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Ed Sallee

Building Humidor "V"

Rating: 9 votes, 5.00 average.
The other day, started a [I][URL=""]thread[/URL][/I] over in Woodworking Projects asking for some opinions on a humidor design. I thought I would make a blog of the build over here, since I don't have any blogs.

I'm going to call this one Humidor "V"... as it is the fifth humidor I've made.

After cutting in to the Morado, I reckoned that I wouldn't have enough to go with the original layout....

So, I worked through the different combinations in Sketchup and wound up going with this one.... I think that it looks even better than all Morado on the lid.



The pieces above had about 20" cut off already.... that's going to be the lid! It's one heavy piece. This wood is rock hard.

The lid book matched up quite nicely, I hope.... I'm gonna leave it clamped up over night. I glued it up with TB3 - made sense to me as it will be a humidor....



  1. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I didn't get much of a chance to cut any wood yesterday after work..... but, I did tonight.

    I'm pleased with the glue up of the lid panel. The book matching, although not to clear in the picture.... will look really nice once we get to the finishing stage.

    I had a tough time getting what I needed out of the Morado. I just needed to make sure all my cuts were planned well as there was not too much usable wood left over.....

    Also, I stared at that 110" piece of Bird's eye maple to get the best use of the grain.... Of course, that's really quite subjective..... I ended up cutting a length out of the middle of the board.... but, I don't think it looks to bad.

    I also milled the 1/4" strips that will be laminated (tomorrow) 1" in from the top of the Bird's Eye Maple.... this will be the target spot for cutting the lid off - leaving 1/16" on each side to create a 1/8" strip separating the box from the lid.

    Here's where we are tonight. Tomorrow, I'm going to cut and laminate the Morado in to the Bird's Eye.... and while that's drying up.... I'm going to build the base.

    Oh yeah.... I also planed down the Bird's Eye about 1/8" in about 4 or 5 passes - just to get a feel of how it's going to act going through there.... I will say, this Bird's Eye is going to be quite fussy.... if I can get it down to 1/2" with no problems - I'll call it a lucky day....

  2. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I had a pretty good day, so far, in the shop. I had to work at my real job until noon. But, after work, I went to the woodshop and laminated the box sides with the strip of Morado.

    While the glue was drying, I worked on milling the base pieces of Morado. I used a couple of pieces of scrap and tried a few different profiles and decided on the 9 degree bevel, 1/8" out from the edge of the box. It should fit in well with the lid, which will also be beveled.

    I had good success milling the Bird's Eye Maple to the finishing thickness of 1/2". I wiped 'em down with a wet rag using the water that I cleaned out the glue brushes with. Let it dry a little bit, thinking that the "glue water" will help tame the BEM.... seemed to work out fine. No major issues in the planing operation.

    Tomorrow, I'll work on the 45's and maybe get something that looks like a humidor on the bench.

  3. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    Another good day in the shop today. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera so I didn't get any pictures of the step by step.... But, it went something like this....

    I started out by cutting the 45's in the base pieces and milled up the Spanish Cedar that was used for the bottom.

    Then, glued up the base and used my card scraper to clean it all up and then sanded down to 220.

    I then started working on the box portion - trimming to size to fit perfectly inside of the base.

    Glued it all together and drilled my 10MM holes for the hinge pins.

    Then I started working on the lid. The lid is just dry fit, for now.... Sort of ran out of time to go any further with it.

    But, I'm pleased with the progress so far.

  4. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    While I was at work today, I got to thinking about those 10mm holes that I drilled for the barrel hinges. Once the lid gets glued on and when you slice off the lid, the hinge holes line up perfectly.....

    So, that got me to thinking. Since this is my fifth humidor..... I already scribbled my makers mark on the Spanish Cedar bottom... I thought why not drill 5 holes along the front edge and fill with crushed turquoise inlay... That should look pretty cool when you open the lid..... and it is a subtle reference to being my fifth humidor.

    I drilled 3 - 10mm holes - the outside two and the center and 2 - 8mm holes.

    So..... now I have to wait for my mail order inlay kit to arrive..... before I can do much else.

    See ya'all soon...... (I Hope)

  5. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    While I'm waiting for the inlay kit to arrive... I decided I needed to build a jig of some sorts to help me through the remaining (pending) cuts....

    I used 1/2" MDF for the main body of the sled and 1/4" spacers to keep the box where it needed to be. With the base pieces glued on and profiled out at 9 degrees and the detail on the bottom, I needed something to keep it all straight.

    I trimmed the top of the box using this jig already.... works like a charm!

    I can't wait to pour that goop in the holes and glue the top on! Then, it'll be time to cut 'er up.

  6. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I have been waiting for some stuff to arrive in the mail.... Today, I got it all!

    I ordered the turquoise..... as well as the brass tubing. I searched all over the place to find 10mm & 8mm brass.... I was originally looking for brass rods... but didn't find the right sizes... so, I ordered up the "Inlace" liquid inlay.

    But.... after I ordered the inlace, I found a place right here in Atlanta, that had 10mm & 8mm rods & tubes... I figured since I already committed to the turquoise, I'd get the tube and see what comes of it...


    So, next step was to glue on the lid. I previously put a 45 degree chamfer on the bottom edge.

