Is there a way to make the edges of a tabletop made of glued-up pieces look finished without using banding? Seems like most use a floating breadboard joint to attach a wider solid edge – but are there other alternatives?
Michael Dresdner: It may seem obvious, but if you finish the end grain, it will look finished. You also might want to do an edge treatment – bullnose, ogee, roundover, surfboard, etc. – with a router to make it look a little more intentional and less square.
Rob Johnstone: I am inferring that you wish to hide the end grain of a glued up solid wood top…sorry, can’t do it: next question! Okay, there are ways: mitering back the edge and the corners and floating a piece of wood with slotted screw holes, etc. But the problem of wood movement will make even the most perfectly machined piece of this sort of work look bad eventually. If you want the beauty of a hardwood panel, but don’t want end grain poking into the picture, veneering it is the skill you need to acquire. Laid up on man-made substrates (MDF, etc.) veneer will allow you to ignore the pesky constraints of nature and build panels as you wish to see them.