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How much humidity is ok for gun room or safe?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by brian meyerhofer, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. brian meyerhofer

    brian meyerhofer TS Member

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    I recently built a gun room 48"x48" and installed a dehumidifier to keep it dry. I also bought a thermometer that shows % of humidity. My question is: What should be the maximum humidity level for my gun room to avoid rust? I can't seem to find an actual number.
    Thanks to all in advance.
     
  2. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Temperature, as long as it is held relatively constant, is not all that important. Sixty to seventy degrees (or somewhere near there) would work great.

    Humidity should also be held as constant as possible. A range of about 45% to 60% would work well, but I think that about 50% in near ideal.
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I do not know what an ideal humidity for a gun room would be, but if you have a dehumidifier in a 4 X 4 foot room, I believe that you would not have too much humidity in that room.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Can you dry it too much, that is, dry out the wood?

    I have a goldenrod in my two safes, and all it does is raise the temperature in the safe a couple of degrees, to the humidity won't condense on the metal of the guns.
     
  5. brian meyerhofer

    brian meyerhofer TS Member

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    I just found this on the NRA Museum website,

    "Suppose you have a collection of firearms you want to protect. Storing or exhibiting these pieces at an appropriate temperature and humidity (70 degrees and 50% rH) provides one level of protection, but insulating their surfaces from chemical attack may be more important in the long run. Handling anything with bare hands will transfer body oils and skin residues on contact"

    My room is usually about 30%-35% and 60-65 degrees. I think I will leave it at that.

    Thanks for all who replied.
     
  6. smokerz

    smokerz TS Member

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    I know you can overdo dehumidification. I once converted a spare bedroom to a storage room, installed a dehumidifier which ran full time. within a month all the parquet flooring had shrunk, split and come loose.
     
  7. kehrby

    kehrby Active Member

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    I just read this in this months American Rifleman. Nov. 2007. pg. 40. 70 degrees, 50% humidity.

    Steve
     
  8. DTrykow

    DTrykow Active Member

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    Wow Gordy!! 15 to 25%? Is that for your blanks or guns? If my room drops to 30% I get some serious Static Electricity. Dave T.
     
  9. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    My guns are kept at 40% hummidity and that seems to be working for the past 22 years. No rust no cracked wood hope that helps.
     
  10. Montagnana2

    Montagnana2 TS Member

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    I'm a conservator for the National Park Service and we have many, many guns in our collections, on display and in collections storage. In our museum displays and in new facilities where we can design the HVAC systems and exercise greater control, we try for a middle range on composite materials like guns. Wood and metal have quite different requirements, so you have to strike a balance. The metal components should have low relative humidity to avoid corrosion problems and the wood would probably do best at around 45-50% RH. Actually, I found Brian Meyerhofer's set points of 30-35% RH and 60-65 degrees just about right, especially for winter.

    Wood moves a reasonable amount, even if it has been thoroughly seasoned, so it will take on moisture in the summer and give off moisture in the heating season, changing shape slightly. You don't need to get crazy about keeping the wood extra dry in the summer; just keep it within a human comfort level and in should be OK. Wood takes a while to adjust to the ambient RH, so going out for a day of shooting won't hurt it one way or the other. However, great fluctuations in absorption and desorption will cause damage, so what you want to avoid is getting the wood full of moisture and then drying it quickly, which can lead to checking. Wood has some elasticity, but it also has some memory. I would not suggest going lower than 30% RH in storage. I would agree with the NRA recommendations for weapons which will remain in the gun case or gun safe.

    RH above 70% can lead to flash rusting and mold development, especially in a gun cabinet with no air circulation. Corrosion has it's obvious problems and, while mold isn't all that harmful to the wood or metal, it can significantly disfigure finishes. So avoid high RH. Temperature only affects relative humidity in that, as the temperature rises, the air holds a greater amount of water. So keep the temperature moderate; I would recommend not higher than 70 degrees in the gun cabinet.

    Personally I let the room air conditioning deal with the RH problems in the summer and I find that in winter a small evaporative humidifier can keep the RH to 30-35% in my shop where I store my guns, at least here in West Virginia wehre we have moderate winters.

    Sorry if I went on too long.

    Larry Bowers
     
  11. rooferbob

    rooferbob Active Member

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    I second Pat's answer 4X4 would'nt take much!
     
  12. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    The most important thing to remember is NOT to eat Black Beans in the room. If you do, you wasted alot of money on humidity control.....shoulda bought a fan!
     
  13. psfive

    psfive Member

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    My safes with only goldenrods run around 3 degrees above room temp. It's around 65 degrees in my sports / gun / reloading room. The humidity is always 46%. Paul
     
  14. M-16

    M-16 TS Member

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    our milarary vaults were always held a few degree's above the bldg and constant. Of course we didn't have any wood to worry about. I personelly use a 277 volt 100 watt bulb pluged into 120 volt soft yellow light and won't burn out for decades plus gives some light to see with.
     
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