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Dave T Help: Looking after your guitar collection (27) RE: Help: Looking after your guitar collection 10 Feb 02

I agree with Deckman...hang them on a wall and if the younguns are coming over, store them in their cases. If you live in a temperate or colder climate, it's important in winter to make sure the humidity is kept up to a reasonable level. This is one of the most common causes of cracks in instruments. I have a humidifier and hygrometer so I can keep the humidity around 35% in winter. This ensures the wood won't dry out, shrink and subsequently crack. I have a 1967 Martin whose previous owner obviously hadn't heard this advice...I had the crack (right under the treble E-string) fixed when I got it and the instrument's been fine ever since.
You can also get special humidifiers that fit in the sound hole of a guitar or through the f-holes of fiddles, etc. They're basically nothing more than a sponge inside a plastic case with holes in it; you soak it, squeeze out the excess water and put it in the instrument when you're not playing.

- Dave T

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