Cigar Humidor

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Project by Rick posted 1486 days ago 2804 views 10 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a small desktop humidor for my cigars. I don’t smoke often at all, but being a woodworker it was hard to resist making one.
The purpose of a humidor is to keep cigars at the proper humidity (65-70%) and temperature (70deg).

Dovetail joints for the sides. Lid and bottom tongue and groove.

Walnut sides and bottom. Cocobolo lid. The insides are lined with 1/4” spanish cedar. The sides of the bottom stick up into the lid 1/4” to create a seal so that air won’t want to escape.

Brusso hinges – solid brass

3 coats of Deft clear danish oil. 3 buffs – Tripoli, white diamond and carnauba wax.

I LOVE the glossy shiny look the walnut and cocobolo have when applying the oil. But then it kind of disappears when you rub the excess off. 3-4 coats is all I normally do. When you get to the 3rd and 4th coat some of that gloss look stays as you build up the layers. I have the Beall wood buff system which are simply large buffing wheels for Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba Wax. I attach these to a 1725 rpm motor I got from Grizzly. So after the 3 coats of danish oil dried I buffed it. Turned out better than I thought it would. You can put too much wax on the wheel I learned.

I prefer to use the danish oil (though I love the glossy look poly gives) because it’s a finish you just want to run your hands all across when it’s finished. Which is what I love for people to do. Also, I can easily refinish it if I ever need to.

Hygrometer and Humidifier:
Hygrometer is a Xikar – measures humidity and temp.
Humidifier is a Puckifier – holds beads that release and absorb moisture to help maintain 65% humidity.

From Humidor Pictures
You can go here for more picture of the construction:

1. I ran all boards through my drum sander. I keep 80 grit in there, although it’s probably more equivalent to 120 right now.
2. I start with the random orbital at 120, 180, 220, 320
3. I rub on a heavy first coat of danish oil with a clean rag. Let it sit for a minute then wipe it clean with another clean rag. You want the first coat to be heavy to ensure that you get as much penetration into the wood as possible.
4. Come back in 20 minutes and rub off all of the little spots of oil that are still secreating from the piece. You may want to do this again 20 minutes later. I do. If you leave the oil build ups on there they’ll dry hard and you have to remove them by sanding.
5. Wait 1 day in between coats of oil. Do step 4 no less than 3 times. Though No more than 5 I would say. After the first heavy coat of danish oil I put on smaller amounts of oil since you won’t get much penetration into the wood. You’d just end up wiping off most of what you put on. So the following coats seem to build up a very very thin layer each time. Thinner than wipe-on poly. So be patient.
6. I don’t sand with anything in between coats of the oil. If you do this in a relatively clean air environment you shouldn’t have to.
7. After done with applying oil let the piece dry for a couple days or until your fingers slide on the surface rather than wanting to grip it.
8. I now start with the Beall wood buff wheels. Tripoli, white diamond then wax.
The tripoli is most aggressive and will smooth and blend in sharp edges. The white diamond buffs the microscopic scratches of the tripoli out. And just when you think it can’t look any better you put a little carnauba wax on the last wheel and buff it again.

NOTES: This finishing method isn’t a “tough” finish like poly. I like it because you can easily touch it up again in a year or two with a quick buff. You could even sand your piece all the way down, re-apply oil, buff again and it’s very easy to do. I like it most because of its soft and smooth look that you want to touch.
I also love the candy gloss look of wipe-on poly and I wish I could do this piece in that also just to see the difference.

26 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 1486 days ago

Cool work Rick nice woods and design.

-- Custom furniture

View spclPatrolGroup's profile (online now)


216 posts in 1520 days

#2 posted 1486 days ago

I have allways wondered why the lining stuck up from the base on these things, thanks for explaining that. Also good work.

-- Dave, from ND "The mind is an infinitely long workbench, and its cluttered with half-finished thoughts and ideas, sometimes we need to clear off the workbench and start again from step one."

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5347 posts in 2211 days

#3 posted 1486 days ago

sweeet humidor Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View SPalm's profile


4784 posts in 2508 days

#4 posted 1486 days ago

Beatuiful. That turned out great.
Love the hinges and finish too.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


15684 posts in 2844 days

#5 posted 1486 days ago

Great looking humidor, Rick!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 1672 days

#6 posted 1486 days ago

Good looking humidor. Nice job.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View littlecope's profile


2894 posts in 2128 days

#7 posted 1486 days ago

Handsome Humidor, my Friend… Great Work!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Rick's profile


354 posts in 1836 days

#8 posted 1486 days ago

Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

View sedcokid's profile


2667 posts in 2224 days

#9 posted 1486 days ago


Great Job! I too like the finish that you have on this piece. Keep up the good work!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Brokewood's profile


27 posts in 1646 days

#10 posted 1486 days ago

That’s a great looking humidor Rick,
I love the beveled top, great selection of wood!

View majeagle1's profile


1416 posts in 2122 days

#11 posted 1486 days ago

Very nice humidor Rick, the wood combination is great and the dovetails are very nicely done!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View CiscoKid's profile


317 posts in 1499 days

#12 posted 1486 days ago

Superb job! I like your choice of timbers and you’ve done an outstanding job on the finish. All you need are some Paul Garmirians (PG) with maduro wrappers in there to complete the package.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View Rick's profile


354 posts in 1836 days

#13 posted 1486 days ago

haven’t had one of those. I’ll look them up. thanks

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 1539 days

#14 posted 1486 days ago

Very nice! Great looking humidor. Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View BertFlores58's profile


1646 posts in 1548 days

#15 posted 1486 days ago

Very good craftsmanship.. all details displayed an outstanding quality. Thanks for posting.

-- Bert

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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