Winter care for your Twisted Wood instrument
It’s Winter! The season of snow, skiing and skating is well under way, and as icy temperatures descend all over the country, we all have to make adjustments for the cold weather. We plow our driveways, put winter tires on our vehicles… and we should take some extra care of our instruments too! We need to pay our musical gear some more attention in the winter months, so we’ve prepared this guide to help you look after your Twisted Wood instrument throughout the season.
Step 1- Look for warning signs
The cold weather dries out the wood on your instrument, so keep a watchful eye for some potential signs that damage is occurring. A lower action on the neck, cracks in the finish, open bindings and fret ends sticking out are all indications that your instrument has suffered damage from the cold. If you see any of these signs- book your instrument for repair, and follow the remaining steps to avoid any further damage.
Step 2- Don’t freeze your instrument
Your ukulele or weissenborn prefers to live in the house! Not in your car, or garage…
The coldest parts of your home are near doors, windows, basements and unheated closets, so it’s important to find an alternative, suitable space for your instrument.
Step 3- Consider a case
A padded gig bag is a great way to carry your instrument from A to B, but in terms of protection from the winter weather- nothing beats a hard case. A good quality case will slow down the negative impact of a colder temperature and lower humidity.
Step 4- Take it slow
Whenever you bring your instrument from one climate to another, it’s important to let it acclimatize to the new temperature from within its case. Allow plenty of time for your instrument to adjust to room temperature, because exposing it to the air too quickly can cause warping and discolouration.
Step 5- Gather information
Consider purchasing a hygrometer to help protect your instrument during winter. A hygrometer will read the relative humidity inside your case, which will gradually match the outside environment. This will give you a good warning when the humidity begins to fall dangerously low. Ukuleles and Weissenborns are at risk of cracking if the relative humidity falls too far below 40 percent, so it’s essential to pay attention to what your hygrometer says!
Step 6- Humidify
If the air around your Twisted Wood instrument consistently falls below the ideal range of 40%- 60%, you should consider purchasing an in-case humidifier. While they are effective at making the air inside your case more hospitable for your instrument, it’s important to use the humidifier carefully, as over-humidifying can also cause serious damage.
By following each of these steps, you can preserve the integrity of your ukulele or weissenborn guitar, prevent any potential damage, and keep it in pristine condition.
Then, you can rest assured that your Twisted Wood instrument will continue to sound great for many winters to come!