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A Moment of Tiki (Episode 66: Next-Level Float Light)

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Whilst others were learning to bake sourdough bread during the pandemic I started a YouTube show, "A Moment of Tiki." It's not really a how-to (because, like my previous build-along blog, I'm just making it up as I go and have plenty of mistakes) but documents parts of my home bar build. I also have the occasional book review, road trip, burlesque performer and cocktail making. It's pretty eclectic.

Episode 40 just went live and can be viewed at this link: A Moment of Tiki 40: Rattan Lamp Conversion Ep40IG

I'll backfill this thread with other links to the show in the future. Mahalo!

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Hamo posted on Mon, Apr 11, 2022 8:38 PM

Not sure how I found out you were on YouTube, but I've been subscribed for a while and enjoy it. Thanks for helping to fill the void while TC was dormant.

Thanks, Hamo! The loss of TC is really what spurred me to start this nonsense. Well, that and David Phantomatic urging me to start a podcast. I had some free time during the COVID shutdown because we weren't going anywhere, so yeah, why not bring more tiki to YouTube?

This is the one that started it all. It's pretty crude to look back on, with crummy sound and shot on a cell phone, but you have to start somewhere. I've learned a lot since I filmed this, so I really need to revisit the whole bamboo thing soon. If you're in California or Florida where bamboo mites are a concern, flame-treating fresh harvested bamboo is not sufficient to kill mites or their eggs, so beware.

A Moment of Tiki Episode 1: Bamboo

Moment ep 1

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subbed! :D

Episode 41 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes! This time out I take a look at that book everyone's buzzing about, The Godfathers of Tiki. The video's available at this link: A Moment of Tiki Episode 41


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Just watched your first episode. I'm impressed! I'm looking forward to seeing them all as soon as I get some time. Great job - thanks for taking the time to do this!


Wow! 40+ episodes already! I found your channel as well from recommendations a while back. Love the content and production. So informative, especially when it comes to some of the little things to consider, like the bamboo.

I've got another bamboo episode coming up in the future. Not the near future, though, since I still have more filming to do. But I've learned quite a bit in the interim that would be useful for more folks to know.

Episode 42 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes. This month it's another road trip episode, as I visit Nautical Antique Warehouse in Galveston along the sunny Texas Riviera! (Yes, that's a joke)


The video's available at this link: A Moment of Tiki episode 42.

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Really enjoyed this one!

Thank you! I'm kinda surprised at the positive response, since it's strictly regional subject matter. Goes to show you can't predict what will appeal to the masses.

I've got an uncle in Houston - perhaps a road trip is in order? BTW - my grandparents lived in Kerrville for about 30 years. Not too far from New Braunfels as I recall. Nice part of the country!

Yes, Kerrville's about a 90 minute drive through the Hill Country. Lovely drive, even on I-10. Interestingly, Stonehenge II (which had a couple of Moai as well) was moved from the remote back road location about a decade ago to a park in Ingram, right next to Kerrville. I've not seen them since the relocation, so The Wife and I are talking about a day trip in a few weeks to take a look and maybe stop in at a winery or six along the way.

A worthy quest! And perhaps a Moment of Tiki episode on the excursion?

The Wife and I went there last week. The weather was brutally hot and we did not linger. Alas, the experience is not as inspiring as it once was. Before, you'd come upon this Stonehenge replica flanked by two Moai literally in the middle of nowhere, backed by limestone hills. It was surreal. Just out there in the wilderness, with no context. I loved it. Now, it's in the middle of a city park. There is almost no way to take a good photo of any element of the installation without getting buildings or telephone poles in the background. I'm absolutely happy the pieces were saved and relocated when the original property sold, but a good part of the magic was left behind.

I may well do an episode on this, but it won't be until the fall, when the temperatures are more bearable and all the plant life isn't brown from drought!

Episode 43 of A Moment of Tiki is now live. If you're one of the many folks who participates in Dry July, I offer a humble suggestion on how not to go thirsty.


Looking forward to the new episode. Sorry the road trip was disappointing, but hopefully the winery side trips happened and were worthwhile!

