The Homemade Humidor
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
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."
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.
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
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
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:
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
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
Dick Harris Pewthers
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
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
All told, with lumber, hardware, credo-substitute, and hygrometer, I spent about $150, and about
four weeks of my spare time.
Donald R. Payne
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
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
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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