Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Make a Humidifier for Your Ukulele Case

These are instructions on how to make a tin humidifier for your ukulele (or other wood instrument) case. I designed this metal version after watching a Uke Minutes on Ukulele Underground on how to make a humidifier out of a Pez dispenser. The principles are the same so check out the Uke Minutes for more info, including the ideal humidity levels for your instrument.

NOTE: I don't have a hygrometer yet so I haven't tested how well this humidifier works. Once I get that that info, I will post it here.

My version is made from a 2 inch round tin, metal eyelets, and wet floral foam - all of which you can get at any craft store. Craft tins come in different shapes and sizes. If you are worried about the lid coming off of a round one, I'd recommend the rectangular hinged one, below. Eyelets also come in a variety of colors like silver, bronze, brass, and copper. The eyelets and eyelet setting tools I used are actually for scrapbooking - I bought them from my friend's Stampin' Up catalog.

The exact materials and tools I used here are:

  • 2 inch round tin
  • 13 silver colored eyelets
  • wet floral foam
  • drill with 1/8 general purpose drill bit
  • eyelet setting kit
  • sharpie or other marker
  • a quarter coin
  • cardboard box
  • cutting mats
  • knife
  • water
  • teaspoon

1. Remove the cover from the container. Use a marker to mark where the holes should be.

2. When I made the prototype, I had a problem with the drill bit slipping. So I added this step - using the eyelet setting tool and a hammer, hammer each marker spot so that the drill bit will have a starting point. Of course, if you are adept at handling a drill you can skip this step.

3. Put the lid on top of a hard cardboard box or other surface you don't mind getting holes in. You don't want to drill holes in your table when the drill bit bursts through the tin. Drill all holes.

4. You no longer need the box. On a flat surface, place an eyelet upside down, turn the lid upside down and align one of the holes over the eyelet. On my particular tin, there was a lip on the outer edge which means the eyelet will just go through when I try to hammer it. So I used a quarter as a sort of mini anvil that can get under that lip. Try finding a flat part of the coin to place the eyelet because patterns on the coin can leave dents in the eyelet.

5. Place the eyelet setting tool into the eyelet

6. Hammer the end of the setting tool until the eyelet mushrooms out.

7. Use the hammer to flatten out the mushroom all the way

8. Using the bottom of the container, mark the wet foam block so that it's slightly smaller than the width of the container. Slice the foam block with a knife.

10. Press the bottom of the container into the sliced foam piece like a cookie-cutter.

11. Remove the scrap foam pieces and press the foam all the way into the container. It should pop in easily.

12. Pour water one teaspoon at a time into the foam until it can't hold anymore water. Make sure to let the excess water drip out. Shake it a little too, if you want. Mine held about 8 teaspoons of water.

13. Cover it and place in your case. That's it!

I haven't done this yet but I would recommend using a piece of velcro to adhere the humidifier to the case.

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