Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Border & banding details

Here are some further details of the inlay in the border. I decided to integrate the inlay into the floor as opposed to try and add it after the border was installed. The process worked amazingly well - here is what I did.

The above photo shows the rabbet I cut into the floor boards just above the groove. I did this on the table saw with a dado head. I debated on using a router, but the table saw was much faster (I needed 170 linear ft). The rabbet was 7/32" deep and 1/4" wide.

Here is a photo of the banding “sandwich”. I started with three, 9' piece of black dyed Swiss pear veneer. They were 4-1/2" wide and .9mm thick. I cut them in half to yield six, 4-1/2' long pieces. I then found a really curly piece of hard maple and milled three pieces that were 3/16" thick, by 4-1/2" wide and 4-1/2' long. I glued up 3 “sandwiches” consisting of a piece of black Swiss pear, a piece of curly maple and then another piece of black Swiss pear. I put a layer of wax paper between each layer and put a caul on the top and the bottom of the triple-decker sandwich.

After 24 hours, I took off the clamps. I edge jointed each layer and went to the bandsaw where I ripped off as many 9/32" wide pieces as I could. I did not re-joint each piece between strips - but the over sized height made up for any variation in the bandsawn edge. I glued each strip in, and held it in place with blue painters tape every 2" (it took 2 rolls!).

Here is a shot of the underside to see what it looks like. Note that the width of the banding hangs beyond the white oak. This was intentional so that the banding would be snug against the next piece. The photo below shows what I mean.

(note the gap between the pieces at the bottom)

Here is a photo of the banding after cleaning up the miter.

This photo is out of order, but after the banding was glued in, I took a few minutes to plane it flush with the tops of the flooring pieces. It made installation a little easier and also allowed me to make sure everything worked according to plan. Plus it made for a great photo!


Blogger David said...

Konrad, I have to say that will be the most intricat and beautyfull floor I have seen! Wow!

18 November 2009 at 19:30  
Blogger Jim said...

Konrad, Simply Stunning, incredible design and installation....

18 November 2009 at 20:09  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks guys. And boy - you are fast!


18 November 2009 at 20:56  
Blogger JW said...

Beautiful job Konrad.

After reading about the dyed veneer, I have to voice my concern about your choice of finish.

I've used veneer like that before, on a table top inlay. One problem I had was that when the veneer got wet (I used some water to get the veneer tape to come up) the dye bled. BLO is great stuff, but I really, really, would hate to see anything like that happen to your floor.

It gets wet up here in the snowy white north. That means snow on the shoes, and water on the floor.

Skip clearing out the furniture to refinish the floor. I'd hate to have to deal with the chaos involved in rapid-fire drying of any trouble spots.

I'd try a few test finishes on scraps, first. See what looks good, and what holds up to water.

18 November 2009 at 23:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks JW. There was some dyed veneer in the test section I did and there was no bleeding of the dye at all. I will do a test with some water just to be sure - thanks for the heads up.


18 November 2009 at 23:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additional pictures showing the border and banding details. As always with your stuff, Konrad, a super job.

Cheers ;-)

Paul Chapman

19 November 2009 at 06:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the detailed explanation. The way you did this (before installation) is more forgiving in case of a mistake when cutting the rabbet. Its a lot easier to replace a board when its not already down.
Were there any alignment issues butting the banding end to end?


19 November 2009 at 10:55  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Wayne,

There were a few spots where the alignment was not perfect... but I will have a more accurate sense once everything is sanded down.


19 November 2009 at 11:18  
Blogger tomausmichigan said...


Absolutely great! The photos, the banding, the installation, everything! But once the finish is on, we will need some close-ups of your favorite medullary rays. You must have favorites.


21 November 2009 at 19:04  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Tom.

Oh don't you worry - there are some stunning pieces in this floor. there are a few that come to mind... curly, quarter sawn and full of rays. They should be electric with some finish.


21 November 2009 at 20:23  

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