"Vegas de Santiago" Costa Rica Cigars

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 Spanish  Cedar
For Cigar Boxes and Humidors!

Ever wonder how those Spanish missions have survived all these years?  That's right, Spanish Cedar! 

Because of its specific gravity and density, it was often carved into canoes by Amazonian natives, because of its buoyancy,
but we know it as the cigar lover's friend!



In truth, Spanish Cedar, is neither Spanish, nor Cedar.
It is, in fact, a deciduous tree, a tree that loses its
leaves in the fall, not an evergreen, like the true cedar.

Cedrela odorata, C. mexicana, to be more exact, is also
known as Spanish Cedar, Cedrela, Mexican Cedar,
or other nation of origin and "cigar box" cedar.

Known in Central and South America for its rot and
insect resistant qualities, it is usually used
for exterior architectural applications of all kinds.


We have many Spanish Cedar Tree
Farms in Costa Rica.


Spanish Cedar is a generally straight-grained wood,
with occasional spectacular short, broken
ribbon patterns.

The tree can grow to heights of one hundred feet and
diameters of six feet. It is clear of branches for forty
to sixty feet, producing boards free of knots.

When freshly cut, it has pinkish to reddish-brown
heartwood, sometimes with dark streaks.

When exposed to the air it turns red or dark reddish
brown, resembling mahogany in texture and color.

Which makes it a beautiful wood to use, in the
construction of Cigar Humidors!

The "oils" in Spanish cedar are believed to impart a
better flavor to cigars and to help "marry" the
cigar blends... as they age, in cedar lined storage

When moistened, as when you prime your humidor,
the scent, slightly reminiscent of true cedar, but
with spicy overtones, becomes evident.

In order to be effective in your humidor, the wood
must be left unfinished.

The main use for this wood in Costa Rica and the
United States, is in cigar box construction and to
construct and line cigar humidors.

It is also used to make "high quality" furniture,
cabinets, chest linings, boatbuilding, construction,
millwork, musical instruments and plywood.


One interesting note:
The oils in Spanish cedar produce a vapor that can
condense upon and stain most metals except lacquer
coated brass and stainless steel.

The wood will often exude oil over time, but this can
be removed with alcohol or acetone; make sure you
remove your cigars until those vapors dissipate!

With the tremendous number of humidors to choose
from, the novice is often concerned over whether or
not their humidor is cedar lined.

Tests for density and weight are the scientific choices,
but for the shopper, it is usually sufficient to moisten
the wood and smell the spicy cedar aroma.

Similar woods like mahogany, may have the same
color, but are more dense and do not give off this
characteristic aroma.

If your humidor is not lined with cedar, you have a few
options to correct the oversight. You can purchase
Spanish Cedar, from wood specialty shops, in 1/8" and
1/4" thicknesses and cut them to size.

The wood is currently running from $5.25 to $10.00
a board foot. Some places even sell it by the square
inch, so it can get expensive. It is grown in special
"Tree Plantations", not cut from the Rainforest.

Another alternative is to ask your tobacconist for
the interleaf sheets, from cigar boxes and either
laminate these inside your box with contact cement
or just lay them in the bottom of the box.


In most cases, a humidor should be wet down
with distilled water and the humidifying device, filled
and left sealed for 24 to 48 hours, without the cigars.
After that time, refill the humidifier and set your
cigars in place.

Spanish Cedar Source
for Humidors:

Wood Workers Source

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Revised: 04 May 2010 13:33:29 -0500 .