Mahogany and Spanish Cedar Cigar Humidor Cabinet

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Project by toddbeaulieu posted 07-29-2019 08:08 PM 2959 views 7 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Mahogany and Spanish Cedar cigar humidor cabinet for personal use. It was a long project over the Winter, and I endured quite a bit of ribbing from friends about the scale. My inability to justify the need for such a large humidor didn’t help my case. I didn’t really plan the capacity. It was organic, taking shape as I went. I had originally planned for two veneer doors on the front, but once I saw the drawers go in, I knew that I wanted glass, to keep them visible. I went with a custom partially obscure glass. From the beginning, some goals were clear to me:

  • To be made entirely wood, without metal drawer slides.
  • To have lots of room for air flow throughout, including the drawer bottoms.
  • To incorporate Spanish Cedar in most of the interior.
  • I wanted to practice hand joinery.
  • I wanted to learn veneering.
  • Use of traditional brass slotted screws.

A controller at the top allows me to set the desired humidity and has quite a few additional features, such as well as timed cycles, hysteresis settings and an auxiliary circuit that I’m using to drive six recirculating fans oriented to keep the air moving in two converging loops. They are quiet – you can hardly hear them. Ensuring good airflow, I assume, will be critical to consistent humidity throughout, and proper long-term storage. Humidity is obtained through two humidifiers that are also controlled by the digital controller. A centrally mounted hygrometer measures the humidity. I plumbed the humidifiers into the house water supply and floats are used for fill control. The electronics are all 12v DC, so I mounted a USB A connector on the back. Powering it is safe and simple, with a small 12V 2A power supply. Of course, there are seals on the lid, doors, large drawer and the lower doors.

While I started with a rough sketch and design of what I had in mind, the actual build was a bit of an anti-pattern.

I built each section individually, with available lumber largely dictating the design. Looking back, that was a stupid move. Instead of piecing together craigslist deals I should have ponied up the cash for a supply of usefully sized, single species lumber. It would have made the build easier and the final product better. I could pick at many aspects of the piece, but I won’t, other than to point out that I have no training in furniture design and could certainly benefit from learning better design concepts and time-proven patterns. I’m happy with it, though.

I believe that the wood is a combination of African Mahogany and Sapele. I bought the material from several sources throughout the build and really designed around what I had on hand. I did purchase the Cedar retail, but I found it on sale, saving 50%. This was my first foray into veneer (crotch Mahogany) and first time with a vacuum press. It could have gone much better, but I suppose it could also have gone worse. Another, entirely organic design feature was the Mother of Pearl inlays. I wanted “something” around the brass pulls and originally was just going to counter bore the faces. I didn’t like the look, but knew I was onto something. I found these discs and was easily able to drill the pull hole using a tiny diamond hole saw. Another example, still, was the number plates. I found small brass tags that I stamped and then used Liver of Sulfur to age the brass. I didn’t want them shiny and dominant.

For finish, I used tongue oil, followed with Arm R Seal, gel stain for depth and more coats of Arm R Seal.

I’ll need to leave it running for a week or two, “seasoning”, before I can start loading cigars. I have nowhere near the cigars that this can hold, but maybe I will let my golf buddies store some and this will allow me to jump on auctions and sales, as well as to age cigars.

If you’ve made it this far, you may be wondering how many cigars would fit in this. A quick, but conservative estimate is 1,500.

22 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1694 days

#1 posted 07-29-2019 08:39 PM

WOW. That is beautiful, with old fashioned assembly, and incredibly beautiful appointment. While it is also a high tech Cee-gar Hotel, complete with numbered rooms. Is there a Cee-gar Butler, and Handmaids about?

Is this a commissioned piece, or for personal consumption?

Nice post, thanks for sharing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1495 posts in 2754 days

#2 posted 07-29-2019 09:09 PM

Very impressive what you decided to go for seemingly having no experience with the joints, veneering.
You done good.!!!!!

Looks beautiful, I’m sure will smell great, and everyone will now want you to store their stogies.

-- Jeff NJ

View pottz's profile


17579 posts in 2104 days

#3 posted 07-29-2019 09:36 PM

wow what a build i love all the joinery,thats a massive amount of work you put into this.your woods used are just gorgeous.nice use of technology to create a modern must really love cigars though,1500! id say it’s time to rent out space-lol.beautiful work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View McaroJCC's profile


42 posts in 1047 days

#4 posted 07-29-2019 09:52 PM

This build is impressive. I can’t imagine owning a humidor that size! (Well…I guess I can, LOL.) Quality work; well done!

-- MCaro, St. Charles, MO

View CL810's profile


4144 posts in 4108 days

#5 posted 07-30-2019 12:36 AM

Outstanding !!!!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View awsum55's profile


1023 posts in 1628 days

#6 posted 07-30-2019 04:23 AM

What a well thought out and ambitious build. The only reason this isn’t a daily top 3 is because the powers that be haven’t seen it yet. That is an incredible piece of furniture. I’ll congratulate you on a DT3 because i’m sure this will get one.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2938 posts in 2183 days

#7 posted 07-30-2019 06:27 AM

Major, and admirable craftsmanship, Todd.

-- Mark

View Peteybadboy's profile


3504 posts in 3069 days

#8 posted 07-30-2019 10:19 AM

I am impressed!

-- Petey

View cross_wings_wood's profile


134 posts in 1346 days

#9 posted 07-30-2019 10:21 AM

Wow, agree completely with awsum55 … well thought out and ambitious build! I too wouldn’t need space for 1,500 cigars but I’ve always admired large humidor builds. Thanks for keeping such detailed pic’s along the way and posting for us to appreciate.

-- Richard, Austin TX - "Every repair job is really just an upgrade oppty in disguise!"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7703 posts in 1702 days

#10 posted 07-30-2019 12:17 PM

Quite the impressive build. Congratulations on seeing it through and producing a good-looking piece of furniture!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View avsmusic1's profile


682 posts in 1805 days

#11 posted 07-30-2019 12:28 PM

simply stunning

View atogrf1's profile


132 posts in 3483 days

#12 posted 07-30-2019 12:35 PM

Holy incredible Batman!!!!! Stunning.

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2550 days

#13 posted 07-30-2019 01:17 PM

This is incredible. Beautiful form, beautifully made. Thank you for documenting it for us!

View HokieKen's profile


17929 posts in 2258 days

#14 posted 07-30-2019 01:34 PM

Gorgeous design and brilliant execution!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View recycle1943's profile


5487 posts in 2742 days

#15 posted 07-30-2019 03:55 PM

anything I say will be a repeat of what has already been said so my best shot is a huge DITTO of all that has been posted about this beautiful piece of furniture.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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