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Lagoon of Mystery
Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-09-11 11:40 am   Permalink

So, there was an estate sale this weekend that featured tiki. That doesn't happen in Texas very often. I went Saturday. Unfortunately, the sale started Friday, so the really cool stuff was already gone. Even so, I came away with some nice additions for the Lagoon. This is my first-ever second-hand tiki haul that consisted of more than a single mug or the like.









I'm particularly pleased with the punch set. It's all dusty and dirty, but beyond one cup with a crack starting in the rim, looks to be in great shape. Once I get them cleaned up and properly oiled, they'll be gorgeous. Here's a cobbled-together panorama of the tiki hideaway this stuff came from, the Huna Lounge:



I've got a more extensive
writeup on my blog for anyone interested.

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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 109
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 2017-09-12 07:49 am   Permalink

Awesome score!!

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-02 6:46 pm   Permalink

Back to work on the Lagoon of Mystery, it was time to tackle the white(ish) walls. The first step being the removal of the porthole frame. We thought it cool when we first moved in, but with the upgrades it started looking downright shabby. A crowbar made short work of it.



The siding and edging are fiber cement, tough to drill or nail, but durable and fairly weatherproof. I matched up some Olympic outdoor paint to a piece of my routered molding (the color selection was "Chocolate Truffle" or something like that) and, after masking everything down with painter's tape, the edge pieces became brown. This is everything that won't be covered by bamboo or other new wall coverings.



I was surprise how much of an immediate difference it made. Because the siding isn't easy to drill or nail into, and isn't flat, I trimmed some more furring strips to sit in the wedge of the siding overlap so I could staple the woven bamboo panel to it.



Following suggestions offered here, I went with the bamboo panel because it seemed like it would be more durable in my bar's outdoor conditions than lauhala matting or bac bac, etc. It gets bonus points for being cut very easily with tin snips. I took measurements, cut to spec, and mounted it to the wall fairly painlessly. At some point I'll go back over the staples with tan paint to hide them more than they are now.



Makes a big difference, no? I need about four more panels to finish the length of the covered patio. Not sure when the extra cash will be on hand, though.



For trim, I went with the obligatory split bamboo. I started out using the machete/wedge method, but my bamboo was narrow enough in diameter that I learned I could get straighter cuts using my band saw. So I did. I drilled a pilot hole through the trim piece and into the backing fiber cement siding, then used a larger drill bit to make a countersink hole. Here's where I ran into trouble--some of the bamboo I had on hand was young, and therefore thin. It split all to hell whenever I tried to do the countersink hole, so I had to start over on a number of pieces. Fortunately, I had some more mature, thicker culms available. I've not yet made up my mind about how I will cover up those screws. Wrapping with twine doesn't strike me as terribly easy at this point, but I'll think of something.



As always, I've got more pictures (and more words) in my
blog entry. Thanks for looking!

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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-05 08:11 am   Permalink

So, how many people have abruptly pulled over for a cut piece of palm log spotted on the side of the road?



The actual wood is a little more than two feet long and 18" across. The remains of the sabal palm's top was right next to it, and it appears they'd cut up the trunk with a chainsaw and hauled off the rest (the tree'd been laying there beside the road for more than a week). I also spotted some cut logs from the lower portion of the trunk, but they were stacked against the house at the end of the driveway. I didn't feel I could venture onto the property to claim those. Unfortunately, the place is a rental house and the tenants didn't know what the owner had planned for the palm. I gave them a note with my contact info to pass along, but don't have my hopes up.

I've never carved palm, but find it intriguing. I've been reading the carving threads to get some idea of how to proceed. I plan to seal the ends this evening and let it dry over the winter and maybe cut into it this spring.


 
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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 109
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 2017-10-05 11:23 pm   Permalink

Hey those bamboo panels look great, and probably easier to work with than unruly, out of square lauhala or bac-bac. Im in the same boat as you with one wall covered in fiber cement. I'm covering it with cabinets, for the most part. It's great stuff and nearly impenetrable once it's up, but it's a bitch to cut and drive nails and screws into it. Can't wait to see what you do with that chunk of palm tree.

