FAQ about Handcrafted Humidors
Small Humidor Model A
Medium Humidor Model B
Large Humidor Model C
Large Humidor Model D
Humidor Hinges and Locks
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the humidors so expensive?

They are all made in my shop by myself and usually one other apprentice. There are over 100 steps in making one humidor. Believe it or not there are around 100 to 120 different pieces of wood in each humidor - many of which you cannot see. All of these pieces are glued together at various stages of the construction process. The sides alone consist of 3 different glued up materials. The core is 5/8” thick laminated MDF and solid hardwoods. The MDF is never seen and the hardwoods are only seen on the top and bottom lips and on the bottom rails. Then there is a 1/8” sawn veneer “skin” glued onto the exterior of the core. This is the exterior wood which is wrapped around all sides and the top. On our exotic wood models there is fancy/figured veneer glued onto the sawn veneer 1/8” skin. Finally there is the interior Sapele lining with mitered corners and protruding lip that seals the box once closed. I could list all 100+ steps and woods, but do you really have the time or want to know? Needless to say the Chinese humidors are not built this way. Their factories employ hundreds of unskilled workers so they can produce large quantities with cheap materials and cheap labor. This is why most retail tobacconists sell the Chinese humidors. They buy them cheap, mark them up 2-3 times and will not stand behind them when they fail. Most of my customers have already owned a Chinese humidor and are looking to upgrade.

What is the difference between a custom made and a production made humidor?

The construction and quality are exactly the same. We have over 20 exotic and regular woods that we offer on our website. Plus we make four different models or sizes A, B, C, and D - from small to large. We simply cannot stock all of these humidors. We do stock all of the materials which consist of hardwood lumber and veneers, MDF, glue, lacquer and finishing supplies, hardware (hinges, locks, hygrometers, Humigar moisturizers, shipping cartons, etc.

So we make the fancy veneer models on order only - usually in 3-4 weeks. And we ask that you pay the entire cost of the humidor plus shipping up front. Once you do that, you are committed and we start the building process and become committed as well. I usually try to keep you updated throughout the building process so you don’t get nervous.

Finally the production humidors are made in batches or runs of 20-30 and we try to stock them for our retail tobacconist customers. They are mainly the A and B models without the trim (Cherry, Bubinga, Lacewood, Curly Maple and a few others). This is why you will not usually see our fancier exotic wood models (especially the C and D models) in the retail stores. The one exception is Georgetown Tobacco in Washington DC. They carry the best selection of our humidors in the US.

Are your humidors handmade?

They are both handmade and machine made. It depends upon your definition of handmade. Every piece of machinery in my shop is geared toward humidor construction. Many of these machines you will not see in most cabinet or furniture plants. We use a computer controlled router for mortising the grooves for the hinges and locks. We work in 1/1000” increments - so that the top and bottom line up perfectly when closed. We use router tables for the lock miter joints in the four corners, miter saws to install the interior lining, flat bed sander to flatten the top and bottom lips, resaw and panel sanders to cut and sand our Sapele lumber into 3/16” thickness for the interior lining and dividers, random orbital sanders to sand the exterior sides, top and bottom, and spray guns and a spray booth to apply the lacquer finishes. Our humidors cannot be made any other way. It has taken me over 20 years to build up this equipment and supplies in order to make these quality humidors. consider myself one of the premier humidor makers in the world and it has not come without a lot of effort and perseverance.

What is the difference between a laminated (glued up) and a solid wood humidor?

We only build laminated humidors for a variety of reasons. Solid wood often has a lot of tension or stress built up in the sawing and drying process. This translates to warped lids and cracks in the finish. The growth rings of a tree are circular and when the tree is cut into lumber, these curved rings want to conform to their natural state by cupping and warping. When you rip these same boards into narrow pieces and glue them back together, it takes away the tension and stabilizes the new “laminated board”. The furniture industry has known for generations that glue is harder than wood and prevents movement. Those few remaining furniture makers in the US making solid wood furniture always glue up the table tops with 3-4” wide pieces. We go one step beyond the gluing process by using a very stable material - MDF - which means medium density fiberboard.  It is mixed into the core sides with narrow strips of either Sapele, Curly Maple or Cherry whichever matches the exterior veneers the best. Our MDF is not really “medium”. In fact it is heavy. Our supplier calls it double density fiberboard. Hence it should be called HDF (heavy density fiberboard). I cannot attempt to pick up a sheet of ¾”x4x8’ of this material. It most likely weighs over 150 pounds. One of the most noticeable traits of our humidors is their weight. They weigh more than twice as much as any other humidor on the market today. Our lids alone are 5/8” thick. Humidors need heavy tops to counter the movement of the narrow lid sides. So the final word is that humidors need to be built heavy and laminated to stabilize them so they will not warp when exposed to the moisture and extreme temperature changes common throughout the US.