Instructables
This compact humidifying element will occupy minimal space in your humidor, allowing you to fill your humidor with more important stuff.

** FINAL STEP UPDATED **
 
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Step 1: Gather materials

To make your own compact humidifying element, you will need the following:
-- propylene glycol crystals
(I get mine from Cigars International, but other online cigar stores stock them)
-- an empty aluminum cigar tube
-- sandpaper
-- 1/8 " drill bit and drill
-- center punch

Step 5: Put it to use

Cap the tube and set it in your humidor. Admire the vast new space made available to you for cigar storage.

** UPDATE **

After a little more than a month of use, I determined that my humidifier was registering consistently low hygrometer readings, despite rehydrating the gel a few times.

To solve this, I drilled a large number of additional holes (on all sides) to allow for better air circulation and evaporation. It works -- keeps my humidor interior within the requisite 66 - 79% humidity zone.

Below is the finished product.
HTWTUSA2 years ago
Great idea...just love the idea of using a tube for such a simple task.

I'll be making this for my travel box this weekend...I'm tired of buying humo-packs to keep my CAOs nice and young...xD

Thanks.

One note: If your cigars come in a plastic sleeve, you don't have to remove them to humidify them...just open the end, or cut it flush with the stick to allow a little of the moisture to hit the end. If the end stays moist, the rest of the stogie will, too.

Cheers!
moGuyver (author)  HTWTUSA2 years ago
Thanks for the sleeve tip - I definitely appreciate the additional protection of the cellophane wrap while traveling with cigars in a leather case.
R4Man186 years ago
Did you buy those expensive cigars just for this instructable or do you have that kind of cash? Lol. I have only been smoking cigars for a few months. Never had a Cohiba but have heard great things. So far my favorite cheap cigars are La Aroma De Cuba (a little soft though, the more full bodied the better). This instructable is very awesome but I was wondering why did you sand down the cigar tube. Doesnt it rust?
moGuyver (author)  R4Man186 years ago
Haha, I'm actually giving up cigars in a month or two, so this is the fewest cigars that I have ever had in my nearly-empty humidors. If you use facebook, there is an awesome application that can help you keep track of your cigar ratings/likes/dislikes throughout the years. Of course, a notebook with cigar bands glued in it will fill the same role.

In answer to your second question, yes aluminum does oxidize, but not in the same way that iron does -- aluminum oxide is almost unnoticeable and won't compromise the integrity of the tube.
I was worried about it actually causes problems with the cigars. I sanded down an altoids can to do the same thing with a span ced lined tupperdore and my cigars tasted awful. I had received a 20pack of some cheap LADCs and I had to toss em (well give them away to people that do not smoke cigars) because they had this odd metallic flavor. As for the quitting... WHY? Haha, i love cigars. Bought a cohiba today. 20$ cigar at my local store but im waiting to have it till the weekend so I can put some time into it.
moGuyver (author)  R4Man186 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Hey, I'm sorry to hear you're quiting :-P But if you're getting out, and I'm just getting in, maybe we can work something out as far as equipment goes. Basically, I just bought a humidor with a humidifier, but no matter what I try, I can't get the humidity over 60-64%. Worried that my cigars may become damaged, I need some humidifying devices that I can experiment with. Any ideas?
moGuyver (author)  uberchoob5 years ago
Have you conditioned your humidor? Try searching for humidor seasoning methods if you haven't -- these usually involve wiping down the inside with a clean wet cloth and then keeping the humidor closed for 24 hours with a shot glass of water or sponge in it. Proper seasoning will prevent your humidor from soaking up the humidity that your humidifier puts out.
I think I figured out my problem... My hygrometer was not calibrated! Still though, it's a pretty cheap one so I'm not really trusting its accuracy. Even though it shows the humidity to be 68-71 my cigars still creak and crackle when I give'm a gentile squeeze. I recently had a cigar that was kept in a tube, R y J reserva real, and it didn't make a sound. Was the best cigar I've had so far! I think I'll be getting a digital hygrometer and some humidity crystals/gell
At proper 70% humidity there should still be a slight crackle to the cigar. I actually enjoy them slightly more humid as well but they will rot in the humidor if you keep that way for long.
moGuyver (author)  R4Man186 years ago
R4Man 18 -- I've been using this humidifying element for about a month, and still no strange flavors added to my precious cigars... you should be safe.
F1X0R moGuyver6 years ago
also aluminum oxidises on the first outer layer then it protects the rest of the aluminium so the oxide is what most people are actually used to seeing =)
When ever my brothers and dad are together somone buys cigars and most recent time we had some Cohibas, they have a taste similar to swisher sweets but are definatel smoother and dont get very bitter towards the end
Great idea! You can also make a humidifier using a prescription bottle and a sponge. Just drill holes in the cap, soak the sponge and you're good to go. I use this for my ukulele and think it would work perfect for cigars.
This would work to generate humidity but wouldn't be good for cigars which need a constant 68-72% humidity or else they will dry out, mold, or lose their essential oils in shifting humidity.

Water alone can result in humidity up to 95%. Propylene glycol crystals will absorb excess humidity over 70% resulting in 2 way humidification.

I appreciate the DIY spirit of the instructable but a DryMistat is essentially the same thing with a breathable plastic membrane that allows it come in contact with the cigars without over humidifying the near ones and they only cost about $8 so there is little if any economic or practical benefit to this.
cbossio3 years ago
Great idea. I would have never thought of doing this myself. One idea from my ma from back in my boy scout days. We made steam boats out of cigar tubes and it required drilling too. We froze water in the tubes first to prevent it from bending near the holes. I've always thought it was a waste to throw those tubes away. Good idea.
moGuyver (author)  cbossio3 years ago
Excellent suggestion - like it.
Kalyfrans5 years ago
What size holes are drilled in the tubes? Do you go all the way through or just on one side? Also, how much of the dry crystals to you use in each tube, etc? Any help appreciated. Just bought 30 tubes and 2 pounds of crystals and am ready to get to work.. Wouldn't it be better to put 1 wet tube and 1 dry tube in each humidor to keep the level from going over 70?
moGuyver (author)  Kalyfrans5 years ago
Sorry about the long response time -- I don't have much free time these days. The holes are 1/8"... I found it easiest to drill through the tube wall from one direction only, which keeps the sharp swarf edges on the tube interior. Also, I filled the tube with hydrated crystals to eliminate guesswork. One wet and one dry might work, but I do not know if propylene glycol functions as a dessicating agent or not.
Clodester5 years ago
fantastic idea, real easy to do. Just one question, would using silica gel beads work as well?
I wouldn't try it. They work better at absorbing, and require heating them back up to get them to release enough moisture to absorb more. Even if they would work, the dust is an irritant and only food grade beads lack the toxic stuff. Check wiki. Seems like it's a safer and cheaper bet with eBay.
arhodes185 years ago
this is cool considering that i am making my brother a humidor...
wasserman086 years ago
this is cool my friends and i have been trying to think up some bootleg humidor because we always wait too long and they get dried out. there's nothing sadder then a ruined Partagas, Romeo Y Julieta, Punch, Cohiba, well you get the point they just aren't the same and ounce they start cracking there is no use at all.
Yeah, and with a nice cigar well managed cigar that's a few years old, Hell there may be nothing better.
Nicely done! I like your account image too. ;-)