View Full Version : Humidifying Your House For Cue Sticks: Winter
03-03-2003, 08:54 PM
In the winter, humidity levels tend to be low and heating systems dry the air out even more. Has anyone noticed that cue sticks they keep indoors have a greater tendency to warp in the winter?
Some people with fine wood furniture, collectables, wooden musical instruments or oil paintings etcetera humidify their home to prevent damage to these things. Does anyone do this for their cues?
I've heard warping wood has more to do with changes in humidity than temperature. Would it be better to keep a cue stick in one's car in the winter where it will be subjected to fluctuating temperatures and cold conditions but more stable humidity?
~who just noticed his cue shaft has warped slightly. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
03-03-2003, 09:35 PM
Fluctuating temperatures is a definite nono..it forces molecules to contract and expand..if u leave a cue in a car without ever touching it..theres a good chance it will warp just cuz of the temperature changes.
03-03-2003, 09:59 PM
Both temperature and humidity must be looked at. Humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air. Too much and your cue warps, sort of like water damage. Too little and it dries out.
In the summer, when it's 85 degrees and 70% humidity, you can't keep a cue out in the car, even if it's cloudy and a good breeze. The humidity will get to it and warp it. Chris always throws a fit if I don't have the a/c on in the house, or the car, in the summer because he's afraid that the cues will warp.
But what we do in the winter is set our humidifier on automatic. It senses when the air is too dry or too moist. A good way to tell is if your windows inside the house fog up, you know you need to turn it down. If you start getting static electricity with everything you touch, or your eyes are more itchy than usual, turn it up.
We've never had a problem with any of our cues warping.
as i understand it, heat fluation will effect the non-wood parts of the cue more and humidity gets to the wood. you're really just looking for stability in both areas but, failing that, then very gradual changes. within reason it will react evenly.
and will drive yourself nuts. how about cues made in one part of the country and shipped to another? how about sealing your case? it rains today and dries up tomorrow, then rains again. buy a tibbits cue in georgia and play in arizona? it can go on and on and on. don't lose sleep over it.
here's my $.02 worth. you can't keep humidity out. IT'S IN THE AIR! if what you say is true, then every cue ever made should be warped by now. i think warping comes from a cuemaker's poor selection af shaftwood. maybe something that was turned and sent out the door before it had a chance to stabilize.
03-05-2003, 12:50 AM
It is a realistic concern. For about $20.00 you can get a hygrometer at Radio Shack and monitor the humidity in the house. Low humidity is more damaging they high. It causes the wood to shrink and parts can become loose. The cue can develop noise. If you keep the humidity around 50% that is perfect. The wood will stay at around 8% moister content which is about what it was when the cuemaker made it. Most pool rooms with the air on seem to be around 50% humidity, I have checked out of curiosity. If the cue is in a closed up case, the outside humidity will have no effect on the cue going from the house to the poolroom. It takes many hours for wood to gain and lose moister to any degree. You are not being paranoid thinking about this. I have several original Balabushka's and trust me, I know what is going on in the room where they are kept.
03-05-2003, 12:05 PM
In Minnesota, during the winter, my house runs between 25% and 30% humidity, with a humidifier running. In the summer, it is much higher, depending on whether the air is on. Perhaps this is why my McDermott shaft warped slightly in the last year.
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