[ This Message was edited by: tikitube 2017-10-05 23:24 ]


 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-10 07:58 am   Permalink

Thanks, Tikitube. I've burned through several jigsaw blades trying to cut that fibercement for a different project. That stuff's unforgiving, but super-durable.

This summer I came to the realization that I did not have adequate drinkware storage for tiki mugs or stemware in my bar area. Being open air, anything on the bar tended to get dusty very quickly. So I decided on constructing two display cabinets on either side of the center porthole, beneath the sconce lights. After sketching out a rough design, I got the lumber and made the cuts. Each cabinet would be 10" tall, 8" deep. Because of differences in available space, one would be 36" long and the other 42".



This being a tiki bar, a plain side panel on the cabinets wouldn't do. I decided I would go with a hibiscus flower on the ends, that being the classic tropical blossom representative of Hawaii, Polynesia and the Caribbean as well. I looked at a bunch of designs online and cherry-picked elements I liked, tweaking them to get an image that satisfied me. I printed it out and transferred it to a piece of poster board, which I cut out with an X-acto knife to make a template pattern.



Once the pattern was marked down, I attacked it with a Dremel to carve out the outlines and fine, inner details. I used my trim router to carve out the remaining wood. The first one took me almost an entire evening to do, learning as I was. The next evening I knocked two of them out in the same amount of time. I tried to keep the design simple, but I learned that simple to the eye and simple to the router are two very, very different things.



Once I finished all the end pieces, it was time to get serious about the cabinet doors. Early on, because these were to be display cases, I decided to have sliding doors. I've seen such before, but it's amazing just how little information was available on the DIY sites that populate the interwebz. The cabinets would have two plexiglass doors that slide in parallel. The most solid sheet of plexiglass readily available measured .22" in thickness, so I went with a quarter-inch router bit, set at 1/8" depth for the bottom and sides of the cabinets, and a quarter inch deep for the top. It was very stressful making sure the routered grooves aligned. I was using a guide, but that's never 100 percent guaranteed to work right.



To make everything work, I needed the two plexiglass doors to slide in parallel. Which meant I had to router two grooves that ran in parallel, very, very close to one another. This was very stress-inducing. Even with a guide, the routher bit would catch on the wood occasionally and jerk, potentially ruining everything. I kept a very tight grip and worked it slowly. The finished tandem slots weren't perfect, but they were close enough.



I used a jigsaw and router to cut skylights into the cabinet tops. I took my butane torch and scorched the hibiscus carvings and the front edge of the boards. Once everything was suitably carbonized, I took a wire brush and scrubbed off the char and soot, leaving an interestingly textured surface evocative of the old Witco designs. The next step was to glue (Titebond II) all the pieces together. For each joint I drilled a pilot hole and sank in a wood screw to hold it together. Once the glue set, the cabinets would be pretty darn solid. Then I stained everything with my go-to Minwax "Special Walnut" stain. When that was dry, I put on a coat of water-based spar urethane, because that's what I had on hand. I will go back over it in the future with oil-based spar urethane, because that has an amber tone to it whereas the water-based is clear. Used oil-based on my routered baseboards and want my woodwork to match. Fortunately, you can topcoat water-based spar with oil-based, but not vice-versa.



 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3955
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2017-10-10 08:06 am   Permalink

Nice work, this is going to look great, keep us posted.

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-10 08:15 am   Permalink

Not all of our drinkware consists of tiki mugs. In fact, because of the close proximity to the pool, our go-to barware consists of acrylic poco grande glasses (think half-size hurricane glasses). Actual glass is a no-go in the bar area. The poco grande stemware needs a place to hang out as well. After some thought, I realized the entire bottom of my cabinets was going unused. I took the remaining wood left over from the cabinets themselves and cut a bunch (I forget how many) 3"x8" rectangles. Then I ran those pieces through the table saw, like this:



After running them through on each side, I flipped them down and ran them through again, like this. See where I'm going yet?



Once all the pieces were cut into a T, I put a rounded trim router bit into my full-sized router. Normally, one would use a router table for this, but since I haven't built a router table yet, I winged it, laying the router on its side, locking the power button in the "on" position, and running the pieces across it by hand to get a nice beveled edge. Yes, mistakes were made, but I'm not going to talk about those. Suffice to say that it was a good thing I had extras. I also hand-sanded the rough spots, of which there were quite a few.



