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RE: About rosettes   You are logged in as Guest
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jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

quote:

But binding is there to protect the corners and seal the end grain, and John put it, they serve as bumpers. But secondary purpose would be to give access to taking the back off.

Stephan,
How in the world would using bindings facilitate easy removal of the back or top? It strikes me that it would be much easier if there were no bindings leaving the joint between the sides and back/top visible.

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John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 27 2014 13:20:36
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

quote:

But binding is there to protect the corners and seal the end grain, and John put it, they serve as bumpers. But secondary purpose would be to give access to taking the back off.

Stephan,
How in the world would using bindings facilitate easy removal of the back or top? It strikes me that it would be much easier if there were no bindings leaving the joint between the sides and back/top visible.

_____________________________


The operative words here are 'secondary purpose'. Once you carefully and with great skill remove the bindings intact it reveals the seam between the back and lining. Then the seam can be loosened with a ultra thin case knife, warm or cold, or with the help of some drops of water. Or in some conditions with a razor saw blade- or combinations of other small bladed tools you may have. Today there are water holding gels and also the ol fashioned way, bits of kitchen sponge laid in place on the seam where it is not opening. These tricks soften the glue. The mortised ends of the braces and heel are things that take patience to open, but they will give slowly too.

Binding is in the way of this seam opening process, and unlike say a lute or oud, where the edge can be exposed giving straight forward access to the seam, the binding has to come off first. The difference between the two kinds of seams are that an opened up binding channel, that is a binding channel with the binding removed, offers a clear view and tool access to the seam with out the problem of damaging the sides, or knife splitting the wood of the top of back as easy. The seam is also minus the width of the binding and is therefore not as deep, so there is not as much glue and seam width holding the back to the linings. And as an aside all most lutes, modern reconstructions or extant do have a sections near the tail where there is a wide strip glued over where the staves converge, they may also have a parchment or wood strip glued over the top seam as an edge protective element. Those parchment strips have to be removed to get into the seam, and they are a pain in the butt and usually not worth reapplying, the fillet over the staves meeting place has to stay however.

In many conditions a guitar repair to replace a top or back, or get the back off the guitar, will entail basically routing the bindings off, the same way the binding channels are routed during construction. Then any residual binding is filed and chiseled out until the seam is exposed. Then as I explained above the seam can be opened. That method works fine as long as in the restoration plan it is acceptable to destroy a binding.

On older steel string guitars, like prewar Martins of value, some American made steel strings of older vintage, Gibson and Washburns, etc. plus all the minor brands even the cheap ones like say a Kay plywood archtop, all those instruments are candidates for binding removal especially on the back binding which is almost always a simple one piece affair. ( although not always). Specialists in that area of restoration will have to have the skills to remove a binding and later reinstall it without damaging it in order to be considered top in the field. So the binding can be considered a entry point for removal of a back or top. Anyone doing that level of restoration or repair does not take it lightly that a back will have to come off to do certain kinds of reconstruction work. The interesting thing about those old guitars is that often the binding will be plastic or celluloid, or wood, but the bindings are easier to work off because the glue is older and usually hide glue. The celluloid imitation tortise bindings on some older guitars is replaceable with modern restoration purpose materials, but the original binding is important to try to save because it often has a particular pattern of look not available now. Restorers who work in that niche have very particular clients who value as much original parts and components as can be left on the instrument and it is part of being in that market niche to be able to do provide restorations with that level of detail.

So that is my long way around to explain why I see the binding as an edge/end grain protection, but also secondarily as an entry point for back to liner seam access. I had the good fortune of working in a shop in Oakland where there was always a cycle of vintage Martins etc. opened up with the back or tops off for restorations. It's possible and quite common in high level restoration to totally deconstruct an old Martin or Gibson down to removing each brace from the top, performing a splice or other repair and rebracing the top with the same braces before reassembling the guitar. There are collectors, players and dealers who will pay good money for that caliber of work. So in that work niche the binding is considered a removal part that give access to a seam.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2014 1:32:30
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

Stephan,
Believe it or not I am not a complete novice at this sort of thing. I have removed backs many times and done some very extensive restorations on some highly collectable guitars. I don't like that kind of work so I don't do it anymore. I remain skeptical that bindings facilitate back or top removal.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2014 13:23:13
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

Stephan,
Believe it or not I am not a complete novice at this sort of thing. I have removed backs many times and done some very extensive restorations on some highly collectable guitars. I don't like that kind of work so I don't do it anymore. I remain skeptical that bindings facilitate back or top removal.


