Q. My wife has an old, fully cedar-lined trunk, and I was wondering if I could use this as a humidor? If so,what would be the best humidification system to use? The dimensions are 40″ long x 15″ wide x 11″ deep. The trunk also has a small length wise tray that comes up as you lift the lid. I appreciate your thoughts on this.
A. The answer is “no” and “yes.” I say no, because there is a big difference between aromatic “American” cedar and Spanish cedar. The cedar used mostly in storage closets and chests is aromatic eastern red cedar, which is found predominately in and about the southern Appalachian Mountains. Spanish cedar actually aids in the aging process of your cigars giving them that sweet little cedary-spicy nuance. Because tobacco leaves are prone to absorb aromas from other sources, if you were to place them in the cedar chest as it is now, your cigars would taste more like a cedar closet.
The “yes” side of my answer is, depending on how much of the cedar odor is left in there, which may be very little, since the aroma inside may have dissipated over time, you might want to invest in a Cigar Oasis XL, which would easily humidify the amount of space. Once the trunk is at the proper temp & humidity (roughly 70-degrees/68% RH), as a test, put in a value-priced bundle of cigars without the cellos, in there for a couple of weeks and see if they’ve picked up the red cedar aroma and how they taste. But, if you perceive a strong red cedar aroma once the humidor is prepped, you may want to think twice about that.
Assuming you’re a handy guy, or know someone who is, the other alternative would be to line the inside of the trunk with kiln-dried Spanish cedar, then prep it with the Cigar Oasis, and you’d be good to go. You might also want to think about using the trunk for storing some cigars in their factory boxes, since it seems like you’d have the room to do so.
Important: Make sure the trunk has a good seal like a handcrafted cigar humidor would have.
To learn more about which Cigar Oasis model might be best for your situation, see my article on them.