Monday, November 24, 2008

Pink Ivory Rosettes

I’m currently working on a matching pair of instruments: a classical guitar and a baritone ukulele. They will have sinker redwood soundboards with Pink Ivory rosettes. Pink Ivory is an African hardwood and a quick google comes up with quotes like, “rarer than diamonds” or “the sacred wood of the Zulus.” So it’s quite special stuff!

I thought I’d show you how the rosettes were made. After some initial design work in collaboration with the clients and some testing to see how tightly I could bend rope purflings, the Pink Ivory was sliced into 2mm strips and glued together using waterproof Tite-Bond.

Channels were routed out in the soundboards, the rope purfling bent and glued in place.
I then glued a sheet of paper to a piece of plywood and the pink ivory to the paper using hide glue so that it could be removed later on in the process.

Then using my router, with a circle cutting jig that I’ve made, the Pink Ivory rings were cut out.

As the Pink Ivory was glued down with hide glue, I could then remove the rings from the paper.........

And hey presto two beautiful Pink Ivory rosettes! More on these special instruments later.

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