I'm in Sri Lanka for christmas. We stopped in a ta place that does custom woodworking and my parents decided to order a bunch of furniture. Of course, seeing the quality of the work I instantly thought: these guys should make a guitar.

Of course, they have no idea how to make a full guitar, even if I purchased a seperate neck. However, I gigure the only thing that really matters is the top of the body. So here is my plan.

When I get back I am going to do a rubbing of one of my Les Pauls. then I'm going to mark off where the pickups and knobs are. I'll email that to the woodworking shop, and then we will start design work. What I want to end up with from them is either one or two pieces of Teak, 1 1/2 to 2 cm thick, with designs carved and stained on both sides of the pickups and around the bottom. I would also like the carving to go completely through at some points, so that I could either reveal the darker colour of the rest of the guitar, or cut all the way through the body to reveal a the light behind (or possibly my shirt). the Piece(s) will be Les Paul shaped, but oversiazed a little bit so that they can be cut and sanded down when matched to a body.

So this is all well and good, and their master carpenter really liked the idea. However, I am not sure how to handle the guitar itself. I want it to be a realtively dark stained mahogany, wich would have a rabbit cut into it which the Teak could be dropped onto, leaving an edge on the guitar's top. I see myself having 4 options:

1. Buy a guitar and chizel off the top to that specification. this would probably be fastest and easiest, but it would also produce the worst results, since I would be stuck with the wood stain and harware type/placement of the manufacturer. This is especially bad, since I can't afford to buy a new guitar at the moment, and the carpenter needs to know where the knobs and switches are going to be placed before he can design the top.

2. Buy an unfinished body and chizel off the top. This seems like the most reasonable option so far, though Iv'e noticed Les Paul type bodies are much harder to find than Strats and Teles.

3. Build my own guitar to match. I suspect that I have all or most of the tools for this in my basement, and there are some goood guides out there. My only concern is that I have no pre-existing woodworking skills, and don't entirely trust myself.

4. Get a luthier to do it. I have a friend who know's a luthier, but this option would cost a fortune (though admittedly would produce the best results).

So, what do you guys think? Am I going off in the wrong direction with this?

(on a side note, I intend to use dual humbuckers with two tone knobs and one volume knob and a wraparound tune-o-matic bridge).