How To Choose Your Cigar

How To Choose Your Cigar

Choosing your cigar carefully is important for pleasurable cigar smoking experience. 

There’s a cigar and there’s a cigar. There are excellent handcrafted cigars and there are cheap garbage imitations out there. Before you try and learn the proper way on how to smoke a cigar, it would be helpful to have some basic ideas on how to choose a good cigar.

With cigars, you get what you pay for. Most of the convenience store cigars that are available are cheap imitations – machine-made and filled with shredded tobacco leaves. I wouldn’t recommend buying any of these to anyone, they taste so awful you’d never forgive me for the rest of your cigar-smoking days. If price is an issue with you (and it better be, it’s easy to blow $100 on a superior cigar), try to find the samplers and clearance sales from reputable cigar houses online. You’d be amazed at how affordable the good cigars are in the range of $2 to $7. With $15, you will most certainly be able to find an excellent cigar for your first smoke.

The best cigars are handcrafted works of art. Most of the famous cigar-makers are based in countries like Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and of course, Cuba.

Although in recent years, many cigar products coming from these countries are machine-rolled, a lot of reputable houses and families still proudly produce hand-rolled superbly-blended cigars. To many of them, producing a good cigar is a matter of family pride, tradition, and honor. A guide on how to smoke a cigar will not be complete without a rudimentary working knowledge of the cigars coming from these countries.

As you begin your journey into the wonderful world of cigars, it is sound idea to befriend and work with a reputable tobacconist in your city. Congenial and always eager to welcome new enthusiasts, your tobacconist can share with you expert advice and recommendations (on how to smoke a cigar and how to choose your cigar) and will help you steer clear of low-quality stuff.

We have noted in an earlier post that beginners are best off to begin your cigar-smoking experience with mild cigars. Some people who are unlucky to smoke an ill-chosen cigar the first time around, will find the episode unpleasant and will probably stay away from cigars forever. This is unfortunate since they are poised to embark on an adventure of discovery and pleasure, but for that ill-chosen first cigar. So you want to learn how to smoke a cigar? Choose your first cigar with care.
Cigars come in different sizes and yes, a cigar’s name is indicative of its size. Again cigars are measured by inches in length and ring gauge (1/64th of an inch) in diameter. Remember, the longer and bigger the ring gauge of a cigar, the stronger and full-bodied it probably is. This is because the maker has more room to introduce more and different leaves into the cigar to enhance its taste and texture.
The size of a cigar is written LXRG or length (in inches) x ring gauge. Thus the size of a Churchill is written as 7×50 or 7″ long by 50/64th of an inch thick. Below are the names of cigars that indicate dimensions:
    • Presidente (Longer and thick)
    • Churchill (long and thick)
    • Toro (shorter and thick)
    • Robosto (short and thick)
    • Rothchild (shorter and medium width)
    • Corona(medium length and width)
    • Lonsdale (long and thin)
    • Panatela (long and thinner)
    • Torpedo (long and thick with the cap coming to a point)
    • Piramide (long and medium width and gets narrow in the head and ends with a small round cap)
    • Triangulo (similar to the Piramide but the cap is pointed)Belicoso (similar to the Torpedo but shorter)
    • Perfecto (varies in length and width but both sides of the cigar are closed)
    • Diadema (a Perfecto that is at least 8” long)
  • Culebra (three panatelas twisted around each other and must be separated before smoking).

The Churchill by the way, is in fact named after former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who in his days, was often seen to smoke this type of cigar. The torpedo (which is thick in the middle and tapers off at both ends) and the piramide (which is thick in one end and tapers of in the other) are the types frequently seen in popular illustrations and portrayals of cigar smokers.

In my very first post on how to smoke a cigar, we have discussed that the most common way to determine a cigar’s strength is by looking at the wrapper. This is the outermost cigar leaf wrapping the filler and the binder and the darker the wrapper is, the stronger the cigar will be.

