Ukulele Rosette Design

The rosette is the decorative part (typically a pattern) that goes around the soundhole on the body of a ukulele or guitar.

Although they look like stickers (and the less expensive versions may be stickers) we will be inlaying our rosette by hand using thin strips of veneer. It is taken from this guitar maker (Series of 3 videos)

Your Task

Your task is to design the pattern for the rosette that you will use on your ukulele.

You need to do a few things.

  1. Decide if you want to do tiles or not (see video above)
  2. Decide on the colours from what’s available.
  3. Decide on the pattern from how many pieces of veneer fit into the inlay.

Once you know what colours are available, draw 3 possible designs in your sketchbook or on some paper.

A Quick Outline on How the Rosette is Made

We are using veneer to make our rosette. Veneer is a very thin slice of timber (typically .5 of a millimetre). After it gets cut it is quite fragile as it is very thin.

  1. The strips of veneer get dyed with a mixture of food dye and water for 24 hours. After this they are left to dry on some paper towel.
  2. After they are dry they get put into the desired pattern.
  3. Now we go over them with the plane to make sure they are flat and at approximately the right height to be inlayed. This also the time when one end gets cut straight, the other one will be cut in the inlay.
  4. Once they are planed they get held together again with pegs.
  5. The glue goes in the inlay and the rosette gets installed. The other end gets cut to the right size with a sharp chisel.