Help Convert Closet to (small) Walk-in Humidor


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978057188_RoomSideView.png.41c2c204276179ad1c25c7244ad3535f.pngHello all,

 

I know I’m a new face around here to most; though I signed up over here a while back at some of my BOTL’s urging, but I never really grew my CC collection past a handful of boxes.  With that said, this project will surely allow me to expand my collection.

So why am I posting here?  Because searches lead me to some good reads over here, with people who have actually done it (the internet is full of click-bait articles that really tell you nothing of substance).

Ok, here is the scenario:  I have an existing 16’x10’ room that has a closet on one end.  The closet measures 68”Wx39”Dx9’H ceiling.  The entry to the closet was the overlapping sliding door style (which have been removed) and measures 57”Wx80”H centered. (sketch attached).  All walls/ceiling are texture coated and painted drywall.  I was previously using this space as an alcove to house my old big screen tv and electronics, so I have a 110v outlet inside along the left wall at midlevel.  Existing flooring is a water-resistant wood laminate with vapor barrier on slab.

Construction:

What should I attach to the walls and how?  Directly tack planks of Spanish cedar to the walls?  Another product first, then a thin layer of Spanish cedar? Skip the SC for the walls altogether and use it for shelves only? Smaller details like how much spacing for expansion are welcome too (read about one FOH suggesting butting the joints).  I’m thinking of using the existing entry way, but having a door/window company come install a sliding door or maybe a couple panels of glass and a swinging door in the center.  Sources for materials highly appreciated – you can PM me too.

Humidification:

I’m in the Southern California desert, so I’m going to need active humidification.  The room is tied into the central HVAC unit of the house, with a supply vent on the opposite side of the room from the closet humidor.  I have no plans to install a split AC unit in this room – just too small and no where to vent out to or get sufficient power.  I know FOH has a resident humidification expert and I welcome feedback/suggestions from all of you.

 

TL/DR: What do I line my closet with and how do I humidify it?

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We've had a few members who've shared building walk-ins, but with time and forum updates, some information can become lost...

This may or may not be much help, but here's a discussion that has partially survived (second page for pics). Let us know how you do.

Closet Walk In

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I can only dream of having a walk-in, so I have to relevant experience. But I wanted to share a video series of a guy that’s done a similar closet (maybe a little smaller). Not sure if you’ve seen it or not, but he goes through his whole process over several videos.
 

He chose an interesting species to line the closet with, that I don’t think I would have, but it works for him. 
 

Good luck and keep us posted. 

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I can only dream of having a walk-in, so I have to relevant experience. But I wanted to share a video series of a guy that’s done a similar closet (maybe a little smaller). Not sure if you’ve seen it or not, but he goes through his whole process over several videos.
 
He chose an interesting species to line the closet with, that I don’t think I would have, but it works for him. 
 
Good luck and keep us posted. 
Thank you so much - off to watch the series!

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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I've been reading and watching everything I can find on the interwebs on this topic.  There are several on FOH, though pretty old and some have broken links.  I found some stuff on Reddit and some other cigar forums too, but I'll share a link to an FOH post that has some references in it:

 

My project is NOTHING like @edameff glorious man cave linked above and much more like the Reddit closet conversion post from last year.


So with an aggregate of ideas, I'm leaning towards putting up a vapor barrier over the existing painted drywall and using 1/4" SC plywood for the walls. I always assumed vapor barrier just meant XX mils (6) of plastic sheeting, but there are a bunch of different products, materials, and "membranes" out there. There are limitless wood products to use on the walls and almost everyone of those has someone telling you not to  (The guy in the video link previously posted used aged pine that he water sealed - seems to defeat the purpose to me, but it worked for him). So I figure I'll just bite the bullet and pay for SC - hoping to source semi local, because shipping 4'x8' sheets of wood is costly.

I shared my thoughts on the project with my brother who used to flip/rent homes.  He thinks I should pull the existing drywall out and put up a blue/green board product.  Next, he prefers some paper-like vapor liner they use behind shower stalls (forget the name) and doesn't think I should nail/screw the panels (puncture the barrier), but rather glue them.  Further, he expressed concerns about moisture getting trapped between the drywall and the vapor barrier.  

On the other hand, I've read a lot of warnings about using any kind of adhesive due to off-gassing, odors, etc.  While it will obviously be a "humid" environment, do any of you think a small finishing nail through a vapor barrier, into a wall stud would present any issues?  Ok, it wouldn't be 1 hole, but more like 100 - lol.  Also, I'm not going to lie - the thought of pulling all the drywall out (really not that hard, but messy) and then cutting, hanging, taping, and half-assed buttering (it's an art and I suck at it) is almost enough to make me want to back out.

At this point I"m paralyzed by indecision, so any thoughts are appreciated.

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I’m no expert when it comes to building humidors, but it seems to me the removal of drywall and the installation of moisture barriers is overkill. Perhaps it would help create a more stable environment beneath your wood liner, but if you’re concerned with moisture-intrusion, I don’t think the relative humidity range you want in your humidor is outside the permissible range of drywall, etc. As an example, drywall works just fine without molding up here in my home in Hawaii, where ambient RH is often higher than I would want in my humidor. Shower stalls are given the waterproofing they have because they’re constantly subjected to 100% humidity.

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1 hour ago, Islandboy said:

I’m no expert when it comes to building humidors, but it seems to me the removal of drywall and the installation of moisture barriers is overkill. Perhaps it would help create a more stable environment beneath your wood liner, but if you’re concerned with moisture-intrusion, I don’t think the relative humidity range you want in your humidor is outside the permissible range of drywall, etc. As an example, drywall works just fine without molding up here in my home in Hawaii, where ambient RH is often higher than I would want in my humidor. Shower stalls are given the waterproofing they have because they’re constantly subjected to 100% humidity.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  The more I read, the more I'm leaning towards giving the existing drywall a good coat of low/no VOC primer after ripping the shelves/trim out and calling it good.

It's strange to me to think that at times your humidor actually keeps moisture away from your cigars!

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Just an update to say that I'm still at this.  My biggest issue right now is sourcing 4'x8' sheets of Spanish Cedar locally.  I've phoned several regional lumber stores and none stock it or even order it in.  A couple places offered to make it with veneer, but that was $400-$600 a sheet (and I don't need anything that pretty).  There are some online sellers, but with minimum sheet orders, crating, and shipping, the cost explodes. 

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Bob Staebell at aristocrat provided me with all the spanish cedar when i did this 6 yrs ago
I talked with Bob (well, emailed) and he's semi-retired and only doing humidification right now.

I've called every place within a couple hours of me - even posted on carpenter forums - and nobody in SoCal has Spanish Cedar Ply. Many have or can order board feet.

The good news is, I've found a couple one stop vendors who are working up package prices for me.
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The door is the other pain in the ass: Too small an opening for a slider (they make 'em, but just too narrow for my taste). Exterior French doors will seal tight, but cost a load of dough and require a threshold at the bottom. I'm leaning towards an interior set of French doors with some weather stripping.

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Yeah that sucks. I was lucky that my closet doors were ok. Just lined them with spanish cedar. I split the room off from the rest of the house’s hvac by adding a mitsubishi unit, set up an exhaust fan to suck out the smoke, and have a rabbit air unit on the wall. The room is weird-it’s like 50% below grade, so i don’t have active humidification in the room. I run a large dehumidifier set to 65 year round, but it doesn’t really even run. The whole room was stripped down and vapor barriered. I’m running a cellar pro inside the closet that has active humidification, but I don’t even use it. I just have large bovedas all over the place. I change them maybe once every 12-15 months. No clue if this is the right way to build humidors or smoking rooms, but it seems to work. 

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  • 3 months later...
Any update? I am about to begin a similar closet conversion and am contemplating the same dilemma you had re: ripping out the existing drywall and replacing it with greenboard. 
After speaking with an actual commercial humidor builder/contractor, I stayed with the drywall that was up. I did coat my existing drywall with a low/no voc mildew resistant sealer "just because". I lined the walls with Spanish Cedar plywood.

The reality is, this room maintains a humidity level thats lower than many homes are exposed to in some areas of the country/ world.

I'm in SoCal and my humidor is all interior walls, so your situation may vary.
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