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The Homemade Humidor
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Members of the Internet Cigar group have always been quite proud of their understanding of cigar storage, creativity, and craftsmanship, in creating unique storage systems for their cigars. The following displays represent just a few of our readers ' original creations...

Robbie Black's "Lane-A-Dor"

An excellent example of the conversion of a piece of fine furniture...

Robbie says of his creation:

    "My Dad had an old Lane cedar chest stored in the woodworking shop behind his house.  He had obtained it sometime in the 1950's, and had used it primarily to store his military uniforms and important papers.  I contacted the Lane Company and, using the serial number from the bottom of the chest, learned that it had been built on July 7, 1949.  It had often been used by me, while a small child, as a means to see out of the windows of our house, which - at the time - were well above my line of sight.  Most of the scratches on the top of the unit were, as my Dad pointed out, due to my climbing on it during that time.

    I thought that the chest would make a great bulk-storage humidor, and approached my Dad with the idea.  Although he had once been an avid cigar (King Edward and Tampa Nugget) smoker, he didn't quite understand the idea of bulk storage.  However, he agreed that it would be better used as anything other than taking up storage space in his shop.

    We hauled the chest down from storage and determined the interior to be in perfect condition, but the exterior had several damaged spots in the veneer around the base.  I re-glued the veneer and filled the cuipped areas with wood filler, sanded the exterior, applied some Minwax mahogany stain and polishing oil, and ended up with the humidor as it appears today.

    I was concerned with the cedar typically used in this type unit being a bit strong, as compared to Spanish cedar, but for bulk storage of boxed/wrapped cigars, it seems to work perfectly.  It does not lend any flavor to the cigars, but merely helps keep them fresh.  The passive humidification is supplied by two Rubbermaid containers filled with aquafoam and distilled water with the lids drilled with .25-inch holes and placed in the bottom of the unit.  A third small humidifier containing PG solution is on the top shelf.  The unit easily maintains a temperature of 70 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and between 67% and 71% relative humidity."

        Thanks, Robbie, for sharing this excellent conversion example with us.


The picture attached (taken with my quickcam!) is of my igloodor; the two plastic containers are soap dishes (credos) from K-Mart, with oasis in them. One soap dish has water and the other is PG solution. I find that having two containers makes it much easier than having to mix the water and the PG. I have had this setup for a year and it has kept my igloodor at 70/70.
--F. X. Murphy

I used a 50 qt. Igloo that has 2 slots. The slots allowed me to put shelves in the 'dor. I used wire closet shelving cut to size. It allows the air to move freely in the container. I have an electronic Hyrometer/thermometer screwed to the lid. Also used a rubbermaid container as a credo style unit. Total cost under $50. I don't know how many cigars it will hold. but I have about 125 in in now, and I think it will hold about 125 more.

Ed Kuchelema


In 1914, my great-grandfather (and namesake) was elected to be the first mayor of Henderson, Texas, during what was to become the largest oil discovery in history, just 20 miles away in Kilgore, Texas. In appreciation of his tenure, the citizens of Hende rson presented him with a 12 place setting of sterling silver, monogrammed with his initial. The chest that held the silverware (made of quarter-sawn oak) now has a new role as humidor in my home.

The box came to me only last year when it was determined by the family that since his (and my) name are inscribed on the plaque that is positioned on the lid, its rightful place would be with me. When it arrived I felt little hope that it could be resurr ected to serve a role as humidor and great apprehension toward what I was about to undertake. I immediately removed the interior lining and all of the brass appointments, stripped the old finish off, and re-glued all of the loosened joints. I re-staine d it back to what seemed to be its original color (honey oak) and applied three coats of satin poly (with the required intermittent sandings). The twenty-one individual pieces of solid brass required hours of cleaning but, when completed, was well worth the effort. I re-assembled the chest, caulked all of the joints with silicon sealer (as added precaution) and lined the entire interior (lid, sides, and bottom) with cedar. Instead of a double seal (like the professional humidors I have seen in cigar st ores) I designed a triple seal based upon the same principles, which provides for even a tighter seal. I also lined the pull-out drawer with cedar, then green felt, and added cedar dividers. Within a week it was holding a perfect 70% RH and has been a f ocal point in my home ever since.

