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How can I protect my instrument from humidity? And More.
Fiddlerman soloist ADUANA'S problems in Colombia + humidity.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (7 votes) 
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BautyCoot
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February 2, 2018 - 1:14 pm
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Hi, so like one week ago my Fiddlerman Soloist arrived.

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It's a beautiful violin, and as a beginner I couldn't be more happy.

But...

 

I had some problems with the ADUANA (I think you call it customhouse).

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They make three shallow marks in the back of the violin.

And destroy one bow holder.

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Do you think a luthier can easily repair the back of the violin? and, where can I get another bow holder like this one?

I found this one in Amazon but I don't know if it's the same of the violin's case.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XKLEC2/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

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Finally, I'm having problems with humidity

70%-85%

I'm putting my violin like this (packaged like how arrived):

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Should I put some clothes on it?

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Maybe is the box the problem?

Or should I put a big blanket in the walls?

Any advice would be great, It feels great that I can finally be part of the community 🙂

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Charles
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February 2, 2018 - 7:10 pm
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The marks on the back look easy to fix - just a little bit of varnish. If they don't go all the way down to the wood, it's not even something there's any hurry for, except for your peace of mind.

I can't comment on the bow holders - I'm not good at that kind of thing.

The humidity issue.... that's going to be a bit tricky.  What messes up violins more than anything else is rapid changes in temperature and humidity, and a few months ago, I would have said that that's not enough variation to matter.

But we had a discussion about that subject a couple of weeks ago, and a luthier suggested 40%-60% as the ideal range,  and some other people commented that above 60%, there starts being a significant chance of mold growing.

The box and the clothes aren't going to help, I'm afraid.  If the air in the room is at 75% (to pick a number), then when you open the case, the inside of the case will very soon be at 75%. It would also get to 75% inside the case even if the case were shut and covered with other things, unless those other things were better than airtight.  (Water molecules are smaller than air molecules.)

Keeping a violin closed up in a case (or a case plus other stuff) is only helpful for slowing down the transition to a new temperature or humidity. It won't (by itself) keep the humidity (or temperature, for that matter) in the desired range for long periods.

One possibility would be something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Super-Dri-Hearing-Dehumidifier-Hal-Hen/dp/B000B7I8FQ/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1517614672&sr=8-4  

I use it for my hearing aids. You'd have to poke some holes in the lid and keep it inside your case, and then keep the violin inside the case any time you weren't playing it. One thing I like about it is that it has mostly white beads and some blue ones. When the blue ones fade to grey or white, they need to be "recharged". You recharged them by putting them in an oven  (110-120 C would probably do it) on a wide pan, and let the high heat dry them out. You then pour them back in the bottle and they're ready to go again.

There are some problems with that method, though. They're designed to deal with small quantities of air and moisture. With the bottle sealed, they last for several months before they need to be recharged. I don't know how long they'd last in a case. If it was as little as a day, you'd need at least two, and it'd be a fair amount of work.

There's a second problem - every time you take the violin out to play, you're changing the humidity it experiences fairly drastically, fairly suddenly. I don't know enough about the subject to predict what would happen, or even to say which would be worse - constant high humidity or frequent rapid changes.

I'm assuming you don't have air conditioning, because air conditioners tend to keep the air at a pretty constant humidity. (And lower than 85%. It might get as high as 70%.)

A cheaper variant on that idea would be a dehumidifier.  That will probably be some work to take care of, also, and probably be somewhat noisy, but if you have one room you can use for practice that can be mostly sealed off (so that the air and humidity flow in and out of that room is limited), that might be an affordable solution. You wouldn't need to keep it in the case at all if that would work.

Finally, since (as far as I know) the main danger from higher humidity like that is mold, maybe something to control mold would be the answer.

I'd recommend trying to find luthiers and players who live in Colombia and ask them what they do. (And hope they don't give you nothing but answers you can't afford.)

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Irv
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February 2, 2018 - 7:46 pm
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A high humidity environmental is condusive to mold and is may lower the height of the fingerboard.  

