The outline of the Concert body shape was drawn on both sides of the Cedar top. On the exterior side of the Cedar I drew in the rosette channel and purfling lines on both sides of the rosette. The interior of the top will contain the bracing, perhaps one of the more important contributing factors to the sound of the guitar. I use a traditional X bracing design that was developed by CF Martin and perfected by James Goodall (in my humble opinion) and slightly modified by me! I drew the bracing outlines directly on the top and I will dimension the bracing to fit perfectly within these patterns.
The next step is to insert the rosette and purfling lines. I use a Dremel tool with a special circular base I obtained from StewMac, a major supplier of luthier tools. First I route out the rosette channel. I made a rosette from a wood called Bocote that has beautiful lines of browns, blacks and tans. It looks awesome against the Western Red Cedar! Next I route out two narrow purfling channels on both sides of the rosette. I will use purfling made of Koa/Maple/Koa to compliment the Bocote.
After routing out the channels, I test the rosette and purfling to make sure there is a snug, but not too tight fit. This time it is perfect and I do not have to re-route. I clean up the channel bottom and sides using 220 grit sandpaper.
Now it is time to glue in the rosette. A thin film of luthier”s glue is spread on the bottom and sides of the channel. The rosette is inserted and pressed into place. The glue squeezeout is wiped off after rubbing a thin film on top of the rosette. I place wax paper over the rosette and I use a caul that applies equal pressure to the entire rosette.
The same process is repeated for the purfling lines: apply glue, position the purfling, press into place, clear excess glue and clamp with the caul. After the glue has set (over 24 hours), I use a sanding block with 220 paper to even the purfling and rosette with the top. It really looks beautiful with this combination of natural woods.
I really want to thank my wife for taking all the pictures. She prefers to remain nameless but she is a great help!
Next up is bracing the soundboard.