Guitar hardcase storage protocol

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Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Meadows on Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:14 pm

Firstly, loving this new forum, great idea Smile

I have a question regarding the correct way to store a guitar (electric/acoustic/bass) in a "Hard Case" for a short/medium/long term period please.

At present I ensure the guitar is clean and then place a silica gel bag in the case and away she goes.

Never sure if I should  be reducing the tension on the strings? and if so, how much?

Are there other things that could/should be done to ensure the safe keeping of guitars when out of sight in their hard cases?. Akin maybe to turning the mattress  Sleeping in Bed

Many thanks as always
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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:37 pm

Si, I think possibly the worst thing you could do is put silica gel in a guitar case, especially if it's an acoustic, or semi-acoustic. That would draw moisture out of the wood which could lead to excessive drying and finish cracks, or worse.

You would perhaps only need to do something that drastic if you are near the sea, like our Corsair.

A lot depends on the ambient temp and humidity in which you're storing the instrument. The rule of thumb is, if it's a comfortable environment for you, it should be OK for the guitar too.

There are humidification packs that you can get for acoustics which hang inside the sound hole and do a good job of keeping the wood in proper balance. Good insurance if you have an expensive guitar like a Martin for example. There are even more sophisticated ones which will actually decrease the humidity if needed.

I made some poor man's humidifier packs a few years ago when the house I was in didn't have central humidification. I used some small plastic boxes from (where else?) the Dollar store. I drilled some holes in the lid, and inserted a piece of damp, not wet, sponge in the container.

I just placed it somewhere in the case where it didn't actually contact the wood and let it keep the interior happy. Takes a bit of monitoring though, to make sure it doesn't dry out.

Actually though, the solid body guitars, and even the acoustics, seem fine without any help as long as they're in their bags and not subjected to wild temperature or humidity swings. You're likely going to put more stress on them by going to gigs than storing them.

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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Meadows on Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:44 pm

Thanks Barry, that all sounds like sound advice Smile , I will remove the silica straight away. I thought when the manufacturers put those little bags in with new instruments that it was good practice to stop the metal parts suffering.

I notice my guitars tend to be in two areas, those in hard cases and those in padded gig bags. They all tend to see the light of day depending on the gig but there are several guitars that spend most of their life in cases, due to condition, value or simply uniqueness. It is these I am most concerned about. 

In respect of the neck preservation, should I store these at pitch or remove string tension?
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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:26 pm

I've always left mine at pitch. It makes sense if you think about it. Stops things from "wandering".

The only exception to his rule would be if you are shipping the guitar or expect any sort of rough handling. Best to slack off a bit to avoid the string tension backfiring on you in the event of a hard hit on the case/bag.

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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Meadows on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:36 pm

Thank you Barry, much appreciated  Smile
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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by corsair on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:43 pm

Yeah; all of mine are at pitch. I figure that the manufacturer designed 'em to be at pitch always so that's good enough for me!
I'm just a lttle wary of silica gel so keep an eye on the ones I have in guitar cases - the sea atmosphere plays merry hell with metalwork here; I mean the fretwire can get very manky, very quickly if you don't clean sweat and crap off the fretboard after playing!! String changes are about every month on the players because the bastard things tarnish SO quickly...

I would suggest, too, that hardcases are stored upright on their body ends - or on the long edge - rather than stacked up like pancakes...

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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:49 pm

Man, that's gotta be annoying mate. Angry
 
And expensive when you have a bunch of guitars to maintain!

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Re: Guitar hardcase storage protocol

Post by Meadows on Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:08 am

I get that, must be a real pain, the frustrating compromise of living so close to and enjoying a coastal life style Rolling Eyes
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