How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 9, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3

How to Build a Tiki Bar

Build a Real Tiki Bar, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
Build a Real Tiki Bar, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar,
from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3

This comes from Atomic Magazine’s Fall 1999 issue — a very tongue-in-cheek set of instructions on how to build a tiki bar, designed to look like a family-friendly (until you read the finer print) construction kit from the 1950s. This was sent to me by Frank Dellario after meeting him at last spring’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Jose. Frank is the fellow pictured here with the pipe and glasses; he pulled together the bamboo information for the article. The other fellow pictured is Paul Jannicola, who is now part of Frank’s machinima team, ILL Clan. Michael Cogliantry photographed the spread, and Jeff Griffith did the layout and captions. This is from pretty early in the revival of interest in tiki (the Book of Tiki didn’t come out until the next year), and it’s neat to see some of the vanguards of modern-day tiki culture in action.

How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 1, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 1, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 2, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 2, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 3, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 3, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 4, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 4, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 5, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 5, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 6, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 6, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 7, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 7, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 8, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 8, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 9, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3
How to Build a Tiki Bar, Step 9, from Atomic Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3

Frank said that they really did build this tiki bar using nothing but bamboo, string, and a few bamboo skewers. I don’t know how well it held up, though… It’s held up well, see the update below!

Atomic Magazine stopped publishing in 2003, but back issues (including this one) are available from the Atomic Magazine website, and editor Leslie Rosenberg now runs RetroRadar.com.

UPDATE: Since this post has turned out to be incredibly popular, and so many people want to actually take a whack at making one of these suckers, here are scans of a couple of useful sidebars from the article. Also, here are instructions for tying a transom knot. I can’t personally vouch for the instructions here — I got my bar from Bamboo Ben.

Tiki bar materials list and tips
Tiki bar materials list and tips

UPDATE 2: Frank reports that the bar has held up just fine, the only adjustment he has made is to add an MDF top, mostly to add some Lose Weight Exercise to it (bamboo & twine is pretty darned lightweight). Here’s his bar today, eight years on it looks better than ever, a testament to the strength of bamboo:

Frank Dellario's tiki bar today
Frank Dellario’s tiki bar today

65 thoughts on “How to Build a Tiki Bar

  1. Pingback: Tiki | Trends Pics

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