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Leopardwood Humidor

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Project by Thomas Porter posted 2689 days ago 7224 views 8 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a fun project I just completed. It’s a solid 3/4” leopardwood humidor with through dovetails and some extra hand-crafted touches. I built the two trays for the inside from Aromatic Cedar that I milled from the log itself. In the process of doing so, I found out that my skin is very allergic to aromatic cedar, and after spending about 16 hours that day around it my skin broke out all over my face and ears, and I turned beat red. My chest got all botchy, and I itched like crazy. A few doses of Benadryl and some Advil later, I no longer felt like my face was on fire. My ears are peeling now and are still swollen about 1/3 larger than they’re supposed to be, but it was worth it. :-)

The fun touches that I added to the piece were in black ebony. I inlayed the person’s initials in the top, made ebony feet for the bottom, and since they didn’t want the brass ring of the hygrometer showing, I fabricated an ebony ring that would press fit on to the glass (very difficult – took forever).

I used quadrant hinges from Brusso (also not the most easy thing to do). The piece is 16”wide X 10”long X 7.5”high. The hygrometer is a through-hygrometer that allows the person to view the humidity from the outside, instead of having to open up the top to see inside. The dovetails also have half dovetails at the top and bottom of both the body and the lid. The finish is a satin laquer that I applied using cloth. I used 6 coats. I finished with 0000 steel wool and cleaned the piece up with cotton cloth and compressed air. I have pictures of the entire process that I’ll throw on here eventually. It’s pretty neat how things came together.

I used this piece to learn how to do inlay and dovetails. It’s my first time for a lot of the things I had to do on this piece. I can’t wait to start another one.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com





28 comments so far

View Karson's profile (online now)

Karson

34860 posts in 3002 days


#1 posted 2689 days ago

I’ve never been alergic to cedar dust but Cocobolo set me afire just like you. It was like poison ivy.

Nice job

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2762 days


#2 posted 2689 days ago

and you call this a “FUN” project??? !
this woodworking is scary stuff.

Again I am in awe of the “first efforts”.
It is beautiful

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 2733 days


#3 posted 2689 days ago

Here yo go… the whole shebang! I took pictures of the whole process.
Leopardwood Humidor

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 2733 days


#4 posted 2689 days ago

Here’s the 3d CAD drawing I did in SketchUp for the person beforehand to show them what it would look like.

3d SketchUp of the humidor beforehand

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2762 days


#5 posted 2689 days ago

Thomas.. this is WONERFUL.
The detail and intricate work.

Thank you so much for sharing the process.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2916 days


#6 posted 2689 days ago

Well documented! Great attention to detail.

View Dollarbill's profile

Dollarbill

91 posts in 2740 days


#7 posted 2689 days ago

Great Job Thomas,

I am looking for some leporad wood to build one of my trout landing nets. It has to be 53” long and 5/8 to 3/4” thick.

Any hints on where to look?

Bill

-- Make Dust

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#8 posted 2689 days ago

I’ll have to come back and study the pictures. Oustanding work.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 2733 days


#9 posted 2689 days ago

You can find leopardwood here…

This is a local shop for me and is where I bought the leopardwood you see here, but if you call them, they can ship it to you direct. They have a nice setup for packaging and shipping. Nice guys, and supporters of our woodworking club.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2689 days


#10 posted 2689 days ago

Wow… I am impressed. One thing… Is cedar commonly used in humidors? I have no idea as I don’t smoke but I was wondering with such an aromatic wood (that I am allergic to as well) it seems like the cigars would end up tasting like the wood?

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 2733 days


#11 posted 2688 days ago

Humidors always have either spanish cedar or aromatic cedar. It helps in the curing process as well as keeps bugs from eating the tobacco. There are some bugs that can completely destroy a cigar collection. This is the main problem, and cedar does the trick. I think if they all tasted like the wood no one would use it, and just about every cigar shop or private collection you’ll see will have cedar trays/linings.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2775 days


#12 posted 2688 days ago

Eh… I know they always use spanish cedar, but… I’ve always read you should absolutely avoid aromatic cedar. I think I read something in a PW issue where Chris Schwarz received an e-mail from a guy who was touting his new humidor and the aromatic cedar lining and Chris said he was too late in getting back to him to tell him he needed to use Spanish cedar (which is really more like a mahogany than a cedar) and not the aromatic cedar.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 2733 days


#13 posted 2688 days ago

http://www.cuban-leaf.com/humidor.html

I used this site for a reference for making the lining from aromatic, but after looking online I think I might go buy some spanish cedar.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ, www.thomasporter.com

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2775 days


#14 posted 2688 days ago

It also mentions just using Honduran mahogany, if the spanish cedar is too hard to get. I don’t think weight would really be a problem if you kept it under 3/8”. Then you’d also avoid the sap challenges you can get with the spanish cedar. (Or you can just spend a little more and cut around the sap pockets.)

A friend of mine has made quite a few humidors in his time – he builds them without the lining and then just dry-fits (fairly tightly) the unfinished spanish cedar when the carcass is done. After setting the humidity, the wood swells and you can’t pull it out without opening it up for a few days and letting the humidity draw out of the cedar.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2763 days


#15 posted 2688 days ago

Not being a smoker, I could not say about the cedar. I read the same thing that Ethan did.

Regardless, this is a fine looking box Thomas. I love the picture trail you created. It must have taken you a long time to get all of those pictures during your work process.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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