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need some help. I just started making boxes, specifically humidors. Is it nessesary, say for a box lid that is 9"x11.5" to make it floating to allow for expansion? I want to be able to use exotic hardwoods ans use some edge banding around all corners, so I need a square and flat construction style. If I used veneer, I could use MDF for the lid and not have potential expansion issues, but I prefer not to use veneer. Any thoughts?
 

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Hey Wes,

While I am not much of a finese builder, I've made a few boxes, and what I did was biuld the box square, all 4 sides, then lay it on the tablesaw and cut the lid off at the height I wanted. I find you want to use a crosscut sled to do this rather than a fence, cause if it's off a bit your lid feels off too.

If it's a small box, use a band saw.

Make sense?

Milo
 

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Wes,
If your top material is 1/2" thick, or less, and made of strips or pieces for a design, you shouldn't have a problem with expansion. Be sure to line the humidor with Spanish Cedar.
Milo's tip about cutting off the top is a good one. Then, when you line the inside, you can have the cedar lining extend past the box's top edge, into the lip of the top, so the lining will help seal the humidor.
Please post pictures of your humidor build.
 

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Charlie,
If I understood correctly, Wesley wants to edge band the top. A humidor will be subject to some wide humidity changes. And, you want to minimize any chance of movement so as to maintain an adequate seal. I wouldn't worry about expansion otherwise.
The cedar lining should help, though.
 

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Wouldn't building a solid box first of a single wood type, including any inlay, then cutting off the lid, allow for any expansion or contration of the box to be uniform throughout the piece?

Then again, I am NOT up on humidors, well, except maybe for the type Clinton used…...
 

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Milo, you are correct. The best way to build a humidor, or any box for that matter, is to build a completely sealed box and cut off the top on your table saw, or if you have a big enough bandsaw, with the bandsaw. Being that the wood used is consistent, it should expand and contract in uniform fashion.

I suggest using a thin lining in the humidor of Spanish cedar, preferably 1/4"or thinner. Line the bottom just a shade higher then the actual bottom height (3/8" or so), to allow for a good seal. Use a plane to mill a slight bevel on the cedar to facilitate the lid closing. If the box doesn't seal well enough, just get some water on an acid brush and brush the outside edge of the liner (the part that should contact the lid as it closes) with a little water to swell the wood. The box lid when dropped should float on a cushion of air when dropped closed, and not quite slam shut, if it is properly proportioned.

Here is an awesome humidor construction article:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/FWNPDFfree/humidor.pdf
 
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