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Lagoon of Mystery
tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 203
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 2018-04-06 09:55 am   Permalink

That lamp looks amazing... great details! I just picked up some flicker LED bulbs on Amazon for cheap, and they work well but are best if you see the light they cast and not the bulbs themselves. Glad to see you're still moving forward. My lanai has mostly been on hold due to weather and the fact that I have other home projects (like the kitchen) that are a bit higher priority. You're keeping me inspired, though. Thanks,

Jeff


 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 26 days ago; 1:49 pm   Permalink

I haven't posted any updates in a while, but that's not because I haven't been busy--my project have just been long, drawn-out affairs that don't lend themselves to good photos. Except the dog kennel fence adjacent to the pool. It was essentially a chain of trellises wired together, reinforced by wire fencing and overgrown with flowering vines. Except it was never terribly stable and the weedy vines outgrew the flowering ones. When I replaced the gate with a home build bamboo one, I knew the fence had to follow.



Harvesting and torching all the bamboo for the gate convinced me to buy commercial bamboo fencing for the fence itself. So I ordered two 8' lengths of 6' high fence. That's taller than I wanted, but 4' was too short and I didn't want to waste time trimming to size. I did go through and torch the nodes so that it would better match the gate.



I used a post hole digger to dig a 2' deep hole and set a steel post. I used fast-setting concrete mix, as the clay soil does not for a stable fence make (learned that from experience). I used a carpenter's level to make sure the post was square.



I then anchored 2"x3" crossbeams to the post...



...and secured them to the square post of the privacy fence using brackets and wood screws. The other end of that plastic line is tied to the gate post to ensure the fence is straight, and not weaving drunkenly when finished.



The finished frame, from the dogs' side. Note that none of the existing makeshift fence (or vines) have been removed yet).



Here, the first stages of removing the existing fence and overgrowth has begun. This was much more difficult and tedious than anticipated. I'd wired everything together to keep the dogs in, and the vines had grown in and out and around the wire, tying everything in knots. What a mess.



I laid down a line of pavers to elevate the bottom of the fence from the dirt/mud to stave off rot a little. The pavers also discourage the dogs from digging out, at least a little.



The rain drain from the patio ran under the deck. Because of future plans, I needed to relocate the 22-degree elbow beyond the new fence, otherwise things would be needlessly complicated. Turns out a 4" PVC drainpipe does not measure the same as a 4" PVC water pipe. I made several trips in search of the proper size coupling before I figured out the problem. Eventually I got the drain relocated.



Finally, the fence went up. I used deck screws to attach the bamboo, one every 5-6 culms. I've yet to waterproof the tops with wood putty and spar urethane, but that's coming in the next week or so. I tied the surviving, non-weedy, vines to the fence and am expecting new growth any minute now. The new fence has been in place a week now and no escapes have been made, so I'm cautiously optimistic I can mark this as a success.



As always, a more detailed writeup may be
found on my blog.
_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com


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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 203
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 25 days ago; 09:52 am   Permalink

Looks great, and that's an excellent idea for that bamboo fencing! I'm envious that you can use a post hole digger...here we start hitting rocks about an inch below the surface, so our tools of trade are a mattock, pick axe, and rock bar.

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 25 days ago; 12:04 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-04-27 09:52, tikitube wrote:
Looks great, and that's an excellent idea for that bamboo fencing! I'm envious that you can use a post hole digger...here we start hitting rocks about an inch below the surface, so our tools of trade are a mattock, pick axe, and rock bar.


Pure chance on that aspect! We're at the start of the Texas Hill Country, where most of the soil is 4"-6" deep, with limestone underneath. Our lot spans one rare deposit of black Anhalt clay, which I have reason to suspect extends up to 5' deep in places. I've looked over the USGS map of our property, and our rectangular property is literally straddling a narrow triangle of deeper soil with neighbors on all sides sitting atop rock. Now, that clay can do some ugly things to foundations if left to its own devices, but it's allowed me to plant quite a few fruit trees around our yard that otherwise wouldn't have been viable.
_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com


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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 8 days ago; 1:25 pm   Permalink

Been super-busy working on the Lagoon lately. I have a couple of build-alongs coming, but they have lots of photos and writing, really involved, so it'll be a bit before I share those. Instead, I have some photos from our inaugural tiki party, "Luau at the Lagoon," held this past Saturday. Mike Hooker and The Quiet Village--Austin's forthcoming tiki bar (once the lease negotiations are settled) handled everything behind the bar. We were expecting about 15 people to show up, maybe 20. Ultimately, more than 30 turned out and everyone brought gifts--seems like we finished the night with more rum than we started! The Boozy Doodler brought this fantastic shrunken head sculpture for the bar!



