My wooden puerh humidor builing adventure


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My wooden puerh humidor builing adventure

Postby shogun89 » Jul 14th, '08, 20:34

Ok, I am about to begin the project to build a wooden humidor for my cakes. I will keep you all posted about my progress and might post pictures if you are all good. Before I begin this I must ask, does anyone store their pu erh in some sort of wood container and keep a good humidity. I am concerned about all the humidity going into the wood and not the cakes. Also will the wood (poplar) Scent the cakes. the wood does have a slight odor to it but not much.
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Postby Ti » Jul 14th, '08, 21:28

This is really interesting shogun89. I've decided to do the same thing! I'm waiting until the weekend to work on it but right now I'm drawing up the the prints I'm thinking of using. I'll be posting photos of the progress also.

I haven't decided on the wood yet but I was browsing LOWES today checking out the wood and I looked at poplar. I also looked at oak (most likely choice at this point), cedar...not the real fragrant cedar-closet kind, pine and even bamboo flooring. I like the bamboo idea but I don't like the idea that it was a three layer laminate, meaning glue. I don't know where to get bamboo planks or even if they would be any good for this. Bamboo, I think, absorbs a lot of water, but I'm not really sure.

Right now I'm kind of leaning toward a pine box which will be faced on the inside with old cigar-boxes, not laminated with glue, but with brass brads. This isn't carved in wood yet so I'm still open to input.

Just off the bat, I figured to build a decent humidor with material from LOWES was going to cost me close to $100 (for an 18" h x 24" L x 12"D box including back, shelf and hinged door). This is about the size of what I think would be appropriate for me so it will probably be the first one I build.
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 14th, '08, 22:30

Ti, glade to have you along. This is going to be allot of fun. I am only using Poplar because my dad has allot of it from a job (architect) and because it is a semi hardwood. I would stay away from pine because it is a soft wood so it will absorb moisture better (bad, less moisture to the cakes). If you can easily dent the would with your fingernail Its to soft and will absorb to much moisture. I hope to start building by tomorrow. Mine is going to have about the same dimensions as yours. My source of humidity is a wet sponge in a container with holes in the lid.
I'll post more tomorrow.
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Postby Ti » Jul 15th, '08, 10:06

Well I'm thinking pine because I have a lot of it and it won't cost me anything. I was looking at poplar. Nice stuff but just too pricey for an experiment. I kind of envy your access to free poplar. I am concerned a bit about the pine warping, especially with the door.

I might coat the pine with linseed oil to take some of the 'thirst' out of it but I don't want to seal it with polyurethane or anything like that. Then there would be no point in using wood. It wouldn't be much better than a plastic box. :)
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 15th, '08, 10:24

If only we were neighbors I would offer you some wood. My father gets so much weird wood our garage is stuffed with it. I dont know about the pine warping. I love linseed oil, It will defiantly take some thirst out of the wood, the smell could be another thing though. I was thinking about putting one of those baking soda packages for refrigerators inside for awhile to kill the smell. what wood thickness are you using, im using 3/4 in.
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Postby Ti » Jul 15th, '08, 11:58

shogun89 wrote:If only we were neighbors I would offer you some wood. My father gets so much weird wood our garage is stuffed with it. I dont know about the pine warping. I love linseed oil, It will defiantly take some thirst out of the wood, the smell could be another thing though. I was thinking about putting one of those baking soda packages for refrigerators inside for awhile to kill the smell. what wood thickness are you using, im using 3/4 in.


With the warping I'm thinking about the higher moisture absorption rate on the inside of the door causing the wood to expand on the interior side more than the outside. I don't think it will be a big deal but I can see the door not fitting flush when closed if this becomes an issue. I don't think there will be a problem with the rest of it because the pieces will be physically fastened to each other.

Maybe I won't do anything with linseed oil on the inside of it because the smell would probably affect the tea. I'm thinking about finishing the outside of it.

I'm using .75" also. Going any heavier doesn't seem necessary.

