 and use Herco Guitar humidifiers for my 2 acoustics, a violin and a mandolin.
I rewater the humidifiers when the humidity drops from the low 40%s to around 36% or so. I’ve done this for the last few winters and so far the instruments, all solid wood tops, have survived.