    • Double Claro – (also called Candela or American Market Select)- has a light green to greenish brown color and very mild-flavored.
    • Claro – has a light tan wrapper and a smooth, mild flavor. Made mostly from shade-grown tobacco leaves, an example of which is the Connecticut Shade wrappers, which are said to be among the finest in the world.
    • Natural (also called English Market Select)- light brown to brown. And has fuller bodied flavor than the Claro.
    • Colorado – reddish dark brown, with a robust, rich flavor. Colorado Maduro – a dark brown wrapper with a rich, aromatic flavor.
    • Maduro – is very dark brown, and usually has a strong, sweet flavor. More texture and veins than other wrappers
  • Oscuro – the darkest maduro wrapper, oscuro is almost black and is stronger than the lighter maduro wrappers
If you are buying the cigar personally from a cigar store, try to examine your cigar of choice before making a purchase. Here, the tobacconist can help you make your choice and will allow you to manually examine the cigar. Try to give the cigar a little squeeze, it must be firm but there should be little give. Too hard and unyielding, the cigar is probably plugged, too densely rolled and will be difficult to smoke. Most reputable tobacconists and cigar houses by the way, will gladly replace a plugged cigar. Also, try to feel for very soft and too-yielding spots. These generally will cause the cigar to burn unevenly.Doing it properly will definitely add to the pleasure you’re going to get from the experience.
10 Questions From a Wannabe Cigar Smoker

10 Questions From a Wannabe Cigar Smoker

My name is Chris. As of now I have not ever smoked a cigar, well, at least not while sober. Growing up I have always been surrounded by cigar smokers so there is a comforting appeal to the smell. It has always fascinated me but I never took the opportunity, not even when my daughter was born which would have been the traditional thing to do, and now feel in my mid-thirties I think it’s about time I should give it a try.

Thankfully through the magic of the internets I have access to an expert now so I can ask Cigar Choice a bunch of questions I have about cigars and cigar smoking 🙂

Chris: Cigar smoking doesn’t seem to have the negative connotation cigarette smoking has, why do you think that is?

Cigar Choice: The only purpose of a cigarette is to deliver nicotine. Cigarette smoking is an addictive habit. Having quite five years ago I can attest to their addictive power first hand. Cigars aren’t typically smoked for that reason. They are used as a way to celebrate a special occasion or to relax after a long day. Your typical cigar smoker usually smokes less than five cigars a week and doesn’t have the same physical addiction to cigars as a cigarette smoker does to cigarettes. I fear much of that is going to change soon though as the cigar industry is coming under increasing attack.

Chris: How would you start with cigars? Buy a selection or would you go for a particular cigar?

Cigar Choice: Try and find a good local shop where you can ask some advice and also check out some of the great cigar websites out there for ideas on what to try. I’d definitely buy a selection, and take some notes on what you like and dislike. If you choose to order online most places offer samplers.

Chris: Is it an acquired taste? something you need to practice?

Cigar Choice: Cigars vary in flavor profile and strength so much I believe certain cigars are an acquired taste. Your tastes will change over time, but I’ve liked cigars since the first one I tried. I started out with some milder cigars and now smoke some stuff that are so strong they would have left me green five years ago.

Chris: How do you smoke a cigar? Light it and start sucking on it?

Cigar Choice: Cutting a cigar is the first step. Typically you want to take no more than 1/8 inch off the cap. Matches are the more traditional route, but I prefer using a butane torch lighter. Don’t get the flame too close to the foot, as this will burn the cigar, and your aim is to just lightly toast it. Once the foot is warmed, you want to start lightly puffing on it and rotating it to get a nice even burn. When the cigar is lit you’ll want to go slow. The rule of thumb is take a puff or two about once a minute, as this keeps the cigar from getting too hot and can help subtle flavors become more noticeable.

Chris: Inhale/don’t inhale? People I talk to say that you shouldn’t, but most of them do anyway?

Cigar Choice: I strongly recommend not inhaling a cigar if you can help it. Inhaling too much will quickly turn you a lovely shade of green. I end up inhaling some especially if I’m trying to exhale the smoke through my nose. Your nose does a better job picking out nuances than just your tongue. I’m still trying to get the hang of this myself.

Chris: Do you get what you pay for, or is it like wine where price isn’t always a great measure of quality?

Cigar Choice: Cigars are exactly like wine in that respect. By looking out for small unknown brands I’ve found $4 cigars that I think are much higher quality than some $10 cigars. Many of those $10 are that price because too many people think price equals quality or the company has spent a large amount of money marketing it.

Chris: What’s the deal with Cuban cigars?

Cigar Choice: Cuban cigars do have a unique flavor you’ll only find in a Cuban cigar. This is often referred to as the Cuban “Twang” and I can recognize it when I smoke one but I can’t describe it. The embargo definitely added to the mystique. Some are better than what you can get in the States and some are worse, most of that comes down to personal preference. Though in my opinion you haven’t had a cigar until you’ve had a Cuban Partagas Serie D No. 4 that’s been aged for a few years.

Chris: There seem to be lots of accessories and fancy gizmos, necessary? Do they add to enjoyment?

