Satin Wood Veneer and Spanish Cedar Cigar Humidor

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Project by vrice posted 04-26-2015 05:26 PM 897 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am an occasional cigar smoker. And as a Woodwhisperer Guild member, I was more than intrigued when Marc had a humidor project about a year ago. This project involved two things I had not, at the time, done before. One is working with veneer. The other was employing a rather complicated finishing process that resulted in an AMAZING high gloss finish. So eventually I decided to tackle this project.
The first hurdle was picking a veneer. I visited my local hardwood vendor. They just happened to have a new shipment of something I had not seen before, Satin Wood veneer. This stuff was almost iridescent. My pics do not do it justice. But, I’m not a professional photographer…;-) While at the hardwood lumber yard I snatched some Spanish Cedar as well.
The first set of tasks involved apply the veneer to the Spanish Cedar. I did this using my veneer press setup that works with a workbench I built a year or so back.This setup worked GREAT. No flaws in the resulting veneered Spanish Cedar.
The humidor consists of these veneered Spanish Cedar box elements joined with rabbets. Then all the edges were routed to accept Cherry strips. After this construction this entire box was leveled and sanded.
After all the assembly I got to the finishing process. This was a rather long and drawn out process. But the result was definitely worth it. The first step was pore filing, again something I have not needed before given the normal wiping varnish finish I usually use. Given the need for a VERY smooth surface here pore filing was a must. I used a water-based product from Timbermate. The next part of the process involved applying TEN coats of lacquer. Sanding after every 3rd coat.
At this point I had a glossier finish than I am used to. BUT, this next phase took this already glossy finish to a very super deep gloss. It’s a three-step process that involves abrading the surface with finer and finer grits and there are some specialized materials required. After leveling the surfaces with lots of wet sanding at 320 grit, the finer abrasives were used. I used Marc’s suggestion, automotive polishing compounds from Menzerna. I used two formulations: IP 2000 and SF 4000. To apply the polishing compounds, I used Surbuf pads. These soft foam pads fit right onto standard hook & loop sanders.
Absolutely awesome finish. This whole project taught me several new and useful techniques I’ll use again.

-- Vic Rice

2 comments so far

View parkerdude's profile


182 posts in 2871 days

#1 posted 04-30-2015 12:19 PM

Hello vrice !

Thanks for the post, nice work too !

I’m about to install a set of quadrant hinges in a box project.

Could you share your process for quadrant hinge installation?

Thanks !

-- dust control

View vrice's profile


101 posts in 2111 days

#2 posted 05-02-2015 03:29 AM

This humidor was based on a project offered as part of the Wood Whisperer Guild. Unfortunately I can’t provide that link as you need to be a Guild member to have access. This comment thread is not the best place to provide a detailed description. I can mention a few things. I made a custom router template to make the mortices the hinge plates fit into.
These were then cleaned up and refined with a little chisel work. Marc explained a very easy technique for getting these mortises positioned in the just the right way to give a perfect fit when the lid is closed. So all-in-all this turned out to be much simpler than I had expected it to be. If you are interested you buy just this project from the Guild to get access to the videos for this particular project. Good luck.

-- Vic Rice

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