I have been trying my hand at making a Lute Rose. My aim is to reach an acceptable level of competence before tackling the soundboard.
The Rose is a circular decoration in the soundboard, cut with a thin knife or scalpel. One or other decoration has no bearing on the quality of sound; it is simply a tradition.
This is a tricky and challenging business. Fortunately, I have my friend Tim Guster as Consultant. I visit his workshop from time to time, in search of advice or encouragement or comfort -as the case may be.
Tim is a master craftsman and luthier. You can see his work here:
I came away from my last visit armed with scraps of King William Pine and European Spruce. Both woods are suitable for soundboards; Spruce is the traditional material.
At the moment, however, I am experimenting with a scrap of Huon Pine, planed and scraped to one millimetre thickness. After the basic decoration is completed, I will use a tiny chisel to create the relief surface.
Not so easy.
I am hoping that practice does, indeed, make perfect – assuming, of course, the practice involves correct technique. Otherwise, I will be merely acquiring yet another bad habit….