Archive for May, 2011

Diego Humidor – The Story Behind its Creation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by johnwiggers

As the DotCom bubble began to inflate in 1994 the per capita cigar consumption of adult American males began to rise for the first time since the Kennedy administration. Before long this resurgence began to stimulate demand for accessories such as humidors as well.

Like many custom furniture makers the idea of making humidors was completely in sync with any other type of fine woodworking. The most common type of design was the simple lidded box, with an exterior clad in a fancy exotic wood (usually finished in high gloss) and an interior lined in Spanish Cedar.

The most difficult part of this process usually involved finding high quality hardware that was of a level consistent with the quality of the box itself. In my case I could never settle for anything less than finely machined quadrant hinges plated in 18K gold.

Simple rectangular boxes were,  frankly,  quite boring to make so it didn’t take long for me to seek out new challenges. Soon I began to experiment with alternative shapes such as this pyramid design.

By the time this Pyramid Humidor came together I had managed to fine tune my signature detail of using cigar shaped ventilation slots in the bottom of the trays.

By 1998 it was time to challenge myself further, and I set the bar higher again with the Diego Humidor. At this stage I was looking to create a cabinet that would allow for both individual cigar storage as well as storage for complete boxes of cigars. Of course the biggest challenge for such a concept was going to be humidification and ventilation. This was addressed through the use a commercial grade humidification system set on a slide-out tray built into the center of the cabinet.

The cabinet was designed with a double wall back panel (with cigar shaped cutouts for ventilation) to allow for complete circulation of humidified air throughout the cabinet. The underside of the top features a sunburst inlay of Spanish Cedar, with the top pivoting on inlaid quadrant hinges plated in 18K gold. In addition to a removable tray this upper storage area also has custom inlaid pockets for a cutter and lighter.

The lower part of the cabinet has a pair of thick double doors inset with a diamond shaped medallion and inlaid escutcheon lock. Adjustable shelves made of Spanish Cedar allow for great versatility in customizing the storage space below.

The doors were finished in high gloss Pommelle Sapele, while the cabinet exterior was high gloss Ribbon Sapele. On the very top of the cabinet an inset of figured Pommelle is framed with crossbanded Ribbon Sapele, offset by an inlaid purfling of Mahogany and Indian Ebony.  As with all of my pieces the back is fully finished.

Overall dimensions: 27-3/8″ (69.5 cm.) wide x 18-1/4″ (46.5 cm.) deep x 49-3/4″ (126.5 cm.) high.

The Diego Humidor was unveiled at the 1998 Toronto Wine and Cheese Show as part of an exhibit that included the Andiroba Wine Cabinet.

Subsequent to this the Diego Humidor went to Miami where was displayed at the Carriage House showroom.

It is now part of a private collection in Brunei.

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Landis Coffee Table

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by johnwiggers

Measuring 44″ long x 21″ wide x 16-3/4″ high the Landis Coffee Table features an elliptical oval top with a deep undercut bevel running completely around the perimeter of the edge.

The stainless steel legs are able to be removed for shipping, and this design can easily be customized into different sizes and shapes.

Crafted from FSC certified wood, non-UF glue and low-VOC waterbased finish this design has been described by one gallery owner as “an excellent representation of modern 50’s design with a 21st Century twist.”

Aum Table

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2011 by johnwiggers

Aum is a mystical and sacred syllable that is integral to the Indian religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. This symbol is taken to consist of the phonemes, “a”, “u” and “m”, which variously symbolize the Three Vedas or the Hindu Trimurti on the three stages of life (birth, life and death).

In 2003 I became profoundly fascinated with the idea of designing a sculptural piece of furniture that could capture the essence of this “name of God” symbol. The exercise turned out to be a humbling one, to say the least, although the process did result in the creation of the tables shown here.

Measuring 18″ (46 cm.) wide x 15″ (38 cm.) deep x 18″ (46 cm.) high, each table has been sculpted from a pair of undulating ribbons of Macassar Ebony ply that had to be simultaneously bent and shaped to form. Inlaid beads of solid cherry were used to soften the corners.

Fixed bottom shelves were actually made for each of these tables (more for utilitarian purposes), but they were left off the final design because of how much I liked the unbroken flow of the curves. Besides, I don’t think these tables would have looked anywhere near as nice if they had “stuff” cluttering the underside.

Custom Display Cases

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2011 by johnwiggers

This is a current project we are working on, which is for 6 massive display cases going into a sports lounge.

Each case measures 39″ wide x 24″ deep x 102″ high. Crafted from Ribbon Sapele these units will each have a mirrored back, glass shelves, an inset glass face and locking glass doors on each side.

The opening at the front of the plinth base will receive a fitted grill to conceal air return plenums that are going to be set into the floor.

Recessed halogen lighting on swivelling fixtures will be fitted into the header.

Andiroba Humidor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by johnwiggers

Welcome to my first WordPress blog post.


I’ll use this opportunity to introduce one of my more unusual custom furniture pieces: the Andiroba Humidor.

The design of this piece came about in the late 1990s as I contemplated humidor ideas that were inherently different from the conventional box designs then prevalent in the marketplace.

The humidor as shown was sculpted from a wood called Block Mottled Tangare, with the exterior made as two interlocking half shells that pivot/swing open to reveal the cabinet interior.

The cabinet interior features adjustable wood shelves for box storage, a louvered double wall backpanel for air circulation, a concealed central humidification system, and 7 individually sculpted drawers for storage of individual cigars.

Note the undulating shapes on each of the individual drawer faces. Although the drawer boxes were crafted from Spanish Cedar the drawer faces were made of Block Mottled Tangare to match the cabinet exterior.