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Rosettes for Newbies

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Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:53 pm

Hello,

One of the next tasks for my first build is the rosette. I love the idea of making my own rosettes but I'm wondering if it's worth the effort on my first guitar. I'm leaning towards just buying one that is appropriate for an OM. What are your thoughts on this and where would you recommend buying one?

Thanks,

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Alan Carruth » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:57 pm

These days a ring of shell in BW purfling is pretty common, and looks good. I like to get shell from Rescue Pearl; she sells stuff from the Duke of Pearl in small lots without too much of a markup, and is quick getting stuff out to you.

Making a rosette is not difficult, but it can be time consuming.

It's pretty common when folks finish a guitar for their buddies to be incredulous. They'll point at some part and ask: "Did you make THAT?" Invariably it's something that's relatively easy to do, such as the bridge or rosette, that you skipped over to save time. Your rating drops a lot when you say 'no'. Something to think about....
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:15 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:These days a ring of shell in BW purfling is pretty common, and looks good. I like to get shell from Rescue Pearl; she sells stuff from the Duke of Pearl in small lots without too much of a markup, and is quick getting stuff out to you.

Thanks for this tip, I had not heard of this place. Saved!

Alan Carruth wrote:Making a rosette is not difficult, but it can be time consuming.

It's pretty common when folks finish a guitar for their buddies to be incredulous. They'll point at some part and ask: "Did you make THAT?" Invariably it's something that's relatively easy to do, such as the bridge or rosette, that you skipped over to save time. Your rating drops a lot when you say 'no'. Something to think about....

Very good comment to think about. I have a lot of small pieces of highly figured wood and I was planning on using them to make rosettes some day. Maybe I'll get some black trim and try it sooner. I have to practice cutting the channels anyway so why not, eh?

Thanks,

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:40 pm

You might as well make your rosette - if you screw up it's easy to start another without destroying the guitar (unlike cutting the channels.) I've only made a couple - one from solid wood and another using plastic binding. I drilled out the base of my router a la Cumpiano, making a circle cutter for the rosette and the channels.

rosette-cutter.jpg


For the solid wood rosette (lacewood) I cut deep channels, then re-sawed into thin rings.

rosette2.jpg


rosette3.jpg


You could build a rosette from different pieces glued onto a board, then cut it the same way, or you can cut the channels and build the rosette inside them, as I did with the plastic binding.

tabi-rosette.jpg


Of course, there's lots and lots of stuff on the interwebs about making rosettes.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Bryan Bear » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:10 pm

I say make your own. you're making this guitar to acquire/practice the skills/steps so why not get your practice in here?
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:54 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:I say make your own. you're making this guitar to acquire/practice the skills/steps so why not get your practice in here?

Well, I started working on this today. This is the final week of class so I might be busy torturing, er, I mean grading and testing students. After that I'll have a break before summer school. I think I'll make a simple wooden rosette with some black & white stripes. Maybe something like this. I'll probably experiment with several designs until I like one.

rosette-mock01.jpg
Maybe
rosette-mock01.jpg (16.98 KiB) Viewed 1303 times


-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:22 pm

Yeah, I like that design. The shell always looks nice.
I've got a ring of white shell myself, and I might use this design, or something close to it for my next build.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:26 pm

Gordon Bellerose wrote:Yeah, I like that design. The shell always looks nice.
I've got a ring of white shell myself, and I might use this design, or something close to it for my next build.

Huh, it does look like shell. However, that's my piece of quilted maple. I just combined some photos I have to make a mockup. I will attempt to make something that looks good. My top is cedar and is a pretty dark brown color. Something light might look good.

However:
NoIdea.png
Yup
NoIdea.png (170.73 KiB) Viewed 1296 times


-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Randy Roberts » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:49 pm

Eric,
The library has some threads on rosettes you might want to look at:

http://www.mimf.com/library/Methods_for ... -2004.html

http://www.mimf.com/library/Clay_Schaef ... -2009.html

Better yet, go to the library pick search "new library" and enter "rosettes"
There's a bunch of threads.
I really recommend using the plastic cutting board method to make the rosette, then you have less chance to ding up the top like you can when building it in the top itself.
Last edited by Randy Roberts on Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:51 pm

Randy Roberts wrote:Eric,
The library has some threads on rosettes you might want to look at:

http://www.mimf.com/library/Methods_for ... -2004.html

Thank you, that's great.

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon May 01, 2017 12:06 pm

I have two recommendations. 1) Use wood or fiber instead of plastic. 2) Always have black ebony or black fiber purling bordering the edges that abut the top wood. This will make gaps much less apparent than having shell or light colored wood butt up to the top. Even in your mocked up photo you can see some unevenness in the transition between the quilt and the top. A single black line would make it look better.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Alan Carruth » Mon May 01, 2017 12:44 pm

I'll second Barry's recommendation. Inlaying into spruce is not easy anyway, and inlaying something light is much harder. A black line goes a long way to dressing it up.

LMII sells a lot of different colors of dyed veneer, including black. I don't know what wood they use, but in order to get the dye to go all the way through they have to boil it for some time. The wood gets sort of punky and tends to split easily. It will also be somewhat fuzzy. If you make the channel too tight the top wood and the rosette lines will al swell up when the glue hits them (assuming you're using something like Titebond), and it can be impossible to get the black lines in, or pull them out to try again. It's a matter of some judgment getting just the right fit. OTOH, the swelling of the veneers will help fill things in if they're a tad loose, so it works to your advantage.

