A rosette by any other name…

I debated, a lot, what to do for the rosette. In the first guitar, I used a simple half inch wide circle of carpathian elm burl veneer; routing out the channel around a central nail, and sizing and glueing in the veneer. That worked ok, but trying to cut the thin veneer to fit the routed circle was tricky; my drill press circle cutter just tore the piece to shreds. I ended up with an X-acto knife blade stuck through a thin stick, revolving around a nail, which left a slightly, very slightly, out of round circle (You have to look magnifying glass close to see the gap.) So I wanted to try something different this time. Also, I thought the elm would be too dark, for the lighter moabi back and sides; and would overpower the bearclaw figure of the spruce. The purpose of a rosette, by the way, is to add a little bit of reinforcement around the soundhole; the inlaid material, acts as a stop for any cracks that might form. I could have gone very simple, and very traditional, with some white and black stringing. But that was a bit too understated. I finally settled on some birdseye maple that didn’t have an abundance of eyes, but did have some nice grain patterns; fancy, but subtle, and not taking anything away from the spruce. I could also, with this thicker board, use the circle cutter without fear of shredding. In order to provide a little bit of separation between the maple and spruce, I wrapped a slice of mahogany veneer around the donut of maple.

After that had dried, and been drum sanded to thickness (if you want to get into acoustic guitar making, I cannot recommend having a small drum sander enough. Its makes life SOOOO much easier), I set up the router to rotate on a nail with a spiral bit to cut the channel. One thing about spruce and routers, you get a lot of “fuzz” around the edges of the cut, and I even got a tiny bit of splintering on the outside edge. Sigh. I’ll wait to see how it looks after finish sanding and finishing to decide whether to add a pickguard or not. I hadn’t planned on one for this size guitar, but, it would easily hide the tiny divot. 


After glueing, clamping and sanding flush, I cut the soundhole out. Boy, it’s beginning to look like a guitar! With that accomplished, I turn to the bracing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: