***Just a note about this thread... I started it in March 2012 on another forum. I am moving it over here so everyone can see it, and maybe someone cheap like me will get some use out of it.***

Ok my reason for posting this is because I have seen a lot of people talking about budgets, and hard times blah blah. Well I understand where people are coming from. When I decided to start keeping more cigars on hand, my trusty 10 count Cigar Caddy quickly became overflowing, and I needed a place to store my smokes. I too am on a tight budget, and would rather put money into good smokes, than a big wooden humidor (even though I dream of owning a huge cabinet one day) So I set out on a mission to build the cheapest tupperdor I possibly could.... I really wanted to build a tuperdor for LESS than the price of one of my favorite sticks ( We will see how how that turns out). I though I would take some time and share what I did with everyone here at Stogie Friends!So lets get to it. First I went to wallyworld and purchased the following items:
1. Sterilite 3 ½ gallon plastic storage box
2. MiMi kitty litter
3. AcuRite Hygrometer
4. ¾ inch weather strip foam seal5. 1 gallon of distilled water

Then I made a trip to the local B&M, and got:
1. 4 empty cigar boxes
2. Spanish cedar strips
(I am not going to list any prices right now, we will save that for the big ending)

Before I could start the tuperdor I had to make sure the hygrometer was working properly. This particular model does not have a calibration adjustment so I will have to write down how much it is off. For anyone who does not know, if you get table salt, dampen it with a small amount of water, and seal it inside a container, it makes a perfect 75% humidity to test how accurate your hygrometer is.
Last update on September 5, 10:07 pm by chris1360.
Here is how I did it:
I first used a gallon sized zip lock bag, and a small measuring scoop, and put some regular table salt inside. I then used just a few small drops of tap water to dampen the salt.

After waiting 12 hours the hygrometer was reading 66%, and 68 degrees.

I knew it could not be this bad off, so I did another test using the exact same amount of salt and water. I waited 12 hours, and saw this time the hygrometer was at 73% and 68 degrees.

I knew something was not right. I keep my house at 68 degrees, so I know the thermometer was working perfectly. The Hygrometer could not be that much off. So back to the forums I went searching for an answer. So here is what I discovered, after some research:
1. Gallon sized zip lock is way to big, and zip up kind are more likely to leak than the press close kind
2. I had no where near enough salt/water mixture to make the environment inside the bag steady at 75%
3. If I was going to make the are inside the larger zip lock bag 75% humidity, I was going to have to wait longer than 12 hours.

So the impatient me got a 1 quart sized zip lock bag, and used a lot of salt, and more water.

After a long 24 hours wait….. 73% at 68 degrees!!!!

One more test just to be sure… after 24 more hours, holding rock solid at 73%. So the hygrometer is low by 2%. Not too bad when you find out how much I paid for it.

So now its time to make the tuperdor. I took the plastic container, and washed it 3 times with dish washing soap and hot water. Then let it sit in the sun for 2 days to make sure all of that new plastic smell was gone.

Then I used some of the Spanish cedar to line the inside of the box. I just set it in place, no need to glue it or anything.

I used the ¾ inch foam seal to put around the inside of the lid. Reason I did this is because this is not a food safe, or air tight container. It has two small snaps on each end, and you can really see the gap between the lid, and the container. The foam is tape backed. All I did was measure it out, peal the tape off, and push it into place.

Now how are we going to humidify this thing…. Well remember this is an El Cheapo tuperdor, so some are going to go nuts when they see/read this, and some will fall in love with it. Its personal preference, but remember: I am seeing how cheap I can do this.

So here we are with the MiMi kitty litter. It is silica crystals, sort of like the popular beads (same principal they absorb and release moisture).

I kindly asked my wife if I could have one of her leggings/panty hoes/stockings (whatever you call them), and she asked why. I quickly replied…. Because if you don’t, I will probably spend about 500 bucks on a really big humidor, which leaves you hardly any money to buy clothes with. She provided me with a nice stocking within seconds.

So I really just guess at this part. I added about 2 pounds of the kitty litter into the stocking and tied off one end.

From what I have read, surface area, is more important with the silica than the actual weight. This was about all that would fit into this stocking, and into my humidor, and it turned out to work just fine.

Next I put in an empty cigar box, and placed a zip lock bag in the bottom of it like this:

Then I look some of the distilled water and poured it into a bowl

I took a clean rag and dipped it into the bowl, and got the rag soaked in the distilled water.

I squeezed out the rag so that it was still moist, but no water would drip off when I shook the rag around. Then I set the rag on the zip lock bag.

Set the kitty litter contraption inside the container, and the hygrometer. I sealed it up with the lid, and waited.

And waited….

And waited…

2 days later: Perfection!!!

63- 65% is right where I wanted to be. With my hygrometer at 2% low it was actually 63%. So I took the wet rag out and let the tuperdor sit for a few days just to make sure it was going to hold the humidty, and it did perfectly! I was very happy!

Now time to stock it up:

Now with some different sized boxes, and some organization I think I could fit about 4-5 boxes total, or about 250 or so singles, maybe more. Which is just perfect for me. Maybe one day I will make a bigger one for more long term storage.

So how much did this project cost you ask????? Lets see:

1. Sterilite 3 ½ gallon plastic storage box $3.99
2. MiMi kitty litter $4.17
3. AcuRite Hygrometer $8.94
4. ¾ inch weather strip foam seal $00.99
5. 1 gallon of distilled water $00.88
6. 4 empty cigar boxes = FREE
7. Spanish cedar strips = FREE
8. Stocking = FREE
TOTAL COST = $18.97

So there it is folks, you can build your very own 200-300 count tuperdor for less than the price of one 1926 seires Padron!!!!

Hope you all enjoyed reading this. I sure had fun putting this together. Thanks for taking the time to read my DIY El Cheapo tuperdor build!
So that was what I made over a year ago. It has held up perfectly. I have never had to add more water to it, and actually dried out the KL a few times to bring it down to 60-61%, which is where I keep all my smokes now. I also dithced the stocking KL set up for a simple small zip lock container.

I upgraded to a bigger tuperdor, but I kept this one to store all of my "do not smoke" stuff in, or things I want to age a while.

As you can see in the next pic, it was prety full, and I need some more room for some things I have coming in soon:

So I took everything out, got rid of the boxes, and therw everything in there:

Now i have a good bit of room for probably another hundred or so sticks. its not very organized, but I am not worried about that right now. One day a wine cooler, or big cabinet may come, but I am still too cheap to splurge right now!

Hope everyone enjoyed the update.

In case any of you noseys want too see a close up of what I am holding onto... Here are the Viajes:

Here are the Ligas:

Thats all the close ups I took.
Last update on September 5, 10:18 pm by chris1360.
Great thread...I too long for a fancy wood cabinet some day but for now also keep several tuperdors/coolerdors and they work great. I've used both kitty litter and beads with success. As long as you clean the plastic really well and add a fair amount of cedar via boxes/sheets/etc..., the system provides a great economical storage system for your sticks.
"Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar."
-- Mark Twain
Interesting read...
The secret word is cigars!
GrouchoM said...

Interesting read...

Great way to store a lot cheap.... I found a file box size with a built in seal and locking handles at target
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

― Benjamin Franklin
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