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Humidity vs Wood


PASEWICZ
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Nicely done, Meeeeeshelle.

Your contribution might be a little over the heads of the typical luthier or musician.

I disagree. This is knowledge that most professional violin makers are already aware of, and if not, they should be. This knowledge is particularly necessary if they or their customers, live in volatile areas, where the relative humidity changes drastically. As Michelle indicates, cold weather, especially extreme cold can be worse than hot and humid weather. Where I live we don't get much of either. But this certainly is one of the easiest articles to read and understand that I have seen on the subject. It is succinct and above all it is directed at our profession. It should be compulsory reading in every violin making school. Music teachers would also do well to present copies to their students. Might I suggest that you paste it up in the fingerboard section Jerry.

Good stuff Michelle!

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Something new from MagicProbe:

A device which measures and sends humidity, temperature etc. to be viewed on your phone. Haven't seen or tested one yet.

http://www.magicprobe.net/hygroblu/

Ryan Hayes from the shop sent me this:

http://www.acurite.com/smart-home-remote-monitoring

Just what we need, more things to check in the middle of the night from Oberlin.

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These are all great articles, really interesting and useful.

Just one thing, though - is it possible to download them as pdfs?

I agree, a well written and informative article.  Well done Michelle!  My single critique is that the definition of relative humidity in the appendix is not correct.  John I converted the article to a PDF format for you.

Michele Vanderlip Illustrating the Relationship Between Humidity and Wood.pdf

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What if one completely seals the violin both inside and outside?

I don't know of a practical way of doing that. Many things which seem waterproof are quite permeable to water vapor.

 

A continuous epoxy coating will slow it down significantly. A thick and continuous coating of paraffin wax is among the most effective, but carries with it obvious problems as a violin coating.

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Ryan Hayes from the shop sent me this:

http://www.acurite.com/smart-home-remote-monitoring

Just what we need, more things to check in the middle of the night from Oberlin.

If one has monitoring cameras which can be viewed over the internet, another option is to place a hygrometer/thermometer within view of the cameras (that's what I've been doing so far to keep track of things when I'm away).

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I agree, a well written and informative article.  Well done Michelle!  My single critique is that the definition of relative humidity in the appendix is not correct.

I'm not sure it's incorrect, but perhaps it could be clearer.

Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air, compared to the maximum it can hold at the measurement temperature. The reason that relative humidity is the measurement which is important to us (versus absolute humidity) is that the moisture content of the wood tracks very closely with this, once the wood has had enough time to equalize with this environment.

 

Oversimplified a bit, but I find that most musicians go into a blank stare when I get much more complicated than that.

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Nicely done, Meeeeeshelle.

I had no idea that Jerry required tech article contributions from others than the "shop rats". :lol:

Your contribution might be a little over the heads of the typical luthier or musician.

Freekin' Jerry, who won't leave "well enough" alone. :D

Someone should mention that even though Michele isn't a "shop rat" she knows her stuff when it comes to wood technology. She got her degree in it. I always enjoyed picking my her brain on wood tech stuff. Good article Michele!
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I disagree. This is knowledge that most professional violin makers are already aware of, and if not, they should be. This knowledge is particularly necessary if they or their customers, live in volatile areas, where the relative humidity changes drastically. As Michelle indicates, cold weather, especially extreme cold can be worse than hot and humid weather. Where I live we don't get much of either. But this certainly is one of the easiest articles to read and understand that I have seen on the subject. It is succinct and above all it is directed at our profession. It should be compulsory reading in every violin making school. Music teachers would also do well to present copies to their students. Might I suggest that you paste it up in the fingerboard section Jerry.Good stuff Michelle!

Where I live a violin can be dull summertime and harsh in midwinter

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Well the answer is to move. The land of the midnight sun might be fine in summer, but three months in the dark is only good for creatures that hibernate. Here the difference between summer and winter is that in the winter it rains from the side. I have already said this on MN. When I first heard the title 'Fifty Shades of Grey', I thought it was about the weather here in Bremen.

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Well the answer is to move. The land of the midnight sun might be fine in summer, but three months in the dark is only good for creatures that hibernate.

 

How many times haven't we discussed that with my wife! And it get worse with age.

The creatures are called Finns (I speak swedish) and they hibernate with Koskenkorva

(For that I'm most likely to be beaten for real if some Finnish speaking violin maker read this and find out who I am)

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What if one completely seals the violin both inside and outside?

There is no coating that is 100 vapor proof. HOWEVER there is a product that is a penetrating epoxy sealer that is the next best thing, I have excellent results using it for instruments and often use it to create "hybrid" material. One thing I can say about this method is that once coated properly the instrument becomes virtually resistant to any seasonal movement. Normal expansion and contraction ceases for the most part, end result, instruments stay in tune forever.

 

This product when used on dimensionally thin material has the ability to literally saturate the fiber, displacing bound water and pushing out  suspended free water. Which under normal conditions, of other sealers, internal rot can occur by trapping water in the fiber, thus promoting  fungal growth.

 

One of the biggest mistakes that can happen in construction is to "paint" wood on all sides, this creates very dangerous situations with unseen hidden dry rot that can lead to catastrophic failure

 

So there is coating all sides with "varnish" that will "sit" on the wood....and then there is epoxy that will saturate the fibers completely...they will yield 2 very different long term results.

 

in order for this to happen, the material need be thin enough for complete saturation to occur...in the 5 to 2 mill range

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I copied and pasted the article into word then saved it as PDF file.

 

-Jim

Learned this trick from my wife.  Download free CutePDFWriter from the internet.  When you have the desired article up on the screen, right click and select Print.  Be sure that the pop-up indicates your preference --- B&W or color -- and click Print again.  Up will come your usual Save As prompt and you can save the PDF to your folder of choice.  These are PC instructions so someone else may have to Macify them.

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Well the answer is to move. The land of the midnight sun might be fine in summer, but three months in the dark is only good for creatures that hibernate. Here the difference between summer and winter is that in the winter it rains from the side. I have already said this on MN. When I first heard the title 'Fifty Shades of Grey', I thought it was about the weather here in Bremen.

"...but three months in the dark is only good for creatures that hibernate."  And for distilleries.

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There is no coating that is 100 vapor proof. HOWEVER there is a product that is a penetrating epoxy sealer that is the next best thing, I have excellent results using it for instruments and often use it to create "hybrid" material. One thing I can say about this method is that once coated properly the instrument becomes virtually resistant to any seasonal movement. Normal expansion and contraction ceases for the most part, end result, instruments stay in tune forever.

 

This product when used on dimensionally thin material has the ability to literally saturate the fiber, displacing bound water and pushing out  suspended free water. Which under normal conditions, of other sealers, internal rot can occur by trapping water in the fiber, thus promoting  fungal growth.

 

One of the biggest mistakes that can happen in construction is to "paint" wood on all sides, this creates very dangerous situations with unseen hidden dry rot that can lead to catastrophic failure

 

So there is coating all sides with "varnish" that will "sit" on the wood....and then there is epoxy that will saturate the fibers completely...they will yield 2 very different long term results.

 

in order for this to happen, the material need be thin enough for complete saturation to occur...in the 5 to 2 mill range

How does one determine the best time to do this sealing?  Since the wood's moisture content is constantly adjusting to ambient moisture, would you be sealing in a certain amount of moisture -- and its impact on stability, etc. -- depending on when you sealed?  (If I am missing something, blame it on the percoset following kidney stone blasting.)

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