Five bodies
Quite a bit happening and some new guitars coming up - as of December 2013, four of these bodies are out in the world. I have the third from the front still with me. The first two ended up with the same player

I've always liked to do things in batches and I guess that goes back to the many years spent as a pro potter producing masses of thrown ornamental and table ware. It took an awfull lot of pots per day to make enough cash to, pay the bills and it was my habit to make large batches of work. I have five builds underway here and a long way from being a large batch of guitars it is enough to keep my thirst for building well quenched. All five are planned as thinline flat tops with bolt on necks

From Top to bottom
A couple new Hotrods with lightweight mahogany cores. The first has a smart looking well figured big leaf maple top, the second a walnut with some pretty figuring also.

Number 3 is a single cut which will sport a florentine cutaway. Has a walnut top with a blackwood core.

Number 4 is also a single cut, slightly different shape with a 3 piece mahogany core and a substantial Alpine Ash top showing a real nice curl. I will carve this one back a bit and also use a florentine cut away

Number 5 is an offset Vic ash body, Qld maple top with knockout figuring. I am planning a Vic ash neck with indian rosewood board

All but the single cut / Alpine ash have very thin tops, They will be very lively. The alpine ash will have great sustain and a thick meaty tone.

A few shots of the body building process
Below:Single cut 2 piece mahogany showing the chambering. All the bodies are done in a similar way with breather holes to enhance body resonance.
Below : This is one of the hotrods showing how I postion the top for glueup. The last thing you want is for it to start sliding around whem you start applying pressure with the first few clamps.

The dowels are located where the pickup cavities will be cut. They protrude into thre core about 8 to 10mm. Nothing moves during clamping. The dowels are cut off with a zero kerf Japanese style saw that gets right down of the top and leaves no marks
Below: The single cut Blackwood / Walnut top showing top and core before glueup. Why was this was cut out on the bandsaw before glueup? There was no particular reason why I did it this way. It is actually easier to do the glueup with a square blank and a top matched in size.
Below: The core and top glued and clamped.
Joining a top
Below: This is the Qld maple top showing the method of joining the pair of bookmatched tops. Note the two cleats holding up the two pieces. Also the clamped edge supports and the piece of 12mm ply on the other side resting against the bench edge. There is no way this is going anywhere but down.

Prior to setting up like this the edges are carefully jointed on a jointing machine so the edges are dead square and dead straight. I dont want an ugly ragged join. In fact the join will be so good that it will be tricky [with my eyes at any rate] to see the actual join. The figure will show roughly where it is but to put a pencil right on the join to make the centre line will require me to magnify it. The alpine ash join on the the single cut really melted togther well and I had a devil of a job to get a center line I could work to.

Step one
The edges are coated in glue and mated to match the figure as well as possible. This is the top that will go on #18 "The Taipan" The outer edges are held in place with pices of timber and the edges to be joined are rested together like an old fashioned tent. A small cleat at each end hold the arrangement up and aligned.
Step two Below:
The two cleats are removed
Step 3 Below:
The boards are smartly pushed down onto the surface of the bench and the glued edge is pounded down with a mallett and a piece of board to ensure they match in hieght. When dry they will be sanded down in a sanding machine to ensure uniformity. One other small point is to ensure there is a membrane of some type under the job so that it doesn't end up glued to the benchtop. I used aluminium foil here.

Below: The top for the above single cut being held down with weights to ensure it dres nice and flat.Weights are added as per the pic below to keep the job nice and flat. Highly figured boards tend to move about quite a lot when unsupported, especially on a hot day.

The history of the five bodies built in the batch

Below: The first one to be completed and travelled with me as a demo model early 2011 more pics and specs here A very nice guitar, with very similar charcterstics to #11 which I played solid for 3 years in a 60's electric blues revival outfit.

#17 got sold off mid to late 2011. A bit of a wanderer this one and at least owners have had it since me. It came back here for a little set up work at one time and had Brierley B90s in place of the uncovered Brierley VM's I loved so much.

The VM's are such a great solid sounding pickup with great attack and presence. Awesome low end, punching mids and screaming slicing highs. Some call these Mick's Screaming Madness pickups. I have to say though the B90's did not subtract anything from this guitar. Quite a different tone as you would expect but still a scary monster.
the second one #18 - The Taipan - I use this one as my main stage guitar for much of 2011 and early 2012. I had to let her go as times were tight and the groceries mighty plain so I passed it over to a brilliant young player who was very taken with it.
The 3rd - got sold before i could get it finished - off it goes to sydney to an excited first time partscaster builder. Pity in some ways, I had a nice neck made and had things planned out for a nice shaded gloss finish. Again cash precedes the heart.

the 4th - "The Mongrel" ended up with the player who bought The Taipan. Mick's famous B90's were used and It turned out every bit as well as I had planned. Very plain treatment with no binding or bling of any kind. Just that amazing looking top.