Humidor: U.S. Army Engineer style!

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Project by SergeantSawDust posted 07-04-2012 01:05 PM 4388 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am a technical engineer sergeant in the u.s. army reserves currently deployed in Kuwait. I was commissioned to build a humidor that must hold 100 cigars and be presented from our battalion as a gift to Area Support Group of Kuwait. I am very grateful that I have access to a nice woodshop where I could make this possible. Never have even smoked a cigar I knew my work would be cut out for me, but I was up for the challenge.
I did my research and found that traditionally the wood of choice was Spanish cedar, but given the current timeline and available wood I also found that Mahogany was a close second so that’s what I used. It contains some anti-fungal characteristics and expands and contracts well with humidity.
I knew I wanted it to be unique, fairly simple, and I most importantly functional. I used Mahogany for most of the base and maple for the banding, coin holder, and castle that lies in the inside of the box. I finished the humidor with polyurethane and took Steve Ramsey’s advice on a video he submitted a while back called “Finish your finish”. That seemed to help bring out the luster even more.
The box is very large and my design revolved around the idea of me wanting to build slots for each cigar. I looked up standard dimensions of different sorts of cigars and went from there. I did make it large enough that you could easily make 2 more trays so that you’d be looking more at 150 cigars with still plenty of room to put your cutters and what not in the middle. I also was given free reins to design and build this basically however I wanted with the resources at hand so I figured “Go Big or Go Home, RIGHT?!”
The build itself went together fairly well. Plexiglass top with plywood bottom, solid Mahogany sides and base, Gorilla’s waterproof glue to help seal everything in. I built the box completely then cut the lid off for a solid fit as well as lined the lid with 1/4” slats of Mahogany. A kit was bought buy someone else that will help regulate the humidity to the desired 70% and came with a hygrometer.
It was a fun build and I went out of my comfort zone a little bit and tried things I’ve never done before. The banding was a first and all came together very nicely. I really like the recessed handles as well.
A couple of “mistakes” helped provide some further touches to the humidor that wasn’t initially intended. After the castle was scroll sawn out I was initially going to put it on the front of the box and set the coin inside of it, but after everything was said and done I decided it looked too plain. My practice piece I made out of plywood was sitting against the back there and I said “Hey, why not put it there? lol” So interestingly enough that’s what I did. Also you’ll notice the plexiglass top has a decorative trim around it. Somewhere in the process I managed to scratch the plexiglass about an 1” from the wood. I decided to sand it all even and made a clockwise swirl pattern to help hide it and that’s how that came about. Also the shelves weren’t initially going to be felted, but after cutting the shelves I noticed a considerable amount of sap and I really didn’t want to ruin anyone’s cigars!
There’s a member on here (I apologize I can’t remember your name) that posts quite frequently and his motto says something like “mistakes are design opportunities”. In this case that came right to mind when I saw that scratch. All in all I’m very happy with how it all turned out and the only thing that would make me feel better about it is if I had some spanish cedar to do this in.
Thanks for looking and Happy 4th of July everyone!

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

8 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4645 days

#1 posted 07-04-2012 01:33 PM

I think your humidor really came out very good. The banding adds a great decorative touch and the castle stands out nicely. I notice you have 4 hinges. What size is the humidor? It must be significant to hold 150 cigars and accessories.

View SergeantSawDust's profile


174 posts in 3519 days

#2 posted 07-04-2012 02:37 PM

22.5×22x10.. it’s huge, lol.. Thnx for the comment Greg.

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

View lawrence's profile


54 posts in 4340 days

#3 posted 07-04-2012 05:46 PM

Excellent looking humidor—as someone who recently made one, I know how challenging they can be. Well done!


View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4833 days

#4 posted 07-05-2012 02:11 AM


Great looking humidor. Its going to make a great gift!

-- Regards, Norm

View japanesewoodworker's profile


75 posts in 4389 days

#5 posted 07-05-2012 03:21 AM

“Your in the Army now….You will never get rich….Your in the Army Now !”

Happy Fourth of July.

Freedom is “never” free !

Thanks for the service.

A Civilian who appreciates Veterans !

View DamnYankee's profile


3320 posts in 3899 days

#6 posted 07-05-2012 03:42 AM

Nice work!

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4369 days

#7 posted 07-07-2012 06:47 AM

Very Nice Project! Thanks for Posting!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Schwieb's profile


1923 posts in 4798 days

#8 posted 07-07-2012 10:42 AM

I like how you think, Sir. Nice work

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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