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Old 08-26-2017, 04:32 PM   #1
xrundog
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Project: John Fletcher Humidor

I thought I'd document the process I go through with a humidor. Somewhat anyway. Here goes:

I bought and started this humidor a long time ago. This is the eBay pic.



eBay pic top. Name plate says John Fletcher.




eBay pic inner. Metal and glass. Sometimes an old humidor can be real elaborate and I hate to mess with it. This one is pretty plain. Plus, I didn't like the metal and glass combo. I took it out.




I learned a valuable lesson on this box. Citrus stripper is not good for brass. The brass edge guards are nailed in place. Inside prongs are bent over. Heads are ground flush. No way to remove the brass so I stripped over it. The bright corner is me trying to bring the finish back. Tough to do in place.



Stained top. I like it. After stripping I thought I had ruined it and stuck it on the back of the shelf for about 7 years. Next step is the oil finish and reassembly of all hardware. This will be a sharp looking box.



Stained front. The brass came out pretty good. Kind of a lightly brushed look. Took an extra couple hours though.


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Old 08-26-2017, 04:43 PM   #2
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Looks nice.

One of the biggest things that I miss is wood shop. When the wife and I finally find a house, I want to try and get back into it again.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:49 PM   #3
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Tim, you have a knack for working with wood. Coming from a family of woodworking craftsmen, I appreciate your work. I guess the saw got dull with me, I don't have the talent!
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Smokestack Jack View Post
Tim, you have a knack for working with wood. Coming from a family of woodworking craftsmen, I appreciate your work. I guess the saw got dull with me, I don't have the talent!
LOL true! Wife and i followed plans - with pictures - to make a couple of desks. They came out OK enough to use. But damn. Now, I want to hang some shelves in the man cave - I want them to look nice, not that shit you hang from metal rods... but even with shelf brackets I seem to have trouble! Need to find a carpenter around here who smokes cigars!

These humidor restorations - I wonder if we could flesh something like this out with instructions ? and make it a front page article.

John
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohn View Post
These humidor restorations - I wonder if we could flesh something like this out with instructions ? and make it a front page article.

John
Maybe. Not saying no. Let's see how the John Fletcher project goes. I'll try to follow some kind of linear progression and at the end you guys can sort of critique it. Come up with additions you'd like to see. Things like that. Then I can do a more polished version.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:08 AM   #6
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:16 PM   #7
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Still in the finishing phase. I'm using Tried and True oil finish. It's a mix of linseed oil and beeswax. Normally it very easy to work with. I use my hand to wipe on a thin coat. After an hour it gets wiped off with a soft rag (I have a lot of old white socks I'm using right now.) and then it's left to cure 24 hours. Then another coat. I'm 4 coats in. I'm getting some tacky areas. Not sure why. I think the metal pieces might have something to do with it. Initially I wasn't careful about getting T&T on the metal. I assumed it would wipe right off it. But I think some stayed on. It couldn't soak in so it turned tacky. Then On the next coat I wiped it onto the wood. That's mt theory and I'm working on figuring out how to fix it short of stripping and starting over. Don't wanna do that!
I'm being much more careful with successive coats. Time will tell if I can make it work. Hurrying won't make it better.
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Old 09-05-2017, 04:36 PM   #8
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I let the finish harden and put a coat of wax on it. Looks pretty good. Now the interior.

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Old 09-05-2017, 05:12 PM   #9
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Wow! That came out beautiful.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:58 PM   #10
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Today I messed around a bit. The brass didn't look right. Probably some tried and true still affecting it. I decided to shine the brass. I used painters tape (the blue stuff) to surround the brass so the polish doesn't mess with the finish. It's much better.

I imagine your first question is: Where do I get Spanish Cedar?
That depends on where you live and what sources might be nearby. When I started with humidors I lived in Escondido, CA. I got the walnut and Sp. cedar at a Woodworker's Store in San Diego. The cedar was maybe 6" x 6ft. at 1/4" thick. If I took all the cigars out of that first glass top scratch humidor you'd see that the bottom is comprised of sections.
Later I moved to Tennessee near Memphis. I was used to the smaller stuff so I bought boards on eBay. 1/4" again. I was redoing smaller desktop boxes at that time and again, the smaller stuff suited what I was doing.
Next move was to Springfield, VA. At this point I wanted to work on the larger chest humidors and the smaller stuff won't work well on the inner walls. Fortunately Colonial Hardwoods was nearby. They had huge pieces of rough cut exotic lumber. They showed me about a dozen boards 12ft by about 15" and like 8" thick. Which one do you want? they asked. I couldn't tell squat about those boards in the condition they were in. My buddy says sanding a little may tell you what you need to know. Maybe. I just picked one. I've done a few times. I've had light and smooth wood. I've had reddish wood that always sands a bit fuzzy. And I've had a pinkish hue that sands very smooth. That last is what I have right now. Colonial would saw it into boards of the thickness I wanted and sand them to 180g. That's pretty smooth. I found with the chests that 3/8" thick looks better. I had Colonial do two batches while I lived there and took a decent supply to my next home.
Last place I lived before where I am now was Kenosha, WI. I was still pretty deep into humidors and ran out of cedar. I found a guy on a back, back road who was the only dealer in exotic wood. I expected a lumberyard. What I got was a farm. The guy operated out of his barn. We went in and he pulls up a 12ft x 1ft by about 16" wide hunk of cedar. "Take 'er away". he says. I said "I hope you have a saw because that won't fit in my Cherokee". He did. But I had 2 big chunks of unfinished cedar. What to do? On the way home I passed a custom cabinet shop. I did a u-turn and stopped in. I asked "you got a band saw and maybe a drum sander or something?" They had everything I needed. Real friendly people! They cut that rough lumber into exactly what I wanted. That's what I'm working from today.
I've looked online and I'm not seeing any Spanish cedar in Iowa. That means a roadtrip, which I don't want to do anymore. Or it means having something mailed. I believe Colonial Hardwoods in VA will do it. And I think a place in PA will do it. But that's not ideal. Might be expensive too.
The point of this rambling monologue is that if you want to do a humidor refurb, you may have to get creative in finding the materials you want.
Be like the Marines: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. Solving problems can be fun.
I probably have enough cedar for 4 or 5 more boxes. After the John Fletcher box I'm going to do that fancy burl veneer box I recently bought.
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