Oak Cigar Ashtray

About: I work constantly and try to fill my free time with gaming, fishing, hunting, or woodworking. I don't often get time to work on projects, but I'll try to get post what I can.

I recently made an oak cigar ashtray for my Dad's birthday. During the process I didn't think to document the build. Since I could not find any plans for wood ashtrays I decided to make another for myself, so here we are.

I built this one way with one type of wood and made it how I wanted, but of course it has quite a bit of room for customization, so do what you want and if you feel like using my plans as a base then great.

Also, I wanted to experiment a little with this build as opposed to my last one, if anyone has any tips or tricks let me know.

Step 1: Plans and Material/tools


  • 3/4" oak. obviously you can get whatever sized board you want. I went with a 4ft long board
  • Titebond III
  • boiled linseed oil


  • Chop saw
  • Table saw
  • Plenty of clamps. I used about 13 or so
  • orbital sander
  • plenty of sandpaper of various grit
  • chisel
  • rasp
  • blow torch
  • rags or whatever you prefer to apply oil to the wood
  • tape measure

Ignore the part about using pegs in the joints. It didn't work out for me, but of course you're welcome to.

Step 2: Cutting the Pieces

The top part is made of 4 equal length pieces, 7 1/2" x 1 1/2"

The base is made from 3 equal length pieces, 10 1/2" x 2 1/2"

For the first ashtray I waited till everything was finished and it was nearly ready to be oiled before I burned the wood, but titebond isn't blowtorch resistant so the seams on the very outside of the joints lost the glue that had held them together. It seems that it is only skin deep so to speak so it wasn't an issue, but I still wanted to try burning it before hand which is what I did with the second one. I didn't see any real difference in the results.

Step 3: Gluing Up

This step is fairly self-explanatory. Simply glue the two parts of however you wish and wait to dry. Then after, put them together and glue the two parts together. Keeping edges square while gluing the base and top together can be troublesome so just try to get one edge square. The dimensions allow for a bit of leeway afterwards

Step 4: Cleaning Up the Edges

If you managed to keep at least one side straight then head over the the table saw and clean up the edges. I used the tablesaw for cutting lengthwise and my chopsaw for cutting widthwise.

Step 5: Final Cuts


This is where you can really do whatever you want. Honestly I didn't even bother recording the angles I cut at or other measurements.

Cigar grooves:

I marked the middle of the sides and then marked on either side eyeballing what would look good then marking down the side so I could see where the blade would be. I had the blade at 1/2" before angling it to 45 degrees. after the initial 2 cuts I straightened the blade so I could mill out the excess. A dado would speed this up obviously.

After milling out what I could I went at it with a chisel and then a rasp, followed with sanding.

Step 6: Time to Sear It

As I mentioned previously, the blowtorch will burn away the glue at the outermost portions of the seams. Do this part as you will. I imagine going slow and lightly burning it in stages might help.

After you've cooked it medium rare, sand. I used a well used 220 grit, but starting with something slightly rougher to help expose some of the wood beneath would help speed things up. As with most of this project, how much you expose is up to you. Just sand till you're satisfied.

Step 7: The Final Touch

After everything is sanded to your liking, wipe it down and try to get as much of the excess ash off, then apply whatever sealant you prefer. I recommend not using a stain or polyurethane. Wipe down with the linseed oil and then allow it to soak in for about 10 minutes before wiping off. There are instructions on the can.

Step 8: Finished Product

Enjoy your new ashtray



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    2 Discussions

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    3 months ago

    Nice project. It might be a little easier to skim through if you were to break it up into multiple steps.

    1 reply

    Well like I said, it's not really an actual instructable. Just a cheap place holder till I finish the second one ashtray and collect the pictures and what not.