This is a restoration of a 1988 Conde Flamenco Guitar with a badly repaired top from my repair archive completed in 2014.
Initially brought in to check out top crack repairs and delaminating golpe, it was soon evident that the top had been aggressively sanded to 0.6mm thick in some areas, and backed up with very rough messy internal patching.
The owner agreed that a new top was warranted. In order to keep this guitar as original as possible, the rosette was to be transferred from old to new top, and all bracing to be as per the original.
Photos show how much the top was thinned; when shining light internally the internal cleats could easily be seen.
The first step was to remove the bridge and fretboard end, to enable an accurate template to be made showing all brace and perimeter detail. The new top would be made as an exact replica of the current shape, irregularities and all for a drop in fit. This ensures that the sides maintain their shape and alignment without having to make an external form.
You can see in this photo rosette damage from a previous crack in the bass side of the fingerboard. Once removed the rosette was softened with steam to manipulate and secure the fragile area. (Since the treble side was in good shape, the rosette was later installed with a few degrees of rotation, hiding the damage area under the fretboard). The rosette is then glued face down to a temporary substrate, the old spruce cleaned from the underside, and then re inlayed into a new European spruce top. The whole process removing not more than 0.2mm of material from the original rosette when completed.
The top glued back on, and the original binding repaired in two areas that were over sanded near the neck.
The fingerboard end re fitted, and the board levelled and re fretted before re finishing the top. and re gluing the bridge. The owner was thrilled that his main instrument now has a long future ahead.