How to make your own inexpensive humidor
This isn't a fancy piece of furniture, it's a functional way to store
large quantities of cigars without investing many hundreds of dollars in a
expensive, wooden humidor. Commonly referred to as tupperdors, igloodors,
and colemandors, these storage devices have been used by many cigar smokers,
including myself, to store more cigars than we have room for in our fancy,
I built my first 2 in 1996. They are still working just fine.
This is a really easy project. The most difficult thing to do is to making a bunch of holes in a piece of plastic.
- Igloo cooler, or any good, brand-name of a size to your liking. The
lid should close snugly. A word of advice here... buy the next bigger size
than the one you think you need (the voice of experience). I got a 48-quart model at Costco
for $25.00 (watch for sales). It holds hundreds of cigars. Then I filled it and got another.
And another. You get the picture. :-)
- Florist's oasis. You can usually find this at an arts and crafts shop stocked with the floral arrangement stuff. There are
two kinds, wet which absorbs water and dry which doesn't. You want the wet
kind. It costs around $2.00 for more than you'll ever need. Perhaps you can
host a little build-a-thon with some friends?
- Propylene Glycol (PG). The easiest way I know to get this is from a pharmacist. It costs about $7.00 for 500ml (again,
more than you'll ever need). I got mine at Walgreens, but they had to order
it. Be sure and talk to the pharmacist. A pharmacy tech or a clerk
will usually have no clue what PG is or how to procure it.
The pharmacist may be suspicious or curious about what you want this for. Tell them the truth.
Why do you need PG? The CIGAR SMOKER's FAQ has a
great explanation. If you're too busy to muddle through the details, then
just take my word here... you need PG.
- The HygroSet II Adjustable Round Digital Hygrometer. A bargain at $20.99.
- A sandwich-sized tupperware container. Or a soap holder (2-piece). About $3.00 anywhere.
- Distilled water. Can you use water from the tap? Probably. However, your tap water may very well contain spores and other microorganisms. Do you want to chance it?
- A drill or some kind of punch to poke a lot of holes in the sandwich-sized
- Optional: Some boxes from your cigar shop made from Spanish cedar (not all are...
if in doubt, ask). Usually free, though some sell them for a couple bucks
How to make:
- Using your drill or punch, take the sandwich-sized tupperware container and make lots and lots
of holes in the top and sides. Do not put holes in the bottom and leave a little space
along the sides of the bottom unpierced too. This is so moisture has a place to go just in case you overfill your oasis slightly.
- Cut a piece of the florist's oasis to a size a little smaller than
the tupperware container. It should rattle around a little inside when
you put the lid on and shake it. There is no need to be fussy here.
- Mix 1/4 cup of PG and 1/4 cup of water together
to make a solution to make 1/2 cup of solution. PG is a food additive, so tell your wife/SO not to worry about ruining
a good bowl.
- Dampen the cut piece of oasis with the PG solution. (If it doesn't absorb the solution
like a sponge, you bought the wrong kind of florist's oasis. Stop here. Throw away your oasis and go back to the store and get the wet
stuff.) Don't soak the oasis, just get it thoroughly damp. It should be
wet, but not dripping. It's OK to have a few dry spots, but most of it
should be dampened. You might need to make more solution depending on the
size of your oasis.
- Put the oasis in the tupperware container and put the lid on. This
is your humidifying device. Over time (months, in most cases), it will dry out and you'll have
to add more distilled water. Your hygrometer will tell you when it needs
more water. Your humidity will start to drop and remain reading low over a period of many
- Test your hygrometer's accuracy and calibrate, if needed. The calibration
directions are a bit long. I refer you to the
CIGAR SMOKER's FAQ
(which is a great reference for just about anything you want to know about
cigars). My hygrometer was off by 8%, so this part's important.
- If you wanna be really fancy/schmancy you can break up the cigar boxes
and use a non-odorous glue to attach then to the sides of your cooler.
Personally, I just put/leave the cigars in the wooden boxes. :-) Note: If you are storing cigars in the box they came in, it's best to remove the lid from the box.
- Put your cigars, boxes, tupperware with oasis, and hygrometer in the
cooler and put the lid on. It may take several days to achieve 70% humidity.
Be patient and don't freak. It won't hurt your cigars to be a little
under-humidified for a few days. Also, if you add a box or two of under-humidified cigars to your humidor, expect the relative humidity to drop for a week or so while things reach equilibrium. Cigars take a while to absorb moisture. It can take as long as 3 weeks for severely over/under-humidified cigars to reach 70% again.
There you go. Monster humidor for under $60.
If you have any questions, comments, or I didn't explain something well
drop me a line and I'll try and help
you out. Let me know how it comes out!
Last updated: $Date: 2013/01/04 01:56:07 $
Copyright 1996-2013 by Paul M. Moriarty. All rights reserved.