The plaque on the lid adds a certain historical as well as familial perspective. It states:

The citizens of Henderson
Dick R. Harris
Appreciative Service
as Mayor

As a cigar smoker himself, I know he would have been proud to know that this chest has now taken on a more useful function within the family.

Dick Harris Pewthers

My First Humidor

Completed June, 1996

My first attempt at humidor construction turned out better than I had anticipated. It is made of " solid red oak and weighs approximately 30 pounds. The corners are box (finger) jointed, the bottom is recessed and rabete d in 1" from the bottom, and the top is rabeted as well. It is fully cedar lined (top, bottom, and sides) and has two slotted trays that slide on rails. It is 24" long, 10" deep, and 8" high. The brass plaque on the lid states simply:

Dick Pewthers

I copied the seal design from humidors I had seen in cigar stores. It keeps a perfect 70% RH, and has a "whoosh" sound when it is opened and closed. Since I do not have the expertise to install mortise hinges (like the pros ) I opted, instead, to use a decorative brass chain with brass eye-hooks. Since the lid is so heavy, it would have taken 4 or 5 mortise hinges to do the job. The chain is a simple, decorative, and effective solution. I am particularly proud of the fini sh. Red oak is not really red in the "raw" state it is more of a cream color. I used two coats of Verathane Red Oak stain to give it that deep cherry-red color. Three coats of satin poly (with intermittent sanding) and 5 coats of Johnson's Floor Wax la ter it has a depth of grain that rivals the pros. BTW, since I got the wood for free (I had no idea until months later how expensive oak is) my total investment is approximately $60. The shape is rather unique. I knew in advance that it would sit on a parson's table I made years ago (see picture) so it was made to fit. The solid brass reproduction hardware was bought at "The Emporium" on Westheimer Blvd. in Houston and is functional as well as decorative.

Someday my two boys (now 21 and 24 years old) will fight over it, I'm sure, but for now it is one of my favorite treasures that acts as intermediate storage for my favorite cigars.

Dick Harris Pewthers

The Motherdor
Completed September, 1996
As premium cigars became more and more of a passion for me I quickly discovered the dilemma I am sure many others have found themselves to be in how am I to continue smoking and enjoying approximately 45 properly-aged cigars per month when aging takes from 1 month to 1 year? Some sort of long term storage was needed to allow me to set up a rotation plan. A post to ASC told about someone who had a difficult time keeping his RH at 70% because he was constantly opening it up and gazing at his stash a thing of beauty in anyone's eyes, to be sure. With that post, the "mother of all humidors" (at least for me) was conceptualized.

The size (36" tall, 24" wide", 12" deep) is sufficient to hold well over 500 cigars. The tinted-glass door allows me to "window shop" anytime I want without opening the door. It is completely cedar-lined and has 6 slotted cedar shelves. I used a recent ly- purchased plate joiner to join all of the pieces of this cabinet-type humidor--using over 60 biscuits! Just to make sure, I caulked all joints with clear silicone sealer before the cedar went in. The wood is solid red oak bought pre-planed and sized (for the most part) from Builder's Square. The back had to be as pretty as the front since it is viewable from all sides and is attached by way of a rabet joint down both sides. I routed a decorative edge on the top and bottom pieces and on the inside edge of the door frame for aesthetic reasons. Inside, the top and bottom slotted shelves are almost hidden behind the face and door frames to allow the homemade "Credos" to sit there without being noticeable. The door is mounted flush to the face fram e so " self-adhesive, brown rubber weatherstripping is used to ensure an airtight seal (it is practically invisible). I built the unit over several weeks in my garage in Houston's 95% humidity. When I set it up it took only 2 days to stabilize at 70% RH ! Notice that there is a minimum of brass as I want the cigars themselves to be the focal point.

The finish consists of 2 coats of Varathane Red Oak stain (since red oak is not really red but rather cream-colored) and 3 coats of satin poly (with sanding between each coat). Since I use this for long-term storage only, it gets opened only once every m onth or so to replenish my other two smaller 'dors or to add to its bounty.

The total estimated cost of the unit is $200 the majority of which went toward the wood. Pre-planed, pre-sanded and pre-cut red oak is expensive! For design ideas just look at your kitchen cabinets, single one out, and copy it.

