The purfling detail on the original guitar is composed of five bands of ebony and five of ivory that wrap around the perimeter of the guitar body in one piece. Each band is about 0.7mm thick. I substituted holly for ivory. I make my own banding by band sawing lengths of appropriate woods with widths of 30 or 40 millimeters. After smoothing and thinning to the required thickness I stack them one on the other, as many as 10 high, and glue them together. After they have dried I square the two rough edges and saw off several pieces and smoothed with a small plane. Each piece is then composed of multiple bands that only need to be soaked in warm water to dissolve the glue and then dried or bent while still damp.
I use a small router fitted with a simple guide to cut the rabbet. Setting the guide to the proper depth I make a series of passes gradually widening the recess. I test fit the 10 ebony/holly bands and stop when the wider ebony piece fits comfortably.
In this photo I masked the corner of the rabbet with cellophane tape and glued the last 30 - 40 mm of the pre-bent banding together. I wedged it temporarily into the recess so it would dry in the proper alignment.
Once all of the banding was in place and well dried I scraped it flush with the soundboard.
I assembled the rosette before I finished thicknessing the soundboard. This allowed me a little lee-way with the depth of the recess and the process of levelling the face once I was finished or if something were to go wrong. I routed the recess to the maximum outside diameter and took off a little extra toward the inside as well. This allowed for the expansion that the thickness of the glue might cause. Lacôte assembled his rosette rings so that the ends, which are faintly visible, were spaced randomly around the circumference in order to further obscure them and I did the same. Using pre-bent bands I started at outside and worked in, one at a time, cutting the pieces to length with opposing bevels so as to avoid making a band either too long or too short. It was not easy going. I quickly developed sticky fingers which made it difficult to do everything including pressing the most recent ring in place against its neighbour. When I had all of the bands in place there was a little space left that I filled with thin strips of styrene until the glue dried. I wasn't happy with the result. Every imperfection showed up. A kink or two here and there and several gaps between bands as well. I routed it out and started over.
Next time, I'll fret the neck including the embedded soundboard frets. I'll also describe staining and varnishing the body and lacquering the neck.