John
Yes I know you have not jumped out of the crib yesterday, but Orson and others are reading so I wanted explain in detail things I'm sure you already have done. But they have probably not seen inside a shop where half a dozen old steel string guitars are in various states of repair so I was trying to present a picture of some of the things that happen. And if they have seen a shop like this I doubt they worked there for five years everyday like I did. So I have seen and worked on a vast amount of old valuable steel string instruments under expert guidance. It's a niche that has some different rules and conventions for style and how the work is done than classical/flamenco guitars. The shop is my friend Stewart Port's shop in Oakland and he's considered an authority on the the repair of prewar Martin and Gibson guitars and does restoration work for the best dealers on the West and East coasts. He's the kind of guy who never advertises because he never has time to advertise because he's swamped with restoration work. He's an old friend and teacher of mine and I've been able to consult with him on my own steel string repair work for nearly 20 years now. He studied under Matt Umanov in New York and then worked in that shop for 6 or 7 years. He's been established in California for 35 years as a top Martin expert. These guys are among the top old vetted people in Martin/Gibson restoration work and if Stew takes the binding off an old guitar you can bet he will be able to put back on and have it look pristine.


There are makers who really like to do restorations and conservation work and they get paid handsomely for it. And I think I said twice the binding primarily functions to protect the edges so I don't understand the big deal.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2014 0:20:31
 
orsonw

Posts: 1666
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Orson and others are reading so I wanted explain in detail


Thank you both to John and Stephen for taking the time to explain, I appreciate it.

I hope it's not too disruptive having ignorant questions from non-luthiers like myself. I try to remain quiet on the luthier threads 'in the corner of the workshop' looking and listening, but sometimes my guitar nerd curiosity gets the better of me! Thanks for indulging me luthiers!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2014 6:55:55
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

I think its good you ask. Can you imagine a luthier forum with only pro builders being very serious. No outsiders disturbing the lecture (it exists)

That said, Stepens idea about the purpose of bindings are very new to me (to say the least)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2014 7:34:24
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

I think Orson asks very good questions, I enjoy the talk.

Orson asked if decorative elements in guitar design also have practical purposes. These are not easy questions to answer, but fun. I only gave my experience in Stewart's shop and also said bindings serve to protect edges. But can you imagine removing a back without removing the binding as well? The way I see it you have two choices. Destroy the binding and replace it later after the interior repair work is complete, or take it off carefully, save the binding and reinstall the original binding when the back goes on. On very rare and valuable guitars the later method is preferred when it can be done. So it's more of a restoration ethics question, and the decision to save a binding or remove a binding by routing it off depends on many factors that have to be evaluated by the restorer and the customer. They will be factoring in the value of the instrument and how the customer wants the instrument to play etc. many considerations are in motion.

My point has been, binding protects the guitar edges, but a skilled restoration person can and will work a binding off the guitar and save it to be reinstalled. To me this is a fundamental concept of high level repair and restoration work.

I like these kinds of questions from non builders. What I don't find interesting are the questions about which factory-cheap guitar is better. I like conceptual puzzles and problems in guitar making, so Orson's kind of question is most welcome in my book.

So his question is still asking to be answered. Which decorative parts of a guitar may also serve a functional purpose? I've already mentioned few things I think about....

Anyone else?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2014 10:40:14
 
aarongreen

 

Posts: 367
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

I will freely admit that I have not read the whole thread but am chiming in on Stephen's point regarding bindings and restoration. In our work on older vintage guitars, whenever possible to retain the bindings, we do it. Especially the purflings which can be difficult to match exactly, such as in the case of superfine lines of undetermined woods, natural or dyed. In any case we do it regularly and while time consuming, it's part of the job.

Usually it's only not possible when they are damaged beyond repair or really crappy wood (such as the Vicente Arias we are currently restoring)….. or some joker decided that epoxy was the best way to glue them on. Titebond can be an issue too but less so.

Aaron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2014 17:49:54
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: About rosettes (in reply to El Kiko

What a relief to see some irregularities in the Romanillos rosette. When I saw the photo of mine blown up on the GSI website I was worried.



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_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2014 1:01:38
 
SephardRick

Posts: 357
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

quote:

So I have seen and worked on a vast amount of old valuable steel string instruments under expert guidance. It's a niche that has some different rules and conventions for style and how the work is done than classical/flamenco guitars


Stephen,

I read this last month and it have been bouncing around in my mind ever since. It's really fascinating that you had this very unique experience with historic steel string instruments.

So, I have a question that just won't fade: Would you care to tells if any steel string guitar stood out and what made it special?

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Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2014 20:35:49
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Yeah, lots of old steel string guitars are amazing for sound and history. I'll try to write about it soon.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 25 2014 1:51:54
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

I was thinking your question and I don't think I can say there is one in particular, so many interesting guitars to see.

