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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / On this Seagull Grand my final question.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 28th, 2017 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't know why yet in the last month or so I've been keeping the humidity or rather the dampit and sponge at the head stock damp even 3 to 4 days . Before it may have been a month unless I noticed it was really dry.

Before the action was lower , not by much yet mostly on the treble side.

Point is I think by doing this the top has swelled just enough to raise the action higher.

It's been windy and dry here for the last 4 days and 20% RH it might even get drier as well a warmer saturday.

Should I just back off on wetting the dampit and sponge gradually and allow the top to drop where it is close to back to what it was?

I know the board fall off might not change which was what I was trying to do yet at the same time since the X brace with the top higher now some of the brace at the saddle pressure pulling up there might be also pulling the fall away in like a lever.

I just want it to settle back and so far the top has never cracked. A few years back I used the dampit with the cover for a while then decided not to can't recall way I tried it in the first place. Point is nothing cracked after I stopped doing that.

Maybe wet them once each 7 to 10 days and see what changes , would that be safe? Maybe take the sponge out of the case at the head stock.

On the EL-00 that planet waves dries out real fast so I keep it damp and only wet the sponge under the head stock when it's dry. Most info I find talks about turning the heat on and causing dry wood here it's not just heat , it gets dry on/ off . I see more lower than 30% than I see 50% even if it rains. Rare is 60% common is 35 %.

(This message was last edited by catnineblue at 09:52 PM, Apr 28th, 2017)

Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 30th, 2017 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My take on humidifiers. If you decide to use one for what ever reasons, be consistent. I don't own an expensive acoustic guitar. If the area you live in is considered dry and you're going to commit to taking care of your instrument or follow the manufacturers instructions, put a hydrometer in the guitar case and do what is necessary to keep the humidity within a range that is recommended. Don't humidify a guitar with guesswork.

Other than protecting the guitar from the extremes, I believe that its not so much the actual humidity but rather doing what you can to keep the guitar from enduring large swings in humidity. Changes in humidity put stresses on the structure and if the stresses swing back and forth, eventually you have failures in the structure from fatigue. These would be both cracks in the top, sides or back and failures of the glue joints. Establish a consistency and stick to it.

I don't think its a good idea to use humidity to force a guitar to change. The results are not predictable. Establish a consistency and then deal with the guitar using conventional setup techniques.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 30th, 2017 02:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was trying to go by what Bob Taylor offers on their web site. 20-35% wet dampit every 5 to 7 days , 35-45% every 10-14 , 20% use 2nd sponge. This is what he bases on if it's constantly in these areas most of the time.

This year more than most of the last decade we had short dry spells near 10%.

This year it's either rained quite a lot then the winds kick up and it drops from 55-60% to 10 -15% in a day , back and forth.

This is what makes it so difficult to keep them within reason. Yes I decided the seagull was dry simply because I hadn't keep on top of it like the EL-00 and when I got the EL-00 I wanted to have a routine and included the seagull . Both are far from high end. At this point I'll just stay with Taylors basic rules. Another issue is the dapit doe not dry out a fast as the Planet Waves sound hole deal.

I've read many times it takes the first 5 years or so for most acoustics to adapt to their environment and wood to settle and take what ever shape it will, in that case mine has done that a while ago. I really didn't flood the seagull with moisture I just kept checking more often. If I allow it to go back to what I did before yet find a mid point between how often I wet the dampit so instead of say from my records from Sept 2014 to date every month to now every week depending on just how dry it is , hopefully the guitar will live there and then I try to set it up best I can.

It's been through swings before and it's always been stored in it's case away from A/C or heat vents or sun and when it's really dry I check it's humidifiers and the last time I wet them since you don't want to wet them just because they are dry as Taylor states , you just maintain.

I know there are a few frets on the seagull that are a bit high and the nut action needs to come down on at least the lower strings. I've done this with basic hardware files for frets / Nuts I've made using feeler gauges with teeth filed in yet never tried to do the acoustic nuts. I can do it yet 3 double sided nut files and maybe one fret crowning file would make things a lot easier.

The Seagull seems pretty stable in that it does not change much with or without keeping up with the humidity. Course it does cause me pause each time I open the case hoping I don't find a crack in the solid top , sides and back are three ply laminated hard wood wild cherry. Top is solid cedar. Braces seem to be spruce. Seagull placed quite a few maybe 3/32" thick neck joint to the edge of upper bout , sound hole and even outside the X braces either side of the area just past the bridge plate nearer the lower bout , Appear to be braces to keep the top from cracking and reinforce the X brace and small fan braces.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

May 1st, 2017 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I find keeping my Taylors in their humidified cases (with meters) except when being played and the cases closed when the guitar is out having fun works very well with my humidification regiment.

My swings are probably greater than the LA area being more desert like and I have never had an issue. Consistency makes them happy however I have never seen changes in the top of any of them when I have been a bit lax in my humidification.

Not to worry, you will be getting June gloom soon enough!

My seagulls both have gigbags only. The anniversary S6 is typically not cased or bagged and I have no sign of a dry guitar. Very stable.

I do find with our more humid winters that I get a bit of fretboard growth on most of my guitars (with rosewood boards) and have to adjust truss rods by Feb/March on acoustics and electrics to get my minimal amount of relief back.


LA , Calif

I try my best
May 1st, 2017 06:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm just going to leave the Seagull in it's case without the dampit and just the sponge in zip lock under the head stock and let it hopefully go back to the a bit lower action than it has now.

I wish I had checked it when I got it to see what was there then compared to now yet I didn't come close to thinking about that.

All I do know is the action is a tad higher than it was which is most likely from me trying to bring the top back. It's about 1/64" higher now than a few months ago .

I'll just let it slowly dry back to where it was and stay with that routine. I think humidifying it more just caused the top to swell and raise the action plus it being 4 steps perhaps 5 below what the usual 1 step below concert pitch did bring the relief back yet may have contributed to the bridge tilting forward a bit. As long as the top does not crack I'll be fine with it. I wanted to lower the action because it's a bit over what seagull states it should be, I wanted it lower than that and it the top lowers I can sand the saddle down perhaps just enough to make it easier to play. Never thought that over time strings would loose tension and only because i used to change strings more often.


LA , Calif

I try my best
May 3rd, 2017 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I spoke to this well known guitar repair fellow and he said take the guitar out or open the case and allow it to return to normal. He said basically the first 3 years I didn't add a dampit was when I should have just never because people feel they need to do it when they live in climates they don't need it. My seagull was just fine before I added a dampit .

I'll see what happens , he didn't say be careful not to allow it to dry out to fast and he knows about seagulls. Besides now the RH is 47 %. So far it's been 4 days since I removed the dampit and sponge. I've also played it a few hours each day to allow it to dry out when it was more like 15% RH.

All of which most of you have already said.

(This message was last edited by catnineblue at 08:33 PM, May 3rd, 2017)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / On this Seagull Grand my final question.

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