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Showcase cover image for My First Commission - A Humidor for a Wedding

Project Information

Micah Sutfin, a very accomplished woodworker who works at Woodcrafters downtown Portland, OR has been a mentor to me since I started my woodworking journey. He's helped me make the right decisions on purchases, provided me with great customer service and just the right kind of help when I needed it.

When I told him I was getting ready to start a production run of humidors, he said; "I want to buy one of your humidors, my best friend is getting married and I want to give it to him as a wedding present."

I have to admit I was very surprised and flattered, and not a little intimidated, but I agreed.

Well, this is how it came out, I delivered it to him yesterday and he liked it very much.

The outer box is grain matched Walnut and is made with box joints. The inner Spanish Cedar liner is joined with lock miter joints. The hinges are satin nickel - silver and the hinge mortises were hand chiseled.

The finish is 6 coats of hand rubbed Teak Oil.

I will be posting a build blog next week with start to finish pictures.

Gallery

Comments

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Jerry,
Nice work there. Joinery is excellent.

How many cigars will it hold?
 

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Jerry,
Nice work there. Joinery is excellent.

How many cigars will it hold?

- Luddite
Thanks for the compliment Luddite, AND the favorite.

He requested a small humidor, normally I would have made it about 9" x 13" and about 6" deep. This one holds 4 or 5. I don't think his friend is a hard core smoker from the sound of it, it's just an occasional pleasure.
 

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beautiful job jerry, you did a great job in matching your wood grain and the hand cut hinge mortise's are spot on, i like the locking miter joiner also, in all a great job, of coarse walnut is my favorite hardwood, so how could this not be a favorite for me…congrats on your sale…
 

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beautiful job jerry, you did a great job in matching your wood grain and the hand cut hinge mortise s are spot on, i like the locking miter joiner also, in all a great job, of coarse walnut is my favorite hardwood, so how could this not be a favorite for me…congrats on your sale…

- grizzman
Thanks Bob, I appreciate the compliments very much.
 

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Great looking humidor! I'm sure the new groom will really appreciate it!

(By the way, nice to see another Portlander on the site!)
 

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Great looking humidor! I m sure the new groom will really appreciate it!

(By the way, nice to see another Portlander on the site!)

- Mean_Dean
Thanks for looking Dean, and thanks for letting me know you live here.
 

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Very nice humidor. I've never done one of those so can't evaluate the "workings" but the wood and craftsmanship are up to your standards.

I can't believe you didn't use the "Jerry hinge"!

And congrats on the #1 !!!
 

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Very nice humidor. I ve never done one of those so can t evaluate the "workings" but the wood and craftsmanship are up to your standards.

I can t believe you didn t use the "Jerry hinge"!

And congrats on the #1 !!!

- gfadvm
Thanks Andy, the workings are that the Spanish Cedar liner is constructed in such a way that it's loose inside the outer box, the upper liner in the lid is held in place by screws. This is to allow the liner to expand once it's fully charged ( humidified ) to 70% relative humidity. The expansion takes place along the vertical plane. My wood expansion guide tells me that a 3/32" gap between the upper and lower liner should close up and make a perfect seal once it's fully charged.

Since this was a build for a client, I used the hinges he chose.
 

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I knew there was something about the humidity/wood expansion/seal.

Can't believe the client picked metal over your hinge. There's no accounting for taste!
 

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Masterfully done for the master teacher. Good luck on your journey!
 

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Masterfully done for the master teacher. Good luck on your jorney!

- DocSavage45
Thank YOU!
 

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Great looking project. The joinery is excellent. In fact the box joints look exceptionally clean, did you use a special box joint cutter, or regular dado blade?
Thanks for posting.
 

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Wow, nice box Jerry. I'm sure the recipient will be pleased.

Ok, I'm not a cigar smoker. So what do the 2 pieces in the lid actually do?
 

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Wow, nice box Jerry. I m sure the recipient will be pleased.

Ok, I m not a cigar smoker. So what do the 2 pieces in the lid actually do?

- JoeinGa
Hi Joe,

I'm not either, I had to do several weeks of research before I understood how to make a humidor correctly. The piece on the left is a humidifier, it uses a type of silica gel called a humidity bead that soaks up 450 times it's weight in water, then releases it very slowly, that is what keeps the humidity inside the box at a steady 70%. The humidifier needs to use distilled water or it can also use a polypropylene glycol solution if preferred. The other round piece on the right is called a hygrometer, it monitors the temperature and humidity. The reason cigars need to be kept humidified is because if they dry out they will just fall apart. The reason for the Spanish Cedar liner is to prevent Tobacco worm (Lacioderma) infestation. The oils in the Spanish Cedar release vapors which kill the Tobacco worm beetle larvae.
 

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Great looking project. The joinery is excellent. In fact the box joints look exceptionally clean, did you use a special box joint cutter, or regular dado blade?
Thanks for posting.

- pintodeluxe
Hey Willie,
Well, I used to use a home made box joint jig, but it was so hard to dial it in, box joints need to be within a .003 / .004 tolerance as I'm sure you are aware, that I finally gave up and bought an Incra iBox jig. I use that in combination with a Freud SBOX8 box cutting blade set. Even then, because I'm using it on a 60 year old Shopsmith that I restored, it's difficult to dial in because of the runout problem I have with the Shopsmith, something I'm going to rectify with my tax refund this year when I use it to buy a new Grizzly Go771 table saw. Right now, every time I make a box, even with the jig and blade set, I have to make several test cuts and gradually dial in the jig.

You may also have noticed the lock miter joints used in the cedar liner, another setup nightmare, even with the setup blocks it takes a lot of effort and some special techniques and a special sacrificial push block to get those to work.
 

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Thanks Jerry.
See? I CAN learn something new every day, just like Mom said! :)
 
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