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Ask Bob: Humidification Cabinet

Question: I currently have three Taylors: a Taylor T5-S, a Taylor 614ce that my wife bought me as a birthday present, and a wife with the last name Taylor. In “Ask Bob,” I have a keen interest in reading all about managing humidity on these guitars, as the winters in Canada are bone dry, and humidity levels can drop to below 35 percent. Most of the suggestions have been to keep the guitar in the case with all kinds of bits in the soundhole and neck, but I found that particularly frustrating when I wanted to play them, as I had to unpack them each time and repack when done. I found that my playing time dropped, and I played my ’52 Telecaster, as I don’t need to worry as much with it. So I wanted to share with you how I solved this issue.

Recently we moved, and our new house had a large bookcase in the basement with three sections that had glass doors. I removed several shelves inside those cabinets and placed the guitars on stands. I then placed a large sponge in a container with some water and closed the doors. The hygrometer placed in the cabinet reports a consistent 50-53 percent all day long. All I need to do is refresh some water in the sponge every couple of weeks to make this work.  Now the guitars are not only easily accessible, but they are on display for all to see. I think that others can merely buy an IKEA cabinet and do the same.
Jason McDermott
Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Answer: Jason, that’s a perfect solution. Make sure your hygrometer is digital. And put two of them in there. The needle-based, old-school hygrometers can literally glue themselves to some number like 50 percent and give you a false sense of security. Digital hygrometers work better, and two will always help, because if they read the same you probably have a good indication that they’re telling the truth. That’s all I’d add to your wonderful solution. You da man!

Thank you for reading.