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Tiki Central Forums Home Tiki Bars The Kona Luanii, Denver, CO
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The Kona Luanii, Denver, CO
Tiki Kupcake
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 362
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2009-07-05 09:18 am   Permalink

This is looking great!

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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1329
From: Calgary
Posted: 2009-07-15 6:30 pm   Permalink

I've said it before, I'll say it again: This is one fantastic home tiki bar.

I love the booth. That's something I had always hoped I'd run into while thrifting...but it hasn't happened yet.

Anyway...keep up the good work!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 484
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-08-01 07:37 am   Permalink

Things are moving along......

Finished the roof thaching along the walls. I used the same technique that I showed way back on page 1 of the thread when I stared Phase I.

I put the booth into a corner at an angle.

But it looked like it was just floating there, so I built a shelf behind it and attached it to the back wall. It looks much better.

One idea I had with the booth was to create a hut around it. So I started playing around with some larger diameter bamboo poles for walls. After I had a few of them up temporarily, I immediately did not like the look. It felt too closed in. So instead, I opted to build the illusion of a hut by just building a suspended roof over the booth.

It was really easy. I just hung the frame poles directly from the ceiling using a toggle bolt thru the drywall and an eye bolt to put the rope thru.

The frame coming together.

After the frame was complete, I just layed the other poles down and lashed them into place.

The roof turned out very nice. It is also a great place to hide details, etc.

A salvaged barrel that was headed for the Mauna Loa in Detroit.

A few empty crates that will be filled with decor later.

Started putting some of the ceiling decor into place (nets, floats, ropes, etc.)

At the opposite corner of the room, directly facing the booth, I want to build a large foam moai inspired by Kahona, one of the free standing tikis at the old Tiki Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I started by building a small working model. I threw this together in 15 mins. with cardboard, tape and some paint to use when I work large scale.

I think the nose is too large, so I'll make it smaller on the big guy. In the mouth I plan on installing a fake fire. You see them at Halloween, the silk flames over a fan with colored led lights.

But I didn't want to put the big guy directly on the floor, so I built a stand into the corner.

At this point, my wife came downstairs to see what all the racket was about and asked me what I was building now? Jokingly, I told her this was part of the stage. She did a double take and asked me again. I told her "Well yeah, the performers have to have somewhere to perform when they are here". She just rolled her eyes and wasn't sure how to respond. Then I showed her the model and what I was really doing. She was quite relieved.

Put the top on and the facing.

Finish with some bamboo trim, and it is complete. Now I start working on the foam moai......

[ This Message was edited by: ZuluMagoo 2009-08-01 07:44 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5311
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-08-03 08:36 am   Permalink

Look into the vintage fake fireplaces. They make a crackling noise and would maybe give you the look you want. Some have heaters built in too to adda hot breeze. Maybe $100 on Ebay.

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 484
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-08-03 9:40 pm   Permalink

I looked around town to find various styrofoam sources and lucked out with the local Habitat for Humanity store. They had a stock of 2' by 8' foam sheets and were selling them for $2.50 per sheet. They have been used and were salvaged, so they are a little banged up and nicked, but will serve my purpose.

These are the sheets.

The sheets are 2.5 inches thick and very sturdy.

Picked up this little guy at the local craft store for $20 and worth every penny. It is a 'hot knife' and cuts thru the styrofoam like butter. Absolutely no mess, I was really woried about the little white stryo balls getting everywhere and have not found one yet.

Draw out the pattern with a Sharpie.

Start cutting out pieces.
Trick - Use a yardstick as a guide for the hot knife to cut a straight line. It does not burn the yardstick.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 484
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-08-08 3:37 pm   Permalink

Have started putting the puzzle together. Started out cutting a small bamboo pole and using the pieces as nails to hold it together.

You can't use regular gule or adhesives with polystyrene styrofoam, they will not bond and will melt the styro. So I tried several different glues including Gorilla glue and a special styrofoam glue from the hobby store. They didn't work that well, and they were going to get very expensive for the amount I needed. So I ended up using 'Great Stuff'. This stuff is REALLY EASY to use. You can get a can for less than $4 at Home Depot.

Notice the warning right on top of the can? Pay attention and wear gloves!! I did not for the first several days and this stuff is a serious bitch to clean off your hands! Goo Gone, nail polish remover, lava soap, none of it works. Just spray it on and use like a mortar between the pieces. As it sets it expands and bubbles. After a little experimenting, you will get used to how much to use.

This guy stands about 5 1/2 feet tall. Once on the stand, it will only be a few inches from the ceiling of the Kona Luanii.

After I have the frame assembeled, I needed to cover the surface with something to give it some texture before painting. Originally, I planned to cover with a skim coat of stucco (with sand in the mix) to give a rock texture like finish. However, after working with the Great Stuff, and making some mess, I discovered it also works great as a surface texture. When you spray it, it comes out of the can as a light airy foam.

Put I just took a scrap piece of styrofoam and started spreading it around like icing a cake.

(Note the gloves, this is when it can get pretty messy)

When the Great Stuuf dries, it gets rigid like a hard shell over the styrofoam but is still incredibly lightweight. The texture starts to look pretty cool, like rock or lava.

At this point, I have about 20 hrs. into this guy.

The great thing working with styro is the weight. Right now he only weighs in at about 12 pounds.

Still need to attach the ears and then start the painting.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 484
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-08-09 6:07 pm   Permalink

Before painting the big guy and working on his fire effects, I took him back downstairs to double check to make sure he was really going to fit into the space I made for him. He has about 2 inch clearance from the ceiling.

I'll take him back up to the garage to paint and finish.