Cigar Choice: Depends on your geek factor! 🙂 I love gadgets to begin with so cigar smoking introduced to me to a whole new realm of gadgets. But honestly they don’t really add any enjoyment factor to the experience. Some wooden matches, a cutter or in a pinch a razor blade is all you need. My preferred method of upping the enjoyment factor is some good company or a good book along with a good drink.

Chris: So is it an expensive thing to do?

Cigar Choice: You can get started fairly cheap. A plastic air-tight food container or cooler can work as a humidor if you plan to keep cigars for more than a couple days. Right now my favorite lighter is a Ronson torch lighter- one of the best cigar lighter. The only thing that is worth dropping the extra cash on is a good cigar cutter. A bad cutter can destroy your cigar by damaging the wrapper, maybe even rendering the cigar unsmokeable. I learned to set a budget for myself to keep it from getting too expensive. Some of the cheaper bundled cigars can be had for under $2 a cigar. Typically these are short filler and use the scraps from the more expensive cigars.

Chris: Which is your all time favorite?

Cigar Choice: My all time favorite is the Partagas Serie D. No 4 from Cuba. A close friend of mine gave me one that was nearly five years old and I’ve never tasted a cigar that good again. Pair something like that with some really good rum and it can make for a fantastic evening.

Thanks Chris for putting together these questions together. If any readers have some recommendations or additional advice please feel free to post a comment.

 

This is a guest post/interview provided by Chris Garrett. Chris is one of the pro bloggers that I read on a regular basis for new ideas and blogging strategies.

Building a Closet Humidor

Building a Closet Humidor

I was asked by a few friends if I would blog about the construction of my closet humidor. I thought that it was a great idea and that it might be of some help to others. So here goes:

After researching and making several calls across the county. And speaking with friends who own cigar shops and walk in humidors in there homes. My dream is happening , my very own closet humidor.

My first call was to the David at Habitat Monitor to order my Habitat Monitor and Evaporative Humidifier. I chose the HM-HAC-XL(R) . I chose Habitat Monitor after hearing nothing but great things. I decided on putting in a Evaporative Humidifier, model HM-HAC-XL(R), because it has a 6 gallon reservoir and I wanted to fill it up by hand rather then using a RO system .

My second call was to order my Breezaire WKL 2200 unit. This unit is made for wine coolers and is also perfect for a cigar walk in/closet humidor for temperature control. I believe tempature/humidity control is one of the most important things for aging cigars.

My third call was to the electrician to wire up plugs in the closet in different areas and to set up some lighting. I would recommend hiring a licensed electrician to do any electrical work in your house.

My fourth call, and also one of the most important things is insulation. After speaking with my dad, Glenn Sorrention, of Lord Chesterfield Constuction he recommended that I use closed cell insultation. This stuff is amazing !!!! Here is some info on the difference between close cell insulation and open cell insulation. Take a look at this video. Part 1

Part 2

The videos should explain everything needed to know.

My fifth call was to ordering some spanish cedar. After speaking with David of Habitat Monitor he recommended that I speak to Fabiola of Wood Projections, Inc . With the help of my dad we presented some measurements to Fabiola and asked for some recommendations. Well after talking and deciding on what to order we came up with this:

3/4″ X 4′ X 8′ Spanish Cedar Plywood for the walls and Solid Spanish Cedar shelfs. Pictures coming soon .

Sixth Call: Sliding glass doors . Not a big deal. Pictures will also be posted soon will some more info.

There is plenty more info to add, so stay tuned. I will be updating this with pictures and updating info as it happens. If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Update:
1) Ordered Spanish cedar switch plates.
2) Painted all exposed studs with white mold/mildew proof paint. (Pics Below)
3) Installed mold/mildew resistant drywall. (Pics coming)
4) Called and ordered Granite for the floor. (Pics coming)
5) Granite installed and Spanish cedar has been delivered. (Pics coming)
6) Spanish cedar walls installed and shelving installed. (Pics Coming)
7) Final pics coming soon!!!!

I want to take this time to thank people who gave me some amazing ideas to make my dream come true.
Glenn Sorrentino owner of Lord Chesterfield Construction
Bill & Lynn Davies owners of Tobacco Locker
Matt Uebelacker owner of Granite Enterprises of S.W. Fl., LLC
Jason Wager owner of JW Insulation

Also read- Best desktop humidor. how to make a humidor at home.

