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What Temperature and Humidity Levels Are Best for Your Guitar?

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 154

Just like with most instruments, the surrounding environment and climate plays a big roll in the life of guitars. Poor conditions can make your guitar fall apart before your eyes. Any form of severe weather can be traumatic to your guitar. Believe me; my guitar repair shop is full of guitars with problems like this. Environmental changes cannot only ruin the cosmetic appearance of your guitar like cracks in the finish; it can also harm the structural integrity of your guitar. In this article, I will explain ideal climate for your guitars as well as some dos and don'ts with guitar storage.

Temperature

In some ways temperature is worse than humidity. You probably wouldn't have guested this because most people talk about what humidity levels are best for guitars-not temperature. The truth is that temperature is just as important as proper humidity.

Extreme heat can warp guitar necks and melt glue joints where as the extreme cold can crack guitar finish. Do not leave your guitar in areas where there are extreme temperatures of any kind. I know what you are thinking. Why would I every leave my guitar in extreme conditions? The problem is people do this all the time without realizing it. Then they are back at my guitar repair shop getting their guitar repaired. One great example of this is leaving your guitar in a car. As you know, your car turns into a greenhouse in the summer time. Your guitar could warp or even have some of the glue soften while in the hot car. This is a guitar repair that you don't want to have to pay for.

The opposite is true during the winter. Do not leave your guitar out in your car during the winter. The finish can freeze or at least harden on the guitar. If you bring it inside and play it right away, the finish can crack. Obviously, sometimes there is no way around leaving your guitar in a cold car. If you have to leave your guitar in a cold car before a gig, I would suggest you bring it inside in the case well before you have to play it on stage. This will allow the guitar to "thaw" slowly. Your finish should be fine. The main thing you want to avoid is drastic fluctuations in temperature. Any guitar repair for finish or structural problems will be expensive. Leaving your acoustic or electric guitar in a car is costly mistake.

Humidity

Humidity is just as dangerous to guitars as extreme temperature. Humidity can cause the wood to swell or shrink. High humidity causes your guitar to absorb more moisture out of the air. It acts almost as a dehumidifier, sucking water out of the air. The wood will fill up with water and expand while the hardened finish on the guitar will stay a constant size. The expanded wood can crack the finish.

Low humidity has the opposite effect on guitar wood. The guitar wood dries out and shrinks while the hardened finish maintains the same shape. If a guitar is dry enough, it will almost always crack the finish. Most luthiers recommend around a 50% humidity level. It can be a little more or a little less, but this is a good rule of thumb. During dry winter months, you may need to place a humidifier in your guitar case in order to maintain the humidity around 50%. Take care of your guitars and keep them in good weather conditions and they will last a lifetime.

You can find more easy-to-read, helpful articles and information about guitar repair at http://www.guitarrepairbench.com. Guitar Repair Bench is a site dedicated to helping everyone learn how to repair and build his or her own guitars. Learn some new electric and acoustic guitar repair tips today!

Source: EzineArticles
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