In place of a sponge I'm going to use that green foam they use at florist shops that they stick flowers in when they make arrangements. I know a girl who gets me some when I need it. Thats the stuff they use in a lot of cigar humidors and I've been using it for years. It's very tiny open cell foam that holds a lot of water so you don't have to worry so much about water splashing around and inadvertently making tea. Comes in a block and you cut it whatever size you want.
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 15th, '08, 12:44

I'm glad to hear that we are using the same size wood. I really dont think that 70% humidity will make the board swell that much. What is your humidity in your house anyway, mine is about 54%. I thought of a nice way to make the would not absorb moisture. boil paraffin then paint it on the wood and wipe away the access. basically give it a nice wax coating. I am also going to finish the outside by sanding it and staining or oiling it. I'm really going to try to make this thing look nice. It going to have a hinge side openig door may even with magnates to keep the door shut. I will have a shelf in the middle that does not come all the way up to the door so i can put humidity trays in the bottom and the cakes and bricks on the top shelf. I know what that green foam is too that the florists use I am also going to use that now after some reading ive done. I am wondering if it is necessary to use that propylene Glycol that cigar humidors use. I am going to measure and have my dad cut my boards tonight.

I was still wondering about the wood taking all the moisture and did a little research and came across this. I will defiantly do this to mine once it is done.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Cigars-2143/ ... cigars.htm
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Postby Ti » Jul 15th, '08, 18:18

My house is at 74% right now. I think it's going to be a challenge to get a constant humidity inside the box. But for my purposes right now I would just like achieve an environment where the tea isn't being stored in bone dry conditions. Right now it's not such a big deal but in winter it gets dry beyond belief with the forced hot air heat I have.

Hmm...paraffin. Sounds kinda cool but wouldn't that make the interior wood surface impermeable to moisture which could end up leading to condensation? Something to think about. Even light condensation for any considerable period of time on the tea itself could lead to mold problem.

Sounds like you have the same design in mind. Lower level for the water and raised shelves to store tea on. But now I've been thinking about standing it on end so I can get two shelves instead of one if I lay it on it's long side as I originally considered.

I'm steering clear of propylene glycol. That isn't something I want to ingest. It won't be in my tea case.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifreeze

Nice link on the seasoning of the humidor. That's probably a good procedure to break-in the new tea box. I did that with my cigar boxes but I forgot about it. Good research.
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 15th, '08, 20:15

I may not haave the exact name but it is something glycol and it is food grade. I do not want to use it just because it will be a a pain. Currently i have all my peices cut out and sanded, I am going to Home Depot now to get screws, hinges, and a handle for the door. The good news is my wood does not smell much. I'll post once I get back.
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 16th, '08, 16:20

Its finished!!!!!! I just finished it up today and its pretty good. The only thing i did not do yet is just the shelf which is tonight and then I will season it with distilled water then testing will begin. I'll have pictures tomorrow.
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 16th, '08, 23:19

I am currently seasoning the humidor using the method posted in the link above. I'll post the humidity achieved overnight, tomorrow.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jul 17th, '08, 00:18

You know what I think would be cool as a make-shift Humidor? An old modified gun rack. I see them advertised here in the paper quite often. Just an idea for someone else who might be wanting to make something like what you are making. Sounds awesome!
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Postby Smells_Familiar » Jul 17th, '08, 00:41

This is a great thread! I've been thinking about building a humidor for a while now (or just buying an old chest with a lid and modifying it) but just haven't got around to it yet. You guys are providing some much needed motivation. Sadly :cry: , I won't have enough time to gather the goods until at least two weeks from now. Happily :D , until then I get to tune in every day to the ti and shogun humidor adventure thread and learn from your mistakes (or lack there of) and triumphs!

BTW, propylene glycol is on the US Food and Drug Administration's list of ingredients which are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and it is considered by the World Health Organization as safe for use around food. Now, ethylene glycol is toxic but isn't the same thing as PG.

I WANT PICTURES!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!11
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Postby shogun89 » Jul 17th, '08, 10:21

I'm glad to see more people are becoming interested in this topic. I think alot more people would be willing to "raise" a pu erh family if they knew how to properly store it. Hop, Your gun safe idea sounds neat, go get one and try it, lol. The good news is that I held 60% humidity last night, which is good considering I am in the seasoning process, which means the wood is sucking up all the moisture, so once the wood is saturated I hope to get up to 70%. I am going to try for pictures today for you guys, So please dont hesitate to tell me what you think of it whether they're good or bad, I'd like to hear what you guys think. The best part is I can finally start collecting and aging!!!!

Oh, and that propylene glycol, I knew the name but am so used to using the term ethylene form chemistry clase this year.
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Postby Wesli » Jul 17th, '08, 11:38

I keep stopping by but.....


Where's the pics?!
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