After that came a lot of boring stuff. Staining and applying spar urethane. Then drilling pilot holes and countersink holes. Beading glue along the bottom of the T and screwing them into position. Puttying over the screw heads, sanding, staining and applying more spar urethane. It was neither quick nor fun, but at least it's starting to look like something.





 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-10 08:24 am   Permalink

At this point I entered uncharted territory. I've never worked with plexiglass before. I was nervous and cautious--not least because the sheet of plexiglass I'd gotten for this cost more than all the other materials combined. I carefully measured the cut, then double- and triple-checked it. I clamped down a steel yard stick as a guide, then ran the plexiglass cutting tool along the intended cut.



Plexiglass is weird in that it's very strong--much stronger than glass--but also very soft. The cutter was similar to an X-acto knife, except it has a barb to dig into the plexiglass. To make a cut, I drew it across many, many times. With each pass it bit a little deeper, gouging up coiled shavings.



Once I'd cut about halfway through, I simply snapped the piece off. I was surprised at how clean the breaks were. I had a couple of small pieces turn out a little jagged, but that was a result of my getting impatient and trying to break the piece off before I'd cut a deep enough groove first.



Since the display cabinets are to be mounted beneath the sconce lights, I wanted to utilize that available light source. I used a jig saw and router to cut skylight windows in the tops of both cabinets. Then I cut plexiglass windows to fill those holes. Now, when the lights are on, they illuminate the contents of the cabinets from above, and the light spills out the front. I've seen a lot of people add LED light strips to their shelves to illuminate their tiki mugs. This saves me a little of that trouble.



Once cut to size, I inserted the sliding plexiglass doors. The top grooves are deeper than the bottom, so that I can push the plexiglass all the way up into the top groove and have enough clearance to slip the bottom into the lower groove. But having those nice clear doors does me no good if the interior fills up with mud daubers, spiders and the like, so I had to seal that gap between the doors somehow. The solution? Self-adhesive pile weatherstripping. I cut to size and placed one strip on each section of door, facing toward the opposite door. It's not an airtight seal, but it should keep most dust and critters out.







 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-10 10:59 am   Permalink

I had one remaining challenge. Those plexiglass doors slid open and shut just fine, especially once I sprayed the grooves with furniture wax. But fingerprints showed up readily. Fingerprints are ugly. I didn't want to have to spend all my time cleaning the doors, so I needed handles. I looked at building supply and home furnishing stores for something appropriate, but nothing seemed right. Then I thought to myself, "Why not make your own?" And that's what I did. I had a pine branch in the garage I'd picked up during one of my son's campouts last fall. I had a vague notion I'd carve something into it at the time, but I had no idea what. I cut two 3.5" sections from it, then split those lengthwise into halves. Then I ran then over my power sander to strip away the bark. Looking back, I should've sanded more to strip away all of the cambium as well, but live and learn.



I took a pencil and sketched tiki faces on them. They're mostly inspired by Hawaiian tikis, but I mixed and matched different design elements and added some interpretations of my own. Alas, I don't seem to have taken any photos of the pencil sketches. They didn't last long once I attacked with the Dremel. This is where I found that the cambium fuzzed up and made a brittle, splintery mess. It was really hard to see what I was doing with that going on. Fortunately, all of that cleaned up nicely once I scorched them. Then, of course, came the obligatory "Special Walnut" stain and spar urethane coating.



I wanted them attached to the plexiglass doors as a floating mount, so that meant more drilling. I cut out two holes in each tiki handle deep and wide enough for a brass nut, then set them in place with a dab of JB Weld epoxy. On a couple of these the epoxy oozed into the center, and I had to Dremel it out once it dried so the screw would fit properly.



I drilled through the plexiglass with a bit large enough to accommodate the screw. Drilling plexiglass was challenging, because although it's soft, it'll melt if you drill too fast from friction. That doesn't sound terrible, but it slows the drilling and gums up the bit. So I had to drill through it like I was Goldilocks--not to fast, not too slow, not too hard, not too soft. Once I got the first hole through, I attached the handle using a rubber washer and brass washer on either side of the plexiglass. I recentered to make sure the original dot was still valid (it wasn't always) then drilled the second screw hole.