More things went wrong in the run-up to the party than I can count, and I was pretty much a basket case by the time guests started arriving. But everything eventually worked itself out as the evening progressed, and from my perspective it was a great introduction of my little tiki lounge to the greater community of Texas Tikiphiles.



























_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com


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littlegiles
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 08, 2003
Posts: 707
From: Lancaster, SC
Posted: 7 days ago; 06:23 am   Permalink

Excellent and looks like everyone had a great time! I have learned to not get so stressed before parties because 99.9% of people won't even notice what got me so worked up in the first place. Everybody just wants to have a good time and looks like you have a great group of friends. Nobody fall into the pool?

Love the shrunken head and can't wait to see the projects when you get the time.
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Bam Bam
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 13, 2016
Posts: 174
From: NEPA
Posted: 7 days ago; 08:54 am   Permalink

Looks like a fantastic time!

 
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jimsflies
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 02, 2010
Posts: 365
From: Michigan
Posted: 6 days ago; 5:51 pm   Permalink

Bar looks great! And party looks like fun too.

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 5 days ago; 12:12 pm   Permalink

Our house has a deck that extended all the way to the fence I rebuilt with bamboo (see link above). The deck was of western red cedar, which is naturally decay-resistant and should last indefinitely if taken care of. Previous owners did not take care of. The deck had turned a dull gray, had water and UV damage and was occasionally splintery. Problematically, some of the nails were working themselves loose, to the extent my son cut his foot badly on one last fall. Clearly, something had to be done, so in January I began taking the deck apart to get an idea of what it would take to repair it to a usable state. A great number of the planks turned out to be rotten. Mold and fungus had turned sections brittle and spongy. Some sections literally crumbled as I pulled them up--it's a small miracle that the entire deck hadn't collapsed. So, this is what I did: I took each and every plank, determined what wood was salvageable and used a circle saw to cut off the rotten stuff. Then I took a belt sander and sanded down the UV-damaged wood, and sanded away any surface mold and fungus. Then I saturated the "clean" wood with Mold Armor. Once it dried, I applied several coats of Flood UV weathersealant.



Here's where I pause to offer this public service announcement. If you ever have to sand wood that has mold or fungal issues, wear a breathing mask. Seriously. When I started this, I took one small section of wood to use as a test to see if any of it could be salvaged. I was outdoors in a well-ventilated area. The wood was in generally good condition, with just a little bit of mold. No problem, I thought. This'll take five minutes, I'll be fine. Wrong. I was ill for several days after, terrible congestion, watering eyes, headaches... it was pretty unpleasant. Lesson learned. I did not sand anything else without a mask on--safety glasses, either. I went through half a dozen masks. Look at the one below--see how brown that mask is? That's all the crap that didn't go down into my lungs.



The more I pulled up, the grimmer it became. At some point, the previous owner effected some "repairs." Super-half-assed repairs. From what I can surmise, the concrete footers had subsided, resulting in a sagging deck. Rather than re-set them, the guy tossed them aside and piled up landscape timbers, 2x4s and 4x4 posts to support the deck. Honestly, it was a mess.



I had earlier decided the rebuilt deck would not extend all the way to the fence, and that was a fortuitous decision, because not nearly enough good wood remained to extend that far. In fact, I had to buy several new planks to even fill in the shortened deck. After ripping out all the cross-beams and ill-advised wood pile-ups supporting the deck, I leveled the ground then built up a layer of rocks/gravel as a foundation for those previously-discarded concrete footers. When I finished, I had a pretty solid deck frame in place.



Now, for the railing. Initially I was just going to use some landscape timbers with rope wrapped around them, but insanity prevailed. Router work's fun, right? How about lots and lots of router work that'll take up a month of work when I'd originally planned for just a couple of days? Aces! I took two 8' long 4x4 posts (pressure treated) and cut them in half to make 4' railing posts.



And don't forget detailed figures of sea turtles, geckos, sea horses and frogs that are small and detailed so they need to be carved out with a Dremel. That really makes the project go more quickly!



Note that when you plan to drill a 3/4" hole through each post for a rope, it's generally advisable to do so before routering out decorative V-grooves. That saves unnecessary complication. Ask me how I know.



Potential disaster did not manifest. Thank goodness. Note with all the drilling and routing, I work my breather mask. They don't use arsenic in pressure-treated lumber any more, but regular sawdust is bad enough to breathe in. After my experience with the mold dust, I wasn't taking chances.



Pressure-treated wood is a funky greenish color, so I lightly scorched the posts with my little torch (not enough to really carbonize anything) to increase contrast a little and enhance the grain. Then I applied a coat of Flood UV (natural wood tint). This wasn't so much for protection (although there is that) but to help the posts blend more with the deck. They definitely looked better once I finished staining.



I positioned the posts, using a carpenter's level to ensure they were straight. I held them in place with clamps while I drilled through the posts and deck support beam. Two holes per post.



I used 6" carriage bolts, with washers and nuts (Tighten! Tighten! Tighten!) to secure the posts to the deck. I used a jig saw to trim the deck planks to fit around the posts.



Then I ran 3/4" Manila rope through the posts. Note that 3/4" Manila rope is significantly cheaper than 1" Manila rope, and looks just as good.



Honestly, I was surprise at how closely the final product matched the vision I had when I started.



There was just one remaining problem: White walls! The dull white/graying paint looked awful, so first I repainted the trim around the windows with Olympic One (Fudge Truffle) and the wall itself with the same type of paint (Doeskin or somesuch). I also took a piece of scrap wood and routered out that "Hula Stage" sign, because says tiki more, "Wooden deck" or "Hula stage"? Presentation is everything, amirite?



We're landscaping that area between the deck and bamboo fence. Right now there's a small banana, several citronella plants and some pots with passion flowers in them occupying the space, with landscape fabric and mulch down. I have plans to add more hardy tropicals and tiki decor, but that's a longer-term project. I'm just jazzed that was once pretty much an eyesore and foot hazard has now become an aesthetic plus for the Lagoon of Mystery.

As always, there are more photos and descriptions (plus a short video)
at my blog for those who can't get enough of my blather.

_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com

[ This Message was edited by: Prikli Pear 2018-05-17 12:13 ]


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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 203
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 5 days ago; 12:46 pm   Permalink

Fantastic, as always! The router work on those posts really makes them pop. So with the Manila rope, does that need to be treated in any way, or is it naturally weather and uv resistent? I've never worked with it, but you're giving me some ideas!

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 5 days ago; 12:59 pm   Permalink

The Manila rope supposedly does not retain water as do other natural rope options, so is more durable and resistant to rot. I intend to give it a coat of a UV blocker but have not gotten around to it--I just got the posts in and painting done the night before the party, so I was running right up against my deadline. I will say that the Manila rope is coarser and has a darker, richer color than other natural fiber ropes, so aesthetically it does lend itself to tiki better than sisal or jute.


_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com

[ This Message was edited by: Prikli Pear 2018-05-17 13:00 ]


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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 203
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 5 days ago; 1:27 pm   Permalink

Good to know. I was picturing dipping it into a bucket of triple thick poly or something.

 
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littlegiles
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 08, 2003
Posts: 707
From: Lancaster, SC
Posted: 4 days ago; 06:05 am   Permalink

Great job on that facelift. Isn't it amazing what a coat of paint can do and those posts turned out terrific.
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 524
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 4 days ago; 08:19 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-05-18 06:05, littlegiles wrote:
Great job on that facelift. Isn't it amazing what a coat of paint can do and those posts turned out terrific.


I know, right? The Wife and I were sitting out there and I was lamenting how ugly that dull wall was (it didn't look bad until I fixed up the other stuff, then looked terrible) and how lauhala, bamboo, etc. would just get eaten alive by the direct summer sun out of the west. She said "Why don't you just paint it until we figure out a permanent solution?"

Sometimes it's best not to over-think a problem. I over-think all the time.
_________________
~Jayme
_____________________
Lagoon of Mystery
www.JaymeBlaschke.com


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