It can really help with the black dyed veneer to glue it to a piece of white veneer which will be easier to handle. The white is usually maple, and you can often find nicely flamed curly veneer that is flat cut, so that the curl actually shows best on the edge, which is what you'll see in the inlay. It's an effect you don't get with plastic.

Most shell suppliers carry the appropriate no-stick strip. You can also cut your own from UHMW. This helps in making the rosette, even if you're using wood instead of shell. You can put a little glue in around the edges, put in the pre-bent strips of black or B/W on the sides, and force the plastic keeper in. When the glue dries you pull out the plastic and inlay whatever.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Bryan Bear » Mon May 01, 2017 1:05 pm

Not to pile on but. . . I third the suggestion of a black line up against the spruce. I know I could not pull off what you showed without ugly gaps somewhere. A black like will help hide small inconsistencies. You may also find some black fiber to cut strips off of instead of veneer. Even a very fine black like will make it look intentional instead of ill-fitting.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Mon May 01, 2017 1:16 pm

Thanks for these suggestions, Barry, Alan, and Bryan. Getting input from you guys is so valuable. Here's the next mockup.

rosette-mock02.jpg
Mockup No, 2
rosette-mock02.jpg (38.64 KiB) Viewed 1258 times

I think that looks better and I will certainly do it. I'm working on cutting the channels in my cedar and that is a difficult step in this soft wood. I'll have many trials in scrap before I touch the top.

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon May 01, 2017 3:27 pm

Another suggestion. A single, large, one-part rosette is easier than the three-part rosette you have. The channel is wider and easier to cut and you only have two edges to fit against. The three-part rosette HAS to be cut out with a router and the channels have to be very accurate. Whereas a one-part rosette can be either done with a router or by hand and is a bit less fussy on the fit.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Mon May 01, 2017 3:28 pm

Barry Daniels wrote:Another suggestion. A single, large, one-part rosette is easier than the three-part rosette you have. The channel is wider and easier to cut and you only have two edges to fit against. The three-part rosette HAS to be cut out with a router and the channels have to be very accurate. Whereas a one-part rosette can be either done with a router or by hand and is a bit less fussy on the fit.

Another jewel of a tip. Thank you, Barry. I think I'll work up more more mockups.

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Mon May 01, 2017 10:17 pm

Another mockup that might be easier for a newbie to create.

rosette-mock04.jpg
Mockup No. 4
rosette-mock04.jpg (32.24 KiB) Viewed 1220 times

I'm liking the idea of making something myself. I am planning on getting some black and white trim from maybe lmi and see how I do.

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue May 02, 2017 12:58 am

I find it much easier for me to inlay one wood ring, and glue that in first and level it with the spruce. Then I cut the trim channels with a bit that is just the right size for the strips, for example a 1/16" bit and inlay a 1/16" strip. It's easy to get a good result and doing it that way allows me to route the thin channels right on the edge between the ring and the spruce, stopping and starting the route at the top of the rosette that will be under the fingerboard later on.
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Eric Knapp » Tue May 02, 2017 8:30 am

Mark Swanson wrote:I find it much easier for me to inlay one wood ring, and glue that in first and level it with the spruce. Then I cut the trim channels with a bit that is just the right size for the strips, for example a 1/16" bit and inlay a 1/16" strip. It's easy to get a good result and doing it that way allows me to route the thin channels right on the edge between the ring and the spruce, stopping and starting the route at the top of the rosette that will be under the fingerboard later on.

Thanks, Mark. That's another great tip. I'm looking through my pile of tools to see what I have and either need to make or buy. I'd love to do this all by hand but using one of my routers could be more precise. What you describe sounds good.

-Eric
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Re: Rosettes for Newbies

Postby Alan Carruth » Tue May 02, 2017 2:40 pm

I use an LMII manual rosette cutter rather than a router. It goes fine if you do it right. The main things are to get the cutter sharp or even sharper, cut in the right direction, and measure everything one more time. Cuts on scrap don't hurt, either. The hardest part is the cross grain cut on the top and bottom of the rosette, where you're going right across the grain. That's where sharpness and taking your time count the most.

For hand cutting wide channels it's a good idea to make a lot of scribe lines inside the outer limit cuts. With the LMII cutter I make the limit cuts first. Then, assuming the outside cut is the second one, I'll pull the cutter in about 1/8" and scribe around the circle again. Keep doing this until the whole thing has been scored. This makes cleaning it out and controlling the depth easy.

For wide channels I use a Stanley #71 hand router to clean it out. I'm not sure they make those these days, but you may be able to find a used one. Lie-Nielson used to make a smaller version that was just right for rosettes, at a price.

Cumpiano shows a real low-tech way of doing it, using a popsicle stick and X-Acto blades. You drill a hole in the stick for a pivot, and stick the blade in at the correct distance out to make the cut. The depth of the cut is controlled by how much the blade protrudes. It sounds crude, but works very well. The main things to keep in mind is that the blade is more flexible than you might like. You can't take a heavy cut and you must always observe the rule of cutting 'away from the work and toward the waste'. That is, on the outside limit cut you go from the upper and lower edges of the rosette toward the left and right sides, while the inside limit cuts go from the sides toward the top and bottom. That way, when the blade decides to follow the grain it's wandering into the part you're going to be cutting away anyway. It's not a problem if you work slowly and carefully, does a very clean job, ad you won't find any cheaper way.
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