The top was glued up as any other panel would be, only thinner at about 3mm. The material was a lucky find at a local lumberyard. Nicely quartered cedar is easy to find here in BC. Unless noted otherwise, Titebond 3 is the glue used.
Rosettes in classical/flamenco guitars are most often mosaic and herringbone inlay. I love the look of traditional rosettes, but they are complex to make from scratch. Mass-produced rosettes can be purchased from most of the big luthier supply houses. As I’m impatient and wanted to test some of my own design ideas, I decided to make my rosette as a veneer inlay bordered by black stringing.
Here’s my circle cutter and two jig/clamping cauls. The cutting tool is an adjustable blade held in a stock which pivots on a 1/4 inch pin.
My choice for the body of the veneer is yellow cedar a few mm thick. The black veneer edges are glued using pushpins to apply clamping pressure.
Masking tape clamps the inner veneer stringing after the center is cut out. The inlay is planed and scraped flat on both sides.
The shape of the guitar body is known as the plantilla and is traced onto the top plate. A 1/4 inch hole is drilled at the center of what will be the sound hole to act as a pivot for the circle cutter.
After the borders for the rosette channels are cut I use my router plane to excavate it to a consistent depth. In this case I went for a little more than half my inlay’s thickness, about 1.5 mm.
After a test fit I glue in the rosette. Moisture makes things swell a bit so a small drawer knob is used as a burnisher to seat the inlay in the channel.
After everything’s dry the rosette is planed and scraped flush. The gap cut in the inlay is where a section is cut out to make the rosette more flexible. It will be filled with a keystone shaped plug which will be covered by the fretboard.