Important Notice to owners of Ko’olau Guitars and ‘Ukuleles:
Symptoms and Prevention of Wet & Dry Guitars and Ukuleles
Due to low humidity weather conditions, caused by either heating in winter or a naturally dry climate, woods used for stringed instruments will either shrink and warp. We endeavor to maintain in our shop a somewhat constant temperature of 75 degrees and relative humidity of approximately 60 percent. And before any construction begins we kiln dry all of our woods to an exact percentage of moisture content.
Thus, when leaving our facility, the addition of or lack of moisture will either expand or contract woods. Consequently, necks will warp, either dip or “ski slope” when dry, or reverse bow (rise) under wet humid conditions. This, in turn, will either raise or lower your action, rise or lower the fingerboard tongue (the portion of the fingerboard that extends over the body), and cause the top and back to either bulge in humid conditions, or sink and cave in during dry weather. All of these changes are normal, the goal is to have them take place gradually as the instrument adapts to its new home. Obviously, a controlled temperature/humidity system, an air conditioner, is the best method of protection, however, most stringed instruments are not going to be kept, or played in such a perfect setting.
The most critical situation is “too dry” and as mentioned above, woods crack, and tops and backs sink. Too wet is also a problem, but in most cases this problem can more easily be compensated. The solution, in a wet, humid climate is to keep your instrument in the case when not in use, using silica gel packs to absorb moisture. Eventually, it will “acclimate” to its new environment. However, in a dry climate some form of moisture, a humidifier of some sort must be installed in the case, and then the instrument placed in the case when not in use.
Our hope is that you will enjoy many years playing your guitar or ukulele, so if you have any questions regarding the care of your instrument please feel free to contact us.