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Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

Rosette making 

As it's winter in UK and I can't really get in my garage workshop due to cold, I've bought some work into the house. Namely rosette making.

Attempting to make a rosette for future guitar build.

I remember when I made my first rosette under guidance and really enjoyed the process. It was fiddly and intricate for sure but all made sense and didn't really have any major hitches.

This time however, many unexpected issues seems to be appearing.

Firstly, when I initially made my blocks (for each row of the rosette) one of them somehow got depressed in a certain area. (Maybe I clamped too hard when glueing) so now they while piece, and every strip I slice off of it has about a 20mm length dent on it.

Also, when I began to plane each strip from each block. Down to 0.5mm they were all just breaking up and shedding. I think this must've been an issue with my plane being too blunt? I tried to sharpen and thought I had a really sharp blade but it still shredded.

So now I'm using a sanding block with two strips of veneer taped to it to thickness each strip. But every so often the strip im sanding gets stuck on the taped on veneer and bends and buckles. (Sometimes snapping)

I've seen it done with a scraper with two veneers taped onto the work bench. But this feels a bit harsh and liable to snapping too.

So I'm still trying to decide on the best method. I think it's the sanding method but it takes a while because I deliberately cut the steps extra long on the bandsaw to avoid any early breakages..

Are there any other methods of thicknessing these strips? Some kind of jig/plate for my drum sander that all strips sit in and can be done at once? Or is the drum sander for such a task like using a sword as a tooth pick?

I also seem to be struggling with the strips coming apart as they get down to 0.5mm. I suppose that's a lack of glue when I initially glued the blocks?

Anyway, something I hoped would be a calming, therapeutic activity in the winter evenings is turning into something different.

Sorry. Not really sure what I'm asking. Just venting a bit as usual.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 11:03:05
 
orsonw

Posts: 1956
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Hi Stu

I can't offer any advice. But wondering if Pablo Requena may have some answers for you on one or other of his youtube videos? He has several long videos on rosette making.

When he lived in the UK he did some excellent repair work for me. His precision, processes and use of jigs was masterful.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pablo+requena+rosette
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 11:49:44
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Stu,

Excellent thread, I read it all, but can’t respond due to time limitations. I can give you some feedback tomorrow, in the meantime I hope some of the other rosette makers jump in and discuss.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 12:34:16
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to estebanana

Cheers guys.

Yes Orson. Pablo was one of the tutors who helped me build my first geetar and therefore rosette. He used the scraper method on one of his videos. Which looks so simple when he does it. But when I do it... It doesn't quite flow! But yes on a general point, his videos are exceptional .

I'm a disciple!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 14:11:01
 
RobF

Posts: 1616
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Howdy Stu, I’m a little time crunched, too, so I’ll just fly through the points with brief observations…

Stu: Firstly, when I initially made my blocks (for each row of the rosette) one of them somehow got depressed in a certain area. (Maybe I clamped too hard when glueing) so now they while piece, and every strip I slice off of it has about a 20mm length dent on it.

A. Toss that sandwich and make a new one. It’s the quickest and easiest out.

Stu: Also, when I began to plane each strip from each block. Down to 0.5mm they were all just breaking up and shedding. I think this must've been an issue with my plane being too blunt? I tried to sharpen and thought I had a really sharp blade but it still shredded.

A. It sounds like the blade is still too dull, are you cutting with the plane at an angle? The angle gives a slicing action as opposed to shearing if you approach the strip head on, so if you weren’t angling, try that.

Stu: So now I'm using a sanding block with two strips of veneer taped to it to thickness each strip. But every so often the strip im sanding gets stuck on the taped on veneer and bends and buckles. (Sometimes snapping)

A. Only sand in one direction away from the clamping spot. It’s buckling when your sanding swipe goes back towards the clamp. I would personally return to the plane method and try to make that work, however, but honestly there is no one definitive way. Whichever works for you is the correct method at that particular moment in time.

Stu: I've seen it done with a scraper with two veneers taped onto the work bench. But this feels a bit harsh and liable to snapping too.

A. I use a scraper, one of those Lee Valley string inlay scrapers. I also have a pull scraper setup, too, which is an old school in concept but made by a local machinist but honestly the plane method works just as well.

Stu: So I'm still trying to decide on the best method. I think it's the sanding method but it takes a while because I deliberately cut the steps extra long on the bandsaw to avoid any early breakages..

Are there any other methods of thicknessing these strips? Some kind of jig/plate for my drum sander that all strips sit in and can be done at once? Or is the drum sander for such a task like using a sword as a tooth pick?

A. Drum sander is too blunt an instrument, unless it’s one of those mini machines that rich guys use.

Stu: I also seem to be struggling with the strips coming apart as they get down to 0.5mm. I suppose that's a lack of glue when I initially glued the blocks?

