How to Make Guitar Rosettes

Written by adam raphael
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How to Make Guitar Rosettes
Create the rosette for your guitar. (guitare image by Moustique from

Creating music is a wonderful way to express yourself and release creative energies. Playing an instrument, like a guitar, allows you to express your personality and individuality. You can express yourself even further by creating rosettes to decorate your guitar. The rosette is the circular detail on the surface of your guitar and is one of the most noticed elements of the instrument. Rosette-making is a slow, exact practice, but if you are willing to be patient and precise you can make original designs from your home to distinguish your guitar from any other.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Coloured pencils
  • Coloured veneer strips
  • Glue
  • Toothbrush
  • Lumber pieces
  • Clamps
  • Table saw
  • Low-angle block plane
  • Laminate
  • File

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  1. 1

    Draw your rosette design onto a piece of graph paper with coloured pencils. The diagram should be square.

  2. 2

    Orient the coloured veneer strips according to your rosette diagram. Create a stack for each vertical column of the design.

  3. 3

    Start with the first column on the left of the diagram and the bottom square of that column. Lay a strip of that colour onto a surface. Place the next strip corresponding to the next square up on the first column. Lay a strip for each coloured square.

  4. 4

    Set aside the first stack of strips and continue to make a stack for each vertical column of the diagram. As you finish each stack keep them oriented according to the design.

  5. 5

    Pick up one of the stacks and grasp one end between your thumb and forefinger. Fan out the stack so each strip is exposed.

  6. 6

    Apply the glue with a toothbrush to each strip, on both sides.

  7. 7

    Push the strips back together and apply glue to the end that was covered by your fingers. Do this for all of the stacks.

  8. 8

    Position each stack between two pieces of lumber and secure the lumber in place with clamps. Let the glue dry.

  9. 9

    Place one of the planks onto the bed of a table saw so the strips are lying horizontally.

  10. 10

    Saw very thin planks off the stack using the low-angle block plane. You should have a bisection of the stack, showing a layer of each of the coloured veneers. Cut into all of the stacks in the same way.

  11. 11

    Take a plank from each of the stacks and line them up so they create the design from your diagram.

  12. 12

    Hold the planks very tightly and laminate them together to make a new stack of the actual rosette. Let the laminate dry.

  13. 13

    Put the rosette stack onto the table saw with the design facing you and cut off a very thin slice. This is a single rosette and it is ready to be used.

Tips and warnings

  • Start out with simple designs and work up to more complicated ones.
  • Use caution when using a table saw with small pieces of wood.

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