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I'd get them fairly close TBH. Then do final shaping and finishing laminated...

One issue with metal cores - esp. Aluminium is they can heat up pretty quickly. And if insulated by nice plastic or wooden scales (and especially using power tools like drum sanders) can heat up enough to actually burn the glue that bonds the scales to core.

But as stated - its really down to preference - approach regarding technology available. And desired outcome. If you run a router with a laminate trim bit - you could really complete the core add the scales - shape the scales almost within microns of the core...

Metro Grade goods had the ability to work extremely accurately (Laser cutting and CNC router) so making scales separate to core and then simply assembling after.
 
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