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Thicknessing the top

I began to thickness the top as the tedious rosette process was done.
With my large kanna plane, I thicknessed the top and it leave a gleam on the top when seen under light.
As the top was being thicknessed, I also take note of the mass and the frequency response as well as the flex on the top.
When the readings reach my desired range, I stop the thicknessing and it was ready for the next stage.

Thicknessing the top with my kanna

Another view

Look at the shavings

Tapping the top

Analyse the frequency

Final mass of the top is 133g in line with my other tops of similar density


Making the rosette

I started designing and making the rosette while I was doing the neck and other things.
I wasn't quite sure how the rosette would turned out so experimented quite a fair bit in making the tiles for the rosette.
The motif I had in mind was based on the Romanillos arches but I wanted to simplified it a little.
No much photo was taken during the making as I was concentrating on the making instead.
In the end it turned out pretty well, I'd say.

The hard part is to form the arches.
This was achieve by having 2 blank with a triangular cross-section profile.
One blank was planed with a convex based plane while the other having a concave plane.
The final part was sanded using the blank itself to ensure the fitting.
Finally to glue up, a black veneer was sandwiched between the 2 blanks.
After that the blank was cut into tiles.

Arches tile - 2 tile form a arch

Next was to form the pillars which support the arches.
For this I use several blanks which include the red coloured bloodwood.
This part was relatively easier.
As the arches were formed using white as background the pillar section was similarly using white as background too.

Gluing the blank to form the tile for the pillar

Gluing the blank to form the tile

Cross section of the pillar tile

After the tile is cut they are temporarily laid out to see the effect of the rosette.

Pillar tile cut

All the cut tiles

Trying out the tile layout to form the rosette

Subsequently more tile variation were added to the rosette motif.
It has evolved to become like a train bridge of some sorts.
I jointed a centre piece for the embedding of the rosette tiles instead of embedding into the main top directly.
This gives me the option of trying out various designs before inlay into the top.

Create a channel for inlaying the rosette tiles

Testing out the rosette tiles motif

The base layer inlayed

The inlay tiles were planed down to level and I proceed to cut the channels for the other pillar motif section.

Plane the tiles to level

Scribing the 2nd channel for the pillar motif tiles

Route the 2nd channel using router plane

Channel cut

Layout the pillar motif tiles

After the 2nd channel is cut, I began to inlay the 2nd set of tiles with a pillar motif.
In between the pillars, I create a tile that sort of look liked water body with that green blue lines.
So together it looked like a sort of train bridge.

Inlay the 2nd set of tiles

Main motif done

After that I level down the main motif channel mostly by sanding.
All the tiles were essentially end grain and it doesnt take planing too well even with a sharped low angle block plane.
After that I also cut the channel for the surrounding purfling theme.

Central rosette theme level down

Another angle. After sanding the colour also looked better

Channel for the outer purfling is cut

The outer purfling is inlayed

Inlaying purfling

Inlaying purfling

After both purfling is inlayed the rosettte is cut to shape.

Inlaying both the purfling

Rosette cut out roughly

After that the rosette blank backing is thinned down almost to the rosette tiles itself.
This is to prepare for the inlay into the sound board.
Subsequently the channel is cut into the top and inlayed onto the top.

Thinning down the backing

Cut to rosette shape

Marking the rosettte location

Routing the channel

Inlay the rosette

Following that I added a tinge of red purfling to the rosette to make it more compatible with the back wood.
The final rosette looks good and it is the most complex rosette to date.

Inlay the red purfling

Tape it down

Scrape it to flush

Rosette done

Close up view of rosette

After that I added a patch to fill up the hollow which will be covered by the fingerboard.
Then the patch is leveled to flush.

Glue the patch

Patch leveled

Sound hole cut

Rosette done.


Making the neck

I also began to make the neck first by squaring the blank.
Squaring the blank will make marking the dimensions much easier.
Also I tried to plan the length so as to optimised the material used.
These necks will be elevated design so they are longer than usually.

Squaring the blank

Marking the dimensions

I saw the scarf joint and clean the joint up with block plane.
Before that I clamp a guide block to ensure that the saw is tracking properly.
Then I just need to make sure the saw stick to the guide block.
If the sawing is good the clean up is minimal.
During clean up I just need to ensure that the surface are straight and aligned.

Clamp the guide block

Saw the scarf based on the guide block

Clean up the scarf joint afterwards.

After cleaning the scarf

Prepare to glue the neck and head


Both necks done. 2nd neck was done similarly

I made a new head template for the new guitar.
Basically mirroring 2 pieces then join them together.
It has straighter curves more inspired by Simplicio style of head which is easier for carving too.

Making a new head template

I jointed the cut-off from the back to form the headplate.

Shooting the edges for jointing

Preparing to joint


Glued the headplate to the head.

Headplate glued to the head

Trimmed the headplated.

Sawing the excess headplate

Trim to size using block plane

Ready to shape the head

Shaping the head. The head was shaped using block planes and saws and files.

Drillin the slot holes

Shaping the head

Side flushed with the template. Note that the template is supported by aligning dowels


Shaping the head with file

... with saw

Head shaped.

The tuner holes are drilled next.
I have the jig from LMI to guide the drill bit.
Just need to make sure the holes are aligned properly for the 2 sides.
I draw a centre line and extend the 3 lines and use a square on the other side to align the intersection with the centre line.

Drilling the tuner holes with the tuner guide.

Holes drilled

Next I saw away the excess headplate at the fingerboard end.
I had to make sure that the headplate is square to the fingerboard surface.
To do that I use the guide block to saw.
After sawing, I clean up with my chisel.

Saw the excess headplate with a guide block.

Clean up with chisel.

Next I drill away the waste in the tuner slots.
I use a smaller forstner bit than the one at the start and end of the slot.

Drill away the waste in the tuner slot.

Majority of the waste drilled away.

Excess neck was cut from the main neck. The excess portion will form the stacked heel block.

Next I chisel away the waste the tuner slot.
The final sanding still needs to be done though.
I also cut the heel block making sure the grain alignment is the same as the neck.
This will ensure that during the carving stage will be easier.

Chisel the waste

Mostly chiseled away. Rest will be straighten by sanding.

Stacked heel blocks cut to size

I clean up the slot by filing and sanding.
Next I cut away the piece for the elevated fingerboard portion.

Clean up the head slots

Stacked heel with the final foot piece.

Sawing the elevated fingerboard part of the wood form the main neck shaft

Cleaning up the surface

Stacked heel properly aligned

Stacked heel pieces saws to size.


Stacked heel pieces glued. Only the middle portion were glued first in order to facilitate easier planing of the straight back area

Back of the heel planed nicely

The foot piece was gluedto the heel block.

Glued the foot piece to the heel stack