The first step would be to confirm that the case humidity indicator is accurate.  This is not an expensive instrument.

An inexpensive solution is to put some indicating desiccant silica in the violin case, enclosed in something similar to a lady's nylon stocking.  You may want to put the violin case in a plastic bag or similar.  The desiccant silica is inexpensive and can easily be reactivated by heating it in an oven, as Charles stated.  I would not put a great quantity in the case since you want to keep the humidity at 40 - 50% relative and the silica has the capacity to lower humidity to 0%, which is not good.  

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 2, 2018 - 8:44 pm
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As I mentioned in the other thread, my parents' house in Houston flooded after Hurricane Harvey, and Houston is a humid environment to begin with. Before mold treatment and drywall repairs were completed, they ran four dehumidifiers for the entire house (a large 5-bedroom house), and that was sufficient to keep the humidity under 40% with no special measures taken to keep outside air out. For a single practice room, one dehumidifier may be sufficient.

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BautyCoot
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February 2, 2018 - 9:47 pm
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AndrewH said
As I mentioned in the other thread, my parents' house in Houston flooded after Hurricane Harvey, and Houston is a humid environment to begin with. Before mold treatment and drywall repairs were completed, they ran four dehumidifiers for the entire house (a large 5-bedroom house), and that was sufficient to keep the humidity under 40% with no special measures taken to keep outside air out. For a single practice room, one dehumidifier may be sufficient.  

Hi, thanks to the advice I got on this post I decide to get a dehumidifier.

https://www.amazon.com/Dehumidifier-Powerful-Portable-Automatic-Effortless/dp/B076C9KH7D/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

What do you think about this model?

You seem to be more experienced in this field.

my room it's like 3.5*3.5*3 meters 🙂

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 2, 2018 - 11:59 pm
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BautyCoot said

AndrewH said
As I mentioned in the other thread, my parents' house in Houston flooded after Hurricane Harvey, and Houston is a humid environment to begin with. Before mold treatment and drywall repairs were completed, they ran four dehumidifiers for the entire house (a large 5-bedroom house), and that was sufficient to keep the humidity under 40% with no special measures taken to keep outside air out. For a single practice room, one dehumidifier may be sufficient.  

Hi, thanks to the advice I got on this post I decide to get a dehumidifier.

https://www.amazon.com/Dehumidifier-Powerful-Portable-Automatic-Effortless/dp/B076C9KH7D/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

What do you think about this model?

You seem to be more experienced in this field.

my room it's like 3.5*3.5*3 meters 🙂  

Hmm. Looks like it's designed for a room about that size. (Recommended for approximately 1200 cubic feet, and your room is 1300 cubic feet.) Should cut the humidity substantially.

But you might also consider getting a more powerful humidifier, so you don't have to run it all the time and can turn it off when you don't want the noise.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 6, 2018 - 12:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13725

@BautyCoot - Sorry to hear that customs did some damage. We will gladly ship you a new spinner for your case. Would you please give me your order ID?

As for the marks, try with some wax such as turtle wax but don't tell anyone that I said that. 🙂

Our luthiers use their own formula polish along with fine pumice stone powder. Sometimes they use varnish and sometimes French polish.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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BautyCoot
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February 11, 2018 - 1:04 pm
Member Since: November 15, 2017
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Fiddlerman said
@BautyCoot - Sorry to hear that customs did some damage. We will gladly ship you a new spinner for your case. Would you please give me your order ID?

As for the marks, try with some wax such as turtle wax but don't tell anyone that I said that. 🙂

Our luthiers use their own formula polish along with fine pumice stone powder. Sometimes they use varnish and sometimes French polish.  

Hi :D, thanks for the advice.

The ID seems to be "#112-6391439-2149045"

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 15, 2018 - 10:40 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13725

I'm confused about the order ID.
Our ID is 5 numbers long. Should look something like this: 38387

You could also send me a PM with the name that you used when making the order and I'll find it that way instead.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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