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  • Radial Rosettes: Building the Radial Rosette Maker
    Radial Rosettes: Building the Radial Rosette Maker
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    Whether following plans from a kit or building from scratch, the rosette is an opportunity for the luthier to be creative and flaunt their?artistic skills. A?rosette pattern designed with artistic discernment and then executed with the utmost precision is the envy of instrument makers everywhere. So what is a?radial?rosette, you say?

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  • Radial Rosettes: Making a Basic Pattern
    Radial Rosettes: Making a Basic Pattern
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    Radial Rosettes: Making a Basic Pattern   *Note: The jig used in this tutorial can be constructed using the plans provided at this link: Radial Rosettes: Building the Radial Rosette Maker. I cut my scrap material (In this case, Zebrawood) into 2″ strips. I prefer the material to be approximately 1/8″ in thickness, give or take [...]

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  • Installing the Rosette
    Installing the Rosette
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    Installing the Rosette   Measure out and mark the center of the soundhole on the soundboard. I do this by tracing the outline of the form on the soundboard and measuring (in this case, 149 mm) from the top of the outline down the glue joint of the bookmatched pair. The jig on the left side [...]

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  • Alaskan Yellow Cedar  (cupressus nootkatensis)
    Alaskan Yellow Cedar (cupressus nootkatensis)
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    This wood is actually yellow and emits a pleasant odor, though called a cedar, it is a member of the cypress family

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  • Acacia    (Also look under "Black Acacia" and "Koa")
    Acacia (Also look under "Black Acacia" and "Koa")
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    Keep in mind that there are 1300 species of Acacias, spread all over the world, and that even experts may have difficulty in telling them apart. Many do not grow large enough to be used for guitars. But for our purposes, their similarities are far greater than their differences. That does not mean they are all identical, but it may be hard to differentiate between them and make generalities that transcend the inherent differences caused by a luthier's particular build methods and the...

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  • Borneo Kauri (Agathis borneensis ) - Agathis
    Borneo Kauri (Agathis borneensis ) - Agathis
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     Used in the body of cheap electric solid-bodies, it has a less than sterling reputation

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  • How Gut Strings Are Made
    How Gut Strings Are Made
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    A step-by-step guide to the process of making gut strings for bowed instruments. Warning - contains images of animal intestines.

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  • Adirondack (Red) Spruce  N. America  (Picea Rubens)
    Adirondack (Red) Spruce N. America (Picea Rubens)
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    Also known as Eastern red or Appalachian spruce, Adirondack defined guitars of the pre-WWII era. Its availability is beginning to increase slightly, as another generation of trees matures, although they’re still considerably smaller than their old growth forebears. Current supplies of Adirondack tend to lack a certain aesthetic purity of look (they tend to be wider-grained and more irregular in color and grain patterns).

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  • African Walnut  (Locoa trichilioides)
    African Walnut (Locoa trichilioides)
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    A large tree from the Congo, it is reddish brown to a golden color in the heartwood and may exhibit darker streaks.

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  • Jointing and Joining the Plates
    Jointing and Joining the Plates
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    Jointing the center seam of the soundboard is often the very first thing I like to do when I receive parts from a tonewood supplier. There is no better way to get acquainted with your soundboard-to-be than taking thin, wispy shavings off of it with a handplane.

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  • Afzelia      Afzelia xylocarpa ,  Makamong
    Afzelia Afzelia xylocarpa , Makamong
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    Afzelia is a relatively dense wood that ranges in color between yellow, orange, and brown.  It is often compared to Koa in appearance.

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  • Acoustic Guitar Design: Fretboard Woods
    Acoustic Guitar Design: Fretboard Woods
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    Acoustic Guitar Design: Fretboard Woods In part I of “Acoustic Guitar Design: An Insight into the Choices Made by Luthiers” I discussed body dimensions, scale length, string spacing, fretboard radius, neck profiles, fretwire size, wood selection and bracing. It was a very superficial glimpse into a number of complex topics. So much so that it is worthy [...]

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