A. Not enough glue, or the glue is drying while you’re applying it. I started using a traditional method I saw on a Ramirez video. While dry, layer your strips in the correct order to make the stick. Hold it in one hand at the end and fan the strips out. Then dip your other hand in the glue and use your fingers to coat the strips. Close the fan, grab the other end, fan it out, and finish coating the strips with glue. Then close it up, form the square with your fingers (surprisingly accurate when done by feel) and gently squeeze out the excess glue. The stick can then be placed in a form and clamped. Messy, but very accurate and fast.

Following on this, and regardless of how the glue is applied, the form should be accurate to the final dimension. Don’t clamp with pressure, the form should be constructed in a manner to prevent this (this is how you were taught, actually, but it’s easy to forget).

Finally, check your veneer thicknesses. I bought a crapload of veneer from Gurian when he was closing up shop and they sent a bunch of poorly dimensioned sheets. Making a perfect rosette is hard enough without using flawed raw material so avoid disappointment by checking first and discarding/repurposing faulty sheets.

As far as the clamping jig goes, Ethan makes his by routing a channel in wood, the course you took used Teflon sheets to make glue proof forms, you can use hardboard to do the same and glue-proof it with plastic boxing tape, John Ray preforms his sticks with a curved jig, my nephew does something similar, with excellent results, another friend preforms with a press, Pablo has a video showing how to make a simple sanding jig to add the taper, which is what I’ve done ever since seeing that video, you were taught how to taper using the curved blade of a no.5 plane (also a great way except I would recommend sourcing an old plane and make a purpose built clamp for it, to avoid deforming the sides of your ‘good’ plane in the bench clamp). There’s a thousand ways.

Finally, I think is important for new makers to foster a creative yet matter-of-fact attitude towards jig making. Just get in the habit of thinking up new ways to make jigs and try to take the idea of jig making in stride as being a normal part of the process. When you visit the shops of other makers, scan their shelves and ask about any interesting jigs. You’ll learn so much that way, but will also realize each maker has cooked up clever, creative, and unique ways to solve common problems. It’s all part of the joy of it.

Hope that helps. There’s no one right or wrong answer to some of this stuff. It more boils down to what’s comfortable and what materials and tools are available. Out of everything I said, I think the last paragraph is the most important.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 14:15:26
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to RobF

Rob many thanks. Your detailed post doesn't seem to validate your claim of being time crunched!! very generous of you to answer each point.

Yes I did cut with the plane at an angle. I just probably need to sharpen it even more.

Thanks for all your comments. They all make good sense.

Re: Adding the taper to the stick once glued and dried. I think we did learn that with a sanding block actually. And not plane.

Anyway thanks again for now. If I can manage it. I'll try and upload some photos. Seems to always add to a thread.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 15:10:45
 
RobF

Posts: 1616
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

quote:

Re: Adding the taper to the stick once glued and dried. I think we did learn that with a sanding block actually. And not plane.


Ahhh, OK. Once I learned the sanding method I stopped using the plane, it’s a really accurate way to do it, hard to mess up actually.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 15:19:04
 
Morante

 

Posts: 2208
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to RobF

Never could understand why luthiers spend so much time making rosettes when they could be making guitars. My guitar, which is top class, has a mariposa rosette, which is my favourite. It used to cost 300 pesetas from Barber.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 15:50:00
 
RobF

Posts: 1616
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Morante

quote:

ORIGINAL: Morante

Never could understand why luthiers spend so much time making rosettes when they could be making guitars. My guitar, which is top class, has a mariposa rosette, which is my favourite. It used to cost 300 pesetas from Barber.



Yeah, my Conde has the same rosette as your Gerundino and I have a couple of identical pre-mades on hand. Funny story, I examined a Gerundino Hijo guitar a couple of years ago and mentioned to the owner that the rosette was pre-made. I didn’t think much of it and only mentioned it in passing in a matter-of-fact manner. The owner flipped out and accused me of I’m not even sure what and then stormed off in a rage. I never spoke to that fool again, and I plan on keeping it that way.

Using pre-made saves a lot of time, that’s for certain. I don’t fault anyone who does it. It’s fun to make your own, though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 16:04:04
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1689
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

quote:

This time however, many unexpected issues seems to be appearing.


I get one or more with every build.

_____________________________

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www.edluthier.com
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 19:34:07
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to constructordeguitarras

few pics of stage 1









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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 21:48:25
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Few pics of stage 2.

The tiles/coaster were the inspiration fo rthis kind of design.

Always enjoyed a classic Spanishy blue and white tile. added some yellow.






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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 21:51:13
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

After a bit of stress earlier with half the strips assembled i can see its working!!!


rough sketch of the final thing







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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 21:55:53
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 208
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

I have never done it but some folks use a drum sander with very fine paper to thickness the slices from the initial sandwich. Use a very flat board with sandpaper stuck to it to hold the strips in place. As always, with a machine if something goes wrong it can screw up an awful lot of work. A perfectly set up sander would be essential: rectified drum and support board.

