Guitar display cabinet

Does anyone uses a guitar display cabinet to keep your guitar(s)? Do you custom make them or is there a brand that you can recommend?

 

I recently took out my acoustic guitar from the case and was shocked to see the strings have rusted.  Problem for me when keeping the guitar in a case is that you tend to forget them.  Thanks!

20replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I was wanting to ask the same thing! 

    Like 1
  • Sorry, Don. I’ve got just one guitar that simply stays in its case when I am not playing it.

    Like
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips what happened to your lute? 

      Like 1
    • don Sorry, you’re right. I have no lute display case, either. 😀

      Like 1
  • don like Eric Phillips my guitar stays in a case when I'm not playing or on a guitar stand when I'm in a practice session but have other things to do.

    Like 1
  • Guitarstorage.com has an excellent product. I keep my 1952 Hauser I in one.

    Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      H Carson McKowen thanks! It looks good. 

      Like
    • don 

      Like
    • Brooke
    • Brooke
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Depends on your humidity level %. Mine are always out, year round never had a single issue.  30 years+

    Like
      • Brooke
      • Brooke
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Brooke higher humidity puts moisture in the wood, a case to help lower that element can help, and may be a good thing to do. Same issue for very dry climates; where moisture is needed for a balance (about 50%).  

      Like
  • This is a long answer, but it's complicated and you need to determine what's going on and what the source of the moisture is before determining the best solution.

    I'm retired but was a professional cabinet maker for 20 years, and then taught wood working for 20 years. I've been building guitars as a hobby for over 50 years so here's my take.

    The ideal humidity to aim for is 35 to 45 percent even 30 to 50 should not create any problems. Sudden changes are also more dangerous than gradual change so having the guitar in a climate controlled case where the humidity is maybe 40 then putting it in the car and taking it out in an uncontrolled space where it's 80 percent or vice versa having in a case at 50 then taking it out in a 25 percent environment could cause a problem. In general going from a high humidity to a low humidity is more likely to cause a problem than the other way around, wood can general accommodate some swelling - there might be some action problems but shrinking (going from a high to a low humidty) is what will likely cause cracks. Wood swells up when the humidity goes up and shrinks when it goes down. 

    The rusting on your strings can be from 2 sources, the environment or sweaty hands. If you sweat a lot when you play and then put the guitar in the case without wiping off the string and the fingerboard that can cause rusting. The slight chemical content in sweat can actually accelerate the rusting so that is one source. High humidity could be another source, that is water in the air can be condensating on the strings. High humidity alone usually won't do this. It's moisture coming out of the air that can cause problems. An 80 percent humidity means there is a lot of moisture content in the air. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. If the air cools then it can't hold as much moisture so some of that moisture comes out of the air. For instance in the summer when you go outside in the morning and there is dew everywhere it's because the warm air has cooled over night and the water has fallen out of the air. Likewise if there is fog in the morning (which is just small water droplets in the air) people talk about the sun "burning" it off. As the temperature rises the air can hold more water so it is dispersed rather than being water. If you are in a hot climate and have air conditioning this can be another source of the water. Warm air from outside is coming into the building and being cooled by the A/C, that means water drops out of the air and lands on everything - it might not be visible but it is still there. In this instance keeping the guitar in the case is better (it slow down the moisture moving to the instrument) it is good to keep a conditioner - planet waves, oasis, boveda and d'addario all have products for this, or you can put a dry sponge (or several) in the case. All of these are meant to suck up some of the moisture keeping the air drier.

    This could be happening even inside a case. The case will slow down both the water and temperature changes but it won't stop them completely so if the inside of the case reaches 75F or 20C during the day but the night time temperature drops to 30F or 1C water will condensate - it may not be visible but it would be enough to start rusting the strings.

