Monday, November 20, 2017

Tiki build-along, pt. 13

This is just a little update, but one I wanted to share because it makes me happy. When I started this project, The Wife and I decided the "tiki bar" wouldn't just be confined to the tiki bar area. Rather, the whole design aesthetic would spill out around the pool and into the yard to make for a completely immersive experience. Well, plans to put up a pergola last summer fell through because of life, but I did get some tropical plants put into the ground. Despite that small triumph, I wanted something more to make a statement that tiki doesn't just stop at the patio. Fortunately, I had a solution at hand. Early on, I knew I wanted one of those directional signposts that gave distance to far-away, exotic destinations. I decided the time had come. I picked up a 6" dog-eared cedar fence slat from Lowe's, laid it on the table saw and split it right down the middle.

Not only was it cheap, but cedar's a fairly rot-resistant wood. I used my jig saw to cut eight directional signs from the wood.

I used Google Maps to determine the exact distance from my backyard to the various exotic destinations. I sketched the names and destinations on each sign. Then I took the trim router and cut the letters and numbers into each piece of wood. I wanted to give the impression that these were added at different times, by different people in an ad hoc manner, so I used several different router bits and different writing styles on each one. Once they were all routered out and sanded smooth, I scorched several with the butane torch and scrubbed with a wire brush, just to accentuate the differences.

I stained some of the signs, painted others and left some in a natural condition. Then I painted in the lettering. Finally, I applied several coats of spar urethane to give it some additional protection from the sun and rain. I got an 8' pressure-treated post from Lowe's and coated that with spar urethane as well. Then I sank it about 2' into the ground.

Again, using Google Maps, I lined up the signs to be pointing in roughly the proper directions. I emphasize roughly. If you're going to travel to one of these locations, I recommend you double-check your own maps, because I only guarantee an accuracy of several hundred miles. But apart from that, everything else was pretty straight forward. I drilled pilot holes in the signs and post, then used outdoor screws to attach them. Voila! Tropical paradise direction signpost. I like it far more than I should.

I also stopped by an estate sale not too far from my neighborhood. It was out of curiosity more than anything else, because it seems this estate sale had been going on for more than a month. Turns out the sales company was combining multiple estates over that period of time. There was not a whole lot of stuff that was of interest to me, but I did find tucked in amongst about a thousand vinyl LPs of Sons of the Pioneers and Chet Atkins five tropical/Hawiian themed albums (Alfred Apaka was a Half Price Books find a couple weeks ago). It took me a while to get the turntable set up and connected to my computer, but I'm happy to report that the Apaka album has been ripped and after a little bit of noise reduction to reduce the hiss and pops, sounds pretty darn good. I'm particularly intrigued by the Marty Robbins album--I've got his boxed set, but it includes none of his Hawaiian recordings, of which he apparently made quite a few. Interesting. I suspect I shall be busy in the coming week.

Now Playing: Hilo Hawiians Honeymoon on Hawaii
Chicken Ranch Central

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