Hello and welcome to my Blog. In this series I am building a walnut and gaboon ebony humidor. This post will detail the build from sawing off the top to creating the base panel and beginning to install the Spanish cedar liners.
To begin creating the liners I start by selecting the material I will use, carefully laying out my lines and cutting the stock to size. This requires espresso, of course!
Next I put the Ryoba to work! Every tool in the shop is treated like a new apprentice, it earns its keep or it finds new housing.
Most of what I will need is now cut to size.
Next I tune the edges to prepare for gluing.
Afterward, I glue the panels, amazing what tape can do. These wide and thin panels are easier to tape for a good glue line than they are to clamp.
Next I can begin planing the panels to remove their cup, wind and bring them to thickness. For the amount of stability claimed from Spanish cedar, I’ve had the exact opposite experience, it may not move much seasonally but it certainly twists while seasoning. It doesn’t surprise me that top humidor makers are aging their stock over 10 years. My stock is fairly old, having been seasoning for 6-7 years now.
Most liners that I have seen are sanded, however, I will not be sanding mine. Instead I will plane them to a finish and benefit from a more durable interior finish that will not bleed into the cigars.
Taking a brief moment away from that I have sanded and sealed the top of the case. It will offer some, but minimal protection to the veneer while I’m working on the box. I have also sealed the bottom of the box in preparation for the base panel.
The walnut panel promises to look quite nice under a french polish.
Next I begin sawing the top at the corners.
And continue to the center, the ryoba saw is a thing of beauty.
The top came off without issue and next I begin planing down the ledges.
I had one ugly corner, where I believe I undercut my line.
Looks nasty, but before I complete the planing operation I fill the gap with shavings made with a rasp. I use a rasp so that I’m not mixing silicone carbide in with the wood.
All fixed up.
If you’ll notice, I’ve clamped a piece onto the edge to prevent tearout along the outside of the ledge. I want sharp corners and getting them is a risky operation.
Next I’m test fitting the top. The ideal humidor has a tight seal around the lid, and getting that tight seal means that the lid seats nicely. I have a small teeter-totter here and so I plane the offending corners.
Now everything is sitting nicely.
In preparation for cutting the inset hinges I have chamfered the back edge on both the top and bottom.
Not sure if I will use stop hinges or quadrant hinges yet, but either will work.
Last bit of work to do on the exterior case, aside from cutting hinges is to create and install the bottom panel. I’ve started by applying leather to the panel.
I then wrap the leather around to the back of the panel and glue the edges down. Relief cuts are made at the corners so that they can lay flat. I’ve also chamfered the plywood to help things along. Finally I’m ready to install the panel. It fits so tightly that I use my marking knife as a guide to ensure that the edges do not come up while the panel is being inserted.
And we’re all set. The lines on that leather are natural wrinkles which remain in the hide. I use off cuts of the hide for this type of work that will be mostly hidden. A good bit of effort for a subtle luxury, but often subtle luxuries require quite a bit of effort. The panel stands barely proud of the gaboon ebony trim, so it will appear to float on the surface it ends up on….bit just slightly.
Enough rambling….back to the workhorse of this box. The base panel has a nice sheen thanks to the work of Yokohama Kunio.
Its installed into the box and has an air gap of about 1/16″ around the front and back edges to allow for expansion.
Next I begin work on the mitered liners, starting by marking their width.
Cutting, planing, then mitering them.
Finally installing the first one into the box.
Then two more. These are fitted but the side panels are tapered so that they can be removed again without destroying them.
Finally the last side is fitted but left loose, so that they can all be removed in order to cut for hinges. Once that last liner is seated they will be practically impossible to remove.
I took some close ups of the chamfer work.
Next I cutout the upper panel to make room for the hygrometer.
The hygrometer is tapered slightly and held in with a press fit. I worked toward the fit with a rasp.
The hygrometer has yet to be calibrated, the room is not at 65%. I finished up the top in the same fashion as the bottom, however utilizing only inside chamfers because the top liners are recessed.
In the next post I will detail building of a tray, installing the hinges and any remaining details required to wrap up the humidor interior.
Thank you for visiting!