Harvey Leach Custom Inlays and Guitars
Sausage Quilt Tree Mahogany
In the world of guitars there is nothing better than wood with a great story. Perhaps the two most “storied” woods are the redwood from the Craig Carter stash, known as Lucky Strike, or L.S. and the quilted mahogany that Robert Novak dragged out of the Chiquibul jungle 40-something years ago, a wood so magnificent it is known simply as “The Tree.”
Way back in the mid 90’s I heard rumors of magnificent redwood soundboards from a salvaged log. I had an abundance of redwood at the time so I really didn’t pay much attention. Over the years I’d probably built over 100 guitars with redwood tops. I thought to myself “I have great redwood already.” About 4 years ago I had a customer specifically request the L.S. redwood. When I first picked up a set I knew that I had been missing out on something really special. I quickly set out to procure as much as I could before it was all gone.
A few years ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to purchase the last remaining uncut billets of L.S. Redwood, from them I was able to extract a couple dozen magnificent sets with bell-like tone and beautiful dark color.
The Tree has long been my favorite back and side wood. The unique figuring combined with a density that belies its mahogany roots creates, in my opinion, the ultimate tonewood… the magnificence of quilted maple, the color and depth of dark Koa and tonal characteristics similar to Brazilian rosewood. One of the unique things about The Tree was that it displayed a range for different looks. The most common is known as "sausage" quilt and this is the grade that is included with each of these guitars. The other 2 grades are "blister" quilt and "tortoise shell" or "turtle-back."
For these special Limited edition guitars there is no premium up-charge for them being “limited” just the standard up charges for the wood itself. These prices reflect a base price and some pre-selected appointments, however, each guitar is a “blank canvas” so feel free to embellish to your heart’s desire... you may not know this... but I occasionally dabble in the world of inlay! You may also up-grade to either the blister quilt or the tortoise shell. Another up-grade is a cut away... normally that would be pretty standard option but bending the Tree is a challenge and the tight curves of a soft cutaway are very challenging... but I'll give it a shot! I also have a VERY rare opportunity for anyone wanting the ultimate. I have 4 tortoise shell neck blanks... how rare? I've been building with the Tree for 20 years and these are the only ones I've had!
The Tree first jumped onto the rader screens of woodworkers in 1985 from article in Fine Woodworking magazine. To read the article followthis link
If you have any questions or would like to inquire about ordering one of these very special guitars please use my contact form here. Thank you for dropping by!
Tale of the Trees
Click images to see example of a 2-Trees guitar with optional arm bevel
Lucky Strike Redwood soundboard ($1,000.00 value)
Tree Mahogany "sausage quilt" back and sides ($4,000.00 value)
Tree Mahogany rosette and headstock veneer
Ebony bridge and fretboard
Gold plated Gotoh 510 tuners
Ameritage hard-shell case
Available as OM or Dreadnought
Price - $14,500.00
Up-Grades and add-ons:
Arm Bevel - $250.00
Voyage Air folding neck - $300.00 (with Voyager Deluxe case)
Cut Away - $1,000.00 (very difficult with the Tree!)
Custom Inlay - Sky's the limit!
Tree Mahogany up-grades:
Sausage with veins - $1000.00
Blister with veins - $2000.00
Tortoise shell - $3000.00
"Special grade" - $4000.00
Tortoise shell neck - $3000.00 (only 3 available)
Click to see a 2-Trees Dreadnought with "Apostle" themed custom inlays
Back in 1972 I began this journey into a career as a luthier. My first endeavors were banjos and mandolins. I quickly discovered that in those days both of these instruments had to say “Gibson” on them to grab much market share. Eventually I wandered into the wonderful world of guitars where I still spend most of my time these days. The early 70’s were a great time in the world of luthiery. At about the same time I was cutting down a birch tree in my back yard for my first (unsuccessful) banjo neck, guys like Bob Taylor, Ervin Somogyi, Tom Ribbecke and Jim Olson were cutting up their first tonewoods as well. Now here it is coming up on 45 years later and I wanted to create something memorable. 10 guitars from my 2 favorite woods; “Tree” mahogany and L.S. Redwood. I call the the "2-Trees" guitars.
Lucky Strike Redwood
Click images for close up examples of grades
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