Dick Harris Pewthers

The Rubberdor

The construction of this Rubberdor offered no complications other than deciding what size to purchase. I've filled three progressively larger small Rubbermaid containers so I wanted to get something that would take more than a week to fill!

This is a 60 quart (2 cubic feet) chest lined with 1/2" Spanish Cedar resawed from 1" stock and then cut to length. It is simply placed in the chest and held in place by the cigar boxes and the portable container. The humistat is also by Rubbermaid and is attached by two small sheet metal screws. It is too heavy to be held by velcro or two-sided tape. The hygrometer is held in place by two-sided automotive moulding tape. The 'dor also doubles as an end table in my study!

Thomas L. Haney

The Cigar Chest

Here's a look inside my huge, homemade, humidor.

The outside dimensions are 25" wide, 13" high, and 13.5" deep. I used 1.5" mahogany for the exterior, and lined the sides and bottom with 3/8" Spanish cedar. The four credos are made from soap dishes, Oasis foam, and 50/50 "PG" solution. The best thing about the soap dishes - no drilling required!!

The outside finish is a clear polyurethane sealer (no stain used!) over natural mahogany. I plan on using this chest primarily for storage of bundled cigars. For scale, the cigars you see are double coronas.

All told, with lumber, hardware, credo-substitute, and hygrometer, I spent about $150, and about four weeks of my spare time.

Donald R. Payne

My Igloo-dor

It's an Igloo 54-qt. Marine Cooler, with 3/8" Spanish Cedar plates slid into the two slots to form the shelves. Removing the handles made it easier to stand the thing upright, and left a lovely spot in which to display the empty Partagas 150 Robusto box. (Yeah, it's empty, but there's an untouched box hiding behind those AF 8-5-8's!)

I used three travel soap-dishes (one for each shelf) filled with Oasis and 50/50 "PG" solution for the credos. Total cost: under $50, and it makes a great place for storing unopened boxes!

Donald R. Payne

Bob Curtis' simple Igloo-dor, with butter-tub credo and dial-type hygrometer. It doesn't have to be fancy to be functional! (Yes, that Bob Curtis!)

Bob Curtis' "Travelin' Toolboxador", complete with credo made from Glade Room Air Freshener container. (Thoroughly de-scented, we hope, Bob!)

From Steve Herman:

A Converted 1880 Rosewood Tea-Caddy

From Steve Herman:

A converted Painted Bread-box Tin, circa 1915

From Steve Herman:
A converted 1920 Magazine Stand

From Steve Herman:
Converted Oak File-Drawers, circa 1930

From Glenn Hamburg:

I made this humidor in October, 1996, for my father who has been a Cigar Aficianado long before the magazine. The main body of the humidor is Honduran Mahogany, the top is Padauk, and the trim is Walnut. It has a piano lock and brass side handles, which are needed because the box measures 18.5" x 12" x 7".

From David A. Whitworth:

This is what I call my "Indestructible-a-dor." Occasionally I travel to cities where I can buy brands of cigars that aren't available in my home town, and though I've wanted to bring a box or two home, I couldn't justify buying one of those fancy metal "James Bond" looking travel cases. With this setup, I can transport up to 50 cigars (depending upon size) at 70% RH through the roughest baggage handling nightmares for an extended trip. The case is virtually indestructible, and it even floats!

I saw this type of case at a local camera shop, and the idea was born. I ordered a smaller case that was available over the Internet, and hand made a Spanish cedar box to fit the inside. Lastly, I mounted a humidification device, temperature strip and RH strip inside, and voila! This case holds steady 70% RH as well as my everyday humidor does. I spent a total of $58.00 in materials, and a few evenings in the garage to complete this project. My greatest challenge, as a result of not having any power tools, was making sure that the inside cedar box was square, and sealed tightly. To overcome this potential problem, I just followed the recommendations in the humidor section of the ASC FAQ……..measure twice, and cut once.

From Izzo Videla:

Coolerdor, with removable humidor and tray...

Have you crafted a humidor that you'd like to see displayed on this page? If you do, contact Barry Ottey (aka "Jevex"), who maintains the page, for instructions on getting your creation displayed here.

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