Built for fingerstyle blues guitarist Dale Miller, this redwood and walnut guitar features a Voyage-Air folding neck and San Francisco Giants–themed inlay.
by Teja Gerken
October 24, 2016
Northern California luthier Harvey Leach is one of the world’s premier inlay artists. His work has graced custom instruments by other luthiers, as well as special projects such as the “Da Vinci” inlay on C. F. Martin’s 1.5 Millionth guitar. Leach is also highly respected for the instruments he builds and is the inventor of the folding neck mechanism used on Voyage-Air guitars. The guitar in this video is a rare custom instrument built by Leach that features his inlay work and the unique neck design.
Built for the late fingerstyle blues guitarist Dale Miller (1944–2013), the guitar was specifically ordered by Miller to make his air travel easier, and it accompanied him on trips to Europe, South America, and Tasmania (check out this YouTube video of Dale playing the Beatles’ “All My Loving” and “I’m Looking Through You” at the 2012 Cygnet Folk Festival in Tasmania).
Leach used his mid-size body design with highly figured walnut back and sides and a redwood top for the instrument. The folding neck’s clever hinge system is identical to stock Voyage-Air guitars, as is the backpack-style case. A lifelong baseball fan, Miller asked Leach to create custom inlays reflecting his love of the San Francisco Giants, and Leach inlaid depictions of the giant Coca Cola bottle and baseball glove that are part of the Giant’s AT&T Park in the headstock, as well as stylized elements of the Golden Gate bridge as position markers in the fingerboard. Dale’s signature is inlaid at the 12th fret.
SPECS: Steel-string flattop guitar with folding neck. Redwood top. Figured walnut back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Koa binding. Voyage-Air folding neck. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⅝-inch string-spacing at saddle. Schaller tuners. Dazzo pickups. Harveyleachinlays.com
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