Sunburst Wood Railing Design

by George
(San Diego, CA)

I have a request to put in a starburst handrail, they want a 1/2 moon at the bottom of the spindles and I'm not sure how to build it. Should I use 36" cedar 2x2, 2x4-2x6. Any ideas?

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Mar 02, 2008
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Making a Sunburst Railing Section from scratch
by: Rich Bergman - Editor

Here's a simple design.

I don't know if you will like it but here it is. Take a 2x10 and use a compass to draw out about a 9.5" radius (a half circle). That will be your sunburst.

Then on a work bench layout the exact opening for the railing section as if it were to fit into the actual railing on your deck. This will be your workspace.Use the 2x2s as your "spokes" on the "wheel" and lay then out equally spaced around the half circle 2x10.

You could use some math and get exact divisions if you wanted but that is up to you.

To secure the 2x2s to the circle (both of which are the same thickness) you should use a mortise and tenon carpentry technique. It takes a bit of time but will look the best.

Glue and clamp the 2x2s into the mortise holes within the half circle. Once cured, you will then have to accuratly cut each 2x2 so that it fits tightly into the actual railing section on the deck.

That's why I say recreate that exact same size space on your work bench so you are accurate.


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