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Fixing a bad spot in spruce
Author
Post
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
I have an issue with my rosette. I had LMI inlay it for me when I ordered the kit. I didn't notice until I had my top glued on, that there was a patch where the fine herringbone was messed up, and it had just been filled with glue. At first I thought it was just extra squeeze out that I could sand off, so I worried little about it. I found out it was glue after sanding at it, so I thought I would scrape it out, and fill it with black epoxy. Stupid mistake! The black wicked into the grain of the spruce. So I scratched it down enough to get the black out. So I guess I need to replace the entire rosette, and fix the spot of missing spruce, if possible. Any suggestions or ideas to make a decent repair of this situation? I'll get a photo up shortly.

Jun 12, 09 | 2:04 pm
matthewrust

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 102
Is there any chance that the fingerboard or pickguard will cover it? Too easy...

To me, routing out the rosette slot when the top is already attached sounds nearly impossible. If you can't cover it up, you may want to either leave it alone so it doesn't get worse or remove the top, return to LMI and start fresh...

Jun 12, 09 | 2:24 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
The fingerboard isn't going to cover it. I wish I would have left it alone now, because its to a point-of-no-return now. Here's a pic of it. I've removed the bad section of rosette already. When I applied heat, the center seam split just a bit at the soundhole. I put a drop of CA in there to hole it still hopefully.


Jun 12, 09 | 2:31 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
The arrows mark where spruce needs repaired somehow.

Jun 12, 09 | 2:32 pm
matthewrust

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 102
Man... Not sure about that. You may hear better advice, but retopping may be as easy as using an iron to heat up the perimeter and prying it off.


Jun 12, 09 | 2:56 pm
Running Dog

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 103
Repairing is a lot harder than getting it right the first time -- I should know, I share a shop with a fine repair tech. Her motto: Don't make it worse than it already is.

Also, I screw up sometimes ...

At this point, on one of my guitars, I'd bite the bullet and pull the top and start over. I can't think of any way to approach this that would be effective and any less work than starting over. I've had to do it twice in my career and it hurts but it was the right thing to do.

You will have an obvious repair no matter what you do. Never use CA on spruce unless you want to see a dark line that goes all the way through the wood. Hide glue is about the most invisible adhesive on spruce; everything else shows. And, it's virtually impossible to do an invisible repair on rosette lines, especially with the soundhole cut out (so there's no longer a center point to work from).

At a guess -- and it is a guess -- there was some tear-out at that point from the router. It's in a spot that's likely to give problems. Glue filled it but you were able to see it and the "fixes" you tried made things worse. The gouges in the surface (you used a scraper or razor blade, right?) can't be removed without thinning the spruce a lot, judging from the picture. Matching the veneer lines and the herringbone is going to be a nightmare. And it won't be covered by a pickguard. I doubt that you could even use a sunburst to obscure the damage. Darn!

The only thing I can think of is to carefully and slowly remove the whole rosette, heating carefully, perhaps using some De-Glue-Goo to help, and installing a new one of identical proportions. Then you would have to scrape and sand it level on a domed top. Not easy ... and you'll still have that CA line on the center seam.

If it's of any solace, my ex used to leave the house when I inlaid rosettes. The air was very tense, indeed. And hanging on the wall of my shop are several examples of rosette screw-ups: reminders not to get cocky!

Jun 12, 09 | 3:05 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
Thanks for the advice guys. Just so you know, that picture shows the upper bout, so the center seam will be covered by the fingerboard.

I was hoping there would be a good way to fill the low spots to hide it to a degree, but it doesn't sound like I'm gonna be that lucky. I don't want to have to do the top again....but I may have too.

Jun 12, 09 | 5:16 pm
moocatdog

Total Topics: 35
Total Posts: 302
I don't know if this would work, but it might be fun to attempt something creative before trashing the top entirely. Forget about a traditional rosette. Maybe you could remove the herringbone and inner rings, hand rout some kind of asymmetrical shape within the outer rings (just enough to remove the damaged area) and then inlay an interesting design, or pattern of different woods, etc. Who knows, it might turn out really cool. If not, you'd still learn a lot about inlay techniques. If the top has to come off, it has to come off. Not much to lose, really.

Just my .02 cents,

George :-)

Jun 12, 09 | 6:40 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Rick (Running Dog) above said, "And, it's virtually impossible to do an invisible repair on rosette lines, especially with the soundhole cut out (so there's no longer a center point to work from)." It reminded me of something I did last year that might help with rerouting the rings. Make a false center insert for the soundhole.

I needed to rerout the rosette on two early guitars -- as you can tell by the bad workmanship on them -- so came up with a way to make it work. Used this on two guitars to add rosette rings. I had done a thin bad looking rosette on both of them, and wanted to improve it at least a little bit. I still don't like it much, but it's better that it was. The procedure worked, at least.

The scrap wood I used had been used before, so it already had holes (red X's). The wood was held up in the soundhole with a bunch of foam stuffed inside the body.






The second one was on a redwood top. I had just put in the abalone and wanted additional rings of purfle.



Jun 13, 09 | 4:58 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
yep --- that's how its done, my set-up is almost the exactly the same to retro pearl, the only difference was/is I have the pin attached to the dremel base instead of the soundhole insert.

Ken

Jun 13, 09 | 5:52 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Here’s my cheesy DIY circle cutter base – works with a trim router too.






Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978

Jun 13, 09 | 6:10 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ken -- um, the router base wasn't the point. The point was being able to rout without having wood in the soundhole. ... A possible remedy for the situation at hand.

Jun 13, 09 | 6:26 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I realize that Bill, just wanted to present a tool that could be made at home to do the job without having to more spend $$$, not every one has that expensive SM attachment.

