Is your zither in need of repair? Do you have questions on how to best maintain your zither, or have advice? Post your questions and advice here.

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Post by bcolclough » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:23 pm

A member on here has suggested that I share my experience with musical instrument humidifiers.

I live in a climate that experiences drastic changes in humidity ever season...sometimes everyday in a season. Therefore I have become increasingly aware of the need to monitor the humidity levels in my home.

My awareness began several years ago at the Guitar Center in Buffalo, NY. The acoustic guitars are kept in a section of the store where humidity levels are controlled. Acoustic guitar, mandolins, and ukuleles are kept in this area.

Last winter was a long cold winter. A friend of mine in Western New York had his classic Gibson guitar crack because his house was so dry. That lead me to ensure my instruments were taken care of.

I was repairing a zither that I purchased last year. It had a slight warp to it. I purchased a violin humidifier that fits perfectly into the sound hole of a zither and I used clamps to put equal pressure on the fretboard. Over time, without heat the instrument found its intended position.

This is the type of violin humidifier that I bought. ... difier.htm

I simply follow the directions and keep this humidifier in my Zither while it is in the case. I add moisture to it on a regular basis to protect the instrument.

I have a Gretsch guitar from about 1949/1950. It is an acoustic guitar that belonged to my father. Unfortunately it sat in a case for a long time. The neck bows and some the joints are separating. I purchased a guitar humidifier to prevent further damage and to get the wood to a better position for when I have the instrument restored. The type that I purchased is great. Fill it with water and the humidifier collapsed as moisture leaves it. When it is fully collapsed it needs water. It makes inspecting the humidifier easy. Simply open the case and look at it.

This is the product that I purchased. ... difier.htm

Although intended for guitars, it is also possible to place this inside any instruments case and it will released moisture.

I also use digital hygrometers in my house. Those are the devices that show what the humidity level is in a room. I have them all over the house. In the winter if you add too much humidity to your home you will see condensation on your windows. You can also find mould growing in your house.

It is not likely that you will add too much to your instrument if you use commercial products for adding humidity. If you are experiencing the above symptoms in your home then be away that you have hight humidity levels in your house...these won't harm the instrument but it can be damaging to your home and your health.

PM me if anyone has any questions.


Rudy Mueller
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Humidifiers

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:15 pm

Elegant solution!

Room type humidifiers have brought relief of some issues, but these here are real solutions.

See this Forum, General Discussion, Humidity Control, from 2013.


Rudy Mueller
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Humidifiers

Post by Rudy Mueller » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:03 am

Back is woodworking class, the instructor (Otto Klaus) mentioned that the old German cabinet makers frequently finished both the inside and outside, or top and underside, of their products to equalize the rate of transfer of moisture in and out of the wood, preventing cracking.

If this is so, why are musical instruments frequently finished only on the outside, visible, surfaces?

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