Drying a wet acoustic

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by will_shred, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    And I don't mean a guitar that has literally been dunked in water, just figuratively. Its been a very humid summer and my brand new gypsy guitar is already experiencing the classic symptoms of a wet guitar, my fault for leaving it on display in %70+ humidity. The back and top are bulging, there is a bulge near the end of the fingerboard due to the expansion of the center block. I've left it in its case for the last 5 days with 2 small silica packets and my own idea, which was to wrap handfuls of rice in cheese cloth and tie it off to make a makeshift dessicant dehumidifier. So two of those and two small silica packets, but i'm not sure how well the rice packets will actually work at absorbing the excess moisture. I'm thinking about just ordering some 10 gram packets of silica gel to throw in there, and a digital hygrometer to make sure I don't go overboard with the drying.

    Have I missed anything?
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    This guy might have some tips:



    Umm...on second thought, let's not listen to him...


    Silica packets are pretty aggressive. I'm not really sure how 70% humidity did that much damage to a guitar, though.

    You don't want to overdry the guitar, because then you'll have a more serious problem.

    How long ago did you purchase the guitar? Is it possible that the wood used to build it was not cured properly?

    Anyway, I would try silica gel packs for a little bit, but definitely keep an eye on the guitar. In the mean time, I would contact the builder or another luthier to diagnose what is going on with it, as I certainly feel that the results you are seeing should not be typical under the circumstances you explained.

    EDIT: If silica packs get saturated, you will want to replace them. They soak up moisture, but once they are done soaking up moisture, all of the moisture they soaked up stays inside of them. Sometimes they have instructions on the packs for how to regenerate their drying capabilities, but usually you just throw them away. Either way, though, once they are spent, you want to replace them.
     
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  3. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Silica packs will work, but you'll need to change them daily until the guitar is back to proper humidity levels (generally 40-55% relative humidity for an acoustic).

    If you have central air conditioning, you can turn on the A/C and it will dry out the air, too (I'm in very humid Houston and the RH inside my house never gets above 50% with the A/C running). If this is an option, you can leave the guitar out and it will dry naturally in the drier air.
     
  4. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    This is a 3 week old altemira from Djangobooks, I can upload some pics later. The top and back are bulged, the action was up to 5mm, Micheal claimed that it was 3mm out of the shop. There is also a "bump" in the wood around the 12th fret. I'll upload pics later, but considering that the guitar cost nearly $1400 I'm thinking I might want to file a PP dispute if they won't give me an exchange.
     
  5. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Ha... maybe on an Aristides with a Richlite FB :lol:
     
  6. Lemons

    Lemons SS.org Regular

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    Honestly I don't think the set ups from DjangoBooks are half as good as they claim. I got a free upgrade to the "deluxe setup" and had to give it a complete re-setup when it arrived. Micheal's been great to deal with whenever I've made a purchase though, I'd be surprised if they're not willing to help you out. I wouldn't bother trying to remedy the issue though, just send it straight back.
     
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  7. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Glad i'm not alone.

    The question is, is it worth returning the guitar over this? The imperfection is maybe .5mm, not even sure if it would effect play-ability. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    That depends on how much it really bothers you. Personally, I think that imperfections are bound to occur in instruments made out of wood, although it's fair enough to expect a high standard of precision.

    If you like how it plays, looks and sounds, then that's all that really matters, imo.
     
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  9. Lemons

    Lemons SS.org Regular

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    I understand that high action can just be lowered, but the real issue is if the construction of the guitar isn't up to scratch then chances are you'll have to deal with larger problems down the road.
     
  10. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Not necessarily, an irregularity on a small section of the fingerboard isn't exactly an indication of any other problems besides an irregularity on a small section of the fingerboard. "not up to scratch" doesn't highlight a specific issue with the guitar that would lead to "future problems down the road". I'm leaning towards that it wouldn't be worth making a fuss about if it doesn't effect play-ability. I also really like the guitar overall. Love the sound and the feeling of it.

    It could indicate that the wood was never dried properly to begin with, but I can return the guitar to %50 and then see if I get any more movement of the fingerboard.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I would sent it back. It's basically a new guitar and it appears that the wood was not cured properly. I doubt it's 0.5 mm off if you can see it that clearly in the photo, and it's not really going to get better before it gets worse. But that's just my :2c:
     
  12. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    I didn't notice that gap at first, but now that I take a look at it I can see that it's pretty extreme, especially for an acoustic. Wood can be finicky, but the builder should have caught that before sending it out.
     
  13. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I can upload some more images, but I don't think that would be necessary. Micheal seems like an honest guy, so I hope he'll make things right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  14. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Here's the message that Micheal sent me

    Thoughts? If what he's saying is true I have 2 points. 1. I'm peeved that a company making $1000+ guitars can't be bothered to cure their woods properly. 2. I don't want to gamble on a replacement if the company isn't curing woods properly in the first place.
     
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  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    :holy:


    ....If I were you, I would tell them that little bit of information is 100% unacceptable for an ultra-thin top acoustic guitar, and insist on a refund.

    70% RH, in the real world, is not "extreme conditions." What's the use in a guitat if you can never take it out of the house or touch it?!
     
  16. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I agree, I'm going to insist on a refund. If he doesn't grant it, what are my other options? I mean, I feel like i'm entitled to a refund because I would have never purchased this guitar had I known the company uses woods that haven't been properly cured. This guitar cost $1400 and has problems that my $200 Yamaha doesn't. If he won't grant me a refund, I will file a claim with paypal, and if that doesn't work, what are my options?

    I wouldn't trust someone at paypal to understand the context of this dispute, unless they happen to be a guitar enthusiast.
     
  17. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    One last update, Micheal has very reluctantly agreed to give me a refund or exchange. He still stands by his story that its "normal" for these kinds of guitars to be extremely sensitive to climate swings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  18. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    $200 dollar guitars are made of plywood, so they aren't susceptible to humidity issues like better solid wood guitars, so this isn't really a fair statement.

    But i agree about the green wood issue - get your money back. That's not acceptable at any price point.
     

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