Rosette Selection

The usage of Rosettes was first utilized  in classical guitar construction,  and it was about the only ornamentation used in classical guitar. This is a carry over from Antonio de Torres, when he made drastic strides to develop the modern classical guitar as we now know it .
Classical Guitar Rosettes:

Classical guitar rosettes are quite complicated to make as they are made from tiny strands of multi-colored wood planks that are glued together in a wafer shape, these wafers or logs are sliced and applied in a circular manner around a form, together with additional multi-colored veneers lines of various thicknesses. It can be very time consuming to make a rosette and usually if one tackles this endeavor, many are made at one time, kind of like a mini-assembly line.

There are a lot of great pre-made rosettes on the market available from a number of guitar suppliers and if you don’t want to spend the time making your own classical guitar rosette you may wish to pursue that route.. My recommendation for the first time classical guitar maker is to purchase one of the great pre-made rosettes and save the crafting of one for a bit later in your career.

Acoustic Guitar Rosettes:

As for acoustic guitars, there are several iterations out there that are very common. Here are a few of them:

A Series Of Three: one thicker ring in the center that usually replicates the edge binding, and two thinner inner and outer rings that set off the center ring. There can be variations on this and one of the more popular ones is to place a circular row of abalone shell within the center ring. This is similar to many of the higher end Martins, Taylors, Takamines and long list of other factory guitars.

Single Ring Rosette: Another common acoustic guitar rosette theme is to stay with a singular ring either with or without the abalone shell. This can be very striking and one of my favorites.

The Classical Rosette: Many luthiers lean toward contemporary versions of the classical style rosettes. These are often simpler versions of the classical rosette and can be very complimentary when used in a fine crafted instrument

The Herringbone Rosette: Finally there is the herringbone rosette. This was popularized by C.F Martin with their D-28 or herringbone as it is often referred to. This is still a three ring application, but with herringbone purfling used for the center ring.

The most typical application for an acoustic is to have the center ring of the rosette mimic the edge binding of the guitar. If you have a white-black-white purfline followed by a black-white binding, that would be one-half of the center ring or a variation thereof. If you use a herringbone purfling, then use a herringbone purfling in the center ring and the same goes for abalone as so on…..

Ukulele Rosettes:

Typically the rosettes used in ukulele construction lean more toward the Acoustic Guitar Rosette style. Most often the Single Ring Rosette is used with great success.

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