Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Please put any questions about repairing your instrument or the finish on it in our Repairs section.

Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby William Stapleton » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:09 pm

I have finished up a handcrafted Violin and I have to ship it from down here in the piedmont of South Carolina to Seattle Washington. I am very worried about the climate change and what it may do to the violin-I will instruct the client to take it from the case and after ten minutes put it back and the next time leave it out a bit longer period of time and to do this several times before keeping it out of the case for a long period, hopefully it will acclimate to the climate. I sure could use some suggestion for the best way to ship it and how it should be treated after it arrives at the destination, I hear that the humidity in Seattle can be horrific, I am more than a bit worried about this
William Stapleton
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby David King » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:19 am

Seattle has a typical humidity in winter of around 80% at 49ºF. If you move that indoors to 70º RH drops to about 50% which ought to be ideal for most instruments most of the time unless they were built in the high mountain desert in a heated shop in wintertime. It's generally much safer to go from a dry climate to a wetter one. You might suggest that the customer check their RH with a cheap humidistat and tell them what range you would consider ideal for the instrument. They can bump up the heat in their music room for a few days if you are worried. Opening the case for a few minutes at a time makes sense but better to know exactly what you are dealing with and see if it's even an issue.
David King
 
Posts: 2548
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby William Stapleton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:09 am

Thanks! I will do that!
William Stapleton
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:27 pm

One of the nice things about violin family instruments is that they don't have much in the way of cross grain gluing. What bracing they do use runs generally with the grain.
Also because of the narrowness of the plate the total amount of movement from changes in humidity is less than on a guitar top. I'm not saying they can't crack, just not as likely.
I would be surprised if the indoor humidity in the piedmont region of South Carolina is much different than the indoor humidity of Seattle Washington. If you google the weekly forecasts you will see the outdoor conditions are pretty similar this time of year.
One thing to keep in mind is the weather the package will pass through during shipping. I would insulate the box fairly well so it doesn't experience sudden changes in temperature and humidity and try to get it there as quickly as possible.
Clay Schaeffer
 
Posts: 1262
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby William Stapleton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:08 pm

Thanks! I’m thinking that I should leave just a bit of tension on the strings to keep the sound post a bit more secure- I’m afraid that if I loosen them entirely that in the shipping process it could maybe get number enough to shake it loose- any suggestion on the tension? It will be shipped in the case within a insulated box and maybe a bit of bubble wrap
William Stapleton
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:00 pm

I would tune the strings one full step down (fcgd) and wrap the peghead and neck in bubble wrap. Double boxing as you mentioned (case in cardboard box) can save both the instrument and the case it's in. Bubble wrap seems to offer the best protection from shipping damage.
Shippers will tell you your package must sustain a 4 ft. drop without damage, but fail to mention it must also sustain without damage a 70 lb. package dropping on it from 4 ft.
Clay Schaeffer
 
Posts: 1262
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby William Stapleton » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:37 pm

Thanks! That is the kind of advice I was looking for! This is my 9th build for violins and I am finally beginning to scratch the surface as far as looks and sound, I am very pleased with this one .’, It does have its faults but it’s nothing to be ashamed of- I really hate to let it go- but a promise is a promise-
William Stapleton
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm

Re: Shipping a new handcrafted violin to a different climate

Postby Olivier Vandebroucke » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:32 pm

Okay, I've got a similar question. I wanted to buy a balalaika while I'm in Russia where I work now, bring it home to Belgium, and I was planning for next year to buy this house in Greece and spend the holidays there.
So, it would mean bringing the violin from a continental hot dry summer/cold winter climate with overheated apartments to an oceanic humid and cold-ish climate (think 12 degrees Celsius/53 Fahrenheit and rain that can happen at any single moment in the year) with insufficient insulation in most houses to a warm Mediteranean climate where I'll be only in good seasons.
Won't this mess up my balalaika (or any of my guitars, that is) beyond any repair?
Olivier Vandebroucke
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:58 am


Return to Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •