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The Puff Guide to Humidors: Quality and Construction
Written by James Payne

Monday, 13 July 2009

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Tags:
humidificationhumidors
tips and trickstobacco faqs


Spanish Cedar

Spanish cedar, or cedrela odorata for you biology students, comes from South/Central America and is the preferred wood of humidor makers and cigar smokers alike. Of all the woods, it holds the most moisture, which helps to maintain the relative humidity within the humidor. This in turn helps the aging process of the cigar and also protects it from mold and fungus.

Another advantage Spanish cedar has over the other woods is its smell. Aside smelling good, it actually serves two other functions: First, it adds flavor to your cigars, and a very good flavor at that. Second, it acts as a natural repellant to worms and tobacco beetles (you will still need to take other measures, but every advantages counts).

A final advantage of Spanish cedar is that it tends not to warp in the same manner as other woods, lending to the overall integrity of the box.

One disadvantage to Spanish cedar is the production of resin on the surface of the wood. You will find this in boxes where the wood has not been properly dried prior to production. You may notice this in your box and it will appear as a sticky resin. It will not ruin the inside of your cigar, but it can damage the wrapper if the two should ever come in contact. But do not fear – there is a simple solution.

You can remove the resin with the use of acetone, after which you should then sand the area with a fine sandpaper. Always be sure to allow the humidor to air out for a while after you do this, or your cigars may take on the flavor of the chemicals of the cleaning products – something you definitely do not want.

It may take a few times before the resin quit leaking through, but have a little patience. It is better to clean your box several times if need be than to by a new one. Besides, this occurs only rarely, and helps to ensure your box gets proper maintenance.

Honduran Mahogany

Honduran Mahogany is also used in the lining of humidors and is not the worst choice you could make, if push comes to shove. It is similar to Spanish cedar in its ability to help in relative humidity, but there is where its benefits end.

The Honduran Mahogany has a few drawbacks, namely in the smell department. It is not as pungent as its counterpart, and therefore is not a natural worm or beetle repellant. Also, it does lend any significant taste to the cigars you are protecting. And lastly, you cannot (or should not at any rate) treat the wood.

American/Canadian Red Cedar

American red cedar is used in cheaper, lower quality humidors and is probably, in my opinion, the worst of the three woods. It is inferior in every way to Spanish cedar, as it does not help as much in the humidity department and tends to warp more often. In addition, while it does have a more pungent odor involved than Spanish cedar, it is not to good effect; if you store cigars in the box for too long, they will be overpowered by a woody flavor.

Summary

We learned a lot about humidors in this chapter, but stay tuned because there is far more to know. Construction is only the first step, though perhaps the most important one. In future articles we will delve into other concerns, such as maintaining and seasoning your humidor. Until then, thanks for reading!b






Comments 

 
0 # humidor constructionwjb59 2010-03-04 22:58
Humidors are also made with MDF fiberboard its made useing phormaldihide

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