Making A Cigar Humidor

Instructions for building your own cigar humidor.

As any beginning cigar enthusiast knows, cigars must be kept at the correct temperature and humidity to prevent them from getting dry and brittle. Cigars can only be enjoyed if they are at the right humidity, with the correct amount of moisture in the leaves to provide a thick and aromatic smoke. In order to keep cigars at the right level of moisture, they must be kept in a humidor, which regulates the temperature and humidity of the cigars.

But humidors are expensive units, ranging in price from small desktop models to very expensive walk-in humidors. Many beginner cigar-lovers do not wish to spend an arm and a leg on a humidor, and in fact, they don't have to. Making your own cigar humidor can be a fun and easy way to start a cigar collection.

First, choose what kind of humidor you want. Small desktop humidors can be very useful, but the small size makes it harder to install both a workable humidifier and cigars. A small chest or bureau works well, however, and can hold dozens if not hundreds of cigars, making it much more worthwhile. Simply seal the inside edges of the bureau or chest, making sure that moisture will not leak out.

The next thing one should do when attempting to make their own cigar humidor, is to decide how they want to maintain the moisture content of the air. There are two methods you can use, both with their own benefits and drawbacks. The first involves using a pre-manufactured humidifying unit inside your humidor. These units are electrically powered, so they will need either batteries or a power supply, but they often also come with a digitized display, allowing an easy check of the humidity level. The second option is to make your own humidifying unit using simple items you can find around the home.

Pre-made Units: Many cigar stores and equipment manufacturers sell small humidifier units. Designed to stabilize the humidity and temperature of a small, enclosed space, these units can be highly effective and very precise. Many come with external display units which show the exact temperature and moisture content, allowing you to adjust the settings as best suits the cigars. These units are a good choice for people who desire maximum control over the humidity in their humidors, but they are not the only available option.

Do-It-Yourself Units: If you decide not to buy a small humidifying unit, it is still possible to make one yourself. Though not as precise or as high-tech as the pre-made models, a homemade humidifier can work just as well.

You will need a small plastic box such as a Tupperware box or a plastic lunch box. The box should be small enough to fit into your humidor, leaving room for plenty of cigars. Punch a series of small holes in the lid of the box. This is not done to let air filter through, but to keep the material solid so that it won't fall apart. Once your box is ready, check to make sure it will fit easily into your humidor with the holes facing up so that water doesn't leak out.

Next, buy some water-absorbent material such as peat moss or loam. These can be found in most garden stores or flower shops and can be made out of synthetic materials so that they will not grow moldy or decay. Make sure to choose a water-absorbent material which will hold moisture effectively so that your unit can store water and release it slowly into the air. Rags or cotton balls also work fairly well but should be replaced every so often so that mold does not form. Place the materials in the bottom of the plastic box and sprinkle it liberally with water. There should be enough water to wet the materials but not enough that there is much sloshing around the bottom of the plastic box. The water will be slowly released through the holes in the top of the box, keeping the chest moist, but it will also need to be replaced every week or so.

Finally, if you'd like, you can attach a small humidity gauge to the interior of the chest or bureau so that you will always know the precise humidity of the interior. You can adjust the level of humidity by making more holes in the top of the plastic box or by closing some off with tape or foil. Experiment until you get the right level of humidity for your cigars. Then fill the box, and enjoy smoking cigars from your very own homemade humidor!

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