It seems strange that laying a rosette would come so early in the process of making a guitar, but there I was, toiling away at what one would expect to be a final cosmetic detail.
For the uninitiated, the rosette is the decorative ring around the sound hole of the guitar. Every guitar's rosette is a little different, but mine is pretty standard. It will eventually consist of several rings of purfling, including black and white fiber rings, interspersed with mother of pearl.
The first step is to rout the top so that the rosette strips can be laid in. Epoxy is then applied before the strips are inserted. The black and white binding comes in long, flexible strips which can be cut to the proper length. Once the binding is inserted (a process not as easy as one might think), the mother of pearl pieces are delicately inserted in between. The pieces of mother of pearl are short (anywhere from a quarter to half inch), so the process is time consuming. But after an hour or so, I had finished the middle ring.
And, by the way, the stains you see on the top are from cutting myself in the process. Don't let anyone tell you guitar building isn't dangerous (at least for me).
With luck, I'll finish the rosette at the next class. Then it'll be time to start attaching the bracing. Some day I may actually have a guitar!