Humidifying your mandolin

I received this email from a customer … 

I purchased a Gallatin mandolin from your shop for my wife back in the spring.  We live in MN, and cold weather has finally hit which means our radiators are on.  I know that it’s generally recommended to humidify guitars, just wondering what you recommend for mandos?  Looks like there are mixed opinions online…

My response …

To know if you need to humidify your mandolin requires a hygrometer.  You can find small inexpensive ones on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Analog-Hygrometer-by-Western-Humidor/dp/B00JXOKPT0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497879085&sr=8-3&keywords=hygrometer

If you put one like this inside the case you will know if you have a potential problem that requires you to take action.

Low humidity can cause wood to shrink and crack which can occur when the humidity reaches 35 percent or less.  I never go below 45 percent in my shop.  I have experience through repair seeing what happens when a mandolin is exposed to low humidity and it will indeed cause problems in the finish, body and fingerboard.  I try to target 45 to 50 percent but think 45 to 60 percent is fine.  Another problem is over humidifying the mandolin.  I’ve seen rusted frets.  See Bruce Weber’s article, Dreadful Over Humidification, in the Articles section of Mando Talk.  It shows you the other extreme of too much humidity.  This is another good reason to have a hygrometer in your case.

The Mando Shop recommends and sells the Oasis Mandolin Humidifier.

Regards,
Kyle

 

 

 

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