Smoke Your First Cigar Without Getting Sick

Smoke Your First Cigar Without Getting Sick

It is not uncommon for people who are just learning how to smoke a cigar to feel sick during their first smoking session. Nothing to beat yourself with, even old-time aficionados do get sick sometimes from smoking very strong cigars they are not accustomed to.

What causes cigar smoking sickness?

Simply put, nicotine overdose. A stick of cigarette contains around 1 milligram of nicotine. A large cigar (a torpedo or a Churchill for example) contains nicotine that’s equal to 2 packs of cigarettes or even as much as 400 milligrams of nicotine.
Ok, here’s the lowdown on nicotine. According to 3DChem.com, a leading authority on the composition and molecular structure of chemicals, nicotine is a naturally-occurring substance found in the tobacco plant. It is a “potent” nerve toxin and is actually a common ingredient in many insecticides!
Ingested in small doses, nicotine is a stimulant that affects both our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Depending on how much and how often you smoke, nicotine can both relax and invigorate a smoker. This “biphasic” effect of nicotine is not uncommon, according to Ann Meeker-O’Connell, an expert at How Stuff Works. This is also what makes the substance highly addictive.
Nicotine overdose (or poisoning) may cause “vomiting and nausea, headaches, difficulty in breathing, stomach pains and seizures, dizziness, lightheadedness, numbness in hands/feet/lips, headaches, double or fuzzy vision, dry mouth, hyperacidity, constipation, diarrhea, chest pains, shortness of breath, muscle twitching and spasms, dry mouth, and generalized weakness.”
Ok, that’s the worst of it so far. If you’re still with me, and you still want to learn how to smoke a cigar, let’s move along and see how you can avoid cigar smoking sickness or nicotine overdose.

James Yee, a leading expert on Cuban cigars, offers the following tips for cigar smoking beginners not to get sick from their first cigar smoking experience:

  • Don’t inhale – as we noted above, cigar smoke contain inordinate amounts of nicotine (compared) to cigarettes. When you inhale this smoke, the nicotine build-up in your blood stream becomes more rapid, and this will cause you to get sick. As I mentioned in our lead article “How To Smoke A Cigar,” you can still enjoy the aroma and taste of your cigar without inhaling the smoke.
  • Avoid getting smoke in your eyes or nose – Smoke from your cigar can irritate your eyes, makes you teary-eyed and uncomfortable, and according to Yee, “quicken your smoking pace.”

    It can cause your sinuses to “burn,” can invite a bout of coughing, and worse, you could inhale the smoke through your nose. Yee advises to lean back if you can in a comfortable reclining chair, so that the smoke wafting up don’t get to your eyes and nose.
  • Smoke on an empty/full stomach – Personally, I like smoking my cigar, after a meal or a light snack and many of the cigar smokers I know are also most comfortable with smoking with a full stomach. However, as Yee observed, some people just feel the opposite, and would enjoy their cigar best with an empty stomach. It’s up to you. As you progress along in your cigar smoking, observe how your body reacts and find your comfort zone.

  • Smoke outdoors – In my article on cigar smoking etiquette, I observed that it’s best to smoke outside, so as not to befoul your house with the tenacious smell of cigar smoke. Yee, explains, that smoking in tight, enclosed space with little or no ventilation is a cause of cigar smoking sickness.

  • Take your time – “Speed smoking” leads to cigar smoking sickness for many who are just learning how to smoke a cigar because this might cause you to inhale the smoke inadvertently. Smoke slowly, take your time. One puff a minute is just about right. Veteran aficionados can smoke 2-3 puffs per minute handily but I say a fine cigar is like your favorite gourmet dish, it’s best enjoyed when you take it in slowly.

  • Be relaxed – Cigar smoking is most pleasurable when you’re also relaxed while doing it. Try to find a cozy place in your house, in a patio or a deck, for instance, listen to your favorite soothing music. Smoking a cigar in a stressed uncomfortable environment like walking in 100 degree heat while playing golf, thirsty and half-dehydrated, just won’t cut it. Smoking a “powerhouse” cigar that way would certainly kick your butt.

  • Have a glass of ice water with your cigar – While most aficionados would enjoy their cigar with a glass of their favorite drink (scotch, cognac, espresso, etc), Yee explains that a glass of ice water can in fact “do wonders” for the beginner and make the cigar smoking more enjoyable. “Taking one or two sips between draws/puffs will make a cigar feel less strong as the water refreshes your palate. As a result, you should be able to smoke an entire cigar without getting sick.” He also cautions against alcoholic beverages as this might upset further a cigar-sensitive stomach.