    To start with you should get a couple of hygrometers - you can get them quite inexpensively so get 2 or 3. Put one in the room and one in the case. Check what the readings are so you have an idea of what is going on. The solution might be as simple as putting the guitar out on a stand rather than leave it in the case - the open air of a room allows more circulation and allow moisture to dissipate. Solutions don't need to necessarily be high tech. I was in a guitar museum in Spain that had at least a Million dollars worth of guitars dating from early 1800's through 2000's. They were hung on the wall with glass doors in front but the cases were not sealed. In Spain is very dry so the issue would be keeping the humidity from dropping too low. The solution - plastic drinking cups about half filled with water were placed on a shelf below the instruments! Generally I recommend setting the instrument on a stand in the open air of a room that doesn't get too hot or too cold. An attic room that gets very warm and dry, or a basement that is cool and damp are not good candidates. If your house is climate controlled and you can keep the humidity in the range of 30-50% you should have no trouble just leaving the guitar out.

    Like 3
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Brooke thanks!

      Robert St Cyr 

      thanks for the really informative answer. My part of the world has pretty  high humidity around 70-80. I normally keep my guitar in the case. Was thinking of a display cabinet to give it some level of protection as it were inside a case. Another reason is it also makes it easier to pick it up and play.

       

      Does it mean that I should dehumidify if I were to put it outside as it will mean it goes from high humidity to low humidity?  thanks!

      Like
    • don One caveat to Robert's very informative response, the relative humidity present in the maker's shop while building, and especially during assembly, will in large part determine the acceptable range of humidity for the instrument in the future. e.g. a guitar built at 50% humidity should be ok dipping to 35 or even 30% humidity, but a guitar built at 60% humidity very well might not be. Most luthiers I know are regulating the humidity in their shops, and building between 45% and 50% humidity, in order to ensure the instrument will be stable in the majority of environments, and that the humidity can be adjusted to compensate in an extreme environment without too much trouble.

      Like 2
    • Matthew Lavanish  You are absolutely right Matthew. and I keep my shop between 35 and 45 percent year round, which for me means heat and humidification in the winter and cooling and dehumidification during the summer. Most builders are controlling humidity to around this range since it will hold up in most places. And as I said before a guitar built in 40% humidity will likely be OK in significantly higher humidity, but a guitar built in 70% humidity will almost certainly develop cracks in a 30% humidity. The action issue is something else - and why I have started using truss rods in all my guitars - even though it is still not common in nylon string guitars.

      Like 1
    • don Wow I now understand why your strings will rust. Keeping the guitar in the open air where there is less chance of condensation is what I would recommend, as well as wiping down the strings after playing. Cabinets are not 100% air tight - even if they are well gasketed, when you open the door all the moist air in the room will rush in to fill the space. Then you close the door you trap the air. If the temperature goes down the moisture in that air will condensate on the inside of the cabinet, and the guitar. A well sealed cabinet will slow down the movement of moist air in and out of the cabinet, which is good - far better for the guitar to acclimate slowly.

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Robert St Cyr thank you! It makes a lot sense. 

      Like
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Matthew Lavanish thanks!

      Like 1
    • Robert St Cyr Truss rods are a great tool to have. I'm a little surprised more classical guitar builders don't use them, but only a little surprised.

      Like 1
  • The classical guitar world is very traditional so your observation (only a little surprised) is right on. The string pressure from a set of nylon strings is half of a set of steel strings, so the neck arguably does not need the rod for strength, but the wood is still subject to moving due to changes in humidity and aging so it's great to have the ability to make a small adjustment. Also because of the lower tension nylon strings are set at a higher action than steel strings so players get used to what I think is a less optimal setting than it could be. The newer truss rods are much lighter so they don't affect the balance the way some of the old ones would. 

    Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Robert St Cyr Matthew Lavanish I thought there are already some classical guitar makers using them. Hopefully more will. 

       

      On a somewhat related note, recently watched a youtube video about the use of Tall frets on classical guitar. It does sound wonderful that you dont need to apply too much pressure for a note to sound cleanly. 

      Like
Like Follow
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 20Replies
  • 173Views
  • 9 Following

Home

View all topics