Episode 44 of A Moment of Tiki is now live! A mid-month episode drop? It's like a Christmas miracle! Continue celebrating Dry July with the intriguing Tambulu Fizz, and learn how to make tamarind syrup for good measure. Let me know what you think!


Episode 45 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes. This time out I take a piece of Samoan tapa I rescued from an estate sale and convert it into a hanging drum-style lamp. I'm sure Skip will shake his head at all the mistakes I made (all the cool stuff in the build I picked up from following his threads here on TC, but all the dumb stuff is 100% my own), but it's my most ambitious light build to date and I think it turned out well.


Lamp turned out wonderful!

I have spent most the day binge watching episodes. :-)

Thanks for the kind words, Littlegiles! I'm trying to up my lampmaking game, and I think this was a significant milestone. I'm hoping to pull off some more ambitious designs in the future.

Great Episode! Great results on the lamp too!

I really like seeing how others approach their creative endeavors so your vids seem to scratch that itch for me. BTW: I am in the same boat as you regarding lamps... I want more! more! more! And making them seems to be one of the best options these days.

Slacks, thanks and yes! There are a number of lamp makers I hope to save my pennies up to buy lighting from some day, but overall the expense makes that cost prohibitive. Having made a number of lamps thus far and experienced first hand how much time and effort goes into crafting one, I don't begrudge them their prices at all. If anything, they're charging too little for their creations! But when one's tiki habit is funded solely by spare change, well, sweat equity is the one thing I have plenty of.


Have seen your You Tube shows before but have not seen them in some time, but this how too was great!

Would have done a few things differently but saw no mistakes.

But then mistakes are what it is all about if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough are you.

Have spent hours doing something and thought it was not going to work only to find out I was right it did not work.

But then you learn not to do that again.

Only to do the same thing next week pound head on wall saying I knew better than that.

When you make a light think, what is the thing that is weakest and try to not have that weak thing in my light.

Then think how they are going to change the light bulb and how can that be done easy as it can be, at times that can be a hard one.

What ways can you make your light so it will be strong and last a very long time, we want it to be around forever.

Keep up the good work!

So I think I have successfully watched all the episodes now. Well done shows and looking forward to more. I know they are a lot of work and sometimes the viewership can be lacking, but know the hard work is appreciated by us.

Curious about the porthole behind your bar. It appears to be 3D but I haven't been able to figure it out. Any hints or will that be a later episode? :-)

Thanks Skip! That means a lot coming from you. Obviously, I picked up a lot of ideas by following your light build threads here on TC. And you are 100% correct--make that mistake once, it sticks with you, freeing up time for you to make all-new mistakes!

Littlegiles, ha ha! It's nothing so elaborate as you imagine. That's a window into the half-bath adjacent our tiki/pool area. Here's the porthole build-along I blogged. The 3D effect you see is accomplished by a vinyl window cling we ordered that covers the entire window (a translucent scene of dolphins under water) and a blue LED ripple/wave projector mounted inside the bathroom to shine on the porthole. It's close to impossible to see during the day, but is quite effective at night. I have that light, along with a lot of other lights in the tiki bar, tied together and controlled by a single switch inside. All the lights are LED, so the overall amperage is less than one traditional 100 watt incandescent bulb on that circuit.

Thanks. Great solution for that window!

After watching Episode 6 ("Framed") I finally got off my rear and attempted two of these for some of Mrs. Monkey's paintings. Your series is appreciated. Thanks for the inspiration and instruction! IMG_20220820_172530100

Episode 46 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes! This time out, I discuss harvesting your own bamboo, the difference between torching green and dry culms, and most importantly, how to ensure you don't suffer an infestation of bamboo mites! Let me know what you think!



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Episode 47 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes! This time out, I attempt what everyone else has far too much sense to attempt, that is... a Kingston Negroni Shootout! What uber-funky overproof Jamaican rum makes for the best version of this Negroni riff? Watch and find out. FOR SCIENCE!



Well done, Space Monkey! I quite like the use of braiding on the interior. It's something of a built-in matting. I'm going to have to steal that idea!