I also find drinks like an ice cold 7up as having the same clearing effect as James glass of ice water. Perhaps, the most effective measure of preventing sickness for someone just learning how to smoke a cigar is sugar-loading. Of course, this won’t do if you have sugar-averse health conditions (like diabetes mellitus), but sugar is an antidote to nicotine overdose.

In fact, if you try to observe the old cigar smokers in the Caribbean, they carry cigar cubes with them and just pop one as soon as they start to feel a bit queasy from cigar smoking. You can ingest raw sugar when you feel like getting sick or, if you’re not comfortable with the idea, just sweeten your espresso a notch higher or have a sugary drink while you smoke.

Over time, as you mature from a beginner learning how to smoke a cigar to a veteran cigar smoker, you’ll also observe that you have progressively developed a high level of tolerance to nicotine. This is gradual, however, so beginners are better off following Yee’s advice and starting with the mildest cigars until they are able to handle the stronger ones. Even among veteran cigar smokers, an occasional unfamiliar cigar comes along that can bring out more than a light buzz.

Seasoning a Humidor

Seasoning a Humidor

To season a humidor correctly generally takes about eight days. And to get it humidity-stable using the natural evaporation process can take a month or more! Some things you just can not hurry and humidor seasoning, er, proper humidor seasoning is one of them.

Here’s how we do our seasoning . This is done at a nominal room temperature of 78° F.

1. STERILIZE SPONGES in boiling water. Ring and rinse with distilled water.

2. UNPACK THE NEW HUMIDOR and remove all contents & packaging except the tray and dividers (if any).

3. REMOVE DUST AND DIRT FROM HUMIDOR INTERIOR using a sterilized sponge with all of the distilled water wrung out (sponge is slightly damp, not wet), wipe the interior of the humidor including the seams, top edges, corners, and the lid. This is executed by using only one side of sponge for every wipe. Then flip the sponge and use the other side. Use as many sponges as necessary without spreading any dirt around. The object here is to remove the dust and dirt, not make the wood wet.

4. REMOVE DUST AND DIRT FROM HUMIDOR TRAY & DIVIDERS using the same method as Step #3 above.

5. HUMIDIFY THE HUMIDOR INTERIOR. First take four pieces of plastic about an inch larger than the sponge on all sides. Cling wrap works fine for this. Lay out two pieces of plastic in the bottom of the humidor and two pieces of plastic in the tray. Then take two sterile sponges and soak with distilled water. Squeeze some excess water from it so it is still very full of water but does not drip from the sponge. Place a saturated sponge on each of the protective plastic sheets on the bottom of the humidor. Repeat the process for the tray (if any). At this time, place the dividers in the bottom of the humidor, just leaning against the sides across the corners. We want to season them in the process as well. Insert the tray into the humidor.

6. In the dead center of the tray, place the analog hygrometer face up. Place two calibrated digital hygrometers, one on each side of the analog hygrometer. This will ascertain the accuracy of the analog hygrometer as the seasoning process moves along. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.

7. After 48 hours, open the humidor lid and note the humidity level. It should be between 82% and 92% on the digital hygrometers. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any. Now, replace the four sponges with fresh (and sterile) saturated sponges. It is best to prepare the sponges first and have them ready to go when removing the old set. This minimizes the open lid time. After replacing the sponges, close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.

8. After the second 48 hours has passed, open the lid and note the humidity level. It should still be between 82% and 92% on the digital hygrometers. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any.

9. After the second humidity readings are taken, remove all four of the sponges. After removing the sponges, close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.

10. PREPARE A LARGE HUMIDIFIER WITH PG SOLUTION (or beads). After the third 48 hours has passed, open the humidor lid and insert a humidifier on the bottom of the humidor (below the tray). This humidifier should be properly charged with PG solution. We use a humidifier charging solution consisting of Doa® pharmaceutical grade propylene glycol and deionized water. We use a large humidifier here (200 count) since we don’t know how long it will be until the humidor gets adopted by a nice cigar-loving owner. The employment of a larger humidifier makes the recharging cycle much shorter. At home, use whatever size humidifiers come with your humidor. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for 48 hours.

11. Once 48 hours have passed after installing the charged humidifier, open the lid to the humidor and note the humidity level. It should not have changed (dropped) by more than a percent, if any. Write down the digital readings and the analog readings and note the difference between analog and digital, if any.

12. Leave the humidor lid open for a few minutes, and then close it for 24 hours.

13. After 24 hours, check the humidity. At this time, adjust the analog hygrometer to reflect the digital readings, if necessary. Close the lid to the humidor and leave it shut for another 24 hours.

14. Repeat Step 13. And continue to repeat until hygrometer is calibrated. At this point, even though the humidity is going to be very high (85%) or greater, it is the air in the humidor that contains the excess humidity. When you insert the cigars, they will absorb the humidity which will, in a day or so depending on the aridity of your cigars, taper off to the 70% level that is stabilized by the humidifier charged with PG solution. This is an interesting point in the process.

Even though you may choose to stop here, we do not. We allow the humidity to stabilize naturally, by allowing the humidified air to evaporate through attrition. Given that the humidor is airtight, this takes an extremely long time, often several weeks, depending on the size of the humidor. But allowing the humid air to stabilize at 70% over time, the humidor interior and the internal air become homogeneous.

Also check: How To Make Your Own Humidor And Save Money!

How To Make Your Own Humidor And Save Money!

How To Make Your Own Humidor And Save Money!

If you want to make your own humidor and save yourself a bunch of money, there are a few things you should know.

First, you have to be a person that likes to “tinker” with stuff. Also, by making your own cigar humidor it probably won’t be quite as good of quality as you would if you bought it somewhere, so you may have to keep your eye on it a little more.

So basically I would only recommend making your own humidor to people who are very “into” cigars!

So let’s get into it!

Materials Needed For Making Your Own Humidor

  • Hygrometer
  • Humidifier
  • Hardwood For The Exterior
  • Spanish Cedar (for the interior)
  • Polyurethane Finish
  • Wood Glue
  • Building Tools (see below)

Building Your Humidor

When making your own humidor the best part is that you can choose how you want it to look, what wood you want to use, etc. For this option when choosing the wood you can go with whatever you like best, such as cherry, walnut, maple, or even more exotic woods if you like those types of wood.

Step 1 – Cut the board into the length you want your humidor to be. For example, for a decent sized humidor you can cut to to something like 11″ x 20″ and the bottom to 9.5″ x 14″ (leave the bottom a little smaller so no grain is visible once the 4 sides cover the bottom’s edges.You can also round-over the top edges to give it a more finished appearance. To do this just use a round-over bit – something around 3/8″ or so.

Step 2 – Cut the front and back pieces to your appropriate lengths and miter the front back and sides to form corners so no end grain shows like in the last step. In this step you can also choose to cut some “blockers” to make a stop on the underside of the humidor so it makes a good airtight seal when closed.

Step 3 – Assemble the humidor with some wood glue and 1 inch, 18 gauge pneumatic nails. Then clamp the pieces tightly together and let the glue dry for a minimum of 1 hour.

Note: Make sure you’re using high quality glue or the wood might warp!

Next up…sanding. After all that work are you still glad you started to make your own humidor? I hope so!

Step 4 – Sand your wood so you can put on some even coatings of polyurethan or stain. I would put 2 or so coats on the interior and about 5 for the exterior. You can also use steel wool in-between coats on the exterior to give it a smooth, polished look and feel.

Note: Although it’s not “necessary” to coat the inside, you absolutely should. Just think, this wood will be sitting in 70% or so humidity, and we all know waht humidity does to wood!

Next up…lining with Spanish cedar lining.

This next step is very important because spanish cedar lining help enhance the flavor of the cigars and is wonderful at absorbing and releasing moisture – perfect for a humidor! When making your own humidor you can’t miss this step. Keep in mind that this wood is horrible for your lunges so when sanding you should always wear some type of ventilation mask.

Step 5 –  Line the inside of the humidor with spanish cedar liner. Usuaully people say not to use more than 1/4″ but I’ve heard of people going as thick as 3/8″, so that’s up to you. But typically I wouldn’t go over 3/8″ thick. To install these pieces, simply cut them to spec and glue them in, making sure to cover all inner areas. Also, this should be left unfinished so it can do it’s job of absorbing and releasing the moisture.

Step 6 – Now it’s finally time to add your hardware, and this is basically up to you. For this you’ll need some brass knobs to open it and hinges so it opens. When you buy a humidifier it should come with a magnet that can be glued inside to the top, allowing you to refill it when necessary – and the same with hygrometers. You can also use a digital hygrometer for the same effect but with much less hassle, which is always nice.

After you install all these pieces you’ve successful built your own humidor and you can go show it to your family and friends!

Just a few days ago you were thinking whether or not you should make your own humidor, and now it’s completed! Congratulations, now go out there and get yourself some cigars to put in it!