Walnut veneer sunburst pattern - cutting

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Marking out and rough cut


The first thing I need is a template. For my pattern each segment is at 10 degrees.  It was a conscious decision to pick a number that divides into 90 as it means that there is a straight line along the join between top and back.  This will be far easier to achieve than wrapping parts of a segment over the join and, in my opinion, still achieves a pleasing result. I will cut the template oversize at 10.1 degrees to ensure that both quadrants actually finish slightly oversize and then I will trim. 

10.1 degrees wasn’t just a guess as I have dusted of the old trigonometry formulas and worked out how much material that would provide for trimming but I won’t bore you with the maths.  Using trig I gave myself some check measurements and then set about a simple triangle template on the tablesaw using an angle fence.  I think I was just lucky as it hit it perfectly first time but I can imagine on another day this could have taken a bit longer.  While I had the tablesaw set I took the opportunity to cut more than 1 template. Firstly, to get a long and short version just to make marking out the small segments easier and secondly, as the point is very fine the chances of me damaging it were very high so always good to have a spare!

Mark and cut

You will spend a good amount of time in this process just moving boards around and trying to establish the best areas to cut the segments from to get the most aesthetically pleasing effect at the point.  While time consuming, it is definitely time well spent and having made a decision, then it is time to mark out.  Marking out is very basic, just a pencil and the template.

The segments were then roughed out on the bandsaw staying well away from the lines (5mm) and leaving approx. 25mm over in length.  As I know I will be routing the edges, the excess material will be quickly removed and the extra length means that if I don’t get a perfect point from the router, I have 25mm of length to play with to achieve the perfect result.

Next stage – routing.

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