YOU'D be hard-pressed to find an electric guitar that is any more Aussie than Ray Mole's latest hand-made masterpiece.
The retired meatworker, who took up guitar building as a hobby 14 years ago, has slowly built up his skills on the saw to the point where he is now able to make axes that look and sound terrific.
Strangely enough, Mr Mole got the idea for his outlandish Australia guitar while at the supermarket.
"I saw this placemat on the shelves that was shaped like Australia and I immediately thought that it would make a great shape for a guitar," he said.
He took the placemat home and blew it up to the appropriate size, before sourcing a specific range of timbers.
The thing that makes Mr Mole's Moley 45 Aussie special even more Aussie is it is divided into each of the six states, including Tasmania, with each section made of a piece of timber sourced from that area.
For example, the Queensland section is made from Queensland maple, Victoria is made from Victorian ash, WA is made from Western Australian Karri and Tasmania is made from Black Heart Sassafras.
"There was a lot of work in clamping all the sections together, but it wasn't too bad," Mr Mole said. "The worst part was that it was too heavy and I ended up having to cut each of the states down a little and hollow the guitar out."
The result was a guitar that plays as well as it looks, although Mr Mole is keen to see it remains as more of a showpiece of what can be done with Australian timbers, an adventurous mind and a careful hand.
The Australia guitar is one of a collection of 17 Mr Mole has made in his back shed.
After starting out with a few beautiful Fender Stratocaster-inspired shapes, he moved on to making a stunning archtop, which won second prize at the Brookfield Show last year.
He has also made a Rickenbacker look-alike which was inspired by his love of The Beatles and George Harrison.
His collection also includes some acoustic guitars as well as a slide guitar, violin and even a banjo made from Holden hub caps.
"I just love guitars," he said.
"I was in a band years and years ago - back in the '60s when you only had to know three chords - but now I do it for the satisfaction of creating something nice."
Mr Mole has been generously passing on his skills to others through the Ipswich branch of the Australian Association of Musical Instrument Makers, which meets at his house in Collingwood Park on the third Sunday of each month.
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