Add into this equation two factors: 1) The Rev is tight with money, AND 2) I live in an area where occasionally the water is over our heads and we evacuate frequently to avoid water being over our heads. There was only one logical solution; build my own coolerdor, which by good fortune, is also the BEST humidor I’ve ever used, bar none, and trust me, I’ve tried plenty. Coolerdors, by their nature, function great as humidors. They maintain a good seal to retain humidity, are insulated so the temperature doesn’t vary much, and are big compared to an average desktop humidor.
“The Katrinador” was built with an embarrassingly cheap array of parts, only one of which was actually purchased: a 36-Quart red cooler being discarded by my dad Big Bob because the drain plug didn’t work, repaired with an old rubber plug I found in my junk drawer, a few Spanish cedar planks (pictured at right) obtained from my cousin Craig the Cabinet Maker, several cedar (not cardboard) cigar boxes left over from previous cigar purchase and one big standard humidifying device I got from Cigar Auctioneer for about 3 bucks. That’s it. No hygrometer (I just pinch my cigars when I open the box – which is often) to see if humidifier needs a recharge of water. Cheap, ugly (to some, not to me) and extremely functional.
The Katrinador has actually saved The Rev’s cigars once floating briefly in a hotel pool in Birmingham, Alabama during the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The story of how it got in the pool is for sharing should we ever meet to enjoy cigars together.
Without a doubt, my coolerdor has functioned at least as well as any expensive humidor and frankly mine has easily outperformed them for maintaining the quality of my smokes, which in my opinion, is the real purpose of a humidor.