Making a couple rosettes

Hey, I have some time, so I’m catching up.

Here is how I made the rosettes for these two guitars.  I went with a geometric style.  Very similar to my first rosettes.

Started with humble beginnings of walnut, cherry and flamed maple.  These were glued up as you see here.

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Then I used an incredibly high tech fixture to cut 45 and 42.5 degree angles on each piece.  The goal being 7.5 degree segments.

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These segments were glued into logs.  Notice the “sorting matrix”.  This helped keep the pieces separate.  There were three different variations of wood placement and each of those had opposite angles on each side.

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Then the logs were sliced and sorted.

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Then I played with some variations of patterns.  There were a ton of permutations.

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I picked two of my favorites.  Then I cut a test channel into a piece of scrap and bent up the purflings.  Fitting these was very low tech.  Cut to approximate size.

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Inside and outside sanding block to fit.

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Then I cut the channels into the real tops.  Used a home made circle scribe.  Now that I’ve done at least 12 channels with this scribe (7 for guitars and at least 5 tests), I should really take my time and make a nicer one on a mill.  This one was made with a hack saw, files, a drill press, and some taps and dies.  The only thing I would add is a dial height adjustment for the blade.  I made the blade, a spear point with  W1 tool steel that I sharpened, hardened and annealed.

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Then a chisel, followed by a mini router plane.  

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These are my 6th and 7th rosettes.  I’ve never used a power tool for this.  Cutting a .050″ deep, accurate channel, in a .095″ thick piece of soft wood was really intimidating at first.  After the first one, I loved it.  Its really one of my favorite parts.  I like the peace and quiet, as well as the clean cuts, when using hand tools.  

The first rosette ready to install.

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This is my favorite part.  Planing and scraping down after the glue has cured.

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First rosette done and scraped close to flush.

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Second rosette installed.  This one in a cedar top.

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This is where the guitars stood just prior to bracing the tops.

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Ok.  Last two posts almost caught up to where I am now.

Should be closing these up soon.

Shop lighting upgrades

Before polishing the guitars, I decided to upgrade some shop lights.  I have very poor natural light in my shop unfortunately.

I stole two task lamps from above one of my benches.

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I had a thrown together lamp that I would roll around.  I made a new base and added the two additional task lamps.  I even made the center one on a height adjustable pole.

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Over the bench, I made some new pendants from some old high bay lighting fixtures that were destined for the scrap yard.

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Now just to experiment and find the right bulbs, especially for the portable lamp.  I’d like it bright enough to do surgery if I turn them on. 

Intermission for non guitar stuff

While my lacquer was curing for two weeks I took the opportunity to do a couple things around the house.

I installed an automatic gate opener for my drive way.  Of course I picked a particularly cold week to run 125′ of partially buried power cable and bug together a bunch of electrical connections.  Oh well… its done.  No pics.  Not that exciting, except to me, not having to get in and out of the car a few times every time I want to leave the house is a pleasure.

Another project on the back burner for about 2 years was restoring an old copper fixture that was original to my house.

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I guess when having electric lighting was a status symbol, this was probably extravagant with 16 bulbs in it. Originally in the dining room, the bulbs were facing down and exposed, and it hung about 8” off the ceiling. I ended up moving some fixtures around and replacing this with a much nicer chandelier from another room.  I decided to restore, then install the fixture upside down, so the leaves would show and drop it about 2′ off the ceiling.

About 2 years ago I pulled this out of the basement and took it apart. Most of the copper leaves needed to be resoldered where they met the center hub. I guess the weight over the years took its toll. That was about as far as I got.

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Yes, I use my buffing wheels in the paint booth.  Keeps the dust down.  I still wear a respirator though.

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The brass sockets are my favorite part.  No one will see them with its hung upside down, but they just don’t make parts like this anymore.  The Edison and other text makes it even better, besides how well made and solid they are.  Only rewiring some of the bulbs, there are an additional 8 short sockets that I didn’t polish up.  They are in a box with the remaining sockets if I need spare parts.

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The copper leaves came out well. They are definitely hand hammered.  Each one is a bit different.  Those creases are hard to get into, and they like to hold excess buffing compound.

Came out pretty well.  I only wired 4 sockets and it was still a pain in the butt and a tight fit.  Maybe I was a bit overzealous using 14 gauge to each bulb and a 12 gauge feed? Only used 40 watt bulbs and its almost too bright for me.  Guess I need a dimmer.

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Gibson OO- Side bending

I decided that today was the day to thickness and bend up a set of flamed maple sides.

Here they are resawn.

Flamed maple sides

I had done some test cuts with my planes.  The antiques didn’t really do well.  I have a Lie Nielsen 4 1/2 with a 50 degree frog that did pretty well.  I really gave it a good sharpening.

Really sharp plane blade

Planed the sided cross grain.  Then went with the grain with a card scraper.  They ended up between .090″-.100″ thick.  Then I joined the face edges and cut to width.

Planing flamed maple

This is my hot pipe bending set up.  Started with this, then realized that the bend in the waist was too tight for this pipe and had to improvise another one mid- bending.  I just sprayed the wood with water as I went as opposed to soaking.  Used the hot pipe and checked the shape with the plexiglass template sitting beside the pipe.

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Luckily I had a smaller diameter aluminum pipe sitting around.  Rigged it up and put the torch in the back and bent the rest of the first side.  Then bent the other side on this pipe.

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After  some fussing I had one set of sides bent up.  Now its sitting in the mold overnight.  Flamed maple is not as easy to bend as walnut, which was the only wood I had bent previously.  Came out ok though.

Bent guitar sides

Blade and handle time

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I couldn’t stay away from the flamed maple I just got.  So I had to break into it and make something.  I guess its tools.  Went to my Dad’s shop and turned a few handles.  Making left and right, two handed, skew carving knives for me and a marking knife and birdcage awl for dad for Father’s Day.  Not sure if he will use them.  The awl is more likely to see action than the marking knife.  But its the thought that counts.  I hope it beats a card with a stupid witty saying.

Using some of the W1 tool steel I had.  Found my aunt’s old enameling oven that I may try to fix and see if it will work for heat treating.  If not, I’ll go with the torch.

Hoping this will keep me sane while I take breaks from french polishing.

Made a rosette cutter…

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Made a rosette cutter while waiting for glue to dry on my soundboards. I had made a prototype out of rosewood scraps, but cracked a piece when tightening down the blade, so I made a new one out of aluminum. … Continue reading