Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Sun May 20, 2018 6:24 pm


All times are UTC - 5 hours


Forum rules


Be nice, no cussin and enjoy!




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Dehydration gone awry
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:22 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3617
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
I do a lot of repair and setup work for a couple local stores... One in particular sells a lot of acoustic guitars, and every winter I have to file off the sharp edges of frets, or otherwise adjust out humps and dips brought on by dryness of the wood. This store has 2 humidifiers - one in the main showroom (Fender, Ibanez, Yamaha, Gibson), and one in the isolation room (Breedlove, Eastman, Taylor). This is THE problem area. Right now I have 2 fairly expensive Eastman flattops with KNIVES on the edge of the fretboard. The ebony is cracked and looks curved where the wood has shrunk. In frustration, I actually dribbled water on the fingerboard of the worst one, and rubbed it in. It disappeared in less than a minute. I reapplied - same deal. I'll get it squared away after lunch, but I have to ask.... WTH is wrong at that store? Short of planting a small forest to hydrate their stock, what can these folks do so they don't have to keep paying me to touch up guitars a half-dozen at a time? I've never seen guitars this dry in my 40 years of service.

_________________
Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!



These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: CraigG (Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:42 am)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:30 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:11 pm
Posts: 1897
Location: Spokane, Washington
First name: Pat
Last Name: Foster
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Chris, I don't have an answer for you, but after reading your post, my eyes drifted to the first part of your sig, and I had to chuckle.

Pat

_________________
formerly known around here as burbank
_________________

http://www.patfosterguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:45 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:17 am
Posts: 707
Location: United States
I was at (I believe it’s called) Dave’s guitars in Minneapolis and could not believe how many humidifiers they had running. It was mid winter. Their showroom had a ton of gits and at least 4 large humidifiers going.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:28 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1122
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My local little mom and pop store has a humidifier built into their HVAC system. They told me it goes thru 20 gallons of water per day


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:44 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2489
I think much of the U.S. has been unusually cold this year, with the result that indoor humidity has been in the single digits many places. Normal humidification can't keep up.
As some people have said rehydrating probably won't bring the wood back to it's original dimension. Just think of it as a "windfall" of work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:03 pm 
Offline
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 10040
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Hey Chris, as mentioned this is a very dry, cold winter and we are seeing tons of new business for cracks, caved in domes, etc.

My advise for you and the store is that step one is a known, known.... calibrated hygrometer. Many of the hygrometers commercially available are way off right off the shelf or they are only accurate within a specific range even though they show more than that range.

Our solution is wet bulb testing in some variation, psychrometers, sling psychrometers, or simply two lab thermometers with the mecury ones being preferred if you can find them.

We use the wet bulb tests to calibrate our hygrometer and this can simply be using a sharpie on the face to correct it. My home hygrometer can be calibrated, an Abbeon Cal and it's an excellent unit.

Once we know what the problem really is or more specifically what the RH is then it's time to address it. I installed a $900 system on my home furnace and it works great. It's made by AprilAir and is rated for a 10,000 commercial space when my condo is a bit more than 1,100 square feet. It's set and forget all winter long and the only thing that I have to do is change the "panel" a disposable wick once a year. Panels are less than $20. It's 45% right now and always at my place because of this unit.

In our shop we also use an AprilAir with the same panel and that one has to be supplemented with a home made arrangement that Dave made that preheats the air, saturates it with humidity and then blows it out in our main shop. We can maintain 45% there at -14F which is pretty amazing for a 110 year old building with no insulation.....

Anyway step one is a quality, calibrated hygrometer and step two in my opinion is the humidifiers. Something hand's off is always preferable in a commercial environment IMO.

If the store doesn't want to invest in maintaining their inventory might I suggest finding a great bank for yourself Chris with the best rewards program you can find...;)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:54 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3617
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Thanks, guys. I'm hip to the dryness of the year right now.... I live on the high plains of Kansas. Also, I'm a diabetic which means I pay close attention to the dryness of my skin. Usually a liberal application of some Gold Bond lotion for diabetics is good for a day or two, but not right now! My fingertips are quite cracked (and then super glued together) so I can keep working at the bench.

Believe it or not, rubbing the fingerboard with water worked. I don't recommend it, and normally wouldn't even consider it... BUT, I had to do something. A couple hours with a fret beveling file, a 3 corner fret dressing file, my shop-made safe file, plus several selections of fret erasers, and the guitar is once again playable without bloodshed.

Will recommend larger or more humidifiers for the store. I'm trying to get out of this kind of work so I can concentrate on MY projects, not THEIRS.

_________________
Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:10 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2489
Hi Chris,
The best thing I've found for dry skin is bag balm. It was originally used for cow teats that get chapped by the milkers. Now you can find it in a lot of pharmacies, Target and Walmart. It goes on a little sticky but dries quickly and stays on better than most lotions. It comes in a little green square can. It also will help heal dry cracked hands. good stuff!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:07 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 6192
First name: Mike
Last Name: O'Melia
City: Huntsville
State: Alabama
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
You want to stop being paid?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:21 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3617
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Quote:
The best thing I've found for dry skin is bag balm.

I'm hip. I milked a lot of goats on Dad's farm when I was a kid.... (Ha! A joke)

Quote:
You want to stop being paid?

I'm supposed to be semi-retired, and since there are only so many hours in a week.... I wanna pick what I am working on..... Builds and so forth. But they keeping calling ME, not the other guys in town.

_________________
Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:26 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:52 am
Posts: 1135
City: Lawrence
State: Kansas
Zip/Postal Code: 66047
Status: Amateur
There IS a reason why they call you Chris.

_________________
Say what you do, Do what you say.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:24 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 3617
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Yes, Dave. Because I have great legs and a winning smile.

You know, it occurred to me - way back in the late 70's.... One of the first guitar stores I worked at used those steam vaporizers in the acoustic room (you know, like the ones Mom used on us when we had colds). We had a couple high end guitars crack like rifle shots, and those vaporizers worked a charm. I shall recommend them to the local stores.....

_________________
Stop saying "How stupid can you get?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:23 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 543
First name: Mark
City: Concord
State: NC
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Check the wick material on the humidifiers. If they are using tap water in them the wick will crust over with mineral deposits and need to be cleaned or replaced. Mine last ~2 months and get cleaned w/a vinegar soak and then get tossed after another 2 months. Nebulizer (mist) type humidifiers produce microscopic water droplets which can transport pathogens and create a mess when the mineral dust collects around the machine.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:28 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:21 am
Posts: 3775
Location: Central PA
First name: john
Last Name: hall
City: Hegins
State: pa
Zip/Postal Code: 17938
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
One thing DO NOT TRUST YOUR HYGROMETERS it is easy to calibrate them using the wet salt method

It is frustrating to see so many cracked guitars that could have been prevented.

_________________
John Hall
blues creek guitars
Authorized CF Martin Repair
Member Board of Directors ASIA
You Don't know what you don't know until you know it


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:12 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 2022
Location: South Carolina
First name: John
Last Name: Cox
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Perhaps a friendly conversation with the owner is in order....

With the economy picking up - many places have lost their more experienced, more capable folks who used to just take care of all this stuff... They have been replaced with cheap, inexperienced help...

And it could simply be that the new guys simply don't know what to look for or what to do... It's not their money spent on guitar repairs after all...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com