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Discussion in 'Humidor Forum' started by YellowSmoke, Jan 24, 2012.
Where is it made?
Reads like it's veneer on (probably) MSD or shitty particle board. Point is, the carcass has to be able to hold up to a humid interior & fluctuations.
Well, there is nothing wrong with Veneered MDF. Bob Staebell uses high quality Veneers over high quality MDF which is much more stable to humidity than hardwoods.
I am well versed in design, having designed several store fixtures, kiosks, and checkout stands using MDF.
That said, Staebell also uses superior techniques on seams, edges, details,etc. His finishing is also far superior to most Humidor cabinets I've seen.
I can't speak for the one in your op, but I think Rod could probably get you a screaming deal on a larger humidor.
The ones he offers are good for the quality to cost ratio. Rod quoted me an great price, but I had a spot where I needed some custom dimensions. So, I went the Staebell route.
I really liked the one that Rod had better, aesthetically but, square feet is square feet, and I don't own a wall stretcher. I could have saved 1200 bucks, had a much larger cabinet, and it would have matched my interior better. I'm sure it would have been quite serviceable, as I am familiar with his Vendor.
edit for da mistakes.
You get what you pay for.
Do his MDF cost as much as the solid hardwood versions?
Nononono, I am not trying to get my humi cheaper! I am just annoyed to find cheap copies around!
I am very familiar with the concept "you get what you pay for"
if you mean hardwood as in an Arlinn Liss type box, I don't know the cost comparison. While I love Arlinn's work, I did not want to take a chance with solid hardwoods and humidity.
I suspect, cost per cubic foot is higher. If you mean Staebell using hardwood, as far as I know, he does not use any in the main panels of the box. My understanding is trim, door frames, molding, etc are solid, and he uses some very clever joining techniques to "fuse" the two together.
I just love how the ad says it "features perfect humidity." :laugh:
My 1st larger humidor was one of these and I loved it. I drilled holes in the back of all shelves to get better circulation. I used the large Cigar Oasis to humidify it. It worked perfectly! Good luck.
That's my understanding as well.....Bob's work is wonderful (yes, I have one) and he has chosen his materials to hold their dimensions over time.
That's not to say anything bad about Arlin's work....far from it. Different techniques from different artisans; both are beautiful products.
About the use of "particle board"....there are many different types of MDF, as Bob has pointed out. It's all about technique and using the best material for the environment.
Guess I need to do a more thorough search on Staebells stuff. I just spent 10minutes looking at their website, and I just don't see any reference to MDF. The carcass looks like solid wood.
If your joinery is good, MDF or solid wood should work. For the price of an aristocrat, I'd want it to be solid wood. That's just me.
It's weird how there's so little reference to MDF on that website.
Its because many people have such a stigma about mdf. They dont view it as a material for a high quality product, sort of like ikea some of the ikea furniture.
Not to say Ikea stuff is bad or anything, but it is very cheap stuff mostly made of MDF, or particle board.
You got a good point there, to be honest with you I would have been a little turn down if I knew before the order that Rob was using MDF. But because the overwhelming good review I guess I am ok with it. After all my Martin has MDF sides and only the top board is solid...
Who knows? Maybe the one you linked, that's probably made in China, would operate just as well.
Why would you feel "turned down." Just wondering.
Particle board is a far cry from MDF. Of the woodworkers I know, there is no stigma towards it at all, it's the product of choice when building certain pieces.
Structurally speaking, you can't use a better product for what we're talking about. Go to the wood shop of any museum (Smithsonian, MoMA, Guggenheim, etc) and see what they use to make display cases and platforms that will hold priceless artifacts...very high density MDF covered with a veneer of some sort.
When I picked him to buy from, my first concern was strength and durability. I figured anyone could stain some wood and dress it up, but whoever made a better technically designed humidor would get my money...and Bob makes a great one. I imagine I'll pass mine on to my son and hopefully some day he'll pass it on to his. :thumbs:
I also don't go to the Guggenheim to admire the cabinetry holding the articles on display.
I'm not saying anything bad about Bob's humidors. I'm sure they're well built. All I'm saying is that I think there's an element of economy when MDF is used and I'm just not buying what I consider the marketing strategy of saying it's engineered for the application.
MDF has only been on the market since maybe the 80s...Why was it created? Because people were having little success building humidors and museum display cases prior out of solid wood or veneered wood?
Your cynicism is showing. I would politely suggest you do a little more research into MDF. For folks that understand woodworking, it's often the preferred material in high humidity environments for dimensional stability. You know, so the door shuts and seals for a long time...?? As Gary pointed out, MDF isn't like the cheap particle board that is used in cheap imported furniture. You are saying bad things about Bob's humidors when you dismiss his choice of materials as "marketing". You are making the assumption that the high density MDF that's used by him is somehow cheaper than solid wood. Depending on the solid wood, that may or may not be true.
You should give Bob a call and chat with him about why he uses what he does. If you knew the technical background that he comes from, and if you actually took the time to get some facts, you might be surprised. That is, if you really want to understand the issues here.
The material got its start in the United States in 1966, at a plant in upstate New York. As it became clear that making MDF offered a far better use of residual wood than disposing of it, production soared. Today there are some 27 plants in the US and Canada, and more than 100 worldwide. Recently the industry has expanded its use of recovered materials to include agricultural by-products such as wheat straw and post-consumer recycled wood.
MDF is typically made from sawdust, planer shavings and other waste that remains after a tree is milled into lumber. The wood is then cleaned and mechanically refined in a process that reduces it into fine, uniform fibers. Excess moisture is removed and an adhesive resin is added to hold the fibers together. This mix is then formed into a long, thick, homogeneous mat, which is compressed under intense heat and pressure. The resulting MDF panel is sanded to a fine, even smoothness, and cut to the required width and length. Computer-controlled sensors monitor the entire manufacturing process to measure slight variations that even the human eye cannot detect. Finished panels are tested for uniformity, strength and other structural soundness.
MDF is used extensively indoors in furniture, cabinets, doors, mouldings and flooring. Like other engineered wood products, it has a distinctively flat, dense surface that holds paint well. It doesn't move like wood, so its joints stay tight and paint doesn't crack. But the glory of MDF is its uniformity; it can be machined into every conceivable shape to create architectural details such as balusters or mouldings. Unlike real wood, MDF has no knots, grain or warping that can make intricate woodworking difficult. While solid wood is better suited to structural applications such as floor joists, MDF tends to be cheaper than solid wood so it's well suited to interior doors, bookcases and kitchen cabinets.
I by no means meant to put down on MDF as a material, in fact I've used it in countless projects. The point I was trying to make was that to people that know little about the construction of a product, hearing "solid wood" rather than "medium density fiberboard" is more encouraging.
It truly does depend on the person making it, the design, and the time dedicated to producing a quality product.
And Bfreebern is entirely correct, MDF was developed originally as a way to use something that was previously very difficult to use. It just so happens that it is great for most any application you can think of and many times it is far cheaper than alternative materials.
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