Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Last year at this time the Pacific Northwest where I live was reeling from the effects of a heat dome with temperatures 40 C and above in Seattle and nearby. Today its a very comfortable 18 C. Now its Europe’s turn apparently.

Its important to keep your flutes and other instruments protected if the humidity is dry. Currently the humidity is in the mid 20s to 30s in the evening. It will go lower in the heat of the day. Use an instrument humidifier and in a pinch, simply keep a wet sponge in the vicinity of your instrument and it should be okay. Protect it from rapid changes, and keep it above 35% relative humidity.

Only 3 and a half months from now and it will be November, which is usually the wettest month here. We usually heat our radiant floors with an oil fired boiler. With heating oil at $6.79 currently, I plan to heat more with wood. I just got a cord of kiln dried fir to add to the cord of miscellaneous wood sitting around. I am having fun stacking it. Also, blackwood scraps from the workshop will heat the house nicely. And if all else fails…. see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFQhO3LWtQk


Winter is coming.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Europe is a big place, it’s not all the same.

Here in the middle of England the Met Office is forecasting a couple of days of lower humidity than normal (Monday, Tuesday), dipping to just below 20% for a few hours during the day, back up into the forties on Monday evening and back up into the 80s % overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rest of the week humidity is forecast as anything from around 50% and 86%, which is par for the course it seems.

I don’t think I’ll have any issues with my Blackwood whistle.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Thanks for the advice, will definitely have a think about my storage conditions! Nice reminder regardless of the weather

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Heh heh, things you never expected to hear in Ireland. From a recent OAIM mailout: “Don’t forget your Sunscreen!”

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

And don’t forget that accordions can die in hot cars… Or at least, their reeds can come unstuck, which is similar but less permanent.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Just emerged from sitting on a motorway in a huge traffic jam caused by a multi-vehicle accident. Temp 37c, took over an hour to move a couple of miles! Accordion in car boot! But it survived similar conditions in Spain a few years back.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Makes me wonder how accordions cope in the sub tropical heat of Louisiana Cajun country or the Tex Mex border!

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Some would say that the reeds becoming unstuck, or even falling off entirely, greatly improves the tone of an accordion…

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Our fortunes here in Seattle may be quite different next week. The last few days have indeed been fantastic.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

If the accordion is somewhere that’s OK for people (if uncomfortable) I think it should be fine.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

TomB-R is right. OK for people, even if uncomfortable, is OK for an accordion. The wax that the reeds are stuck in with is usually adulterated with something (I don’t know what) that raises the melting point a few crucial degrees.
But here in the Tucson neighborhood, which would qualify as ‘Tex-Mex border,’ you don’t leave your accordion in a car that you wouldn’t also leave your baby or your dog in. Usually, when I climb in my car when it’s been parked in the sun, the interior temp starts out at 115 F. Since I don’t like/use the A/C, the answer is open the windows & start driving. Temp gets down to ambient within 5 minutes & the wind feels good. Of course, at this time of year, ambient temp is anywhere from 99 to 106 F.
But the accordion is OK.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Accordion is fine, but I nearly melted myself on Tuesday when it reached 41c. No respite even at the coast where it was still 39c.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Some button accordions will better than others in the heat. A couple decades ago a friend came by for some tunes after work with his red Paolo B/C which had been sitting in his trunk all day in the summer heat. We were midway into the first A part of the first tune when there was a loud “clunk” and the box went silent. He removed the top which revealed that the beeswax holding the reed block in place had melted. I found out some beeswax on my tool bench, he fixed it, then let the box cool off down in the cellar, and it played well the rest of the evening. That incident taught him not to mistreat his accordion any more.

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

Tomas O Canainn came through Denver about forty years ago. Warned about our arid climate, after he went swimming he wrung out his togs and threw them in his pipe case. It must have worked, as the chanter, regs and drone sounded great all weekend!

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

I just had a look and beeswax melts at about 65 degrees centigrade. A bit of rosin is usually added (I believe) which probably pushes up the melting point, but it would still soften dangerously a bit below the melting point - maybe fifty-something degrees? Anyway, very possible in a dark-coloured car in strong direct sunlight…

Re: Hot Weather in Europe - watch your instruments!

A few years ago I was visiting Belfast and the weather was especially warm and sunny for May. I was in a pub near the Falls Road on a Monday lunchtime, at about 1.30 pm. It’s very quiet and I’m talking to the manager/ landlord/ publican, remarking that despite my numerous visits to Belfast, I had never seen it in this weather. His deadpan reply was, “Neither have we”.

Re: Hot Weather everywhere!

True of hybrid concertinas as well. The reeds are fastened to the block with wax.
But I don’t know of any accordion where the reed blocks are held in place with wax. Each reed is individually waxed in place.