Proper Guitar Storage
I recently bought a Gretsch Electromatic G5125 hollowbody and was looking for advice on how to properly care for it. (I also have an cheap acoustic with laminated top/sides/back, so I'm guessing whatever advice would apply to both my guitars).
I live in Alberta, Canada and it's really dry most of the time. Not sure if I need a humidifier since it's a laminated top as opposed to a solid top? If I should use one, what do you recommend? I've seen humidifiers for acoustics that fit in the sound hole, but I don't think I've ever seen one that would fit in a f-hole. If a humidifer isn't required then is there any problem with leaving it on a wall hanger as opposed to its case?
Also, sometimes I go and play right after work so I have brought it with me and left it in the car during the day. Is this a dumb thing to do because of temp changes?
Thanks for the help.
A good hardshell case should be pretty good protection against changes in temperature and humidity. Leaving it in your car is okay (in my opinion), so long as you have a good case.
Doesn't matter how good the case is.
Luthiers use hide glue to assemble guitars - because you can soften the glue if repairs are needed later. You soften it by heating it up.
Hide glue softens at pretty low temperatures. The pots luthiers use to keep the glue liquid while they're assembling things hold the temperature to about 150-165ÂºF.
The inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 150ÂºF.
Soft glue + string tension = automatic dis-assembly.
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Somebodcy once told me that if you're comfortable then your guitar is comfortable, so I guess in the Spring and Fall its OK to leave it in the car but not in the hot days of summer or the cold of winter. I have humidifiers that are little snake like things (forgot the name) that can easily fit in an f hole or soundhole, in the winter I check to be sure they're wet at least weekly. In the summer I don't need 'em. I also use in the case type humidifiers that are little egg shaped items. I've had a guitar damaged by drying out so I may be a little overprotective.
Storing a guitar in a car is probabily the fastest way to kill it. Especially a good one like that. Glue comes undone, necks warp, finish cracks...
It takes very little time for the temp in a car to exceed 140 degrees in the summer and the opposite is true in the winter, cold can kill too!
I bet when you take the guitar out to play you find that the tuning is way out, this is caused by the change in temperature, and it is not all in the strings!
They bend the sides of the guitar with heat and moisture, so that should give you an idea what you are subjecting your guitar too.
When you go to work, carry your guitar with you, it's a great way to find people to jam with!
When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.
Thanks a lot for the enlightenment. I didn't realize that the heat could be enough to soften the glue. So that solves my one question - I won't ever leave them in my car.
Any more opinions on humidity? I've been told by a couple people (but they weren't luthiers or anything like that) that you don't need to use humidifiers on anything that's laminated wood. I figure if I should humidify them I'll leave them in their cases and buy some case humidifiers. If it's not needed I think I'm going to buy some wall hangers and hang them to get them up off the floor (I live in a small place where space is limited plus I don't mind ogling them once in a while).
Thanks again for the info.