Friday, 25 March 2011

How to Make a Lady Swear!!!!!

The bar counter for The Leaky Cauldron has been glaring at me for a while now. It was a basic whitewood piece that I purchased on Ebay. I cut it down to size, removed the plain top and added a thick piece of painted and distressed balsa. The top was supposed to look like a solid wood counter roughened with wear and use.
Ever since I put the top on I have hated it! Balsa wood is fabulous to use but the thicker pieces have a horrible edge that soaks up paint and is resistant to all my very basic tools. I haven't been able to get the colour right and the nasty edge is all I notice every time I put it in place. 
 So, with a hundred and one other tasks to complete, I removed the top and sanded all the glue off.
 My idea was to make a new top with a framing edge. This new edging will hold slate tiles and I can stain it all up nicely. Much cleaner look, nowhere near so dominant.
I found a left over piece of banister rail which proved perfect as I could just slide the top along the pieces of balsa. I the only one to whom moulding measurements and angles are a complete mystery. I measure, I plan the angle, I cut and I never seem to have the right angle or my lengths are all wrong. So I try again and again. 
 Eventually cutting of little bits at a time I manage quite a decent corner and even get the longer length of the front of the bar sorted.
Gosh, looking good and very chuffed with my carpentry skills I reach for the remainder of my banister rail.......
 ......the whole inch I have left!!! Why, oh why does this always happen! There are am feeling very pleased with myself and I have even saved money by using a left over piece and now I have to buy another piece of rail, travel to the shop and in the meantime forget how I managed to cut and angle the thing!! 
Swear?! I am surprised none of you heard me!!!


  1. LOL I feel your pain! Balsa wood does go horrid at the ends if you don't 'do' something to it. I used a craft knife and thick tweezers to score and break the end up and from looking solid etc.

    I cut my cornice for Slug and Jiggers last week, mitred ends are a nightmare to do, especially cornice/picture rail. I took some photo's of how to do them...alas I'm on blog posting break so I haven't shown them! I think I could have saved you a few swear words! lol You have done a pretty good job considering everything was against you!

    Michelle xxx

  2. I heard you dear :) Happens to me all the time, I refuse to put crown moulding up ever again. I think a slate counter will be stunning.

    Victoria ❤

  3. Nooooo Janice,you are not the only one !Always if I have to cut angles my nerves are on edge:-(!!! But you will see the counter will look much better after you just managed it.I also love the idea of setting tiles on it!Hugs,Jeannette

  4. Great idea using the bannister rail as trim! As far as the angle thing... been there, done that! You've done a great job so far. I'm sure you will figure it out!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Oh Janice been there, done that, thrown it across the room. I have got in my stash somewhere, a miniature mitre block, makes life so much easier. But can never find it when I need it..LOL x

  6. I think we've all had that problem at some time or other. I find Ronseal Wood Filler very useful and will hide a multitude of sins - it can even be sanded down and painted over.

    I must say I prefer the new top and the tiles on the front is a lovely detail.

  7. Nice to know I am not alone!
    To add insult to injury I could not get the same piece of bannister rail, have no idea where it came from, so had to but two new lengths today. Oh well at least I should not run out this time.

    Sad thing is , I have been using a mitre box, it's my cutting and measuring that is completely useless!

  8. I think lots of us can relate to these little dramas for sure! Better a little bad language than kicking the dog ;) Anyway, the counter looks really great.

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