We have a few days reprieve from some of the coldest winter weather I can remember. The fact that it occurred over nearly two weeks when most schools were out and buildings were cold didn’t help our local orchestra directors! We have seen an unprecedented number of instruments covering all price points and construction methods experience open seams, cracks, and other weather-related issues. Even here at the shop in a room that stays heated and humidified, the extreme cold caused issues. A local professional with a valuable cello is having a top crack repaired by our luthiers. I’ve had emails asking how to prevent this in the future, and I likened the weather we just had to a 100-year flood…it was going to cause problems no matter how well you prepared.
If you haven’t already, invest in a humidifier for the room where your instrument lives. In-instrument and in-case humidifiers can help when used well, but can cause problems if used improperly. Always “think big” when it comes to humidification. Your whole house if possible. If not, the room the instrument lives in. If not that, the case. If not the case, the instrument itself.
A seam open, while never fun, is VASTLY preferable to a crack. Open seams are part of life for cellists and bassists, although even violins and violas deal with them regularly. If you need a seam closed or a crack repaired, we are here to help!