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John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 22:03:23
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 208
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

This post shows what Rob mentioned but it also shows the thicknesser I use. It is very robust and has a very fine screw adjustment to move the lefthand block towards the blade.
https://johnguitar.com/rosette-making/

I cut the strips on the saw and then pass them through the thicknesser.

_____________________________

John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 22:06:24
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to johnguitar

Thanks John. Great

Yes, I've seen that part of your website before but nice to be reminded I will have another look. Looks like some interesting ideas and jigs.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2024 22:14:01
 
johnguitar

 

Posts: 208
Joined: Jan. 10 2006
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to johnguitar

Here is a better photo of my thicknesser.

Attachment (1)

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John Ray
https://www.johnguitar.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 7:57:53
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to johnguitar

Hi John, is that blade adjustable? Or hard set at 0.5mm?


Also do you just pull through with your hand?

I imagine your have to exert some pressure with the hand you are holding the strip with so as to pull out through. Is there not a risk of one snapping the piece with ones grip?
I feel like that was happening with me when I was testing the scraper method.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 8:40:01
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

John, i see you use a round mold when glueing.

I was taught to fashion/sand a taper into the block after its glued up. (like me and rob were talking about.)

I was going to ask how a round mold make square pieces round? but i see your thicknesser jig thicknesses each piece with a wedge shape. that's interesting

So what thickness are your two ends of the wedge? 0.5mm and 0.4mm?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 10:47:26
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 634
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Back in the day there was a very interesting, fun and useful thread called 'Luthiers Share Tool Ideas'. Quite popular, then died - http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=235630&mpage=1&p=&tmode=1&smode=1&key=

I posted the veneer version below as probably my most effective method of thicknessing. The boards...boards?...do tend to lift at the ends so a bit of care is needed, but they don't break like I found happened with the pull through a scraper method which I was taught at Leeds College of Music Luthierie. Note the blade is curved to you can iterate down to the correct thickness.

Couple of other ideas which might help.









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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 11:00:56
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 634
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Only tried this once. Bit too metally and not 'woody' enough for me. Bah. Woody.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 11:05:01
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to El Burdo

Hey thanks! I like that little veneer cradle idea.

Whats the semi circle piece for? has that got sand paper on it?

Also I'll look at that old thread. but feel like itll make me sad and pine for the old days on here where activity was v busy!


I also struggle with the enormous photo issue! haha

Nice colours in your strip there! any pics of the finished rosette?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 11:09:34
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 634
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Not sure what you mean by cradle idea? [edit: ah, got it yes, single veneers of mahogany]

The mahogany strips are the same thickness as the eventual tile strips and it was a bodge I quite liked! The strip being worked on does lift though, so care had to be taken. Obviously you can reverse, obverse, the strips to get consistency. It was better than the pull through blade method as my impatience caused me to break as many as I thicknessed.

The semi circle piece is a solid sound hole mounted on the board to get the curve right on the individual tile bars - never managed to get the sides quite right though
(Thinking about it, I don't remember doing anything about the top curve - but I think I just used a file, or sanding block for that.

My rosette - I posted a similar story to your one above. It was very heartening to receive so many positive comments and i miss them. http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=184949&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=&tmode=&smode=&s=#249336

Love the ideas in your rosette - good luck.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 12:32:42
 
El Burdo

 

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 12:43:34
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 634
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

sigh....another couple...

I enjoyed making use of symmetry! (though they were always a bit dodgy - or 'vibrant!' as I think of of them...)





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 12:53:06
 
El Burdo

 

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RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

And finally. Tried a variety of glueing methods as well.

I also was always bothered by the enormous waste of wood. I didn't make enough guitars i guess.









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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 12:59:57
 
RobF

Posts: 1616
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to johnguitar

quote:

ORIGINAL: johnguitar
Here is a better photo of my thicknesser.


I have a similar one, which I’ve used to scrape purfling from the edge of binding before installation. I like it because the person who made it cleverly used two threads on the adjusting rod. As you screw in the knob at the frame it also screws into the blade holder but, since the threads are different, the distance travelled into the holder is less, which allows it to move forward or backwards. It’s kind of ingenious. I don’t use it to thickness rosette strips, however, I’ve only ever used to scrape binding strips.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 15:22:09
 
Stu

Posts: 2618
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Rosette making (in reply to El Burdo

Sorry couldn't think of a word to describe it. I mean the mahogany strips. On the table to hold the piece while you scrape it.


Nice link to your initial inspiration thread! I really like the way you lifted the floor time design exactly!! And why not. It looks cool!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 16:35:06
 
JasonM

Posts: 2080
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Rosette making (in reply to RobF

quote:

I have a similar one


Holy cow that thing is built heavier than a brick **** house! You could slice jamon razor thin on that contraption
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2024 21:15:12
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Rosette making (in reply to Stu

Where are you guys getting these chunky all metal veneer thining planes?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 16 2024 1:41:10
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