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Inlaying a Guitar Rosette

The world is made of stories. Good stories are hard to come by, and a good story that you can honestly call your own is an incredible gift. These stories are part of a bigger story that connects us all.

Gary Synder, Back on the Fire and Other Essays, 2007

Sorry to post again so soon, but I installed a rosette in a spruce top yesterday. Today, before I head down the hill to Home Depot for lumber to start framing the floor in the garage, I wanted to inlay a rosette on a redwood top. David Schramm has a great article on his website for inlaying a rosette, it's quite detailed and I highly recommend reading it.

Here I've finished routing out the channel, the scariest part is not making it too wide, at the inside and outside edge I'd take less than a 64th of an inch at a time. The rosette was purchased from Luthiers Mercantile International, Inc. (LMI), it was made in Russia and goes well with the redwood.

The channel is completed and the rosette fits well.

Yesterday, when I went to drill the hole for the pivot pin for the Dremel base, I had forgotten that my drill press is small enough that I can't get the drill bit exactly over the center hole for drilling. I had to find my father-in-law's old Reliance eggbeater drill. I did a good job on the spruce top drilling the center hole, but because redwood is softer then spruce I had a little trouble with getting the hole to center on the right spot. I had to enlarge it some and then put some double sided tape to hold the top down in the right spot. This is going to cause me some heartache when I go to cut out the soundhole. Oh, well.

This is how I glue down a rosette. I heated up a piece of pine board in the oven, drilled a hole for the center pin, slathered glue in the channel, installed the rosette and used almost every book I have on guitar making. Will post more photos of tops with rosettes later.

YouTube for the day: This kid (I call him a kid 'cause he is only 30!) is amazing! There are so many wonderful young guitarists today.


  1. looks nice, i like all the guitar books being used as weights, cheers, ~rico

  2. Thanks, Rico! You make do with what ya got!


  3. Looks great!
    I'm with you and Rico on harnessing the power of books. There's something that won't work with an iPad full of e-books!

  4. Rob, that's hilarious, no matter how many "books" you put on a kindle it just doesn't get any heavier

  5. Another outstanding video. What is the dark wood piece on the top of the guitar under his elbow?

  6. Tico:

    I just took a quick look at Marek's website and couldn't find out who made his guitar, I assume it is an armrest.



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