How to Make a Wood Cigar Dispenser | Video + Building Plans

Thursday, June 6, 2019 -
how to make video tutorial wood cigar dispenser fathers day gift idea

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

These past couple months have been CRAZY friends! We are in the process of selling our current home so we can get ready to build our new custom house. Then there was the end of school, Mother's Day and my sons' birthday. In the next couple of weeks we have my birthday and Father's Day as well. Is this time of year equally busy for you as well? 

I've just barely caught my breath and had a few minutes to think about Father's Day gift ideas. My mind usually goes straight for tools, but if you're interested in creating something hand-made for your Dad, I have a fun little project you could have put together in time. A simple wood machine that dispenses cigars. 

Check out the full build video below or keep scrolling for the free building plans. 

Materials List

  • (1) 1 x 3 x 48" board
  • (1) 1 x 4 x 72" board
  • (1) 1 x 2 x 48" board
  • (1) 1-3/8" x 18" dowel
  • (1) 1/4" x 12" dowel
  • (2) 1/8" x 8"x 10" acrylic sheet


 1. Cut Grooves

Cut materials to length, following the chart above. Using a table saw, router, or circular saw, Cut two 1/8" x 3/8" grooves approx. 7/8" apart down the center of the 10" long side pieces.

2. Attach Sides to Bottom

Align the un-cut faces of the sides pieces flush with the ends of the bottom plate. Pre-drill up from the bottom and secure the boards together using wood glue and 2" screws. 

3. Make Router Jig- Cut Groove

In order for the dowel to be able to pick up the cigars and pass them out the front of the dispenser, a groove needs to be cut along the length of the large dowel, using a router and 1" bowl bit. Making that kind of cut would be really difficult without some kind of jig to hold the the round dowel in place, so that's what I did. 

To create two contoured rests which would hold the dowel, drill a 1-3/8" hole in the center of a scrap piece of 1 x 3 board. Then, cut the board in half lengthwise. A number of tools could be used (circular saw, jig saw, table saw, etc.). I recently received the new Makita 18V Compact Portable Band Saw and had to give it a try. Normally, portable band saws are used to cut steel, but the new Makita Compact model is lightweight enough, it worked on this small wood board as well.

Following the diagram below, use glue, brad nails and/or screws to assemble the cigar groove router jig (make sure to check out the build video for more details).

4. Drill Large Holes

Using a 1-3/8" diameter Forstner drill bit, drill a hole, centered on each side, approximately 1" from the bottom edge. Insert 1-3/8" x 10" dowel. 

5. Insert Pins

Drill 1/4" holes vertically through the large dowel, flush to the side faces of the side pieces. Insert a 1/4" x 2" dowel in each hole. Secure in place using wood glue and allow to dry. 

6. Add Acrylic

Cut acrylic sheets to fit snugly within groove cut into sides. Move the large dowel to make sure it can still spin freely. Apply a small amount of a clear glue, like DAP RapidFuse to the edges of the acrylic. Carefully slide sheets into the grooves. 

7. Add Dowels and Lid

Drill 1/4" holes 3/8" deep in each corner of the top edge of the side pieces. Insert 1/4" x 3/4" dowels into holes. Secure in place using wood glue. Drill corresponding holes on the underside of the lid (Make sure to check out the build video to see the little trick I came up with to make this process easier). Once the dowels are full dried, you can test fit the lid and make any needed adjustments. 

8. Finish

Add a food grade finish to protect the raw wood. I wiped on one coat of mineral oil, followed by a coat of beeswax. To give the wood a little bit of a sheen, I decided to buff the wax. Normally buffing a finish is a big job, but I discovered a little hack.

I pulled out my Dremel Versa cleaning tool with a scouring pad attachment. Once the wax had dried, I placed a piece of chamois (shammy) directly on the wood, then used the Versa to polish the surface. I didn't use the scouring pad directly on the wood (that would scratch the hell out of it). It was just there to grip the chamois, which did the actual polishing. It worked great!

9. Add Your Favorite Cigars

Add your favorite cigars and you're ready to win the "best gift ever" award.

If you talk to any cigar aficionado, they will tell you that it is critical to store cigars at the proper humidity. Ideally, cigars should be kept at 69-72% humidity and kept out of direct sunlight. When I was designing this project, I did some research and intended the dispenser to be used with Tubo cigars (cigars which come in a sealed glass or aluminum tube).

If your favorite cigars don't come in a tube, aftermarket humidor tubes are available on Amazon.

Or you could just go the route I went with and use chocolate cigars : )

If you use the same dimensions as the one I built, it will hold ten, 6" x 52 (ring gauge size) cigars.

If you need a different size, it would be really easy to add or subtract a little length to the top and bottom plates, and the width is determined by where the grooves are cut for the acrylic.

Ready to build your own? Feel free to pin the image below to save the idea for later.

how to make build wood woodworking cigar cigarette dispenser box machine

If you like this project, you'll love these ideas: 


Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!

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