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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2617
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2009-08-09 6:18 pm   Permalink

Nice work Mr. Magoo! Your progress is record setting.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2009-09-12 7:39 pm   Permalink

EDIT: oops... sorry (wrong thread)

[ This Message was edited by: GatorRob 2009-09-12 19:40 ]

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Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Posts: 1
Posted: 2009-09-15 06:02 am   Permalink

Thanks for the inspiration! I made some tiki birds for my Disney room.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 242
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2009-09-28 04:29 am   Permalink

Loving it, every bit. An opinion/some ideas I'd like to toss out:

One: the silk flames, excepting the tall, and large-scale (not to mention expensive) models are (1) overused these days, (2) sound like a noisy PC tower fan and (3) don't look very realistic at all. Now, the old 70s-style wooden logs with a "burned" molded plastic center and revolving colored drum don't look realistic, either, but they've got a very classic look about them. But pretty much without exception, any silk flame from Spencer Gifts or the party store will look a bad sort of fake.

http://denver.craigslist.org/fuo/1361270344.html Here's a modern one with a hyper-realistic electric fire effect. Grab it quick if you like these, it's twenty bucks, these sell new for over a hundred. These are realistic, but that might not be the look you're after. Has a fan-forced heater in the top, too.

If you're going to do a silk flame, you might consider building one. Had I the time and money, here's what I'd do for this cool Moai head's gaping maw:
-The fan, a blower type (a centrifugal or squirrel-cage) would go inside the base box, with lots of soundproofing. Just inside the mouth, a duct would fan it out into a long, narrow opening, directed onto the silk. Soundproofing is because you need a fair bit of force. If you can find one of the self-contained box blowers with a variable-speed control that used to be used on heat-exchanger inserts for fireplaces, you'll be able to adjust to get exactly the right amount.
-The silk should be very lightweight, and will billow and ripple with some adjustment of the airflow. The top can be cut into flame shapes. The reasons the small Spencer Gifts-type bowl ones don't do much are the small size of the sheets, the fact that two are slid together in an X-pattern preventing a flowing motion, and the solid orange lights. The fans aren't giving much puff, either.
-Lighting should be a mix of orange and amber with a bit of red, and tinges of white and light blue. Done like this, visitors will look twice before deciding it's not real gas flame.
-Embers. Down front, I'd put a low strip of orange plastic, coat it with Great Stuff in big mounds with many small holes to let light through the base sheet. Let the Great Stuff dry a teeny bit, then crush some of the surface for roughness, paint it black, and dust with fireplace ashes while the paint is still wet.
-Might also want an interior back/side walls painted flat black.
-If you really wanna go all-out, hook your blower to a variable-speed control (must be one rated for motors) and put that behind the bar, and mark your speeds on the faceplate. If someone utters blasphemy ("Can you play Margaritaville?" or "Can you turn up the lights?") the Moai's gentle fire can roar to life for a moment. Uh oh, better not make the gods angry... Quick, put on "Quiet Village"!

Hope I'm not rambling too much - I tend to do that - but I also still think a deep-blue, nighttime rainstorm outside the window, or at least, deep blue lights, foliage and maybe wind from a fan, would be very cool. The one glimpse outside could really be an important, if subtle, mood-setter that lets visitors know they've not only gone downstairs, but stepped into another place and time.

What will go in that back room with the door? Storage, or another private space?

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2009-09-28 04:32 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 242
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2009-09-29 06:24 am   Permalink

Also... I can see adding some black or gray sand to the paint, so Mr. Moai ends up with a rough texture you can feel...?

Again, I'm hoping he'll get something nicer than a store-bought silk flame. This monumental moai needs something nicer, to really draw the eye and make him a focal point. If nothing else, one of those wooden 70s logs would be fake in a classic vintage way. They may not be realistic but they do look neat. The ones that claim to crackle like a real fire don't have the revolving drum for the traditional moving fire effect - instead, a really phony fire look is given by a rotating bar covered in silver tinsel, which rubs against a textured plastic sheet, making a soft rustling noise that's actually kind of creepy in an interesting way.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 484
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2009-10-10 10:03 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the comments TorchGuy. I was leaning away from the silk fire flames myself, trying to come up with something a little different.

So I have finished painting him with some black latex interior house paint.

I have named him (quite unoriginal) 'Kahuna' and he is the God of Surf. The name came from Cliff Robertson's beachcomber character in the 1959 classic surf film 'Gidget'. Because he is the God of Surf, I painted a blue highlight color over black and added a hint of blue glitter to simulate shimmering waves. It came out very nice.

(close up of the finished texture)

Then I added some orange and red colored foil gift wrap inside the mouth to add to the reflection.

So..............Now for the fire effect. I decided to try to come up with a realistic looking lava effect to put into the mouth. Something smoldering, without flames.

So I started with a piece of white foamboard covered with the same colored foil gift wrap.

Then I bought some plastic wine and champagne (needed different sizes)from the dollar store. Cut the bottom stems off with my Dremel tool.

Got some orange colored lights from Big Lots. Two types. One small string of 50 constant orange and one string of flickering bulbs to add some movement to the display.

Then started attaching the lights to the foamboard using a hot glue gun. I put the flicker bulbs under the glasses (upside down). The glasses are intended to be bubbles. The other lights are just glued directly to the surface.

Then get out old reliable 'Good Stuff' (now my favorite crafting material) and cover the entire surface.

Plug in the colored lights and turn down the room lights....

...and you have lava. The flickering bulbs in the larger bubbles really bring the whole thing to life. It really looks like smoldering lava.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-11 06:32 am   Permalink

Jeez Mike, that is awesome. You should patent that lava thing alone...not to mention franchising the whole Kona Luanii as a package! One can really tell the imagineer that has been slumbering in you.

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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 529
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2009-10-11 09:36 am   Permalink

Truly Freakin' SWEET! Would there be any safety issues w/ the lava/lights? Because I love it. Great Job!

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