The individual elements are cut from strips of ebony and holly that I thickness to about 1.5mm. The spacers are prepared with black-white purfling material. When I first made this rosette I constructed a miniature mitre--box to duplicate the two angles. However, the angles in the mitre box were slightly wrong. This didn't manner in assembling the first few pieces but the error multiplied and became significant. Finally I was making so many adjustments to the cut pieces and to the mitre-box that I scraped it and started cutting the lozenges "free-hand". In this method the first cut is always the same angle and can be marked with a gauge. The angle of the second cut is determined by the next segment line. Even if this cut proves to be slightly inaccurate the lozenge can still be used because the correction can be made on the next lozenge. This design is so "busy" visually that slight imperfections are unnoticeable. Note also that the material that I cut the lozenges from is wide enough that there is an excess of material on each side of the finished design. This is intentional. If I happen to make a lozenge too small or too large I can still achieve a proper fit by moving it in or out from the center. I glue each piece in place with hot hide glue holding it in position with a push pin and spring clamp. I am in no hurry when I assemble one of these so every so often during my work day I will make and glue a lozenge. This method suits my work habits. It depends on the spontaneous accuracy of hand and eye rather than mechanical repetition.
of the design and carefully and accurately cut it free
from the excess scrap using a small router. The spruce
backing protects the rosette and keeps it intact during
this operation. I then rout a cavity in the soundboard for the rosette to sit in. Members of the Voboam family used a variety of designs around the outer edge of the rosette including thin black and white purfling material that I favor. I then thin out the spruce backing and glue the rosette in its recess.
There is a very useful article by Florence Gétreau on the various construction elements found in the guitars of the Voboam family including a list of barring patterns. In my next post on this guitar I will lay-out the pattern and explain several options that I have used previously.