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winter and open seams >:(

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by dragonetti11, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    Just wondering, I have in two places on my bass open seams. They are both on the lower bout near the endpin. Does this happen to a lot of basses in the winter? Since I noticed the first on I bought a humidifier and have tried to keep it aroud 40-50% but sometimes when no ones home and the thing empties it slips dow to the 20's or 30's. What could it be the weather the bass? How much does it cost to seal one up??
    Thank You
  2. As far as a I remember it shouldnt be too much to seal it back up, I had to have that done on my cello one time, and it wasnt expensive. Seems like all it would need is some clamps and some hide glue maybe?

    Anyhow, as far as humidity, I recall reading that anything below 20 or 30 is concidered the danger zone. This thread has reminded me that I still need to buy a humidifier and a hygrometer. :eek:
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The dry heat is attacking the glue. I run 2 humidifiers, trying to not to go below 40%.
  4. This is a very common occurence,used to happen to me every year until I wised up and got a humidifier (Vaporisor is Fine, 20.00 at wal-mart) and a Hygrometer (15.00 at radio shack)
    It is not a very expensive problem to fix.As a matter of fact, Kolsteins sells a do-it yourself kit, but it costs about as much as the trip your local luthier.Your choice..
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Following up, I'll say that I've had the tops on two carved basses spontaneously crack from excessively dry air. Be happy that it was only the glue in your case. Get the humidifier, and do not expect a Dampit to do the job.

    reedo: nice to see you in the neighborhood again.
  6. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    An article in Double Bassist magazine (yes one exists although I can't find it anymore locally) something was mentioned about using a very fine mist of water from a spray bottle into the f-holes to prevent seems from opening. Does anyone else recommend this? I have a room humidifier but I haven't been able to keep the room much above 30% I was just wondering if the spray bottle sounds like a good idea in conjunction with the room humidfier.
  7. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Not a good idea. Get a bigger humidifier or a second one. Afriend of mine who has a drafty house keeps a humidifier in everyroom of his house. Sounds extreme but you have to do what you have to to keep the humidity up. You WILL be sorry if you don't if you own a wood bass.
  8. The article you were referring to was in the Summer 2003 issue. However, I agree with Jeff that misting in the "ff" holes is not a good idea.
  9. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    Thanks for the quick replies.
  10. Well, I went out and bought a humidifier today. Found a nice one at Costco for relatively cheap that has a digital hygrometer and a remote which Ill never use. But it had all the FDA approvals and what not.

    Then I went and hooked it up in my dorm room where my bass lives, and sometimes I do too, and it said my room humidity was between 65 and 70 percent. I looked up the humidity outside for seattle and it said 81 percent. Looks like I wont have to clean it that often.:rolleyes: :D
  11. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    Didn't want to start a new humidifier thread so I'll take over this one.

    I live in Northern California, where we have cool, humid winters and brain-meltingly hot, dry summers. I just played a couple of outdoor gigs on my New Standard Cleveland bass (ply top & back, solid ribs) in very dry air--during one, my bass went about a 1/2 step flat, which it's never done before. I don't know whether that's the strings (Spiros) or the wood drying out. I was worried that it was the wood so I got out the humidifier today and turned it on.

    It sounds like a lot of people have dedicated music rooms where they can unpack their basses and let them soak up moisture around the clock. I don't; all the rooms in my house are pretty high traffic (so I don't want to keep my bass out) and we really need to keep windows open for cross-ventilation. Plus there's forced air heat and central AC so the whole house is affected by climate control.

    My question is this: will my bass be getting enough moisture if I humidify it for a couple of hours after an outdoor gig and then put it away in its bag--as opposed to keeping it in a continually humid environment? I know it's a mostly plywood bass but I love her so and she's my most prized possession!

    Another question...if I'm on the road and don't have access to a humidifier would it be OK to bring the bass into a bathroom where I've run a hot shower to get the air nice and steamy, or do I risk condensation/water damage problems?I've used this trick before for solid-wood acoustic guitars before with good results. Thank you...
  12. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I suggest you spend just a few dollars to buy a hygrometer. If you're in the 40-60 range, you're cool.
    By all means, take care of your bass, but don't expect plywood to be as sensitive to dryness as a carved bass. (I'll be picking up my New Standard hybrid next week.)
    As a general rule, keeping the bass in the bag will even out extremes of humidty change, but that's also a disincentive to practice.
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    FWIW, if you own your home, have the $$ and plan on staying a while, it is well worth it to have a humidifier installed in your central heating unit.

    We have one in our house and it is wonderful. The midwest winters are cold and the gas furnace will really dry out things. I think it was less than $500 installed and basically just fits in the central air duct for the HVAC system.

    The one we have humidifies the whole house and hooks up to a tap water line so you never have to worry over it emptying. There is a filter-like grid thing that requires changing once every six months or so, but other than that it is pretty much hastle free.

    I have to crank it wide open to hit 40-45 in the dead of winter, but it will keep it there.

    BTW, in addition to safety for your bass, you get a much more comfortable environment to live in the winter. Your skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs will thank you. If you have little ones, you hear a lot less hacking and scratchiness.

    If you sing (or in my case attempt to) you'll really appreciate it.


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