And here they are, in position and operational:






And the two display cabinets, under normal lighting conditions (tiki mugs sold separately).




That's all for this episode of the Lagoon of Mystery build-along. A more extensive writeup, with more extensive photos,
may be found on my blog. As always, thanks for the encouragement and inspiration!




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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 109
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 2017-10-12 09:22 am   Permalink

Damn, you've been busy!! Everything is looking stellar, really superb. And your carving skills are enviable. I *still* haven't had a chance to even play with that little trim router yet, but now I'm feeling inspired again. Keep up the good work!

Jeff


 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-12 11:41 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-10-12 09:22, tikitube wrote:I *still* haven't had a chance to even play with that little trim router yet, but now I'm feeling inspired again.



Practice on some scrap wood, Jeff. It's surprisingly easy, but there's a learning curve. Particularly in compensating for the torque, which always seems to want to pull you in the wrong direction. And it seems to me that the ideal bit depth is invariably a little shallower than you'd think by eyeballing it.


 
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LoriLovesTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 1294
From: NJ
Posted: 2017-10-13 5:24 pm   Permalink

Looks fantastic! Love it!!!

 
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Prikli Pear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2017
Posts: 282
From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted: 2017-10-24 2:32 pm   Permalink

One area the Lagoon of Mystery is sadly lacking is appropriate tiki lighting. The two new ceiling fans were very tiki-friendly, but unfortunately their lamps were not.



Because the glass light cover has a weird slide-and twist attachment process, straight-out replacing it was problematic. So I decided I'd read everything Tiki Skip has ever posted on lamp-making and try to make a light cover that wasn't terribly embarrassing. I used two crochet hoops, one 12" diameter and one 8" diameter, and glued their concentric loops together. I cut a bunch of scorched bamboo into 10" lengths, then drilled holes in either side of the bamboo along with a hole in the hoop. Then I used craft wire to tie them together. I probably went overboard on the wire.



Once all the bamboo was tied on, it looked like an open basket.



I wrapped 5/8" Manila rope around the hoops. In retrospect, using 1/4" rope would've been better, but I could not find any at the time. I glued it using Goop, which is weather resistant and flexible, pinning in place with a tack until set.



At this point, I made my biggest screw-up. Not thinking, I tied the Manila rope in a cros-cross patter over the wire on the bamboo. This looked quite impressive, but was exceedingly bulky. When I tried to fit it on the fan, it wouldn't work. Not even close. So I had to untie all of that rope. Lesson learned. Instead, I got some cheap jute twine, which isn't as durable or pretty, but was small and manageable. Tying the bamboo with it worked well. It was much lighter than the Manila rope and not in a good way. I fixed this by reaching into Skip's bag of tricks and applying a coat of amber shellac. Voila! Now the jute and Manila match!



For the shade, I wanted a tapa pattern but didn't want to ruin any authentic tapa cloth. I ordered some cotton-print fabric online in a primarily orange-and-white pattern. I applied a coat of amber shellac which gave it the appearance of aged patina and helped even the colors out. This also made the fabric stiff and easier to work with for my purposes. My initial cut measurements were way off (big surprise) so I ended up slicing the shade into three sections and attaching them individually. I replaced the stock bulbs in the lamp with amber "Edison" style LEDs, and the setup puts out a nice, warm, golden glow.



I screwed in four eye loops on the top and used more of the wire to secure the cover in place. Although the cover is solid and not about to fall, it isn't stable. It shifts out of position when either of the chains are pulled. I'll eventually figure out something else that works better. I made a ton of mistakes on this one, so hopefully I learned enough so that the next one goes much more quickly.

There's additional commentary and photos
on my blog.

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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 7041
Posted: 2017-10-27 10:16 am   Permalink


I clicked on to see your latest post and got hooked because of all the great ideas. So I HAD to go back to page one and to look at each page again. This is the second time you have caught me. I love the shadows on the ceiling of the shark, turtle etc. How you jazzed up the fan was wonderful. Just so many great ideas. Wendy


 
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