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Home The Howlie Hut..... (pt 3)

home tiki bars

Johnny Tsunami

Well-known member
Well, the last time we were here, we had just put up a thatch canopy over the bar. Other than some finishing touches, I thought I was finished with our tiki bar. Well the longer I looked at the canopy, the more I wanted to do something to put it more, over the top, lets say. I mean, it was nice, but all those 2x4s, they just dont scream tiki. I looked into bamboo poles, before I started, but large, sturdy, full poles are not only hard to find, they are also very expensive, and expensive to ship here to the midwest

After a few days searching the tiki telegraph, I ended up getting 8, 8 foot x 3 inch carbonized bamboo poles, split into halves, and 2 dozen black bamboo slats. Throw in 500 feet of lashing rope, and 100, brown, hot melt glue sticks. It could all be sent by standard shipping, and the smaller pieces and split poles were much cheaper. The main plan here, was to play a game of "hide the 2x4", and make all of the construction wood, disappear, it was a very time consuming solution, but, we had all winter to do it.
We started with the 13 "rafters" that the thatch rests on. For each one, I cut and mitered 2 bamboo pole pieces, 4 bamboo slat pieces, and 4 lengths of lashing rope.

We start, by placing a bead of hot melt glue, down each side of the split bamboo pole and then clamp the pole to the 2x4. 10 inches of the pole sticks out by itself, through the thatch to give the appearance of bamboo rafters. To strengthen the bamboo, we placed a double bead of hot melt glue in the valley where the pole meets the 2x4.

To cover the beads of glue, we hot melted two runs of rope on each side of the bamboo pole. To hide the sides of the 2x4, we screwed in the bamboo slats on each side of the 2x4, sandwiching the rope in between the bamboo pole and the bamboo slat.

When finished, we repeated the process for the vertical portion of the rafter, and after that we added lashing rope to cover the places where the screws were used to attach the bamboo slates to the side of the 2x4s.
When seated in front of the bar, you could see the exposed inside of the vertical rafter. To solve this problem, I hot melted, synthetic leopard skin leather, onto the 2x4, in between the lashing rope.

The results were stunning, and it took care of about 50 percent of my attempt to hide all the 2x4s from sight.

The next time we meet, we attempt to stuff a 17 foot roll of bamboo matting into the front overhang of the canopy. This could prove to be a challenge.

Other than that, here in about a month or 2, we will be breaking ground on our last major construction project. Its an outdoor screen porch, with pea gravel patio, and a big green egg cooking center, complete with elevated bars, a fire pit, and a tropical fountain. It will be known as PO-KA-NUT GROVE We will be sending updates throughout the summer as this project progresses, and we start to put the finishing touches on our 5 year project here at The Rapa Nui Ranch.

Aloha til next time.
as always.... Amazing!

Do you use a jig on the saw to cut the bamboo longways?
I buy them that way. Not only are they already cut, but splits are always considerably cheaper that whole poles, so thats the way I went. It was cheaper to wrap a 2x4, than to use all bamboo construction. Plus I like the combination of the 2 types of bamboo and the rope. It gives it a touch more character.