I am working on a 42" round, pedestal base conference table for a professional's private office. He really likes some curly white ash that I have, but I do not have enough for this table unless I cut it into veneers, which I can do.
I will probably bag it on MDF and counter-veneer as well. But I want to add a thick, solid shaped edge, probably of a contrasting wood, although this is still under discussion. I can veneer it oversize, and then trammel a router for the circle no problem. But on the edging I am less sure.
I was thinking I would make a section of the circle in BB ply very carefully, and then pattern shape the edge in sections and attach it with splines.
Will this present any problems? Is there a better or easier way? I am thinking that I may want to/have to scratch a groove for a string inlay. Any help would be appreciated.
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor D:
I would suggest that after trammeling the router around the top core, set up a swing jig where you can fasten the rim parts and swing the router to cut the inside radius. Set up a curved fence on a panel saw and cut the butt joints for the 6 or 8 pieces that will make the rim. Then slide them along the added curved fence to control the length of each and cut in a blind or through spline. Clamp these rim parts on one at a time, leaving them wide and with flats band-sawn on so you can have good clamp lands. Finesse the next butt joint while the glue sets, so it is perfect. The last one will make you sweat since you don't have any room for over cuts. Once they are all on, trammel the router to cut the outer radius and profile if you wish.
If you want to add an inlay at the transition, do this with a curved fence router around the rim, before or after the edging is on. Doing this after is a little more forgiving. Use a long curved or three point fence to insure you stay up to the edge - much is at risk at this point. I like to have someone hold the fence to the edge while I fixate on the cut. Swinging the router for the core and the rim parts is the key to getting an absolutely perfect fit.
Make a 36" diameter MDF circle, and then adjust the router to make an arc segment that has a 18" radius on the inside edge. The two curves should mate exactly. Then you can use this to lay out the segments. Shape the veneer blank using the 36" diameter template, and then mitre and shape the edge blanks, cutting a round on the inside edge only.
You want to leave the outside straight, and cut notches at each mitered end so that you can clamp the segments to each other as you add them one by one around the table. Then biscuit them to the veneer blank and to each other. You can slightly adjust the size of the last one for a perfect fit.
Comment from contributor A:
We have done many of these and pretty much like Contributor P, except we cut a hexagon in the mdf or pb. Then the outer hardwood has straight lines and its way easier to clamp. Cut your 60 degree angles, glue up, and veneer. Trim round and then cut your edge shape.