Beautiful Border Frames a Sunburst Tabletop
The border around the veneered center of a tabletop can have a strong voice, or it can serve its purpose with a whisper
Synopsis: You can increase the “wow” factor of a sunburst tabletop by cutting the border with a scalloped edge, as shown in this Master Class. Mark Arnold shows how to decide on an attractive radius for the scallops, lay it out, and install the border. This is a companion piece to “How to Veneer a Sunburst.”
From Fine Woodworking #206
Depending on the design, the border around the veneered center of a tabletop can have a strong voice, or it can serve its purpose with a whisper.
I’ll illustrate how you can use contrasting veneer to increase the “wow” factor of even a piece as dramatic as a sunburst tabletop (see “How to Veneer a sunburst,” pp. 72-79). By cutting the border, also known as crossbanding, with either a concave or convex curve where it meets the sunburst, you can produce two very different looks: A concave edge produces a floral motif, while a convex curve creates the look of a spider web.
I’ll describe how to make the floral motif in this Master Class, but you can learn how to create the spiderweb border at FineWoodworking.com/ extras. Each method uses the radial seams in the sunburst pattern as the terminal points for each section of the border veneer.
Cut the design in the sunburst: To make the concave border, start by cutting a convex arc on the end of each segment of the sunburst. The radius of the arc is determined by several factors, but the most important is appearance. Here’s a simple approach that produces an attractive curve. First, locate the pivot points of each segment by dividing the width of the segment at the table edge in half and then adding 1 in. This is the radius of the arc. Add an inch to the…