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Thickness of Cedar Lining in Humidors

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Forum topic by Warren posted 05-24-2011 01:51 PM 4024 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Warren

54 posts in 2023 days


05-24-2011 01:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humidor sap cedar lining

Hi all,

I’ve been building a few humidors recenty and have found it a fun process and I’m even more ex ted now that I picked up an order for a large one. I have noticed however that in some of the humidors I built a couple of months ago there is quite a lot of sap present in the cedar! I have cleaned it off with denatured alcohol but I’d obviously prefer not to see thus problem again with the one I’m making for a customer.

I’ve read various things on the net about the cause and treatment for this issue and I believe it stems to the wood not being correctly dried. As I live in Spain I’m other yet sure I van resolve this, the choice for suppliers is limited, I also read in a fine woodworking article that it is possible to reduce this occurrence by using a thinner li ing of cedar. While i can see there being less sap in a thinner piece I can’t understand how this could reduce the appearance of sap. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Thanks

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture


10 replies so far

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1727 days


#1 posted 05-27-2011 02:52 PM

Are you referring to Aromatic Red Cedar? I have not had this problem with ARC. I’ve not used other types of Cedar but would think that it needs to dry more. You might try stickering it and letting it air dry some more before use. I imagine that the reason for the thinner layers is that it allows it to further dry before use. Sorry not much help. As to thickness I would go as thin as 1/8” for a humidor lining.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#2 posted 05-27-2011 03:10 PM

Hey Warren, congratulations on the humidors! I also like to build them. I typically use 1/4 inch thick cedar and I haven’t had terrible troubles with sap. I think going down to 1/8 inch is certainly fine but I don’t possess the skill to miter a nice joint in 1/8” thickness. Here’s kind of an unusual take on it: this walnut humdior has 1/4 inch cedar in the base and 1/8 inch figured mahogany in the lid. Still buries at 72%RH. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1794 days


#3 posted 05-27-2011 03:52 PM

I’m assuming he’s talking about Spanish cedar as that is the traditional cedar to use on humidors and cigar boxes, at least from what I’ve seen.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#4 posted 05-27-2011 04:14 PM

^yeah, I use 1/4” Spanish Cedar. I’ve always just bought mine at Woodcraft. Every once in a while, I’ll get a little sap stream but I usually just flip and hide it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Mario's profile

Mario

113 posts in 2140 days


#5 posted 05-27-2011 05:06 PM

Unfinished spanish cedar will do this specially in highly aromatic specimens. Responsible for spanish cedar’s particular aroma, the resin exudate gathers in spots over some board´s unfinished surface quite dramatically at times . Wiping with mineral spirits and light sanding usually takes care of this although the exudate might come back over time. The best way to go around this is to let your boards season for a few months and avoid those where spotting occurs for humidor lining. Making your lining thinner will only end up in the wood loosing its aroma in a short period of time.

View Warren 's profile

Warren

54 posts in 2023 days


#6 posted 05-28-2011 11:19 AM

Thanks everyone for your input, I am using Spanish Cedar which I am assuming is different from Aromatic Red Cedar but Ive never really thought about it to be honest!

The most commmon theory I have heard is that if the wood is kiln dried properly the sap “sets” and so you dont have a problem when the 70% humidity enters it. If it is air dried then the sap wont set and as the humidity rises it release the sap quickly. As I have about 1/2 a ton (really!) of Cedar in my shop right now I will have to hope I find a couple of pieces that are dried correctly.

Warren

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1794 days


#7 posted 05-28-2011 03:51 PM

Why Warren, you must have the most amazing smelling shop! That is a lot of humidors!

I wonder if you could build yourself a small kiln to possibly rectify the situation and hard-set the sap, depending on what the current moisture content of the wood is? I must say that this is just an idea, and don’t know if it is a valid one, or not? What does anybody else think, could that possibly work? That is a lot of Spanish Cedar to wonder/worry about!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Mario's profile

Mario

113 posts in 2140 days


#8 posted 05-29-2011 03:48 PM

Hard setting through heat doesn´t seems to work, Spanish cedar is kiln dried to 9%mc at most, beyond that it will crack and deform. Still resin will seep through. Just let them sit for a while and discard the resinous boards for humidor lining. For any other use where the surface will be topcoated this is not an issue.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#9 posted 05-29-2011 03:50 PM

Warren’s got the stuff by the forklift; it shouldn’t be a problem to sort through:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Warren 's profile

Warren

54 posts in 2023 days


#10 posted 05-29-2011 07:24 PM

haha! its not all for humidors! I think I would be building them non stop for the rest of my life if it was. Im doing an exterior project for a client who wants some big Cedar pieces. I haven’t found any sap on any of the pieces I have in the shop, even the one that I used for the original lining. I guess Ill have to work something out!

-- Im more succesfull at making sawdust than I am at making furniture

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