Day 6: Embedding the rosette, cutting the soundboard

Today’s progress involved embedding the rosette into the soundboard, cutting the sound hole, and cutting out the shape of the soundboard.

Embedding the rosette:

This was an intricate process, much like the creation of the rosette, but you need to be even more precise. The idea is to rout out the exact shape/depth/width of the rosette, and embed it to create a decorative inlay.The more precise you are, the more professional it will look. If you aren’t accurate you could end up taking off too much wood, which will leave a gap in the surface. This can be repairable, but isn’t ideal.

I already had a centre hole created on the sound board. This provides the router with an anchor to circle around. I had to measure the dimensions of the rosette – its inner circumference and outer circumference. It was a fiddly process of finding the depth and the dimensions. I slowly worked my way out, routing fractions of a millimetre at a time, till the rosette fit the circle. It was near perfect. There is a tiny little gap in one or two places around the circle, but it’s SO close to perfect. To fill in this gap, I may need to create a sawdust paste out of glue and sassafras sawdust, but we’ll see.

A wedge was cut in the rosette to allow it to be pressed into the routed area. This won’t be seen, as the neck and fretboard will cover this.


Routing the soundhole:
This was the same process as creating and embedding the rosette. Measure 100mm sound hole, route out, slowly peeling off fractions of a mm at time till you cut through the entire soundboard. The reason you don’t route through all at once is to reduce risk of large fragments of timber splintering off.

I then ran the front face of the soundboard through the drum sander to smooth the surface after embedding the rosette.


Cutting out the soundboard:
I traced the shape of the guitar onto the soundboard and ran it through the band saw, leaving 1.5cm excess around the outline. It would be a disaster to cut into the soundboard now…. It’s a careful process.

The soundboard was sanded to 3mm thick. I only sanded the inside face of the soundboard. To sand the outside face would only take off layers of the rosette, and some people have been known to sand through the rosette…… The beautiful pinky streaks in the Bunya Pine are starting to shine up.

I’m STOKED with how it’s looking. It’s great to see it coming together, ever so slowly.


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