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Changing Climate (No, not the weather)

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Welcome Hydergal:  From your post, I must assume you are being sent a mountain dulcimer, and not a hammer dulcimer.  The Mojave desert is rather dry, and SE Alaska is the opposite.  This change can be tough on wooden instruments...

I suggest that when it arrives, you allow it to acclimate to its new environment for a few days, before you do any drastic tuning work. Moving slowly, if there is a need for serious changes, is better than changing the pitches relatively quickly.    

A relative humidity of 45 - 50% is very friendly for our wooden instruments, and you may find that your SE Alaska rainforest  humidity is much greater that that range, already. instruments can survive quite nicely with greater or less humidity, but being stored in a relatively comfortable environment, means long-run safety for most wooden instruments,, and less time spent tuning.  

You might consider  Investing in a small humidifier or dehumidifier as needed, as it will help with the instrument's health over time.  DeVoit makes excellent devices, at a fair price.  In-case humidifiers can be used, but one must be careful, as they have been known to damage the finish of some instruments.

My best to you in your endeavor.





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