sunburst railing build

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Blog entry by patron posted 05-27-2017 12:40 AM 3248 reads 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

USB building code calls for no more than 4” space in railings
so babies don’t get caught thru them

make a disk that size
start by finding center to top and bottom rails
and mark disk edges (lightly) from the centered disk

make board at least 1” longer than overall railing top and bottom distance
and lay board edge to disk edge mark
and bottom rail center line

mark 1 1/2” on side of both ends (opposite corners)
and connect with straight line
and cut there making 2 more or less equal pieces
(this is site work so be kind and don’t get all 1/1000 th inch fussy)

place part to disk edge line on top and same edge to centerline at bottom
mark these angles (easiest from the back)
and cut there

route the edge to match the eased edge of board
(or whatever ‘period’ style you like)

attach part to rails and using disk again
mark next space

i only cut one piece ends as this deck was old
and the post spacing was off some
from shifting over the years
so each side could be slightly different

cut the top first and try the angle
it can be adjusted as the need arises
then trim the bottom one

use disk both sides and mark edge there
and repeat thru the whole build
remembering to measure the longer length of successive rays

the bottom ‘bundle can get somewhat ‘wombly’
so i made a ‘sun’ cap for it
a curved piece with the ends rounded
and the length of the taper of the rays together
it gives the appearance of the center of the ‘sun’
with the rays coming from it
but cleans up the funky ends down there

there is some center to the sunburst
but it is not important
as the visual effect is what matters
which the eye either likes or not
this is a design effect
not a satellite part
so some leeway is fine

i closed in under the porch as kids and bugs
snakes/mice/spiders don’t mix well

hope you enjoy this build if you chose to try it
it might look nice for a second floor railing too

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

12 comments so far

View jack1's profile


2163 posts in 5189 days

#1 posted 05-27-2017 01:51 AM

Looks great. Those are neat techniques you used.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30630 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 05-27-2017 02:35 AM

Great tutorial sir.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Rich's profile (online now)


7115 posts in 1751 days

#3 posted 05-27-2017 02:42 AM

Beautiful. I think it’s the mark of a true craftsman when you can make something look so simple, when it’s not. Great job Patron.

P.S. I bet we could share some killer chile recipes. (for everyone else, I’m not referring to chili).

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4737 days

#4 posted 05-27-2017 03:28 AM

Very nicely done brother.
That you for the disk trick.
Your work always shines David.

View tyvekboy's profile


2118 posts in 4175 days

#5 posted 05-27-2017 03:36 AM

Great tutorial. Thanks.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View johnstoneb's profile


3168 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 05-27-2017 01:32 PM

I like it. Might try it on something.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bricofleur's profile


1481 posts in 4355 days

#7 posted 05-27-2017 01:36 PM

David, using a disk as spacer in that particular situation is very clever ! I must remember this one.

Great job buddy. You are quite smart !


-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4326 days

#8 posted 05-27-2017 03:55 PM

Some good ideas here, thanks for the tutorial…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5214 days

#9 posted 05-27-2017 10:50 PM

Very good, David!

That 4” disk is the key to get the outer spacing correct to Code…
... after that, you will know How many slats you will need…
... you just have to join them in the center…

Very COOL approach… and Logic…

Thank you very much…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5013 days

#10 posted 05-28-2017 12:34 AM

Well done buddy.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View htl's profile


5519 posts in 2321 days

#11 posted 05-28-2017 03:22 AM

Cool have always loved this look!!!
Great How To!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4029 days

#12 posted 06-02-2017 11:07 AM

David, you have done a fine job on this tutorial and I really like the design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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