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.

A bit late on guitar updates

I’ve been really bad at keeping this up to date.  There are probably about 15 posts I could make at this point, but I’ll keep it short and post a pictoral update.

I actually made a test guitar body to try a few things out.  I’ll skip all that stuff and move to the real guitars.

For these two, I wanted to try laminated linings, made of basswood and walnut in this case.  After one other attempt in laminating right on the guitar form, I made some simple fixtures and roped them together.  This worked really well.

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These will be my first cutaways.  The sides were thicknessed, primarily with the drum sander, then switching to a scraper.  The bass side was a simple bending operation.  The treble side was a bit more complicated.  I bent the waist and lower bout, then cut the side at the start of the cutaway and bent the remainder in reverse.  All this to get a good match on the wood grain and ambrosia stripe.

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The match was good enough that I decided to try to miter the point and skip binding it.  Worst case is if it didn’t turn out, I could resort to binding.

Mitered the tip.

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Came out nicely.  I even wrapped the side over the neck block, simply because I didn’t decide on a final style for the heel yet.

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Back to the linings.  Rather than just radius the inside corner, I had a scratch stock that I made.  I used it to dress the profile.  Came out well and probably didn’t take any longer than a simple radius.

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Inside detail of finished rim.

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Finished rim.  Minus soundport.

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The tops and backs were joined.

The bracing was split and prepped.

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I did a fairly tight radius on the backs.  This led to a rather unorthodox clamping method, both for the changing radii and for a quick glue up with hot hide glue,

Trial fixture.

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Better final fixture.

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I also made all the binding from raw wood as well as the rosette.

Here is the binding.

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And purfling.

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I’ll make a separate post on the rosette.

Thats about it for now.  Short post for a lot of work.

Attaching the neck to the sound board

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Starting to look more like something. Chiseled down the heel block to accept the top.  Clamped up to align the center lines.  Drilled and pinned the parts for glue up (toothpick pins).  Then glued the neck to the soundboard. One … Continue reading

Two soundboards all braced, some carving left to do

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Tired of looking at my bracing?  I am.

Getting close.  Put on and carved the transverse bar, upper cross strut and lower V braces.  My little plane worked like a champ for shaping the bars.  I was hoping it would since it was too big to use on the fan braces.

Just glued on the lower cross struts, which are curved to about 28’ radius.  Hope to carve those, cut them back to within the perimeter and clean up any rough spots with some 220 tomorrow.  Then on to the backs or sides… backs involve bracing… maybe sides… or get them all done while I’m in brace mode?  Whatever I feel like I guess.

Two rosettes…at last!

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Two rosettes are installed! Didn’t get a lot of time to work on things this week.  But the second rosette went in easier than the first.  Both planed and scraped flush with the tops.  For my first guitars and first … Continue reading

Rosette test fit, take one

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Rosette trial dry fit

One more test in the redwood.  New blade for the cutter worked well.  Quick coat of shellac on the top helped with tear out.  Recorded all the measurements on my cutter, which I set with my caliper.  Need to go a hair deeper on the real thing.

Came out ok.  Segments matched up better with one purfling strip on the inside as opposed to two, so I’ll go with that.  Wasn’t happy with my walnut strip on the outside, so I cut and bent more.  These segments are delicate!  A few little pieces came off just with handling.  I’ll probably cut and add little bits as I install.

Now on to the real soundboards.