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Acoustic Guitar Rosette Construction

First - Build a Rosette Form and Workboard
Select A Scrap Of Wood To Build Rosette Form
Start the rosette form by selecting a scrap piece of hardwood about 1/8” thick. Strike an arc on the wood that matches the inside radius of the rosette you will be building

in order to fabricate a perfectly formed rosette, you will need to construct a form onto which you can make your rosettes. If you intend to make rosettes of different inside diameters, you will need to make a form for each diameter of rosette you will be fabricating.

First you need to fabricate the circular form onto which the rosette can be built. It is easiest to make this form from a 1/8” (3mm) thick piece of solid wood of your choice. I usually use a scrap piece of back or side wood for mine. Scribe a circle on the wood and cut it out on the band saw so you can keep the sides of the form vertical.

Make The Form Perfectly Round By Using a Disc Sander

Next drill a 1/8” diameter hole in the center of the circular form. In order for the form to be perfectly round, insert a bolt through a base piece of plywood and then through the form. The form should be free-spinning. Hold the base and the form against a disc sander and spin the form a couple of revolutions. This will give you a perfect circular shape onto which you can construct your rosettes.

Jig Base: Use an 18” x 24” x 3/4” piece of plywood, drill a hole for a 1/8” bolt and countersink the head and the nut as shown. Place the rosette form over this stud and secure with a nut so the form will not rotate.Now, let’s construct the base on which the circular form will be placed. I prefer to save some space in the shop, so I use the movable platform from my GoBoard for this purpose.

Lay the guitar top template on the plywood and mark the center of the soundhole. Drill a 1/8” diameter hole for the bolt in the plywood.

Next drill countersinks in both the top and bottom of the plywood so you can run the bolt through the plywood without the head getting in the way. Also you can tighten the bolt firmly into position by running a nut on the blot, and the nut will be recessed below the surface of the plywood.

Place the rosette form over a piece of waxed paper to keep the rosette from sticking to the plywood base. Secure the form to the plywood with a nut so the form does not turn. We are now ready to start the rosette.
Construction of an Acoustic Guitar Rosette

Recommended Tools and Materials
Plastic Map Tacks
Waxed Paper
Titebond Glue
Hand Made Marquetry Miter Box
Fine Japanese Pull Saw
Marquetry Wood (Various)
Thin Sanding Stick
Water Misting Bottle
Rosette Form

After the initial accent strips of b-w-b purfling is wrapper around the form, it is time to begin working with the more intricate marquetry. Here I am using Bubinga strips with Maple veneer accents.First we need to wrap the first layer of the multi-color wood fiber purfling onto the mold. Even though this is quite flexible stuff, depending on the thickness, it still breaks easily.

Spray the purfling with the spray bottle and let it soak in a bit. Spray it once again before you start. Lay the purfling against the form and press a pin in place and lean it against the purfling to hold it in place. Feel free to use a small plastic or rubber tipped hammer to drive the pins in easier.

Continue to wrap the purfling around the form by running your finger against the purfling and holding it tightly against the form. Bring it all the way around to the starting point and place another pin near the beginning. Take a sharp knife and trim the purfling to length.

This shot shows the Bubinga completely glued around the form with a few stick pins holding the assembly in place. The Maple is left long and can easily be trimmed when dry. Once dry this can again be taken to the disc sanding jig you made and make the outside of the marquetry perfectly round and ready for the final application of feature purfling.Next the end grain Bubinga needs to be cut. I use a small miter box that I made from plywood with a slot the same kerf thickness as the Japanese saw I’m using.

Use a stop block to cut all the pieces the same length. Since the rosette is curved the pieces you cut should be no longer than 1/2” to hide the curve.

 Also, I chose to place a small taper of the ends of the block so they will but together nice and tight. Cut all the pieces and lightly sand off any loose fibers as required.

Place some Titebond on a part of the waxed paper and dip the side and one end of each strip in the glue.

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