If you’re looking to buy a decent humidor, expect a high price tag. However, there are other options for storing your smokes. If you considering building your own humidor, I can promise you now, it’s a rewarding and educational experience by far. And, possibly a bit risky…you are going to be putting your stogies at risk if you’re not vigilant enough. The good thing is that there are a number of materials to choose from regarding the construction. From plastic to precious woods to a craft box are all good options so take your pick. Below are several ways to construct and design your own humidor.
Funny enough, one of my very first humidors was called a “Tupper-dor”. You can guess by the name that is was made from Tupperware. This is quite an easy solution. Make sure you purchase a box with a decent seal. Test drive the container whilst you’re in the shop then make sure it holds air by closing the lid securely and push down on it after. The measurement of my first container was 14″ L x 10″ W x 4″ D.
Afterward, I placed a couple of cigar boxes inside the box so that they could be easily stacked. It befits them from that Spanish cedar lined boxes. I recommend doing this because it also prevents the cigar from direct contact with either the humidifier or the actual plastic of the box. Another thing I recommend doing is lining the box with Spanish cedar planks or even just some cedar sheets. You can find these in some of the boxes of cigars themselves. If you’ve read my other article What’s the Best Humidor then you may know already that Spanish cedar is a very good humidor material because it absorbs the extra moisture and also stops any sweating inside the container.
To finish, I equipped the container with a digital Hygrometer (just with a bit of velcro) and a small humidifier. The equivalent of this is a bit of damp sponge or silica gel or even superabsorbent polymers to humidify your box. Note to self – you don’t need a massive humidification source since the Tupperware box is airtight and will hold the moisture effectively. Regarding the cigar boxes, they will help keep excess moisture off the cigars. You don’t want to be smoking a soggy cigar!
However, sometimes the box can be so airtight, you’ll need to open the lid occasionally to let your cigars breathe a bit. If you don’t do this, they’ll get too dry. My point concerning Spanish cedar entirely.
The important thing to take int account here regarding plastic humidors is that they are only good for temporary use. To say the least, they are probably one material out of the ones I’ve listed to be cautious with. However, they do retain a lot of moisture – but this can make the environment a bit too humid in terms of long durations of storing these stogies. Just remember to open the lid of the container at least twice a week. Cigars will only absorb small amounts of oxygen and only emit gases as they age. Another bad thing is the smell. You may encounter bad aromas after a long period of time string the cigars in a plastic box. All in all, keepclose eye on that hygrometer, and please don’t let the humidity out of hand.
Ice Chests and Coolers
If you need a bigger storage space, try using larger containers like Igloo or other insulated plastic coolers and/or ice chests. The ice chests and coolers are well insulated and will definitely maintain moisture. The principles are the same as for Tupperware boxes: you need some wood inside to help adsorb/desorb moisture, a moisture source and a hygrometer. I find that Silica Gel beads work well as a humidity source inside airtight containers like coolers and Tupperware. Silica is great at taking up excess moisture and will work with (or without) Spanish cedar to keep the humidity in your Tupper-dors and Cooler-dors just right.
Converted Wine Cooler
I owned a wine cooler for years and the motor finally froze up and died. So I removed the motor and gutted the refridge. I built a palette out of Spanish cedar and added a drawer for singles. I finished up with more Spanish cedar plans as shelves. Since it is cheaper, I lined the inside of the refrigerator with mahogany. Spanish cedar is a type of mahogany and they both have the same properties when it comes to the ability to take in and release humidity. The mahogany doesn’t have the same pleasing aroma, however.
Humidification is maintained using a Cigar Oasis XL Plus, an electronic humidifier/hygrostat. The Cigar Oasis is an easy, albeit fairly expensive, humidifier that you can just set and forget. It is preset to 70% RH, but is easily reset to other humidity levels. And, it has a digital readout of the humidity levels.