Ken

Jun 13, 09 | 6:47 am
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
Thanks for the idea Bill. I was trying to visualize a way to do that with the soundhole cut out. I would still need to get the router base/rosette cutter combo you have there. I was freehand cutting some of it last light, using the dremel plastic cutting base as a depth guide. It worked alright, but opened up the possibility for more missing spruce. You gave me another idea, I can add a thin purfling line on the inside and outside of the herringbone. That may cover it up. Its worth trying rather than trash the top.

Jun 13, 09 | 7:08 am
Jim_H

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 212
I did something very similar to what Bill shows here. I wouldn't call it a rousing success, but I was able to get a decent result.

Jun 13, 09 | 11:02 am
Running Dog

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 103
I really like Bill C's "false center" approach! Drill a pilot hole in scrap, rout to the soundhole diameter, and voila! Ought to be about as accurate as anything can be. Thanks, Bill!

Jun 13, 09 | 1:02 pm
RayRay

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Juat an observation from a green "Newbe"...if the crack becomes a problem..and you aren't happy it.. may also be possible using Bill's method and tool to enlarge or re-cut the hole as Martin did with their Clarence White model..thus elminating the CA issue AND the crack in the process of re-doing the rosette.

Jun 13, 09 | 3:18 pm
Jim_H

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 212
I believe the Clarence white sound hole is only about 1/4"-1/2" larger than normal. I think if he enlarged the sound hole enough to remove the damaged area, the sound hole would be far too large (5" or more).

Jun 13, 09 | 5:08 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ryan,
It sounds like you already have the dremel. You can get a circle cutting attachment for your dremel (dremel brand) for about $12 that you can use for routing. That is what I have and it works just fine. I mailed ordered mine since I couldn't find it at the hardware store, but Lowe's sells many of the attachments, and your local store may have it.
By the way, I had a bad spot in my rosette, and although I had not yet cut out my sound hole, I did rout out the entire rosette and reinstalled it, and the second time it came out very nice. I think with Bill's idea for creating a new center, you can do it. If it ends up too wide, fill in with an extra ring of purfling. Can you order what you need from LMI; new herringbone and purfling. Good luck.





Kevin

Jun 13, 09 | 7:16 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
I went ahead and ordered the routing base/rosette cutter from stew mac. I wanted one so here's a good reason. I have a new herringbone on the way, and various purfling strips, so I think I can make it happen.

Having never done a rosette before, let em ask this, which glue should I use?

Jun 14, 09 | 10:21 am
matthewrust

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 102
LMII white glue or Titebond.

Jun 16, 09 | 11:35 am
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
Ok well I've routed out the main herringbone. I went a little bigger with the dremel after that to make room for an additional piece of purfling. I just don't like the look of it. Its going to be too close to the outer BWB purfling, and the inner as wel if I made it symmetrical.

So I'm thinking I'll rout out the entire rosette area, and find something to fill it. Any ideas? Its 106mm inside diameter, and 136mm inside diameter, 15mm wide.

Jun 18, 09 | 3:55 pm
matthewrust

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 102
LMI sells really thick rings of solid wood that may look good. Not sure about your design preference...
http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Rosettes&NameProdHeader=+Solid+Wood+Rosettes

Jun 19, 09 | 4:19 am
llajoy

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
My quick advice, before you rout any more for this rosette, step back and determine how you want to fill the gap. Then if you are going to order a different rosette or make your own, get it in hand. Then go back to routing what needs to be removed. Wood is forgiving in that you can always take more off. But not so if you need to replace it.

Sometimes it's better to walk away and think then to keep going. IF it takes a day or six, that's OK. I've put things down for weeks to think about how I want to repair a mistake. It's far better than compounding it.

Just my opinion.
Lance.

Jun 19, 09 | 2:14 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
Thanks for the advice everyone. Here's what I ended up with. I think it'll do. In the process I learned how to do a rosette. Thats one of those things that scared the daylights out of me, but being forced into doing it, now I'm more at ease. Its gotta be tons easier on a flat top without the soundhole cut out yet.


Jun 23, 09 | 5:24 pm
matthewrust

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 102
That looks really cool. Not quite traditional, but a good learning experience. I absolutely butchered the purfling channel on my top and that forced me to buy some ebony instead of plastic and use a wider purfling... Long story short, I made a bending iron and have some experience with it for my next build.

Jun 24, 09 | 5:44 pm
moocatdog

Total Topics: 35
Total Posts: 302
Good save and useful skills acquired. Well done!

George :-)

Jun 24, 09 | 8:43 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ryan,
I think it turned out great! Good job!

Kevin

Jun 25, 09 | 5:57 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ryan -- yours came out 'way better than mine! Looks great --
Biill

Jun 25, 09 | 7:12 am
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
I appreciate it guys! Thanks!

Jun 25, 09 | 5:11 pm
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
Ryan, this is the first time I've even read this forum and I read every post. Let's just say as it was all working its self out in the forum, I had no idea it was going to look that good. I was really surprised at how good it turned out, it looks like it's supposed to be that way ;)

Dan

Jun 25, 09 | 9:36 pm
RyanHowell

Total Topics: 10
Total Posts: 46
Thanks Dan

I was very close to routing the whole thing out and putting in a classical style rosette wide enough to cover it all, but there was more chance of messing things up and ruining the top altogether. And the more I looked at the different classical rosettes, they didn't fit the look of the guitar.

Jun 26, 09 | 5:44 am
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
Yea, alvarez used to do that, or still does I don't know. My dad has a steel string dread with a classical style rosette that doesn't really fit the guitar. The additional b/w/b you added fits the size and the style.

Dan

Jun 26, 09 | 9:58 am



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