    I can't wait until tomorrow after the epoxy stuff cures.... then I'll be able to cut off the lid and see what we have.

    I also beveled the top and sanded everything down to 180....

    Shaping up to be a fun weekend!

  7. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    So far, so good.... After the resin cured, I was able to cut off the lid, which I did this morning. I also milled the place for the lid stays.

    I sanded down, by hand, where the lid separated, and then I brushed on a couple of coats of shellac.... only on the lid seem. It needed to be finished with something, and shellac is durable.

  8. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I had a good day in the shop today. I milled the slots for the lid stays and mounted everything together.

    Tomorrow, I'll do some finish sanding and get her oiled up. Should be a fun day.

  9. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    Today, I did some finish sanding..... down to 220 all the way around and down to 320 on the lid. That piece of rosewood is one tough cookie!

    I then put on 2 coats of Teak Oil. I saturated it with the first coat....and let it sit for about 20 minutes.... then I wiped it off and buffed it down...going through about 3 pieces of t-shirt.

    Did the second coat and buffed it down again....

    I liked the way that epoxy looks as it's curing.... so, I taped off the edges and brushed on a coat of that System 3 Clear Coat epoxy. Just a thin coat.....but uniform.

    I turned a box upside down and taped all the seams.... and covered the whole thing up where dust could possibly get in.

    I then taped the seam on the bottom where the box meets my workbench. It should be a dust free environment in there..... so I don't have to worry about the epoxy.... and I won't be tempted to mess with it for the prescribed 3 days. Out of site, Out of mind.....

    I have to start working on the traywork next anyway. I'm drawing that up tonight.


  10. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    After writing down the inside dimensions, I went back to the sketchup..... Here is the intended plan for the traywork for inside of the box. I can start working on this tomorrow....

  11. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I love getting to this point. Nothing better than the smell of freshly cut Spanish Cedar permeating the shop.....

    I cut the framework for the "bread crumb" bottom piece. I wanted 4 pieces, 3/8" x 3/8" x 9 1/4" - with a 1/4" box joint cut along the side. I accomplished this by using my box joint jig and cutting down both sides of a wide 3/8" thick piece. I then went to the table saw and sliced of the 3/8" width that I needed. I wound up cutting enough for 6 pieces, I used two as test pieces to make sure the pieces fit. It's easy to break a tooth.

    I then ripped the thin strips that I needed and took 'em to the planer to make them 1/4" x 1/4". Once satisfied, I cut to the finished 17 7/8" length.

    After a little sanding, it all went together nicely. I fit the other two runners and glued it all together. I'll work it a little more tomorrow - sand it and clean it up.....

    Not too bad of task - but the reward of the Spanish Cedar helped make a long night in the shop....

  12. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    Tonight was a fun one..... Phew!

    First thing I did was make up the tray boxes.... Cutting the 45's and they turned out great!

    Next up, I cut up a bunch of 3/4" x 1/4" strips. Cut 45's on each end and then cut 'em in half. That gave me more than enough material to work with.

    I then cut the bottom of the largest tray first using MDF. Then, I laid out some double sided tape and started piecing together the strips. I put them 3/8" apart using my brass 3/8" block as a gauge.

    I had to go about three times across the blade but the end result fits right in there.



    Updated 08-11-2009 at 10:00 PM by Ed Sallee
  13. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    Here's how she's all sittin' together. It's all dry fit right now, except the bottom tray, that's been glued.

    I need to cut some 3/8" x 1/4" x 1/4" plugs to go between the slats, but they'll have 45's on each end and slip right in to where they're suppose to go.

    I just hope this whole mess fits in the humidor, which is still in a sealed box. It gets to come out tomorrow... but, I think I'll wait until I get this thing sanded and glued up.


    Looks pretty darn close to the Sketchup Drawing....

  14. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    I took the Humidor out of it's cocoon tonight.... all's well! Yay!

    I sanded all the parts for the inerds and let the air filter clean out the shop for a little bit..... and then started sparying Behlen's Stringed Instrument Lacquer on the box...... First coat of many. Hope to get 3 in tonight.

    One thing, before I strew parts all over the sanding table, I traced the pieces, in order, for the slats on the tray for each tray. That way, I have a template to refer to when it's time to piece that all together.

    I have a few days to relax the finishing schedule will take about 3 or 4 days....

    Probably wont' post anymore until it's done! It's been fun and thanks for watching!

  15. Ed Sallee's Avatar
    OK.... so, I got bored between coats of lacquer.....

  16. Ed Sallee's Avatar's the finished humidor!

    Thanks for watching!




  17. Mark Hubl's Avatar
    Very nice. Love the pictorial. Makes me want to start smokin' stogies again.
  18. Bill Wyko's Avatar
    This is my first post on a blog ever. I thought it appropriate. From one humidor builder to another, you've done a fantastic job. Absolutely beautiful.
  19. Gregory Heard's Avatar

    Was the purpose of the sled to square up the top of the box prior to gluing the lid on? Also one you glused the lid on -how di you cut it back off - or is that what you used the sled for?
    If you do not use the sled prior to gluing on the top - How do you make sure that it is square to make an invisable glue line?