The rosette is an area of the guitar where you can showcase a little woodworking ability and dress up the soundhole. It is also an area that beginners sometimes worry about, because a beautiful rosette can seem difficult. This easy Dremel tool rosette is a great compromise.
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Guitar Making Tip No. 4 – Easy Dremel Rosette
If you have a Dremel tool, this is an easy way to make simple concentric rosette patterns on your acoustic guitar top.
Look for a circle cutting attachment if you do not have one, and some spiral cutters.
The Dremel package that I purchased a while back came with the circle cutting attachment, and a bunch of bits.
The best bits are 1/8 inch shank spiral cutting bits, which can be found online. These bits make short work of the wood removal, and last a very long time. Look for a cutter diameter that matches your inlay material.
Make sure that you use a nicer cutter for this. The super inexpensive cutters tend to tear out the wood quite a bit. If you invest in a nice carbide spiral cutter, it will last. If you shop around a little online, you can find them from some of the larger industrial tooling suppliers. You can also buy them in singles from guitar making suppliers.
Dremel Rosette Setup and Design
Then, make marks near where the fretboard overlaps for the location of your rings.
The design of the rings is completely up to you, and can be simple or elaborate. If you want to inlay one single large ring, then you can use the Dremel tool for it. If you want a few smaller rings, the same tool will work.
Select the diameter of the rings that you want to inlay, and measure half that distance from the center hole. Make your marks in the area that the fretboard will cover after the neck is attached, and plan how many rings will be cut.
You do not have to do full circles either. If you end a section before completing the circle, simply turn off the tool. Once it completely stops, remove it from the wood. In this way, you can add partial circles or arcs to your design.
See Also: How To Make An Acoustic Guitar Bridge
Cutting the First Ring with Your Dremel Tool
Start the cut in the area that will be covered with the end of the fretboard. This is a very important part of this guitar making tip.
If you start the cut under the fretboard area, it will hide any problems that may happen when you make the initial dive into the wood. It also lets you move the Dremel tool if you don’t exactly hit your mark.
The area under the fretboard end will be covered after the guitar is made, hiding any small variances in your cutting.
If any small differences in the area under the fretboard bother you, they can always be filled before the fretboard is placed. In most cases, these are very small areas that will completely fill with your inlay material. If they are larger, feel free to fill them before you attach the neck and fretboard.
Easy Dremel Rosette – Cutting Several Rings
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An additional tip while making an easy rosette with the Dremel tool is to not stop while making the cut. The only place to let the Dremel idle is over the fretboard area.
Make the cut slowly and carefully. Push the Dremel as fast as the cutter will allow, but do not force it. You will feel it move easier through the straighter sections of grain. However, it will also move a little slower through the perpendicular sections. The important thing is to keep moving during the cut.
Once you return to the start of the cut, stop the Dremel tool and inspect your work. Then, move the tool to the next ring, and make the next cut.
The next step is to inlay your easy rosette material and allow it to dry. Once everything has dried well, you can then sand or scrape it all flush to the surface.
It’s a little easier to leave the soundhole opening until after sanding and leveling the rosette. It gives you a little more surface area to work on, and gives the hand plane something to glide over as you work.
If you do cut out the opening first, it’s ok. Just be careful not to ding the inside edges of the opening as you sand.
After you are finished, set the circle cutter to the correct diameter for the soundhole opening, and increase the depth of the bit. Lay the piece on something that you don’t mind cutting, and clamp it. After that, you are ready to cut the opening.
Start your cut, and cut out the soundhole opening carefully. You may need to do a little sanding to remove the starting point. This is completely normal, as it is nearly impossible to get a perfect entry and exit. Use sandpaper and a small block to blend the entry area into the rest of the opening.
If you have any questions about Easy Dremel Rosette – Guitar Making Tips, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends on Pinterest! Happy building.
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