Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Hello group.  I have made over 100 instruments in the last twenty years including many early instruments.  It has been my intention to make a baroque guitar for quite some time.  I have restored and repaired a few and, as a guitar player, love the instrument anyway.  I have a client, a brilliant and well know flamenco guitarist in the Kansas City area, Beau Bledsoe, who recently began playing a five course in ensemble work and I have repaired and corrected his nice Castillo baroque guitar he had made in Mexico.  It is my intention to start a five course with vaulted back this winter.  His has a wooden rose suspended within the sound hole which does not really represent the instrument very well.  I have a personal LOVE for stepped parchment roses, a singular attraction to the instrument for me.  I will create a five level rose for the instrument that can be removed for maintenance purposes, a task I have not designed yet.  Anyway, I will be reporting on my progress as I go and welcome any comments or suggestions.

Dave Bucher, citteraro extraordinaire
The Golden Wood Stringed Musical Instruments

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I'm hoping to build myself a baroque guitar as well, so I hope your build goes well and I look forward to reading about it!

From someone who is rose-challenged, I might end up "out-sourcing" a rose from here when I build my first BG.


It would be more satisfying to build your own parchment rose, but until I master a pierced lute rose, I won't even attempt one of these.

PLEASE document your build!!

There are no books or classes for making these that I know of and I'm sure there are a few of us here who would love to watch someone create one of these; actually the entire build.

Well, I will confront this task as I have most lutjhiery related tasks:  take what you like and leave the rest!  I have made many pierced roses and even a couple of built-up ones.  The real trick here is the paper cutting skills needed.  I've divined many of the methods from simple deduction.  Since I can not make myself use others work (an occasional artist collaboration aside) I intend to master this well.  I mastered the art of inlay over 20 years but the first steps were laughable indeed.  So...I think I'll make some very fine roses.



Makoto Tsuruta (he is amateur but very advanced builder known to some of the members here) reports his procedure of making a parchment rose for his baroque guitar:





Text is Japanese only, but the pictures will tell the story well.  Hope this would be of any help.

Another very good choice for parchment roses is our very own Steven Zunino. I have use a few of his roses and they are very nicely and lovingly made.


He posted some photos of his three layered roses a while back. I think they are still in his photos. Give him a shout.

 I second what Scott stated. Steve has very clean work as good as Elena dal Cortiva's flat roses.

  Before all of you spin yourself in circles about parchment , try it on good weight water color paper. Larry Brown , John Rollins and myself have made roses out of paper to good effect. It's not that hard , you just have to be careful.

I endorse paper 100% too. I've done a few for my vihuelas with very thin topmost layers of pear or poplar cut with knives/exacto blades. I used punches made outta plain iron nails that I filed into various shaped and punched into those 'self-healing' cutting mats.. I think paper would have been just as nice for all layers and will try this also.

 I've found some good Japanese  twist punches from Lee Valley, may they prosper forever.

 if you put just a  teeny bit of shellac on the paper it won't buckle and you can color it that way too depending on what kinda shellac you use. try to keep it off the edges you'll glue to soundboard.


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