The ones you see perhaps the most in that shop are 0-18's and 0-17's made out of mahogany. I like the ones made pre-WW-II. They are not fancy, but they have a plain beauty and they almost always sound good. Usually 0-18's made in the 1920's to 40's are in for the first neck reset and maybe the second refret job. But real early ones not tampered with will still have bar frets and many dealers and players prefer to keep them stock so they get refretted with bar frets. Or if the bar frets are not too bad, you can jack them up and shim under them and re-level them.


The 0-17 ~ 0-18 is common and they go for $2000.00 to $4000.00 and sometimes a few thousand more for one in pristine condition. But with a neck reset they are still quite playable and lovely guitars. Kind of the meat and potatoes of the Martin vintage stuff.

The ones that can be very interesting and valuable are the older 19th century Martins. it's a complex history, but well documented, you can read about it online. There is lots of interesting restoration work that goes into them depending on which model and what needs to be done. Most of the time people don't play them much, but a few get played and they sound good. They have ivory on them and some have ivory bridges and tuning pegs. So today there are difficulties in ethics in how it is handled. I think there will be a lot of underground trade with the guitar that have lots of ivory appointments.

There are also quirky things like "Hawaiian" guitars with chunky square necks. If they sounds good, many people send them in to have the neck carved down so you can play it regularly instead of in your lap. Harmony made lots of them and a few other companies made them. Some people keep them square and some like them with a recarved neck.

Gibsons come in too, they have a different set of typical problems than Martins- Gibsons have very deep scalloping on the ends of the horizontal and X braces and Martins are more robust. So over time the tension of the strings causes each structural style to develop a more or less regular set of problems. Martins tend to fold in on themselves with neck moving forward and Gibsons typically have more problems due to the top getting wacky an all pulled up out of shape. So it would not be unusual to disassemble a Gibson, remove the braces from the top and treat it with a hot sand bags to press it back into shape. Or any guitar that has has a set 'S' curve in the top in front of the bridge might get that as a treatment for that condition. But usually not on guitars worth less than $6000.00 because that is an expensive job. A private owner might want that done to save a favorite guitar or a dealer if the guitar is really valuable like $10,000-$20,000, it makes it worth it for putting and utterly unplayable guitar back in shape for the market. I have also seen Martins worth prices a good deal north of those figures, but that usually have to do with nitty gritty collectors issues and not because certain "prewar" styles are better guitars than the humble 0-18's.


The American steel strings made between 1915 ish to the 1960's offer lot lot of diversity, I mean the non Gibson non Martin stuff. There are many styles made by other companies like Washburn, Harmony, Kay etc. and they are now popular to collect and not super pricey. Lot's of those can come through and they are often not expensive. Early Washburns can be found made of oak, they are really great, in fact lots of American steel strings were made of oak. The diversity of things that come though a steel string shop make it really interesting. You may get a Dobro style mandolin or a Kay archtop and each one has specialty makers you can order after market parts for. It's crazy. And the low cost Kay archtop made with plywood can also sound fantastic, so there are surprises every day. If you have a room full of flamenco guitars is just not as exciting in terms of variety. You have Conde's and Non Conde's ....hahaha!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 1:22:40
 
SephardRick

Posts: 357
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

Stephen,

Wow! That is juicy information on vintage steel-strings. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 17:27:19
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Sure, you're welcome. One more thing I forgot to throw in.

Martins are made heavyish in the braces, so a trend of scalloping the braces after they left the factory began I think in the mid to late 1960's. Anyone from a well skilled repair man to a complete ham fisted boob would try to do it. They reach inside the guitar with plne small enough palm in your hand and shaved scallops into the tops of the X braces to weaken them and make them lighter.

It resulted in the guitar becoming more lively and usually brought out more bass if done well. The down side is it killed a great many guitars because anyone would try it. There were even repair guys known for doing this who are now famous/infamous names for being guitar killers.

The result is that many guitars have had to be re-X braced, or in some cases the guitar was so far compromised it was not worth it to work on it. When people began doing this brace shaving an it caught on they would do it to rare serial number guitars or years and styles that later would become highly collectable, lots of guitars were compromised.

The other result is that when the other trend hit, that of the individual luthier movement in the US. The time when small shops began making models based on the classic Martin-Gibson designs, but with more individual style, they payed attention to the idea of scalloping the braces and that became a part of the contemporary method of voicing steel string guitars.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 17:57:48
 
SephardRick

Posts: 357
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

quote:

a complete ham fisted boob would try to do it. They reach inside the guitar with plne small enough palm in your hand and shaved scallops into the tops of the X braces to weaken them and make them lighter


Unfortunately, I have witness that myself from using an X-acto to a pocket knife.

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Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 18:51:06
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

You mean you've actually seen someone carving out scallops on a Martin?

