Cigar Humidor

  • Advertise with us
Project by Rick posted 07-27-2010 04:34 PM 4496 views 10 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a small desktop humidor for my cigars. I don’t smoke often at all, but being a woodworker it was hard to resist making one.
The purpose of a humidor is to keep cigars at the proper humidity (65-70%) and temperature (70deg).

Dovetail joints for the sides. Lid and bottom tongue and groove.

Walnut sides and bottom. Cocobolo lid. The insides are lined with 1/4” spanish cedar. The sides of the bottom stick up into the lid 1/4” to create a seal so that air won’t want to escape.

Brusso hinges – solid brass

3 coats of Deft clear danish oil. 3 buffs – Tripoli, white diamond and carnauba wax.

I LOVE the glossy shiny look the walnut and cocobolo have when applying the oil. But then it kind of disappears when you rub the excess off. 3-4 coats is all I normally do. When you get to the 3rd and 4th coat some of that gloss look stays as you build up the layers. I have the Beall wood buff system which are simply large buffing wheels for Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba Wax. I attach these to a 1725 rpm motor I got from Grizzly. So after the 3 coats of danish oil dried I buffed it. Turned out better than I thought it would. You can put too much wax on the wheel I learned.

I prefer to use the danish oil (though I love the glossy look poly gives) because it’s a finish you just want to run your hands all across when it’s finished. Which is what I love for people to do. Also, I can easily refinish it if I ever need to.

Hygrometer and Humidifier:
Hygrometer is a Xikar – measures humidity and temp.
Humidifier is a Puckifier – holds beads that release and absorb moisture to help maintain 65% humidity.

From Humidor Pictures
You can go here for more picture of the construction:

1. I ran all boards through my drum sander. I keep 80 grit in there, although it’s probably more equivalent to 120 right now.
2. I start with the random orbital at 120, 180, 220, 320
3. I rub on a heavy first coat of danish oil with a clean rag. Let it sit for a minute then wipe it clean with another clean rag. You want the first coat to be heavy to ensure that you get as much penetration into the wood as possible.
4. Come back in 20 minutes and rub off all of the little spots of oil that are still secreating from the piece. You may want to do this again 20 minutes later. I do. If you leave the oil build ups on there they’ll dry hard and you have to remove them by sanding.
5. Wait 1 day in between coats of oil. Do step 4 no less than 3 times. Though No more than 5 I would say. After the first heavy coat of danish oil I put on smaller amounts of oil since you won’t get much penetration into the wood. You’d just end up wiping off most of what you put on. So the following coats seem to build up a very very thin layer each time. Thinner than wipe-on poly. So be patient.
6. I don’t sand with anything in between coats of the oil. If you do this in a relatively clean air environment you shouldn’t have to.
7. After done with applying oil let the piece dry for a couple days or until your fingers slide on the surface rather than wanting to grip it.
8. I now start with the Beall wood buff wheels. Tripoli, white diamond then wax.
The tripoli is most aggressive and will smooth and blend in sharp edges. The white diamond buffs the microscopic scratches of the tripoli out. And just when you think it can’t look any better you put a little carnauba wax on the last wheel and buff it again.

NOTES: This finishing method isn’t a “tough” finish like poly. I like it because you can easily touch it up again in a year or two with a quick buff. You could even sand your piece all the way down, re-apply oil, buff again and it’s very easy to do. I like it most because of its soft and smooth look that you want to touch.
I also love the candy gloss look of wipe-on poly and I wish I could do this piece in that also just to see the difference.

26 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#1 posted 07-27-2010 04:41 PM

Cool work Rick nice woods and design.


View spclPatrolGroup's profile


233 posts in 3808 days

#2 posted 07-27-2010 04:45 PM

I have allways wondered why the lining stuck up from the base on these things, thanks for explaining that. Also good work.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4499 days

#3 posted 07-27-2010 04:53 PM

sweeet humidor Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4796 days

#4 posted 07-27-2010 05:03 PM

Beatuiful. That turned out great.
Love the hinges and finish too.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5132 days

#5 posted 07-27-2010 05:25 PM

Great looking humidor, Rick!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3959 days

#6 posted 07-27-2010 05:37 PM

Good looking humidor. Nice job.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View littlecope's profile


3111 posts in 4416 days

#7 posted 07-27-2010 05:48 PM

Handsome Humidor, my Friend… Great Work!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4124 days

#8 posted 07-27-2010 06:17 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4512 days

#9 posted 07-27-2010 07:11 PM


Great Job! I too like the finish that you have on this piece. Keep up the good work!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Brokewood's profile


27 posts in 3934 days

#10 posted 07-27-2010 07:17 PM

That’s a great looking humidor Rick,
I love the beveled top, great selection of wood!

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 4410 days

#11 posted 07-27-2010 07:46 PM

Very nice humidor Rick, the wood combination is great and the dovetails are very nicely done!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View CiscoKid's profile


356 posts in 3787 days

#12 posted 07-27-2010 08:33 PM

Superb job! I like your choice of timbers and you’ve done an outstanding job on the finish. All you need are some Paul Garmirians (PG) with maduro wrappers in there to complete the package.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4124 days

#13 posted 07-27-2010 08:34 PM

haven’t had one of those. I’ll look them up. thanks

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3827 days

#14 posted 07-27-2010 09:09 PM

Very nice! Great looking humidor. Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3836 days

#15 posted 07-27-2010 11:41 PM

Very good craftsmanship.. all details displayed an outstanding quality. Thanks for posting.

-- Bert

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics