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Forum topic by Wesley posted 06-16-2010 02:32 PM 4238 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wesley

1 post in 2365 days


06-16-2010 02:32 PM

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?


7 replies so far

View Milo's profile

Milo

869 posts in 2782 days


#1 posted 06-16-2010 04:18 PM

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

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8251 posts in 2892 days


#2 posted 06-16-2010 04:34 PM

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.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#3 posted 06-16-2010 05:21 PM

Just as Gene said short pieces of wood all but eliminate wood movement

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3682 days


#4 posted 06-16-2010 05:25 PM

I’ve built many boxes in that size range and never had a problem with wood movement, even when the top was one solid piece of wood.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8251 posts in 2892 days


#5 posted 06-16-2010 06:55 PM

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.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Milo's profile

Milo

869 posts in 2782 days


#6 posted 06-18-2010 04:49 PM

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…...

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View sandt38's profile

sandt38

166 posts in 2371 days


#7 posted 06-18-2010 07:06 PM

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

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

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