Having started working on an indoor tiki space, I realize my original frame approach is a bit of overkill--I made those to completely encase the displayed art to protect from the elements, and also made the frames HEAVY so they wouldn't easily blow off the wall. Inside, it doesn't need to be nearly as robust. One of these days I'll do an episode devoted to a lighter frame build.

Thanks! I had to put the braid on to cover the common pine I used for the frame. I cheated a bit from your plan and just routed a lip on some 1X2, since the frame was going to hold a stretched canvas. Cheap 3/4" square liner around the opening gave the required depth. The wood was embarrassingly full of knots, so I hid the front of it with some seagrass braid I had lying around. Looking forward to more from you!

I'm not a huge fan of the Negroni, but I have enjoyed the Kingston Negroni. I've got a rum run planned in the next week, and Rum Fire is on the list. Now I'm interested in trying it in place of S&C.

If you do try it, let me know what you think, Hamo! I have to admit I was expecting Rum Fire to be very much like the S&C version, only moreso. I was absolutely shocked at the flavor notes. It was nothing at all what I expected from RF, and had I not mixed it myself, wouldn't have believed that was the spirit in the drink. I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on this combination!

Hamo posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2022 8:37 PM

I procured another bottle of Rum Fire the other day; I'll let you know when I try the KN with it in a day or two.

Episode 48 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes! This episode is all about making Japanese glass fish float lights. An essential element of any immersive tiki space, these are incredibly intimidating for the DIYer, but surprisingly simple (albeit incredibly time-consuming) to make

Episode 48 may be viewed at this link: Episode 48: Glass Fish Float Light


Good to see a new episode.


Nicely done. We checked it out yesterday!


Another great episode, and certainly shows exactly why these are so expensive to buy ready made!

Thanks for the kind words, gang. One thing I didn't explicitly mention in the video was the advantage we have in making these today using modern technology. I can't imagine how hot glass float lights would get using incandescent bulbs. Using C7 or G20 LED lights is a fantastic alternative. The LEDs last years longer than filament bulbs and use a fraction of the power, not to mention they come in a wide range of colors--some even change color if you're willing to pay a bit extra. Stick those up in your tiki space amidst the thatch and lauhala without ever giving it a second thought.


I suppose that's where the oft-advertised air conditioning really came into its own. Oof, just imagine the bill from the vastly inefficient machines trying to cool down a ceiling full of lamps, and then the rest of the room after that!

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I'll wager that's when those crazy high ceilings came in handy!

Episode 49 of A Moment of Tiki is now live on the YouTubes. This time out, I walk viewers how I power carve holiday ornaments in the style of Vanuatu Slit Drums. And I make a few extra to give away on various platforms. Feel free to enter to win if this strikes your fancy.

Episode 49 may be viewed at this link: A Moment of Tiki Episode 49: Vanuatu Slit Drum Ornament


Have I really reached episode 50 with A Moment of Tiki? Wow! It's hard to believe but here we are! The episode title "How to Build a Home Tiki Bar" may seem a bit pretentious, but makes sense in the context of the episode. Those of you who've followed my build thread over in the Home Bars forum have already seen much of what's included in this episode, but for those new to Tiki Central or just wanting a more dynamic walk-through of the Lagoon of Mystery, here's your chance to see some before and after comparisons. Plus a little behind the scenes storytelling.

Episode 50 may be viewed at https://youtu.be/k1Dr6x1XAhM


Congrats on your 50th show! You've got a great tiki bar and I've really enjoyed watching your shows!


Just finished watching! (Although YouTube neglected to alert me to the premiere, as usual...) great rundown of the build. Should provide a whole new audience with plenty of inspiration!

Thanks, guys! I've had folks asking for an episode that was a tour of the Lagoon but I couldn't figure out how to make it work without coming off as, well, douchy. Doing a "clip show" before-and-after approach seemed fun with some actual value to it because I don't want people seeing what I started six years ago and thinking "Damn, there's no way I could ever build something like that." Maybe they can't build something like the Lagoon of Mystery, but they can certainly build something equivalent in their own space if they set their mind to it.

I seriously underestimated the time involved in cobbling together all those old photos. Putting together multiple slide shows within a video is not something I'll be doing a lot of in the future!

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