There were a few guys who did it with care, but there were lots to pushed it too far. Not sure how I feel about it. I'm inclined to be against it, but I have heard a few with shaved braces that were really nice.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 19:42:54
 
SephardRick

Posts: 357
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to estebanana

Not on a Martin...but on a Yamaha G-225 built like a coffee table. He carved the closest struts to sound hole, before giving up. Between the mechanics of the carving and blood alcohol level, he gave up in frustration. You run into stupid stuff like that every now and then.
Musicians do really bizarre things.

I was talking to Bubby Whittington about John Mayall's 9-string modified jazz box and just how practical was it. His answer was very political: "When you have a micro-wave in your room, but insist on heating a box left over pizza between two mattresses with 2-liter coke bottles filled with hot water - all to warm up the pizza..." Well I didn't pursue the question after that.

So, I bet there were lots of surprises in the steel string repair business.

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Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2014 21:03:02
 
fishguy

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 21 2016
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:


Fellow



Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: About rosettes (in reply t
Andy Culpepper, britguy

Volume two of the Urlik book is now available at $149.95 from sunnyknollpublishing.com,
with:

Three audio CDs for listening to the collection as played by virtuoso players.
Soundboard thicknesses data tables.
Bridge dimensions tables.
Woods and materials data tables.
Over 50 more pages than the 1st edition - including 16 new guitars (listed at website).

List Foroflamenco.com in the "how did you hear about us" box at checkout
- Mr. Urlik is trying to track where sales are coming from.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 21 2016 14:32:36
 
Vince

Posts: 141
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
From: Germany

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Here is my first self made mosaic rosette. It looks a little dull in the moment, but I think the contrast pops out after finishing.
The guitar is a special order and should come with rich decorative elements in the rosette and purflings!







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http://www.gitarrenbau-held.de/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 26 2016 19:41:20
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3002
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Nice, Vince. Bravo on your first rosette. I really like the back strip.
This is totally up to you as the craftsman, but you'll probably notice that traditionally the herringbone strip is much thinner in the rosette. I've made a ton where I thought it was going to be thin enough for my taste but it ended up being too clunky. Now I just thin them down to what seems to be almost non-existent, but it still shows up in the rosette. I think I finally got this one fine enough for my taste Sometimes I'm a slow learner.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 26 2016 22:59:57
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: About rosettes (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Andy--
Really nice rosette.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2016 0:44:05
 
Vince

Posts: 141
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
From: Germany

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

I was totally focused on the mosaic tiles.
The next time I try a much thinner rope pattern!
Learning by doing!

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Vince
http://www.gitarrenbau-held.de/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2016 5:17:33
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Yeah, nice rosette that, Andy.
Vivid, ... and makes me associate the sensation of nut ice-cream. Yummy!

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2016 7:11:08
 
Vince

Posts: 141
Joined: Oct. 21 2012
From: Germany

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Exactly, the customer called it Candy-Cane-Style!
Much more important than the individually Style of Rosette, Purfling and Binding is the overall Design. As long the overall Design is consistent, it’s only a matter of taste.
Sometimes the single parts look different in a well-chosen overall concept!

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Vince
http://www.gitarrenbau-held.de/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2016 7:51:31
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3002
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: About rosettes (in reply to Vince

quote:

Much more important than the individually Style of Rosette, Purfling and Binding is the overall Design. As long the overall Design is consistent, it’s only a matter of taste.
Sometimes the single parts look different in a well-chosen overall concept!


Very true. Can't wait to see the finished guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 27 2016 23:04:32
 
mmmenk

 

Posts: 54
Joined: Dec. 26 2015
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

hello John,
I am new to this forum, and excuse me if you already have an answer.
I have removed the backs from some great vintage guitars.
A very tedious job. If you are careful, the entire binding and purfling comes off in a piece, and makes it easy to re glue during reconstruction.
If it does not, or things do not work out as expected, then you need a plan b.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2016 6:03:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

*bump*

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2017 0:54:09
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Latest offering using new binding and tiles. Not the best soundboard but a cheap eBay purchase and it should be ok for the build. Saving better boards for when I can see where the designs are going. Not always possible to visualise exactly even if you draw out. Onwards.......





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2018 12:47:06
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

and another......I'm in a rosette mood and trying out a few things with this new(ish) tile. The diagonals are a new one for me and they are not perfect but I did learn a bit making them - the importance of keeping everything square, perpendicular when cutting. Next....





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2018 14:08:08
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: About rosettes (in reply to jshelton5040

Ok last one for now. Super soundboard from Akustic - a 5 year old now 10 with really fine lines. No chances on this so an older tile and better colour balance I think.





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2018 0:00:52
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